Quran and Gender Equality: Interpretation in the light of Molana Ayyub Dehlvi’s Work
Keywords:Gender inequality, Islamic feminism, Religious text, Pakistan, Interpretation
The concept of equality is very abstract and broad in its nature. Different definitions of equality exist in the history of human knowledge. In the postmodern age, the idea of a universal definition of equality has become like a myth. Religious metaphysics draws its theorization on revelation. After the feminist intellectual resistance against patriarchy, it became more complicated and controversial. Many feminist thinkers revisit history through women’s perspective. In the tradition of Islam, many Islamic feminist thinkers like Asma Barlas, Amina Wadud and Liela Ahmed present the particular theorization by women on gender equality. From the gender's perspective, Asma Barlas and Amina Wadud reinterpret the holy Quran. Their hermeneutical works are an important attempt to prove gender equality from the Qur'an. This article would focus on the work of Molana Ayyub Dehlvi (herein after Molana) and his interpretation of gender equality, being an orthodox religious scholar, Molana's interpretation is important and has not been discussed previously in the mainstream literature on Islamic feminism. The researchers used textual analysis with special reference to Molana Ayyub Dehlvi’s work. The paper explains the prophetic status of women in the context of gender equality. This prophetic status strengthens the role of women and also breaks the stereotypes which exist in the contemporary intellectual world against Islam. The paper contributes to the discourse on gender equality in Islam. Moreover, it also sheds light on this discussion within the Islamic tradition of the sub-continent by a male religious scholar.
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