“The One Raised in Ornament?” Gendering Issues in the Qurʾan

In: Hawwa
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This paper presents a hermeneutic re-reading of the Qurʾanic Verses 43: 15–19 in the Chapter of Ornament (Surah al-Zukhruf), aiming to excavate the original interrogative nature of the Qurʾanic approach to woman’s positioning, and to expose the accumulative narratives that collapse the ontological into the cultural, reflecting negatively on the community. The paper argues against the assumption that the verses’ telos is to describe and prescribe; evidencing instead their critical and reproving tone.

The tripartite methodology followed comprises a morphological analysis; a historical investigation that uncovers the regressive stance of authoritative exegetical texts; and a comparative overture, juxtaposing the Qurʾanic pronouncements with parallel modern concepts, revealing that the problems confronting women are of a persistent nature. Ultimately, the paper questions the authenticity of the self-image engrained in the consciousness of a majority of Muslim women and based on inherited parochialisms rather than rigorous application of critical thinking.

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