Books and Documents

Islam, Women and Feminism

It is not just the traditional ulema who, because of their excessively defensive and cautious approach to women’s social roles, have caused such damage to Muslim women and to the wider Muslim society. Even the supposedly ‘enlightened’ and more ‘modern’ Islamist scholar, Maulana Syed Abul ‘Ala Maududi shared similar views. In fact, in his widely-red book Purdah Maududi comes across as even more stern and extreme in his opposition to women’s freedom than the traditional ulema. For instance, the putative founders of the four major schools of Sunni Muslim jurisprudence and their followers all allowed for Muslim women to keep their faces unveiled, while Maududi stiffly opposed this, along with several modern ulema, claiming that a woman’s face was the centre of her beauty and, hence, a principal source of fitna or strife. It is striking to note that the classical ulema did not consider this argument as worthy of attention. However, going against their opinion, the influential twentieth century Deobandi scholar Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi even went to the extent of insisting that a woman’s name must never be mentioned in a newspaper. -- Maulana Waris Mazhari

Indonesian ethnic dresses showcased

TV Soap Dramatizes Islam's Cultural Clashes

Two Female Priests Buried as Church Outsiders

Women worry Afghan peace jirga will harm rights

Al-Jazeera anchors quit in clothing spat: Reports

Freedom fighter’s daughter acid burnt

Six-month-old girl married off in Swara incident

Woman gunned down at her house by ‘brother-in-law’

Woman seeks NSHR help to reunite with husband

Businesswoman calls for more Saudis in jobs

Saudi women step forward smartly

Sex and the Sharia

If I were a woman, would have ‘reveiled’ a little

Indonesia bans ‘tight pants’ according to ‘Sharia Law’

Islam grants women due status: CII chief

Photo: Sumbol, 17, a Pashtun girl who was kidnapped


Muslim women must wear veil to work: Cleric

Women’s participation must for genuine democracy: Zardari

Women MPs pledge zero tolerance against violence

Women’s role vital for world peace, says Naek

Saudi woman awarded CPA license

DNA test confirms abandoned baby’s father

Pressure for female circumcision lingers in the U.S.

Is Miss USA a Muslim trailblazer?

Niqab for Muslim women banned in Canadian province

Search for water leads to baby’s death

54 girls’ schools closed in Nara since long

Skirts galore in Indonesia's Aceh for modesty's sake

Dutch Muslim women are really Dutch

A Muslim Century: Myth Or Reality?

“Muslim women are partners in development process”


The news this week is thoroughly confusing. The famous Deobandi seminary has issued a fatwa declaring women working for wages and salaries as haram. The noted Shia cleric, Maulana Kalbe Jawad, endorsed that fatwa saying, “Women in Islam are not supposed to go out and earn a living. It is the responsibility of the males in the family.” Earlier I heard him say on television that women should not take part in politics. Their function is to give birth to politicians! That sort of wisdom I have always believed cuts across the Sunni-Shia divide. People waste a lot of time distinguishing between them on doctrinal issues, and fail to see the consensus among them on reactionary social values.

Deoband has subsequently issued a statement that its ruling had been misunderstood and Kalbe Jawad also said that he did not oppose women working if they worked separately from men as in Iran. So, for a while the ambiguity these clerics have created can conceal their real stances on women and women’s rights. The title of today’s article should now make sense if it did not at the start. Who really are the Muslim women — those who are confined within the four walls of the house, or those who sit in parliament, or those who work alongside men and make an equal contribution to society as thinking human beings? What is real and what is not? -- Ishtiaq Ahmed

Saudi Arabia: men and women can pray together

Suntanned women face arrest in Iran

Istanbul: Islamic clothing - modesty with high fashion

The Seismic Impact of the Boobquake Movement

'Boobquake' triggered Taiwan tremor?

