HDS 3041: Discovering Femininity in the Gendered Language of the Qur’an

Instructor: S. Zahra Moballegh

Does the Qur’an enunciate a distinctive concept of femininity? If so, what is it? This course explores the meaning of gender and femininity in the Qur'an by approaching the text on three levels: vocabulary and grammar; meaning in context; and what can be called "the latent meaning of the text." Most traditional Qur'anic exegesis is on the second level, interpreting verses and vocabularies in light of their context. Recently, some scholars have noticed the importance of Arabic gendered grammar as a source for discovering ontological and epistemological gender setting of this text. Their works draw into question the presumed androcentrism of Qur’anic texts. Finally, the third level of meaning remains hidden even in many feminist approaches. To discern the latent Qur'anic view of women, we will investigate the meaning of “being woman” from the Qur'an’s God’s point of view.