Gender Hierarchy in the Qur'ān

Gender Hierarchy in the Qur'ān

Islamic Thought and Sources

Gender Hierarchy in the Qur'ān
Medieval Interpretations, Modern Responses

Author(s): Karen Bauer

Reviewed by: Shahrul Hussain, Ibn Rushd Centre of Excellence for Islamic Research, Birmingham, UK



This book related to gender studies is divided into three main parts: Testimony, Creation, and Marriage. The chapter on Testimony is a discussion of verse 282 of the second Surah of the Qur’an. The verse enjoins Muslims to call two witnesses from your men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, so that if one of the two women errs, the other can remind her. The author attempts to explore the interpretations given to this verse by classical scholars (whom she refers to as medieval scholars) and modern scholars. Bauer starts the book with the issue of testimony because it is related to mental equality. She believes that mental equality is the basis of gender hierarchy in Islam. In her discussion about Creation, the author examines verse 1 of Surah 4, which discusses the creation of the first woman: O Mankind, fear your Lord who created you from a single soul, and from it created its mate.

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