A Jihad for gender equality

Veiled threat of a secular society

My Talk with Mary Apick -- Iran, Women's Rights and More

French PM Announces Anti-Niqab Law for July

Muslim says mistresses are the French way of life

Siddiqui: Picking on Muslim women smacks of hypocrisy

Sudan not abridging women's rights

The Pakistani woman’s crusade against the system

M'sia's women-only trains

Let Muslim women wear head scarves

Woman prof shot dead in Pak

Nawaz slams killing of woman educationist in Quetta

BLA claims responsibility for killing professor in Quetta

Palestinian girls get ticket to Intel science fair

Photo: Shabana Azmi


12-year-old bride’s divorce churns Muslim world

Islam and Muslim women’s social roles

JEDDAH: Women prisoners to be rehabilitated

Breasts don't cause earthquakes

Saudi women don’t need any rescuer

Saudi religious cop denies firing for liberal views on women

Pakistani Muslim woman fears being disfigured with acid

Quebec's Bill 94 proposes a ban on the niqab

Arab News: A staunch supporter of women’s rights

No, Indian girls won't be used as guinea pigs: Azad

Photo: Muslim Women


Saudi Arabia: the second sex and the third rail

Somalia: Islamist impose new rules on farmers and women in Somalia 

American Daughters: Reflections On Being Muslim in America: Panel Discussion

Canadians demonstrate against niqab-ban legislation

Ukip claims Muslim women back burqa ban

Fundamentalism inYemeni-woman related legislation

Iranian women show passion for beauty

On Quebec’s Decision to Ban the Muslim Niqab

Girl banned from school for wearing hijab

Crowd protests Quebec niqab ban

Veil of tears for expelled student

Islam and Muslim women’s social roles

The person behind the veil: Women who wear the niqab in Canada have been caricatured at worst, misunderstood at best

Photo: Muslim women in anti-terror march in Agra


Female mosque leader seeks new way of Islam in Europe

I was marrying a person, not a Pakistani: Sania Mirza

UK: First Muslim women MPs to be elected

Afghan Woman Murdered as She Leaves Work

A killing unveils return to fear for Afghan women

Muslim girl was a victim of ignorance and bigotry

Controversy shrouds Muslim women's head coverings

India - Nuns educate Muslim, Hindu street girls

Feminist scholar to speak at Cornell on Islam and gender

Europe struggles with Muslim dress code

European push to ban burqas appalls Afghan women

Fatwa against modelling by Muslim women

Through the eyes of a European woman

Documentary highlights women’s political struggle

Women, Get Set, Go at Madani High School

The Pakistani woman’s crusade against the system

One woman returns to Afghanistan to build change

Kandahar’s street without women

Compiled by Aman Quadri

Photo: Shania Mirza And Shoaib Malik


Domestic Violence against Women in the Gaza Strip: "A Woman Is Like a Carpet"

Motalakat Radio in Egypt: The Voice of Divorced Women

Iraq: Women's rights in danger

Is France right to ban wearing the burka in public?

Muslim law board enhances its own women quota

'Muslim women can't discard purdah for politics'

Scholar Explores Growth Of Feminism within Islam

Photo: Some traditional communities frown on working women


"We want to see your face," Yolande James tells Muslim women

Women's Rights Movement Slowly Taking Shape in Kabul

Iranian women rally against polygamy

Malaysian Hindu woman wins custody battle with Muslim husband

Tunisia's 'feminist' Muslim scholar commemorated in London

'Islamic laws not blame for abuse of women’s rights’

Women empowerment on Muslim body’s agenda

Grand Mufti urges Muslim women to enter politics

Kuwait women’s forum fights for equality

Women's Rights Movement Slowly Taking Shape in Kabul

For Afghan Women, Some Hard-Won Successes And An Ongoing Struggle

HAIDARI: A new chance for women

Pennsylvania Woman Tied to Plot on Cartoonist

Influential Muslim Women through the ages

Haniyeh to appoint female minister

Women immigrant outreach groups steer clear of burqa debate

Muslim woman in Canada expelled over face veil files complaint

Six girls killed in Rawalpindi hostel fire

Compiled by Aman Quadre

Photo: Women’s rights in Afghanistan continue to be undermined, rights activists say


"Hunar, hisab, himmat is the development agenda," says Pune-based Razia Abdur Rahim Patel who works with Muslim women across Maharashtra, having started in the early 1990s in a single slum cluster in Pune.

