|Part of a series on|
|Part of a series on|
Advocates refer to the observation that Muslim majority countries "have produced" several female heads of state, prime ministers, and state secretaries such as Lala Shovkat of Azerbaijan, Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan, Mame Madior Boye of Senegal, Tansu Çiller of Turkey, Kaqusha Jashari of Kosovo, and Megawati Sukarnoputri of Indonesia. In Bangladesh, Khaleda Zia was elected the country's first female prime minister in 1991, and served as prime minister until 2009, when she was replaced by Sheikh Hasina, who maintains the prime minister's office at present.
There are substantial differences to be noted between the terms 'Islamic feminist' and 'Islamist'. Any of these terms can be used of men or women.
Islamic feminists ground their arguments in Islam and its teachings, seek the full equality of women and men in the personal and public sphere, and can include non-Muslims in the discourse and debate.
During recent times, the concept of Islamic feminism has grown further with Islamic groups looking to garner support from many aspects of society. In addition, educated Muslim women are striving to articulate their role in society.
Islamists are advocates of political Islam, the notion that the Quran and hadith mandate a caliphate, i.e. an Islamic government. Some Islamists advocate women's rights in the public sphere but do not challenge gender inequality in the personal, private sphere. Su'ad al-Fatih al-Badawi, a Sudanese academic and Islamist politician, has argued that feminism is incompatible with taqwa (the Islamic conception of piety), and thus Islam and feminism are mutually exclusive.
Early reforms under Islam
During the early days of Islam in the 7th century CE, reforms in women's rights affected marriage, divorce and inheritance. The Oxford Dictionary of Islam states that the general improvement of the status of women in Arab societies included prohibition of female infanticide and recognizing women's full personhood (see Islamic ethics). Under Islamic law, marriage was no longer viewed as a status but rather as a contract, in which the woman's consent was imperative. "The dowry, previously regarded as a bride-price paid to the father, became a nuptial gift retained by the wife as part of her personal property" (see also Dower). "Women were given inheritance rights in a patriarchal society that had previously restricted inheritance to male relatives."
Annemarie Schimmel states that "compared to the pre-Islamic position of women, Islamic legislation meant an enormous progress; the woman has the right, at least according to the letter of the law, to administer the wealth she has brought into the family or has earned by her own work." William Montgomery Watt states that Muhammad, in the historical context of his time, can be seen as a figure who testified on behalf of women's rights and improved things considerably. Watt explains: "At the time Islam began, the conditions of women were terrible – they had no right to own property, were supposed to be the property of the man, and if the man died everything went to his sons." Muhammad, however, by "instituting rights of property ownership, inheritance, education and divorce, gave women certain basic safeguards." Haddad and Esposito state that "Muhammad granted women rights and privileges in the sphere of family life, marriage, education, and economic endeavors, rights that help improve women's status in society."
Islamic Golden Age
Whilst the pre-modern period lacked a formal feminist movement, nevertheless a number of important figures argued for improving women's rights and autonomy. These range from the medieval mystic and philosopher Ibn Arabi, who argued that women could achieve spiritual stations as equally high as men to Nana Asma’u, daughter of eighteenth-century reformer Usman Dan Fodio, who pushed for literacy and the education of Muslim women.
Women played an important role in the foundations of many Islamic educational institutions: note for example Fatima al-Fihri's founding of the University of Al Karaouine in 859 CE. This continued through to the Ayyubid dynasty in the 12th and 13th centuries: of 160 mosques and madrasahs established in Damascus, women funded 26 through the Waqf (charitable trust or trust law) system. Half of all the royal patrons for these institutions were also women.
According to the Sunni scholar Ibn Asakir in the 12th century, there were opportunities for female education. He wrote that girls and women could study, earn ijazahs (academic degrees), and qualify as scholars (ulema) and teachers. This was especially the case for learned and scholarly families, who wanted to ensure the highest possible education for both their sons and daughters. Ibn Asakir had himself studied under 80 different female teachers. Female education in the Islamic world was inspired by Muhammad's wives: Khadijah, a successful businesswoman, and Aisha, a renowned scholar of the hadith and military leader. Muhammad is said to have praised the women of Medina for their desire for religious knowledge: "How splendid were the women of the ansar; shame did not prevent them from becoming learned in the faith."
While it was not common for women to enroll as students in formal classes, they did attend informal lectures and study sessions at mosques, madrasahs and other public places. Although there were no legal restrictions on female education, some men did not approve of this practice. For example, Muhammad ibn al-Hajj (d. 1336) was appalled at the behaviour of some women who informally audited lectures in his time:
[Consider] what some women do when people gather with a shaykh to hear [the recitation of] books. At that point women come, too, to hear the readings; the men sit in one place, the women facing them. It even happens at such times that some of the women are carried away by the situation; one will stand up, and sit down, and shout in a loud voice. [Moreover,] her awra will appear; in her house, their exposure would be forbidden — how can it be allowed in a mosque, in the presence of men?
