This volume challenges a long history of normalizing patriarchal approaches to the Qur'an and calls for a questioning of the interpretive credibility of many inherited Qur'anic commentaries. The author presents a fresh reading of the sacred text and Islamic teaching traditions as the rediscovery of a lost humanitarian and gender-egalitarian textual richness that has been poorly and loosely handled for centuries. The book stresses the importance of reviewing the interpretive linguistic choices that jurists and exegetes over the last fourteen centuries have adopted to semantically reshape the Qur'anic text. The vigilant reading the author provides of carefully chosen texts and commentaries suggests that many interpretive approaches to the Qur'an are dominated by sociopolitical factors alien to the intrinsic values of the text itself. More importantly, inconsistencies across putatively sound books of tafsīr indicate that the Qur'anic text often suffers from historical and systematic drainage of its humanitarianism, gender-egalitarianism, and religious pluralism.
About the Author
Abla Hasan is associate professor of Arabic language and culture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.