Now with a team of 20, Patel says skill-training, understanding basic money transactions and creating self-esteem among slum dwellers is focus. "Political leadership failed us. There's a huge gap between leaders' agenda and people's agenda. We are creating social leadership at the community level," says the 48-year-old on phone.

Politicians only engage in identity politics, she says, with no practical agenda. Her attempts are to create "the thinking required for community leadership". "I've seen Muslim women thirst for knowledge. The woman thinks for her family, men think only identity."

But it was identity that got Jameela into social work. "1992 (Babri masjid demolition) labelled me a Muslim," she says. Just an artist in a family of artists till then, Jameela says an attitude change even among friends jolted her into thinking of herself as a Muslim. "Friends treated me as the 'other'. When that happened, I had to get out, see for myself and do something for the community," she says, in Delhi to be felicitated, along with scholar-activists Gabriele Dietrich and Uma Chakravarty and Tibetan monk Rinchen Khando Choegyal by four civil society groups ahead of the International Women's Day. -- Nandita Sengupta

US Chooses moderate Asifa Quraishi over Feminist Hawk Hirsi Ali for Women’s Rights Commission

Muslim women barred from flight to Pakistan after refusing full-body scan at Manchester Airport

Women Work toward Equality in Muslim Societies

The many voices and stories of Muslim women

Women, equality and Islam: Rethinking the faith to meet the expectations of modern man

Many Muslim women have gone further than many Muslim men in several fields, says scholar Asghar Ali Engineer

Afghan women lawmakers hamstrung by warlords: activist

No burqa, no problem, Bangladesh court tells police

Hamas Says No to Men in Women's Salons

Women in world parliaments low at 19 percent: UN

Women’s Day: As a proposal of the Socialist International, Women’s Day (IWD)

Compiled by Aman Quadre

Photo: Salim has appealed against her conviction, the Saudi daily Okaz said on its website in February.

Iraqi Women Struggling to Reclaim a Dignified Life

Should Women Be Caned? Muslim Nations Call For Debate

Burqa: Don’t let obscurantism abet poll-riggers

Hakim Quick: another Islamist bigot at King's London

Egypt State Council head ignores female judges ban

Woman Says Abercrombie Fired Her Over Headscarf

Muslim scholars rule female circumcision un-Islamic

Dancing The Divide: Interview with Pakistani Peacemaker Sheema Kermani

Cabinet affirms opposition to burqa ban

Now Karzai moves against women in Afghan politics

Seminar cum workshop on 'Rights of Muslim Women - Theory and Practice'

The New Anti-Capitalist Party criticised for bringing in a scarf-clad Muslim

Key panel's ban on women judges seen as retrograde

Fired from Hollister for wearing the hijab?

Girl burgles own house to pay off porn-MMS debt

Photo: 'Racist': Bus drivers have been accused of ignoring girls wearing the hijab


On the streets of Kabul burqa-clad women outnumber those without burqa. So much for images flashed in the global media in 2001 of Afghan women happily removing their veils. Those without burqa are subjected to sexual harassment at workplaces and in the streets and are more vulnerable to groping by men on public buses. This is an outcome of Talibanisation, which views a woman without purdah as having questionable character. Hence, many girls who want to study or work prefer burqa to escape sexual harassment. It is the same Kabul where two decades ago girls went to university in skirts with burqa-clad students, without ever inviting trouble....

