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What is the nature and social role of women? In today’s Shi‘ism, these questions are often answered through the “separate-but- equal” ideology which emphasizes the role of women as wives and mothers, and places men in authority. But is this the only ideology which can be derived from Shi‘i scriptural sources? This book takes a more nuanced approach to that question by exploring how women are portrayed in hadith on ancient sacred narrative – the stories of the prophets. It shows far more diverse views on what it means to be a woman (and, by extension, a man) – and that early Shi‘is held competing views about ideals for women.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0726-7
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Feb 13,2019
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 402
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0726-7
$95.00
What is the nature and social role of women? In today’s Shi‘ism, these questions are often answered through the “separate-but- equal” ideology which emphasizes the role of women as wives and mothers, and places men in authority. But is this the only ideology which can be derived from Shi‘i scriptural sources?
 
This book takes a more nuanced approach to that question by exploring how women are portrayed in hadith on ancient sacred narrative – the stories of the prophets. It shows far more diverse views on what it means to be a woman (and, by extension, a man) – and that early Shi‘is held competing views about ideals for women. These beliefs became part and parcel of confessional identity, and uniquely Shi‘i views about the nature of women emerged. It also reflects a tension between an earthly approach to gender, rooted in patriarchy, compared to the spiritual authority attributed to respected female figures in the Shi‘i tradition. The diversity of thought found in these ancient stories sheds new light on beliefs about women in Shi‘ism.
What is the nature and social role of women? In today’s Shi‘ism, these questions are often answered through the “separate-but- equal” ideology which emphasizes the role of women as wives and mothers, and places men in authority. But is this the only ideology which can be derived from Shi‘i scriptural sources?
 
This book takes a more nuanced approach to that question by exploring how women are portrayed in hadith on ancient sacred narrative – the stories of the prophets. It shows far more diverse views on what it means to be a woman (and, by extension, a man) – and that early Shi‘is held competing views about ideals for women. These beliefs became part and parcel of confessional identity, and uniquely Shi‘i views about the nature of women emerged. It also reflects a tension between an earthly approach to gender, rooted in patriarchy, compared to the spiritual authority attributed to respected female figures in the Shi‘i tradition. The diversity of thought found in these ancient stories sheds new light on beliefs about women in Shi‘ism.
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Contributor Biography

Amina Inloes

A native of Southern California, Amina Inloes relocated to rainy London a decade ago, where she is a lecturer and program leader at The Islamic College, a faith-based institution offering academic degrees in Islamic Studies and
related fields. She completed her PhD at the University of Exeter on the subject of Shiʿi hadith about women in pre-Islamic sacred history. An occasional peripatetic, she travels and lectures for Muslim communities worldwide as well as engages in interfaith work.
 
She contributed to the translation of Spiritual Mysteries and Ethical Secrets by Mulla Fayd Kashani (London: ICAS Press, 2012) and adapted into English M.S Bahmanpour’s historical fiction novel The Idols Will Fall (London: ICAS Press, 2009). Recently, she has taken a detour to the exploration of fantasy
and science fiction in the Muslim consciousness. In addition to being fluent in academics, she can be a riveting conversationalist in computer gaming and intra-Muslim gender politics, and she has an unrecognized talent in paleo baking. Her quest for sacred knowledge has taken her to Qum and Najaf, both as a guide as well as a perennial student.

Table of Contents (v) 
Prologue (1) 
Chapter 1. Introduction: The Past in the Present (5)
   Why Shīʿī hadīth? (9) 
   Patriarchy as a pawn? (20)
Chapter 2. Separate but Equal? Womanhood, Ideology, and Modernity (25) 
   What’s wrong with an ideology? (42) 
   More elephants in the room: orthodoxy, ideology, and authority (45) 
   When patriarchy and spirituality clash: men as demi-gods? (52)
Chapter 3. Eve: Creation Not-from-a-Rib? (57) 
   What do Shīʿī hadīth about Eve say? (59) 
   How was Eve created, and does it matter? (63) 
   Part 1: Eve’s creation and marriage (66)
      Creation not-from-a-rib (66) 
      Imprison your women! (76) 
      Eve, the bearer of the Prophetic light (81) 
      Word plays and calendars (90)
   Part 2: The forbidden tree (95) 
      The tree of anti-wilāyah(95) 
      But was it a grain “tree”? (98)
      Wine and woman (101)
   Part 3: Eve as the foremother (105)
      Eve’s first daughter – the failed prototype (113)
   Part 4: The first hajj (116) 
      Eve the invisible (116) 
      Eve the pilgrim (119)
   Part 5: Legal matters (121) 
      Male superiority (126)
         Returning to Shaykh al-Ṭūsī: The case of the missing rib (128)
      It’s a mess! (130)
Chapter 4. Sarah and Hājar: Negotiating the Patriarchal Bargain (137) 
   Canonizing ghayrah and women’s seclusion (139)
      Sarah and the box (139)
      Seclusion and Ismāʿīl’s wife (157)
   Circumcision and menstruation (160) 
      Male circumcision and aposthia (160) 
      Female circumcision (166)
      “And she menstruated...” (171) 
   Hājar’s absence (176)
      Sarah’s presence versus Hājar’s absence (176) 
      Critical moments in the story of Hājar (180)
      Hājar and the angels (185) 
      The “black, fertile woman” (186)
   But is any of this in the Qur’an? (188)
Chapter 5. Gender Role-Reversals in the Story of Zulaykhā (197) 
   Love and the “best of stories” – Zulaykhā in the Qur’an and narrations (200)
      The happy ending (202)
      Zulaykhā’s excuses (204)
   Is love good or bad? (208) 
   Reversing the gender binary: male chastity, modesty, and beauty (214) 
   Female beauty (222)
   Zulaykhā’s legacy – “Do not teach girls Sūrat Yūsuf” and marrying ugly, fertile women (222) 
   Marry the beautiful, childless woman or the fertile, ugly virgin? (229)
Chapter 6. The Queen of Sheba in the Narrative of Wilāyah (235)
   The Queen of Sheba in scripture (236) 
   The Queen of Sheba in the Sunni and Shīʿī hadīth collections (241)
   The Queen of Sheba and Imam ʿAlī (243) 
   The Queen of Sheba and the prophetic inheritance (245) 
   The throne of the Queen of Sheba (250) 
   Bilqīs the woman (253)
   The essence of Shiʿism? (255)
Chapter 7. The Virgin Mary: The Female is Not Like the Male? (259)
   Mary in the Qur’an (263)
   The worldly: a patriarchal Mary (272)
      Zakariyā’s role as Mary’s caretaker (273)
      Menstruation (277) 
      Mary, the domestic servant (282) 
      “I and my father are one thing” (285) 
      Matrilineage? (287)
   The otherworldly: Mary and wilāyah (289)
      Mary and Karbalāʾ: Bridging the creational and apocalyptical (290) 
      Wilāyah, the hijab, and beauty (298) 
      Virginity 2.0 (306)
   An example for the believers? (312)
Chapter 8. The Portrayal of Women in the Earliest Hadīth Collection: Kitāb Sulaym ibn Qays (317) 
   Misogyny is anti-Shīʿī? (326)
Chapter 9. The Future? (329)
Appendix A. Subtexts of Narrations and their Sources (341) 
Appendix B. Pre-Islamic and Post-Prophetic Imagery and Subtexts (349) 
Bibliography (367)
Index (391)

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