International Journal for Muslim World Studies (IJMWS)

Formerly known as International Journal of Muslim Unity (IJMU)

Muslim Women, Islam and Feminism

Muslim Women, Islam and Feminism

Brikena Qafa-Osmani*

 

ABSTRACT

Many Muslim women today are easily enamored by the appeal of contemporary feminism. Numerous Muslim authors abound, espousing feminist views which may or may not be in line with mainstream Islamic jurisprudence. To understand the notion of feminism in an Islamic context, one must begin with the comparison of the status of women during the pre-Islamic vs. early Islamic societies. Using this comparison as the bedrock, this paper continues the discourse by revisiting the esteemed position with which the advent of Islam honours women. From this standpoint then, the issue of feminism is analysed vis-a-vis its Islamicity. The paper finally concludes by addressing the question of whether a feminist movement within the Islamic context can be beneficial to Muslim societies.