Iran concert cancelled because of girl performers

SAUDI ARABIA: Women lawyers may soon be allowed in courtrooms

British woman killed in suicide bombing three months after husband killed by Taliban

Wearing burqa not an integral part of Islam: Election Commission

Muslim Women For Sale—Isn’t There a Name for This?

For Pakistani women, dupattas are more than a fashion statement

Only handful slow to accept caning against women: Jakim

UK Justice Secretary says he'd love if Muslim women wouldn't wear burqas in Britain

Skier is the first Iranian woman in Winter Games

Scholar Unveils Women's Role in Shaping Islamic Practice in West Africa

The Plight of Afghan Women in Prison

Nusaybah bint Ka`b: A Woman of Distinction

Photo: Mrs Pakistan World 2010 Tahmena Bokhari advocates Rivival of the Arts in the Muslim World.


I believe that Islamic feminism is, in a sense, the unwanted child of ‘political Islam’. It was ‘political Islam’ that actually politicized the whole issue of gender and Muslim women’s rights. The slogan ‘back to the Shariah’ so forcefully pressed by advocates of ‘political Islam’ in practice meant seeking to return to the classical texts on fiqh or Muslim jurisprudence and doing away with various laws advantageous to women that had no sanction in the Islamists’ literalist understanding of Islam. Translated into practice, law and public policy, this meant going back to pre-modern interpretations of Shariah, with all their restrictive laws about and for women. It was this that led, as a reaction, to the emergence of Islamic feminism, critiquing the Islamists for conflating Islam and the Shariah with undistilled patriarchy and for claiming that patriarchal rule was divinely mandated. -- Ziba Mir Hosseini


For Clinton, a bit of Wellesley in Saudi Arabia

Burka: the other view

Why I Support a Ban on Burqas

Brick Lane plan for hijab gates angers residents

Women-only national transport system proposed

Beneath the Burqa: Islam, Secularism and Liberty

Woman tortured by ‘pir’ hospitalised

Pakistani Bishop to Help Prosecute Muslim Jurist for Murder of Catholic Girl

Missing North Portland girl found

Spanish town joins Europe veil debate

Is politics driving ban on burqa?

Under the Shadow of Shariah Law, Transsexuals Take to Beauty Contest

Man of war, master of politics, lover of women

Should France ban the full Muslim veil?

A Niqabi Living in the Bastion of Secularism!

Muslim women should be allowed to wear the burqa – but how many really want to?

To Saudi Arabia’s Women: Valentine’s Day is Also for You

MIDEAST:  Gaza's Female Scribes Face Worse Than Discrimination

Woman suspect in lawyer’s murder case killed

Photo: Saudi women work at a website designing company in Jeddah.

Koranic traditions must be taken seriously, but it is also necessary to ask questions about their contemporaneity too. Following the Friday prayers led by Dr Amina Wadud in New York on 18th March and the emotional public debate to which that event led, I have repeatedly been asked for my view on the matter. I believe the issue may seem simple, but is more complicated than it appears. So I'd like to contribute a few ideas to the discussion, rather than put forward a clear opinion. --Halima Krausen

The women of my family influenced me by invoking the spirit of Islam which allows an individual to practise religion according to her own light.

In the context of my upbringing, when I examine the Supreme Court's observation on the burqa and voter ID cards, I find there is nothing inimical in it to the Quranic injunctions about a dress code for Muslim women...

In the Quran there are three references to dress code and none of them refers to the naqab, or veil...

