"Women in Islam" interweaves the history of Islam with the role of Muslim women in traditional Islamic countries. The author does not pretend that the society of Islam was dominated by women, but illustrates that the world from the classical period to modern times is also a woman's world. Here we have tales of A'isha, who joined the forces of early followers of Muhammad in the disastrous Camel Battle; the fighter Umm Omara, who lost a hand in battle; the scholar of mysticism and freed slave Rabi'a al-Adawiyya; Khayzuran, the richest and most powerful woman; and, the poet Wallada, daughter of the Spanish Caliph. Slave dancers and 'boy-girls', students, wives, and occasionally even career women come to life in these pages. This new edition will include updates throughout the book recounting the most recent results from several areas of research. The new final chapter will focus on the events of the past twenty years.Among the topics cogently discussed are the struggle for women's rights in countries with varying economic and political structures, particularly Iran since 1979, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey; recent reforms in family law in Algeria, Morocco, Iran, Turkey, and Egypt; and, the differences between official, state-supported feminism and Islamic feminism.
Also presented are new interpretations of important verses from the Koran about women by women - a contrast to the centuries-old interpretations by male theologians. Finally, the book will review recent events in the news, such as veil wearing as a political issue and the role of female Muslims in Europe and the United States. A new bibliography will complete this updated edition.
Wiebke Walther, University of Tubingen, is author of Tausend und eine Nacht. Eine Einfuhrung.