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Sexual Ethics And Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur'an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence Paperback – July 6, 2006


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Sexual Ethics And Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur'an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence + Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate + Qur'an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman's Perspective
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Ali is willing to ask the tough questions. A refreshing analysis of sexual ethics in Islam." The Globe and Mail 2 page review, positive critic, for addition to courses and future academic discussion Contemporary Islam Journal "For too long debates over sexuality and religion have lapsed into a 'don't ask-don't tell' state of mind. Professor Ali is willing to ask the tough questions." Contemporary Islam Journal "This book is a vigorous and engaging contribution to a very important dialog." American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences

About the Author

Kecia Ali is Associate Professor of Religion at Boston University where she teaches classes on Islam and Muslims. Her other books include Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam and a biography of ninth-century jurist Imam Shafi'i.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications; 6.6.2006 edition (July 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1851684565
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851684564
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #465,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kecia Ali is an Associate Professor of Religion at Boston University. She writes on early Islamic law, women, ethics, and biography. Her books include Sexual Ethics and Islam (2006), Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam (2010), and Imam Shafi'i: Scholar and Saint (2011).

Her newest book, The Lives of Muhammad (2014), argues that despite the common perception that Muslims cling to archaic ideas about their prophet, in fact many ideas about Muhammad that contemporary Muslims hold developed over the last two centuries in tandem and in tension with Western Christian writers' views of him. Muslim and non-Muslim accounts of his life have intersected and intertwined in crucial ways and all have been affected by new ideas about marriage, sexuality, and human achievement.

She also co-edited the revised edition of A Guide for Women in Religion (2014), which provides practical guidance for careers in religious studies and theology. She is currently at work on a book about women and Islam for the classroom.

Ali is active in the American Academy of Religion and serves as president of the Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics. From time to time, she blogs at feminismandreligion.com, cognoscenti.wbur.org, and huffingtonpost.com.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mohammad Rashid on January 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kecia Ali provides an amazingly clear and lucid writing on this very difficult and complex topic.

She has a knack for being able to connect the past with the present as it relates to medieval muslim thinking about gender, sex, marriage, divorce, slavery, intimacy and a whole basket of related topics with the ethics related to them.

Ms. Ali's other detailed and wonderfully intricate book titled Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam coupled with this book is a perfect introduction to Muslims and non-Muslims alike who want to understand the "structure" and "objectives" of these institutions as they took form and evolved in the minds of the pre-modern/medieval Muslim scholars.

Her discussion on this topic is timely and the relevance to today's Muslim scholars, thinkers and policy makers is absolute and is elaborated in a very clear and comprehensive fashion.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Cohen on May 18, 2007
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This is an important contribution to an unknown field in the English speaking world. Most westerners have a negative restrictive view of not only Islam but especially perceive it as sexist and putting its female adherents in a very limiting position (and the pun is somewhat intended).

This book will open up for those who wish to understand an approach very different from western norms. It was not a position which this reviewer necessarily was comfortable with but one which explains, and yes this book even critiques, that world which has been closed to us. Our previous exposure was to the 1001 Arabian Nights which like the Kama Sutra is outside the day to day lives of its followers while perhaps titalating for western readers.

This is a major contribution to the dialogue which must emerge between our society and Islam.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Johny Luong on April 9, 2014
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this is a very welcoming introduction to not only feminism but also sexual ethics in islam. the author is very polite unlike other feminists such as mary daly or Judith plaskow. note that she invites us to think about these issues in the introduction. this book is offers many reasonable arguments and provides us the tools and information required to tackle sexual ethics. great for feminists, islamists, and women
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By shd7s on November 13, 2013
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This book is amazing! It's hard to say too much about it. The authors clarity and style are so great, she trusts the reader and brings out the moral/legal ambiguities and she lays things out so the reader can draw their own conclusion. Reading this book is like looking at life through a new lens, so much food for thought I marked it up and forced all of my friends tor read it. Those that don't are subjected to a summary of the main arguments anyways. I can't say enough about it!
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4 of 15 people found the following review helpful By orchasmic on December 7, 2013
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I was pretty neutral about Islam until I read this book. I had no negative or positive feelings about the religion; it was just something I knew little about, so I felt that I had no place to judge it. That being said, this book trashed any hopes I ever had of embracing Islam.
I was downright appalled by each chapter. I thought, since she is often referred to as a Muslim feminist, that maybe she would be bold and challenge the sexist aspects of her religion, the way Jewish feminist Judith Plaskow openly challenges the patriarchal components of Judaism. NOPE. What I got instead was an Islam apology, one right after the other. Not once did Ali dare to condemn horrible practices like the fact that the Quran gives slave owners permission to rape female slaves -- instead, Ali calls it "use for sex". Any feminist who glosses over rape with the term "use for sex" is not a feminist, to be blunt. Rape is not sex, it is violence.
I could go on and on with examples of her sexism apologies, but I would suggest just reading the book yourself. Clearly, Ali has a firm grasp on the intricacies of cultural Islamic practices versus strict interpretations of the texts themselves, but her knowledge is for naught, because her insight is clouded by her need to defend Allah's reputation as a holy Prophet at all costs. Disappointed. She should not be allowed to call herself a feminist. Scholar, yes. But not at all a feminist.
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