On the question of women in medieval Islam, Abdul Hakim Murad writes
the orientalist Ignaz Goldziher showed that perhaps fifteen percent of medieval hadith scholars were women, teaching in the mosques and universally admired for their integrity. Colleges such as the Saqlatuniya Madrasa in Cairo were funded and staffed entirely by women. The most recent study of Muslim female academicians, by Ruth Roded, charts an extraordinary dilemma for the researcher:
'If U.S. and European historians feel a need to reconstruct women's history because women are invisible in the traditional sources, Islamic scholars are faced with a plethora of source material that has only begun to be studied. [. . .] In reading the biographies of thousands of Muslim women scholars, one is amazed at the evidence that contradicts the view of Muslim women as marginal, secluded, and restricted.'
Stereotypes come under almost intolerable strain when Roded documents the fact that the proportion of female lecturers in many classical Islamic colleges was higher than in modern Western universities.
When the Taliban assumed power in 1995, women's education was outlawed, and forced to go underground. Once the Taliban was overthrown, there is an opportunity for women's education to resurface once again, but it is difficult due to remaining stigmas and male power in the system. In August 2012, official Iranian sources released the news that women would be restricted from joining undergraduate courses in 77 technical, science, and engineering programs in 36 different Iranian Universities.
Civil and military work
The labor force in the Caliphate came from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds, while both men and women were involved in diverse occupations and economic activities. Women were employed in a wide range of commercial activities and diverse occupations in the primary sector (as farmers for example), secondary sector (as construction workers, dyers, spinners, etc.) and tertiary sector (as investors, doctors, nurses, presidents of guilds, brokers, peddlers, lenders, scholars, etc.). Muslim women also held a monopoly over certain branches of the textile industry, the largest and most specialized and market-oriented industry at the time, in occupations such as spinning, dyeing, and embroidery. In comparison, female property rights and wage labour were relatively uncommon in Europe until the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries.
In the 12th century, the famous Islamic philosopher and qadi (judge) Ibn Rushd, known to the West as Averroes, claimed that women were equal to men in all respects and possessed equal capacities to shine in peace and in war, citing examples of female warriors among the Arabs, Greeks and Africans to support his case. In early Muslim history, examples of notable women who fought during the Muslim conquests and Fitna (civil wars) as soldiers or generals included Nusaybah Bint k'ab Al Maziniyyah, Aisha, Kahula and Wafeira.
Property, marriage, and other rights
In terms of women's rights, women generally had fewer legal restrictions under Islamic law (sharia) than they did under certain Western legal systems until the 20th century. For example, under traditional interpretations of sharia, women had the right to keep their surnames upon marriage; inherit and bestow inheritance; independently manage their financial affairs; and contract marriages and divorce. In contrast, restrictions on the legal capacity of married women under French law were not removed until 1965. Noah Feldman, a law professor at Harvard University, notes:
As for sexism, the common law long denied married women any property rights or indeed legal personality apart from their husbands. When the British applied their law to Muslims in place of Shariah, as they did in some colonies, the result was to strip married women of the property that Islamic law had always granted them — hardly progress toward equality of the sexes.
In contrast to the Western world, during the 15th century and afterward, where divorce was relatively uncommon until modern times, divorce (talaq) was a more common occurrence at certain points during that era in the Muslim world. In the Mamluk Sultanate and early Ottoman Empire, the rate of divorce was higher than it is today in the modern Middle East, at least according to one study. In 15th-century Egypt, Al-Sakhawi recorded the marital history of 500 women, the largest sample on marriage in the Middle Ages, and found that at least a third of all women in the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt and Syria married more than once, with many marrying three or more times.
The modern movement of Islamic feminism began in the nineteenth century. The Iranian poet Táhirih was the first modern woman to undertake Qur'anic exegesis. Born and raised in a traditional Muslim family, she would later become a prominent member of the Bábí Faith, during which time she openly denounced polygyny, the wearing of the veil and other restraints put upon women. One of her most notable quotes is her final utterance prior to her execution, "You can kill me as soon as you like, but you cannot stop the emancipation of women."
Egyptian jurist Qasim Amin, the author of the 1899 pioneering book Women's Liberation (Tahrir al-Mar'a), is often described as the father of the Egyptian feminist movement. In his work, Amin criticized some of the practices prevalent in his society at the time, such as polygyny, the veil, and purdah, i.e. sex segregation in Islam. He condemned them as un-Islamic and contradictory to the true spirit of Islam. His work had an enormous influence on women's political movements throughout the Islamic and Arab world, and is read and cited today.
