An evaluation of the reinterpretation of the Qur'an from the perspective of the Sisters in Islam (SIS) in Malaysia

Rahminah Muharam, (2003) An evaluation of the reinterpretation of the Qur'an from the perspective of the Sisters in Islam (SIS) in Malaysia. In: Translation Studies In The New Millennium, Proceedings, 16-18 October 2002 , Ankara, Turkey.

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Abstract

The Qur'an as a divine text becomes the main reference for Muslims in both legal and social aspects of lift. People rely on the interpretation of the verses in the Qur'an as an essential tool to really understand the messages of Islam. Generally, there are two approaches to the interpretation of the Qur'an that are the traditional Islamic interpretation and the Muslim feminist approach (sometimes known as the Islamic feminist). Both the traditional Islam and the Muslin feminist approaches have had direct implications on the new models of female Islamic leadership within Islam. Therefore, in response to the modern challenges of Islam, a group of Muslim women has come forward within the contemporary Muslim society in Malaysia, and this group is known as the Sisters In Islam (SIS). The SIS group was formed in 1988 and initially comprised ten professional women from different educational backgrounds. The SIS mission is to promote the development of Islam that recognizes equality between women and men that adheres to the principle of justice and democracy. The reinterpretation of the Qur' an by the SIS is done through content analysis studies. The comparison between the SIS reinterpretation with the Islamic traditional interpretation is also being discussed in this paper. The SIS group reinterprets the Qur'an as female inclusive and this view can be seen through their own publications and memorandums. The reinterpretation of the Qur'an by the SIS, however, has raised negative reactions from the Muslim society in Malaysia. This paper therefore, discusses whether the reinterpretation of the Qur'an by the SIS contradicts Islamic provisions and Islamic ethics as well as the traditional Islamic interpretation of the Qur'an. This paper also identifies whether or not the SIS is a new ijtihadi (methodology of interpretation) movement, which is based on fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) or if is just another gender group. This study found that the reinterpretation of some of the verses in the Qur'an by the SIS contradicts the traditional interpretation of the Qur'an. Furthermore, the SIS group may not be seen as an ijtihadi movement as the reinterpretation of the Qur'an by the SIS is based more on ethics and morals as well as reasoning rather than fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence). This paper hopes to provide an overview of the SIS and their reinterpretation of the divine text.

Item Type:Conference Paper (UNSPECIFIED)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Sisters In Islam, SIS, The Qur’an, Islam, Muslim, Legal and social aspects of life
Subjects:?? BP42-48 ??
ID Code:581
Deposited By:IR Admin
Deposited On:30 Nov 2011 11:03
Last Modified:10 Sep 2014 12:13

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