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the great translator, commentator and interpreter of the Quran, has asked the reader again and again to look for meanings by going to the fountainhead (Siraj-eMunir) -- that is, the Quran itself -- instead of blindly following diktats of self-proclaimed experts. Because, he writes, Din is easy; it has been made complicated by centuries of facile erudition. That being the case there is nothing in the Quran and therefore Islam which mandates veiling; the choice to do it is entirely an individual choice. Therefore to attribute this to Islam is to negate its true spirit. -- Syeda Saiyidain Hameed

Veil ban would harm Christians in Muslim countries, French church warns

Muslim women can be snapped without burqa: Cleric

Feminism means women are seen and heard

Two out of three Brits want ban on burkhas

Baghdad Bombing Kills Shiites at Women’s Checkpoint (Update2)

We must respect Muslim rights if we want Islamic countries to respect our rights, warns French Catholic Church as it speaks against burka ban

Women who dared

Niqab wearers lift veil on Egyptian dispute

Now, Germany mulls burqa ban

Burqa ban wrong

What do Leicester's Muslim women think of the face veil, or niqab?

Muslim Women In 2010

Hijab... American Experience

Photo: Demonstrators against the French ban on religious dress in state schools, enacted in 2004


Were there women in Islamic history?

Photo-shy Muslim women should not vote: SC

Ban Muslim face veils, France told

Stay away from book on Muslim women, Muslims advised

Step out & contest polls, Jamaat tells Muslim women, hundreds turn up

A Muslim in Bristol: Confident women are viewed with suspicion

Moro women leaders oppose warlordism, want role in peace process

What’s in a headscarf: France mulls ban

India denies visa to British Muslim woman for meeting: Report

PM called on to consider ban on burqa

New Study Looks at Challenges Faced by Germany's Muslims

Majority of Britons want burqa ban: Poll

Muslim feminists deserve to be heard

Al-Qaeda Woman? Putting Aafia Siddiqui on Trial

AMERICAN MUSLIMS: Women behaving badly in mosques

Frontline Females- Unlocking the World of Afghan Women

Status of face-covering veils Muslim around Europe

Women in Pakistan forge ahead against bias in politics

Indonesian Women Come Into Their Own

France Moves toward Ban of Full Muslim Veil

Burqa Unwelcome in Denmark: PM

Muslim women take on peace advocacy roles

Compiled by Aman Quadre

Photo: ‘Unveiling the Ideal’ explores the role of women in Islam


Arab journalist seeks polyandry for women:

Why only men are allowed to practice polygamy in Islam but not women?

A Saudi woman demands Polyandry

Saudi Feminists and Polyandry

Polyandry call is 'akin to blasphemy'

Female polygamy - might improve a Muslim woman's lot - article sparks row in Egypt

Does Polygany Degrade Womanhood?

Polygany (Ta'ad-dud)

Awakening: A Story of Polygyny

Photo: Saudis gather by a fast food restaurant in a Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, shopping mall. A Saudi writer has caused a row in Egypt with her controversial article that urges religious scholars to issue a fatwa allowing women to marry four men simultaneously.

East Lancashire Muslim ladies in the TV driving seat

Islam's angry women, angry at their religion

Despite ban, French Muslim women will not betray tradition: Shada Islam

Muslim women embrace sorority without abandoning their faith and values

Alimony aid for Muslim women caught in divorce wrangles

RM15mil allocation for Muslim women who don’t get support

It will be a great help, says struggling single mother

Karzai praised for 3 women in Cabinet

Student backs Muslim women

'Only three women in Denmark wear burqa'

Photo: Female Imams: Searching for American “nu ahongs”


Alimony aid for Muslim women caught in divorce wrangles

Arab women Diaspora writers under study at the University of Manchester

America’s first Islamic-based sorority allows participation without abandoning faith and values

No veiled threat - France mulls fines for wearing a burqa in public

Women's role in Islam found in Quran

Should Muslim Women be Fined or Arrested for the Way They Dress?

Banning the burqa unveils some nasty traits in us

French PM Francois Fillon wants anti-burqa measures

Compiled by Aman Quadri

Photo: Bihar girl makes it to UN calendar


German Lingerie Ad Lifts the Veil on Muslim Women

Women should be wary of romanticising Islam

Transportation Security Administration Targets Women Wearing Hijabs?