Despite Qasim Amin's effects on modern-day Islamic feminist movements, present-day scholar Leila Ahmed considers his works both androcentric and colonialist. Muhammad 'Abdu, an Egyptian nationalist, could easily have written the chapters of his work that show honest considerations of the negative effects of the veil on women. Amin even posed many male-centered misconceptions about women, such as their inability to experience love, that women needlessly (when they had very good reason to) talk about their husbands outside their presence, and that Muslim marriage is based on ignorance and sensuality, of which women were the chief source.
Less known, however, are the women who preceded Amin in their feminist critique of their societies. The women's press in Egypt started voicing such concerns since its very first issues in 1892. Egyptian, Turkish, Iranian, Syrian and Lebanese women and men had been reading European feminist magazines even a decade earlier, and discussed their relevance to the Middle East in the general press.
Aisha Abd al-Rahman, writing under her pen name Bint al-Shati ("Daughter of the Riverbank"), was the second modern woman to undertake Quranic exegesis, and though she did not consider herself to be a feminist, her works reflect feminist themes. She began producing her popular books in 1959, the same year that Naguib Mahfouz published his allegorical and feminist version of the life of Muhammad. She wrote biographies of early women in Islam, including the mother, wives and daughters of the Prophet Muhammad, as well as literary criticism. Fatema Mernissi has argued that much of the suppression of women's rights in Islamic societies is the result of political motivation and its consequent manipulative interpretation of hadith, which runs counter to the egalitarian Islamic community of men and women envisioned by Muhammed.
Some strains of modern Islamic feminism have opted to expunge hadith from their ideology altogether in favor of a movement focusing only on Qur'anic principles. Riffat Hassan has advocated one such movement, articulating a theology wherein what are deemed to be universal rights for humanity outlined in the Qur'an are prioritized over contextual laws and regulations. She has additionally claimed that the Qur'an, taken alone as scripture, does not present females either as a creation preceded by the male or as the instigator of the "Fall of Man". This theological movement has been met with criticism from other Muslim feminists such as Kecia Ali, who has criticized its selective nature for ignoring elements within the Muslim tradition that could prove helpful in establishing more egalitarian norms in Islamic society.
Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan
The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) is a women's organization based in Quetta, Pakistan, that promotes women's rights and secular democracy. The organization aims to involve women of Afghanistan in both political and social activities aimed at acquiring human rights for women and continuing the struggle against the government of Afghanistan based on democratic and secular, not fundamentalist principles, in which women can participate fully. The organization was founded in 1977 by a group of intellectuals led by Meena (she did not use a last name). They founded the organization to promote equality and education for women and continues to "give voice to the deprived and silenced women of Afghanistan". In 1979 RAWA campaigned against DRA, and organized meetings in schools to mobilize support against it, and in 1981, launched a bilingual feminist magazine, Payam-e-Zan (Women's Message). RAWA also founded Watan Schools to aid refugee children and their mothers, offering both hospitalization and the teaching of practical skills. Meena was assassinated in Quetta, Pakistan on February 4, 1987 by Afghan agents of the Soviet KGB, who were colluding with fundamentalist Mujahideen leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, for her political activities. Before 1978, RAWA focused mainly on women's rights and democracy, but after the coup of 1978, directed by Moscow, and the 1979 Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan, "Rawa became directly involved in the war of resistance, advocating democracy and secularism from the outset".
In 2015 a group of Muslim activists, politicians, and writers issued a Declaration of Reform which, among other things, supports women's rights and states in part, "We support equal rights for women, including equal rights to inheritance, witness, work, mobility, personal law, education, and employment. Men and women have equal rights in mosques, boards, leadership and all spheres of society. We reject sexism and misogyny." The Declaration also announced the founding of the Muslim Reform Movement organization to work against the beliefs of Middle Eastern terror groups. In 2015 Asra Nomani and others placed the Declaration on the door of the Islamic Center of Washington. Feminsim in the Middle East is over a century old, and having been impacted direclty by the war on terror in Afghanistan, continues to grow and fight for women's rights and equality in all conversations of power and everyday life. There is currently an ongoing debate about the actual status of women in Islam, with both conservatives and Islamic feminists using the Quran, the hadith, and prominent women in Muslim history as evidance for the discussion on women's rights, with feminists arguing that early Islam represented more egaliatarian ideals, while conservatives argue that gender asymmetries are "divinely ordained".
Areas of campaign
One of the major areas of scholarship and campaigning for Islamic feminists are aspects of sharia (Islamic law) known as Muslim personal law (MPL) or Muslim family law. There is dispute that the use of sharia law is oppressive because they are based mainly on "man-made misinterpretations of the sacred texts" and are not based in Islam. Some of the thorny issues regarding the way in which MPL has thus far been formulated include polygyny, divorce, custody of children, maintenance and marital property. In addition, there are also more macro issues regarding the underlying assumptions of such legislation, for example, the assumption of the man as head of the household.
