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Gender

(3,077 words)

Author(s): Badran, Margot
A religious and cultural construction, including prescribed, proscribed, and suggested behaviors and practices relating to women and/or men. Although there is no qurʾānic term for “gender” as such, both “gender-specific” and non-gendered (i.e. the enunciation of principles pertaining to all human beings) language pervade the qurʾānic text. (Another word that is absent from the Qurʾān is the biological term “sex” [see sex and sexuality ]. The common, contemporary term al- jins did not exist in Arabic at the time of the Qurʾān's origins but appeared later as a loanw…

Sister

(975 words)

Author(s): Badran, Margot
A female who shares a mother and/or a father with a sibling. The term sister ( ukht) appears in the Qurʾān in several ways, most frequently in this biological sense. It is also socially constructed in the case of a female who is suckled by a woman and thus becomes a “milk sister” (or foster sister) of the woman's biological children (q.v.; see also milk; fosterage; wet-nursing; kinship; lactation). “Sister” is sometimes subsumed or included in the term for brothers ( ikhwa) as evident from the context (see gender; brother and brotherhood). The term sister is also used metaphorically (see …

Feminism and the Qurʾān

(2,477 words)

Author(s): Badran, Margot
Feminism is understood to be a mode of analysis that includes: (1) the recognition of gender equality and of women's rights that a particular religion, nation, society, or culture may affirm in its basic tenets but withhold in practice, and (2) identification of ways to secure the practice of such rights by women and men alike. The Qurʾān, the basic text of Islam, taken as the word of God (q.v.), enunciates the equality of all human beings within a system of social justice that grants the same fundamental rights to women and men (see community and society in the qurʾān ). Muslim ¶ women, however,…