Compiled by Aman Quadre

Photo: A woman wears a burka in Roncin, northern France. The proposed legislation to ban the veil in public would protect the 'dignity' of women


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  • Nice bhai and right.
    ( By Md samir ansari )
  • Very sensible and prudent column.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The Ummah and the Caliphate are obsolete concepts and have no....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Marxism, democratic socialism and enlightened capitalism are all laudable....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • UN has lost its credibility. It is simply a forum of debate. Hardly does...
    ( By Salman )
  • Adopting Christianity means adopting true religion of Allah.
    ( By Mahender Kumar )
  • Islam promotes violence ......etc against Khafirs.
    ( By Dr.A.Anburaj )
  • Talha's comment shows how talaq has been turned into a joke. People have derived new types of talaq...
    ( By Arshad )
  • The comment was posted thru mobile phone. And while typing on mobile, some errors occur and also it's automated dictionary takes pushes some words into ...
    ( By Arshad )
  • Saying that Islam emphasized education is hardly hubris except in the...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • کیوں نہ اہل ذکر سے مراد ماہرین لئیے جائیں یعنی جب بھی کوئی مسئلہ ہو اس علم کے ماہر سے پعچھع
    ( By qasim raza Tirmiz zi )
  • it is time for muslims globally - not just in india) to get out of their superiority...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Your article is in the same vein as current discourses in international....
    ( By Dr. Sharifah Munirah Alatas )
  • Good article! The author talks sense.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off hates any Muslim who favors peace, education and modernization....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Anything that promotes violence, coercion, intolerance, takfirism...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • such a breathtaking, once-in-a-millennium, nobel-prize-worthless comment...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Very interesting discussion, specially the brand new concept of "duty-free divorce." But....
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • No doubt, debate on Islamic ideologies must happen.
    ( By gholam ghouse )
  • I appreciate your thoughts.
    ( By Usha Jha )
  • If this is a religion of peace, then why is it not believed so by Jihadists and some Extremist non Muslims?,...
    ( By Talha )
  • These terrorists are weakening Muslims and therefore are playing the role of agents of anti-Islamic elements. '
    ( By Anjum )
  • لإخوان يستحلون قتل المخالف ولو كان ضعيفا محروما مقهورا، وفي أقل الأحوال يعملون على تشويهه وتقديم المبررات لاغتياله. '
    ( By عادل الشعبی )
  • Asking Zakir Naik to stop belittling the religions of others is tantamount to defanging him! He knows nothing else!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Personal and family laws should be the responsibility of civil society. Religious scholars should keep out of....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The United Kashmir Peoples National Party (UKPN) advocates a united...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Next move should be to bring the RSS on the path of Gandhi and Nehru...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • It is not just Arab wealth. It is also Arab racism. The Prophet's last sermon....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • What a depraved and ignorant comment from Hats Off! She represents Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and atheists of her little constituency in Minnesota.'
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • ilhan omar represents the free-booters and scalawags like some....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Ilhan Omar never said she represents all Muslims, or even Muslims....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • It is in the nature of fascist organizations to spread paranoia.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Female circumcision must be prosecuted as a criminal assault with stiff penalties
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin Faruki )
  • yahood o hanoodon se nafrat islami fitrat hai
    ( By hats off! )
  • are kafir admi ye Sarah edan BHI Muslim Nahi hai yahudi hai
    ( By Syed Mohammad Faizan )
  • This man is dishonest, mostly in western countries other minority's are well integrated and never....
    ( By Aayina )
  • Because democracy is run by Hypocrites and capitalist. Other factor added in last 70 years was ....
    ( By Aayina )
  • Instant Triple Thalak is banned and one Monolithic Arabian practice is eiiminated. Another Monolithic Arabian practice....
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • Shamless Hindu showing his Manhood power to grab girls, like Muslims. Shame on this kind of Hindus ....
    ( By Aayina )
  • Taha Deceiving is not explanation. Might be clear to you now.'
    ( By Aayina )