Muslim majority countries that have promulgated some form of MPL include Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Sudan, Senegal, Tunisia, Egypt, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. Muslim minority countries that already have incorporated MPL into their own law or are considering passing legislation on aspects of MPL include India, Israel, and South Africa.
Islamic feminists have objected to the MPL legislation in many of these countries, arguing that these pieces of legislation discriminate against women. Some Islamic feminists have taken the attitude that a reformed MPL which is based on the Quran and sunnah, which includes substantial input from Muslim women, and which does not discriminate against women is possible. Such Islamic feminists have been working on developing women-friendly forms of MPL. (See, for example, the Canadian Council of Muslim Women for argument based on the Qur'an and not on what they call medieval male consensus.) Other Islamic feminists, particularly some in Muslim minority contexts which are democratic states, argue that MPL should not be reformed but should be rejected and that Muslim women should seek redress, instead, from the civil laws of those states.
Another issue that concerns Muslim women is the dress code expected of them. Islam requires both men and women to dress modestly; this concept is known as hijab and covers a wide interpretation of behavior and garments. There is mixed opinion among Muslim feminists over extremes of externally imposed control.
A number of Islamic feminists, including Fadela Amara and Hedi Mhenni support bans on the hijab for various reasons. Amara explained her support for France's ban of the garment in public buildings: "The veil is the visible symbol of the subjugation of women, and therefore has no place in the mixed, secular spaces of France's public school system." When some feminists began defending the headscarf on the grounds of "tradition", Amara was quoted as saying: "It's not tradition, it's archaic! French feminists are totally contradictory. When Algerian women fought against wearing the headscarf in Algeria, French feminists supported them. But when it's some young girl in a French suburb school, they don't. They define liberty and equality according to what colour your skin is. It's nothing more than neocolonialism." Mhenni also expressed support for Tunisia's ban on the veil: "If today we accept the headscarf, tomorrow we'll accept that women's rights to work and vote and receive an education be banned and they'll be seen as just a tool for reproduction and housework."
Sihem Habchi, Muslim feminist and director of Ni Putes Ni Soumises, expressed support for France's ban on the burqa in public places, stating that the ban was a matter of 'democratic principle' and protecting French women from the 'obscurantist, fascist, right-wing movement' that she claims the burqa represents.
Alternatively, there is also strong support in favor of the veil. Both men and women now view the veil as a symbol of Islamic freedom. “It is no longer a bandanna version of the all-encompassing Afghan burqa, signaling a woman's brainwashed submissiveness or at the very least her lack of choice”. Many scholars agree that there is no scripture that requires women to wear the hijab but many still do as an act of religious piety.
The Qur'an does state that both men and women should be dressed modestly (33:59-60, 24:30-31; in translation by Ali, 1988, 1126–27). However it does not use the words veil, hijab, burka, chador, or abaya. It uses the words jilbab meaning cloak and khumur meaning shawl. These do not cover the face, hands, or feet. Furthermore, until the third through the ninth century women prayed in the mosques unveiled. The whole body covering with the burka, chador, and other items of clothing is a tradition and cultural manifest from a conservative reading of the Qur'an by Mullahs; men. It is not what the Qur'an itself states. The Qur'an, 2:256, states "Let there be no compulsion in religion".
Rachel Woodlock, an academic and writer specializing in Islam, has detailed in an article that the issue of wearing the veil depends on specific cultures along with cultural context. In addition, modern Muslim feminists believe that ultimately the importance lies in a woman's freedom of choice---her choice to wear the veil or not to, and not have her right to do so threatened. Muslim women should be able to define dress codes for themselves and what they deem to be morally right.
Equality in the Mosque
A survey by the Council on American Islamic Relations showed that two out of three mosques in 2000 required women to pray in a separate area, up from one out of two in 1994. Islamic feminists have begun to protest this, advocating for women to be allowed to pray beside men without a partition as they do in Mecca. In 2003, Asra Nomani challenged the rules at her mosque in Morgantown, West Virginia, that required women to enter through a back door and pray in a secluded balcony. She argued that in the 7th century the Islamic prophet Muhammad didn't put women behind partitions. Barriers preventing women from praying equally with men are just sexist man-made rules. The men at her mosque put her on trial to be banished.
In 2005, following public agitation on the issue, Muslim organizations that included the CAIR and the Islamic Society of North America issued a report on making mosques "women-friendly", to assert women's rights in mosques, and to include women's right to pray in the main hall without a partition.
In 2010, American Muslim Fatima Thompson and a few others organized and participated in a "pray-in" at the Islamic Center of Washington in D.C. Police were summoned and threatened to arrest the women when they refused to leave the main prayer hall. The women continued their protest against being corralled in what they referred to as the "penalty box" (a prayer space reserved for only women). Fatima Thompson called the penalty box "an overheated, dark back room." A second protest also staged by the same group on the eve of International Women's Day in 2010 resulted in calls to the police and threats of arrest again. However, the women were not arrested on either occasion.
