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Islam and Women
Social Issues
Dr. Shehzad Saleem


The stance of Islam regarding certain issues relating to women has remained a hot subject of debate, especially in the last few centuries. ‘The fatal point in Islam is its degradation of women’ is what Edward William Lane, the famous nineteenth century lexicographer, once wrote. Although Islam does not support the basic tenets of the feminist movement, it must be conceded that this movement has served to create awareness in the educated Muslim women regarding some of the viewpoints that are presented to them by the clergy under the label of Islam.

A careful study of these issues would show that many controversies regarding the stance of Islam on women have arisen because of misunderstanding the view of Islam in this regard. In recent times, the works of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, a meritorious religious scholar and president of Al-Mawrid Institute of Islamic Sciences, have attempted to clarify the stance of the Islamic Shari‘ah on various issues. His research has also been instrumental in clearing up misconceptions regarding women. The ideas presented in this issue of the journal draw almost entirely on his research and most of them are derived from his article ‘Qanun-i-Mu‘asharat’ (The Social Shari‘ah of Islam).

No research is final. Being a human endeavour, it can never be without blemishes. However, every new research needs to be given a serious thought. We would therefore request our readers to critically evaluate the ideas presented and weigh the arguments that are proffered in the light of reason and revelation.

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