• Islamum Sthreekalum

A feminist interpretation of women's rights in Islam. Islamum Sthreekalum is the Malayalam version of Fatima Mernissi's famous book 'The Veil and the Male Elite', translated by K M Venugopalan.

Convinced that the veil is a symbol of unjust male authority over women, in 'Islamum Sthreekalum', Fatima Mernissi aims to investigate the origins of the practice in the first Islamic community. Mernissi, an internationally known Moroccan sociologist, endeavors to show that discrimination against women, so common in the Muslim world today, is not a fundamental tenet of Islam as many contemporary male Muslims would like us to believe. Her basic premise is that Islam is inherently egalitarian and, using extensive documentation from the Koran, the Hadith, and other Islamic historical commentary, Mernissi successfully proves her hypothesis. While doing so, she teaches the reader a great deal about Mohammed (the man as well as the prophet), his wives, his companions, and early Islamic society.

Muhammad was a chief of state who publicly acknowledged the importance of affection and sexuality. His wives were not just background figures but often shared decision-making with him. According Mernissi, the founder of Islam asserted the equality of women, rejected slavery and envisioned an egalitarian society. Mernissi further claims that successive Muslim priests manipulated and distorted sacred texts, from the seventh century onward, in an effort to maintain male privileges. Her close textual analyses of the Hadith , or stories of words and deeds attributed to the Prophet, support her far-reaching reinterpretation of the historic roots of Islam and its modern tendency to reduce woman to a "submissive, marginal creature."

Like Mernissi's other books, this fascinating, well-written, and well-documented work is an excellent addition to scholarship on Muslim women. Recommended for academic libraries and others with women's studies or Middle East collections.

Malayalam Title: ഇസ്ലാമും സ്ത്രീകളും
Pages: 298
Size: Demy 1/8
Binding: Paperback
Edition: 2009 November

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Islamum Sthreekalum

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