Furthermore, in May 2010, five women prayed with men at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque, one of the Washington region's largest Islamic centers. After the prayers, a member of the mosque called Fairfax police who asked the women to leave. However, later in 2010, it was decided that D.C. police would no longer intervene in such protests.
In 2015 a group of Muslim activists, politicians, and writers issued a Declaration of Reform which states in part, "Men and women have equal rights in mosques, boards, leadership and all spheres of society. We reject sexism and misogyny." That same year Asra Nomani and others placed the Declaration on the door of the Islamic Center of Washington.
Equality in leading prayer
According to currently existing traditional schools of Islam, a woman cannot lead a mixed gender congregation in salat (prayer). Some schools make exceptions for Tarawih (optional Ramadan prayers) or for a congregation consisting only of close relatives. Certain medieval scholars—including Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (838–923), Abu Thawr (764–854), Isma'il Ibn Yahya al-Muzani (791–878), and Ibn Arabi (1165–1240) considered the practice permissible at least for optional (nafl) prayers; however, their views are not accepted by any major surviving group. Islamic feminists have begun to protest this.
On March 18, 2005, Amina Wadud led a mixed-gender congregational Friday prayer in New York City. It sparked a controversy within the Muslim community because the imam was a woman, Wadud, who also delivered the khutbah. Moreover, the congregation she addressed was not separated by gender. This event that departed from the established ritual practice became an embodied performance of gender justice in the eyes of its organizers and participants. The event was widely publicized in the global media and caused in equally global debate among Muslims. However, many Muslims, including women, remain in disagreement with the idea of a women as imam. Muzammil Siddiqi, chairman of the Fiqh Council of North America, argued that prayer leadership should remain restricted to men He based his argument on the longstanding practice and thus community consensus and emphasized the danger of women distracting men during prayers.
The events that occurred in regards to equality in the Mosque and women leading prayers, show the enmity Muslim feminists may receive when voicing opposition toward sexism and establishing efforts to combat it. Those who criticize Muslim feminists state that those who question the faith's views on gender segregation, or who attempt to make changes, are overstepping their boundaries and are acting offensively. On the other hand, people have stated that Islam does not advocate gender segregation. Britain's influential Sunni imam, Ahtsham Ali, has stated, "gender segregation has no basis in Islamic law" nor is it justified in the Quran.
- Leila Ahmed - Egyptian-American professor of women's studies
- Qasim Amin - an early advocate of women's rights in Islamic society
- Elvia Ardalani - a Mexican writer and author of De cruz y media luna/ From Cross and Crescent Moon
- Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hussain - A Bangladeshi gender equality activist, founder of the first Muslim girls' school in Bengal, authored Sultana's Dream (an early work of feminist science fiction), The Woman in Captivity (Bengali: অবরোধবাসিনী), Essence of the lotus (Bengali: পদ্মরাগ) and several other feminism based publications.
- Asma Barlas - Pakistani-American professor at Ithaca College, and author of "Believing Women" in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an
- Mukhtaran Bibi - Pakistani advocate for rape prevention and women's rights
- Shirin Ebadi - Iranian lawyer and human rights activist who founded the Association for Support of Children's Rights. Also, a Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2003 for her efforts in promoting democracy and human rights especially for women and children.
- Farid Esack - male supporter and scholar
- Soumya Naâmane Guessous - Moroccan sociologist and campaigner on inheriting citizenship
- Zaib-un-Nissa Hamidullah - Pakistan's first woman columnist and editor, first woman to speak at Al-Azhar University, and author of The Bull and the She Devil
- Riffat Hassan - Pakistani-American theologian and scholar of the Qur'an
- Hamida Javanshir - Azerbaijani philanthropist, co-founder in 1910 of the Muslim Women's Caucasian Benevolent Society
- Na'eem Jeenah - South African scholar and activist
- Shamsunnahar Mahmud - Bengali writer, educationalist, politician and activist.
