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The Relationship between Culture and Religion in Islam - Assignment Example

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This assignment discusses how historical interpretations of the Qur’an regarding women have helped shape contemporary views of the roles of women in Muslim societies. The assignment analyses discuss the relationship between culture and religion in Islam…
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Download file to see previous pages For example, considering that patriarchal social systems are the norm during the time of revelation, one can see why the choice of a male messenger of God in the form of Prophet Mohammad strengthened the status quo. What Wadud seems to be implying is that although there is no dispute about the revealed word, its documentation and dissemination was exclusively done by men, making it susceptible to sub-conscious (if not deliberate) gender bias. Seen in this perspective, the Holy book could be interpreted as a divine code meant to apply only to men and which employs masculine language and viewpoints throughout. With this new understanding, it is then a natural course of action to reinterpret the text from a female point of view, by discounting historical patriarchal prejudices and attitudes toward women.
Added to this there are limitations of language itself, which is found inadequate in encapsulating the numinous and transcendent into the range of common human experience. However sophisticated the syntax, grammar, and flexibility of Arabic languages, they cannot capture experiences that are beyond words. This could mean that there is a divergence between divine intent and the Holy Quran. Also, divine revelation is a process and not an event. This was true even during the life of Prophet Mohammad when divine guidance did not cease to arrive at him till his last days. So, if one sees the guidance provided by Allah as perennial and emergent, there is plenty of scope for constructing a fair and just code for women's role in society. If one would accommodate these adjustments to the reading of the Quran, as the author Amina Wadud proposes, the text ceases to be as oppressive for women as it is made out to be. I largely agree with the authors' assessment and her suggestions for a progressive reinterpretation of the Quran.
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