Amina Wadud and Her Challenges to Patriarchal Readings

April 21, 2003

Source: Alameda Times-Star

On April 21, 2003 the Alameda Times-Star reported that "just the idea that [Amina] Wadud had challenged the accepted readings of the Quran -- readings or critical analysis that support the view of women's inferiority to men -- gave her instant star status... Wadud's paper -- 'Pluralism and Invisibility: Hagar, Then and Now' -- looks at the absence of named women in the Quranic text, scholarship related to the text, and by extension the Muslim world, using the unnamed scriptural figure Hagar, a single mother, as a case in point... What's ironic here, Wadud points out, is that Hagar, though not mentioned by name in the Quran, is revered by all Muslim pilgrims each hajj season as they re-enact her search for water for her son, Ishmael. She runs between the hills Safa and Marwa and finds a spring, which pilgrims also find to quench their symbolic thirst. This is what you call faith, something Hagar and her sisters alone today face as they raise these Muslim children without community support, whether that is monetary or moral (support)."