- Irshad Manji - Canadian journalist, author of The Trouble with Islam Today
- Fatema Mernissi - Moroccan writer
- Ebrahim Moosa - South African scholar on Islamic law, based at Duke University
- Shirin Neshat - Iranian-born American artist
- Asra Nomani - Indian-American journalist, author of Standing Alone in Mecca: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam
- Nawal El Saadawi - Egyptian author
- Hoda Shaarawi - early advocate of Egyptian women's rights
- Shamima Shaikh - South African women's rights activist and journalist
- Zilla Huma Usman - Pakistani politician and activist, assassinated Feb 2007
- Amina Wadud - African American professor and author
- Benazir Bhutto- Prime Minister of Pakistan, assassinated December 27, 2007
- Raheel Raza - Canadian writer, speaker, human rights advocate to lead 1st woman-led prayer
- Shahla Sherkat - Award-winning Iranian journalist, prominent feminist author, a pioneer of the Women's rights movement in Iran
- Ziba Mir-Hosseini
- Asma Lamrabet
- Oumayma Abu Bakr
- Zainah Anwar
- Female figures in the Qur'an
- Feminism in Egypt
- Feminism in India
- Gender roles in Afghanistan
- Gender segregation and Islam
- Golden Needle Sewing School
- History of feminism
- Islamic Bill of Rights for Women in the Mosque
- Rada (fiqh)
- Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan
- Rights and obligations of spouses in Islam
- Role of women in religion
- Sex segregation in Iran
- Sisters in Islam
- Taliban treatment of women
- Women in Islam
- Women in Lebanon
- Women's rights in Iran
- Women's rights in Saudi Arabia
- Women's rights in Kuwait
- Women's rights movement in Iran
- Al-Ahram Weekly | Culture | Islamic feminism: what's in a name? Archived March 20, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Prime Minister of Bangladesh - PM Office Email Address." MediaBangladeshnet about Bangladesh Print Electronic Internet More. N.p., 15 Nov. 2015. Web. 01 Oct. 2016.
- "'Islamic feminism means justice to women', The Milli Gazette, Vol.5 No.02, MG96 (16-31 Jan 04)". milligazette.com. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- "Islamic feminism: what's in a name?" by Margot Badran, Al-Ahram, January 17–23, 2002
- "Exploring Islamic Feminism" by Margot Badran, Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University, November 30, 2000
- Rob L. Wagner: "Saudi-Islamic Feminist Movement: A Struggle for Male Allies and the Right Female Voice", University for Peace (Peace and Conflict Monitor), March 29, 2011
- "ISLAMIC FEMINISM AND THE POLITICS OF NAMING". iran-bulletin.org. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- Hale, Sondra (2013). "Sudanese Women in National Service, Militias & the Home". In Doumato, Eleanor; Posusney, Marsha. Women and Globalization in the Arab Middle East: Gender, Economy, and Society. Lynne Rienner. p. 208. ISBN 1588261344.
- ""Women and Islam" in ''Oxford Islamic Studies Online''". Oxfordislamicstudies.com. 2008-05-06. doi:10.1093/0198297688.003.0006. Retrieved 2016-03-30.
- Khadduri, Majid. Socialist Iraq: A Study in Iraqi Politics since 1968. Washington: Middle East Institute, 1978. Print.
- Esposito, John L. Islam: The Straight Path. New York: Oxford UP, 1998. Print
- Esposito, John L. Islam: The Straight Path. New York: Oxford UP, 1998. N. page 339. Print.
- Schimmel, Annemarie. Islam: An Introduction. Albany: State U of New York, 1992. page 65. Print.
- Watt, W. Montgomery. Islamic Creeds: A Selection. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 1994. Print.
- Hakim, Souad (2002), "Ibn 'Arabî's Twofold Perception of Woman: Woman as Human Being and Cosmic Principle", Journal of the Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society, 31: 1–29
- Mack, Beverly B.; Boyd, Jean (2000), One Woman's Jihad: Nana Asma'u, Scholar and Scribe, Indiana University Press
- Lindsay, James E. (2005), Daily Life in the Medieval Islamic World, Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 197, ISBN 0-313-32270-8
- Lindsay, James E. (2005), Daily Life in the Medieval Islamic World, Greenwood Publishing Group, pp. 196 & 198, ISBN 0-313-32270-8
- Lindsay, James E. (2005), Daily Life in the Medieval Islamic World, Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 196, ISBN 0-313-32270-8
- Lindsay, James E. (2005), Daily Life in the Medieval Islamic World, Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 198, ISBN 0-313-32270-8
- Abdal Hakim Murad. "Islam, Irigaray, and the retrieval of Gender". Masud.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- Guity Nashat, Lois Beck (2003), Women in Iran from the Rise of Islam to 1800, University of Illinois Press, p. 69, ISBN 0-252-07121-2
- Mehta, Sunita. Women for Afghan Women: Shattering Myths and Claiming the Future. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002. Print.
- "Iranian Women: Victims of Economic Strain". Muftah. 2012-09-06.
- Maya Shatzmiller, pp. 6–7.
- Maya Shatzmiller (1994), Labour in the Medieval Islamic World, Brill Publishers, ISBN 90-04-09896-8, pp. 400–1
- Maya Shatzmiller, pp. 350–62.
- Maya Shatzmiller (1997), "Women and Wage Labour in the Medieval Islamic West: Legal Issues in an Economic Context", Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 40 (2), pp. 174–206 [175–7].
