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Feminism in Islam: A Critique of Polygamy in Mariama Ba’s Epistolary Novel So Long A Letter*

In: Hawwa
Author: Souad T. Ali1
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Abstract

This paper calls for an understanding of feminism in Islam as a unique approach to feminism with potential contributions to world feminism. The paper analyzes Mariama Ba’s epistolary novel So Long A Letter within the context of a feminist approach in Islam. This paper’s primary focus is Ba’s critique of polygamy and her celebration of female bonding in the face of male oppression. Ba explores her themes through an epistolary exchange between two intimate friends who both suffered the abuse of their polygamous husbands and highlights the contrasting reactions of the two women in regard to the mistreatment by their husbands. Within a distorted misinterpretation of religion, the analysis reflects on how Islamic teachings are exploited by some Muslim men in order to gratify and justify their base desires under the guise of a transcendent sanction.

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