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Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Emerging Muslim Women
On the front page of the Chicago Tribune today (right under the "it was cold at the Cubs game" photo...) was a fascinating article about a local Chicago Muslim woman who has written a new translation of the Quran. Read the full story here.

Laleh Bakhtiar has of course faced criticism for doing this translation. she is a bit outside the box and doesn't fit easily into any Muslim stereotype. She doesn't follow any particular Muslim sect, but refers to herself as "simply Muslim." She stopped wearing her hijab after 9/11 since it started attracting too much attention and therefore worked against its goal of modesty.

Her translation faces controversy and has been called feminist (a word as feared and insult intended in Islam as it is in Christianity). For example, in a passage that refers to how men can treat their straying disobedient wives she broke from the tradition that translates the word "daraba" as men should "beat/scourge/spank" their wives and went with an alternate meaning of men should "go away from them." Challenges (even academic) to tradition are even more feared when they come from women.

Her translation, The Sublime Quran, hits the stores next week. She hopes to next create a web page where women can record themselves reciting the Quran - another break from tradition. Amen sista for giving women a voice when it comes to spiritual matters.

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