- Ahmad, Jamil (September 1994), "Ibn Rushd", Monthly Renaissance, 4 (9), retrieved 2008-10-14
- "ABCNEWS.com : The Cost of Women in Combat". realnews247.com. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- Black, Edwin (2004), Banking on Baghdad: Inside Iraq's 7,000 Year History of War, Profit, and Conflict, John Wiley and Sons, p. 34, ISBN 0-471-70895-X
- Hale, Sarah Josepha Buell (1853), Woman's Record: Or, Sketches of All Distinguished Women, from "The Beginning Till A.D. 1850, Arranged in Four Eras, with Selections from Female Writers of Every Age, Harper Brothers, p. 120
- Badr, Gamal M.; Mayer, Ann Elizabeth (Winter 1984), "Islamic Criminal Justice", The American Journal of Comparative Law, The American Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 32, No. 1, 32 (1): 167–169 [167–8], doi:10.2307/840274, JSTOR 840274
- Noah Feldman (March 16, 2008). "Why Shariah?". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-05.
- Rapoport, Yossef (2005), Marriage, Money and Divorce in Medieval Islamic Society, Cambridge University Press, p. 2, ISBN 0-521-84715-X
- Rapoport, Yossef (2005), Marriage, Money and Divorce in Medieval Islamic Society, Cambridge University Press, pp. 5–6, ISBN 0-521-84715-X
- Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, (Bahá'í Publishing Trust, Wilmette, rev. ed. 1953), p. 75]
- Leila Ahmed. Women and Gender in Islam. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1992. pp.155-163, 171, 179.
- Leila Ahmed. Women and Gender in Islam. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1992. pp.136-137.
- Leila Ahmed. Women and Gender in Islam. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1992. pp.159,161.
- Leila Ahmed. Women and Gender in Islam. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1992. pp.157-159.
- see "Great Ancestors: Women Asserting Rights in Muslim Contexts", by Farida Shaheed with Aisha L.F. Shaheed (London/Lahore: WLUML/Shirkat Gah, 2005)
- Roded, Ruth (May 2006), "Bint al-Shati's Wives of the Prophet: Feminist or Feminine?", British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 33 (1): 51–66, doi:10.1080/13530190600603915
- Arab Women Novelists: The Formative Years and Beyond by Joseph T. Zeidan, State University of New York Press, 1995
- Mernissi, Fatima (1992). The Veil and the Male Elite: A Feminist Interpretation of Islam. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 978-0201-63221-7.
- Hassan, Riffat. "Women's Rights inIslam: Normative Teaching versus Practice," in Islam and Human Rights: Advancing a U.S.- Muslim Dialogue, edited by Shireen T. Hunter with Huma Malik, The CSIS Press, Washington D.C., 2005, pp. 43-66.
- Hassan, Riffat. "Woman and Man's "fall": A Qur'anic Theological Perspective," in Muslima Theology: The Voices of Muslim Women Theologians, edited by Ednan Aslan, Marcia Hermansen, and Elif Medini, Peter Lang, Frankfurt, 2013, pp. 101-113.
- Ali, Kecia (2006). Sexual Ethics & Islam. London: Oneworld. pp. 154–155. ISBN 978-1-85168-456-4.
- "RAWA testimony to the Congressional Human Rights Caucus Briefing". U.S. Congressional Human Rights Caucus. December 18, 2001.
- Melody Ermachild Chavis (30 September 2011). Meena: Heroine Of Afghanistan. Transworld. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-1-4464-8846-1.
- Gioseffi, Daniela (2003). Women on War: An International Anthology of Women's Writings from Antiquity to the Present. Feminist Press at CUNY. p. 283. ISBN 978-1-55861-409-3.
- Brave Women in a War-Torn World: RAWA and Afghanistan
- "National Secular Society". National Secular Society. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- M. Zuhdi Jasser and Raheel Raza; et al. "Muslim Reform Movement". Gatestone Institute. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- "Muslim Reform Movement decries radical Islam, calls for equality". The Washingtion Times. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- Badran, Margot (2011-01-26). "Between Secular and Islamic Feminism/s: Reflections on the Middle East and Beyond". Journal of Middle East Women's Studies. 1 (1): 6–28. ISSN 1558-9579.
- Mojab, Shahrzad (2001-11-01). "Theorizing the Politics of 'Islamic Feminism'". Feminist Review. 69 (1): 124–146. doi:10.1080/01417780110070157. ISSN 0141-7789.
- "Women's Rights Under Sharia". ClarionProject.org. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- Chaudry, Muhammad Sharif (1991). Women's Rights In Islam. Delhi: Adam & Distributors – via JSTOR.
- George, Rose (July 17, 2006). "Ghetto warrior". The Guardian. London. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 1, 2010. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
- Malik, Zubeida (March 15, 2010). "France's burka dilemma". BBC News.
- Archived May 22, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- Moeveni, Azadeh (June 13, 2011). "Is the Veil Now a Symbol of Islamic Freedom?". Time.
- "Believing Women in Islam" by Asma Barlos, University of Texas Press, Austin. 2002, 53-55.
