A first-ever collection of contemporary Muslim women’s khutbahs (sermons) drawing on their social, religious, and spiritual experiences and framed by original reflections on an emerging Muslim feminist ethics
Within the Muslim world, there is a dynamic and exciting social change afoot: a number of communities across the globe have embraced more gender-inclusive and representative ideas of religious authority. Within some spaces, women have taken on the role of preacher at the Jumu’ah (Friday) communal prayers. In other communities, women have been leading the prayers, officiating at marriage and funeral ceremonies, or participating on mosque boards or executive committees. These new developments signify a transformation in contemporary positions on gender and religious authority.
This pioneering book makes an innovative contribution to Muslim feminist ethics. It is grounded in a collection of religious sermons (khutbahs) by contemporary Muslim women in a variety of new and emerging contexts, in South Africa, Senegal, Egypt, Malaysia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Canada, Mexico, the United States, Germany, Denmark, and the United Kingdom.
Sa’diyya Shaikh is associate professor in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Cape Town and author of Sufi Narratives of Intimacy: Ibn 'Arabī, Gender, and Sexuality.Fatima Seedat is head of the Department of African Feminist Studies at the University of Cape Town.
“These bold, tender, and fierce women are not asking for permission to preach: they are marching ahead with a luminous presence. The diversity of these preachers is astonishing, as is their integrity, brilliance, and shared commitment to the life of the spirit, love, and justice. This book will uplift, transform, and inspire readers.”—Omid Safi, Duke University
“An excellent addition to the field of Islamic studies, this book illustrates beautifully and persuasively the diverse types of new female religious actors and the ways in which they are transforming religious authority.”—Mulki Al-Sharmani, University of Helsinki
“By turns inspiring and poignant, insightful and incendiary, the sermons collected here are a treasure-trove of wisdom from an impressive and impressively diverse array of scholars and community leaders. The Women’s Khutbah Book is an essential resource.”—Kecia Ali, editor of Half of Faith: American Muslim Marriage and Divorce in the Twenty-First Century “Shaikh and Seedat interweave inspiring sermons by present-day Muslim women with the eloquent voices of historical women, bringing intersecting experiences of injustice to the center of Muslim ethics. The result—an original and transformative feminist theology—is a pleasure to read.”—Ziba Mir-Hosseini, author of Journeys Toward Gender Equality in Islam
“This delightful, inspiring book enables ‘ordinary’ women (and men) to transcend the limits of the private and reshape Muslim publics. The khutbahs collected here have created a world not seen before, embodying, in the beautiful words of their editors, ‘a tafsir of possibility.’" – Gabeba Baderoon, Pennsylvania State University