- "Veiling and Hijab as understood". irfi.org. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- Asra Q. Nomani (2010-02-27). "Let These Women Pray!". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- Wan, William; Laris, Michael (May 22, 2010). "Mosque pray-ins against segregation of sexes are springing up". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- Marsh, Julia (2010-02-22). "Protesters Break Prayer Rules at Leading Mosque". Women's eNews. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- "Muslim Women Seeking a Place in the Mosque". The New York Times. 22 July 2004.
- Myers, Bill (21 June 2010). "Police won't intervene to remove women from mosques". Washington Examiner. Retrieved August 1, 2010.
- Hammer, Juliane (2012). American Muslim Women, Religious Authority, and Activism. Austin: University of Texas Press.
- Ali, Kecia, "Feminist Thought in Islam", in Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God (2 vols.), Edited by C. Fitzpatrick and A. Walker, Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO, 2014, Vol I, pp. 195–197.
- Baffoun, Alya (1982). "Women and social change in the Muslim Arab world". Women's Studies International Forum, special issue: Women and Islam. ScienceDirect. 5 (2): 227–242. doi:10.1016/0277-5395(82)90030-9.
- Baffoun, Alya (1994) "Feminism and Muslim fundamentalism: the Tunisian and Algerian cases" in Valentine M. Moghadam (ed.) ISBN 0-8133-8692-6.
- Baffoun, Alya. 1989 African women participation for research and development : roles and functions of AAWORD. Tunis University publication n:7.
- Baffoun, Alya (1980) "Some remarks on Women and Development in the Maghreb" in The Changing Middle Eastern City. State University of New-York.
- Baffoun, Alya (1984) "Critical Methodological Approach to the problem of Sexual Asymmetry" in Social Science Research on Women in the Arab World. UNESCO.
- Fernea, Elizabeth Warnock (1998). In Search of Islamic Feminism: One Woman's Global Journey, New York: Doubleday.
- Women and Islam in Oxford Islamic Studies Online
- Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equity
- Canadian Council of Muslim Women Several examples of closely argued essays for female equality, based on the Qur'an.
- The Modern Muslimah Forum å
- Women Scholars of Islam: They Must Bloom Again by Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq
- "Islamic Traditions and the Feminist Movement: Confrontation or Cooperation?" by Dr. Lois Lamya' al Faruqi.
- Articles by a South African Islamic feminist by Shamima Shaikh
- Jeenah, Na'eem (2001). "Towards an Islamic feminist hermeneutic". Journal for Islamic Studies. Cape Town: Centre for Contemporary Islam. 21: 36–70. doi:10.4314/jis.v21i1.39954.
- Jeenah, Na'eem (January–February 2006). "The national liberation struggle and Islamic feminisms in South Africa". Women's Studies International Forum. Elsevier. 29 (1): 27–41. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2005.10.004.
- "Islamic feminism means justice to women" interview with Prof Margot Badran, The Milli Gazette, January 16–31, 2004
- "Feminism and Islam" analysis of Feminism from a traditional Islamic perspective, Maryam Jameelah, July 13, 2005
- "Islamisation and its Impact on Democratic Governance and Women's Rights in Islam: A Feminist Perspective" by Zainah Anwar, Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, May 17, 2003
- "A Declaration of the Rights of Women in Islamic Societies", SecularIslam.com, undated
- Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Women, Islam, and Equality, an ebook
- Badran, Margot. "Feminists, Islam, and Nation: Gender and the Making of Modern Egypt.
- Eleanor H. Perry Opening the Gates: A Century of Arab Feminist Writing (June 1, 1993) Article for Domes
- "A Gender Jihad For Islam's Future" by Asra Nomani, in the Washington Post, November 6, 2005
- Sutherland, Joan. "The ideas interview: Phyllis Chesler", The Guardian, April 4, 2006
- More to life than window dressing In this special feature, a successful Belgian-Algerian Muslim woman recounts what it was like growing up immersed in two cultures with divergent views of women. August 2006
- Ahmed, Leila. Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a modern Debate, 1992, Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-04942-0
- Muslim women take charge of their faith, International Herald Tribune, December 4, 2005
- "Islamic feminism: what's in a name? Islamic feminism is on the whole more radical than Muslims' secular feminisms" by Margot Badran. Al-Ahram Weekly Online, 17–23 January 2002, Issue No.569.
- Windows of Faith: Muslim Women Scholar-Activists in North America, edited by Gisela Webb, 2000, Syracuse University Press, ISBN 0-8156-2852-8
- Feminism in the Arab World: The Silent Revolution Qantara.de
- Islamic Feminism and Reformist Islam: Against the Politicisation of the Koran by Nimet Seker, Qantara.de
- Alexander Safarian, On the History of Turkish Feminism, "Iran and the Caucasus", vol.11.1, Brill, Leiden - Boston, 2007, pp. 141-152.