UOWD Professor Co-Authors Ground-Breaking Anthology to Highlight the Place of Women in the Qur’an and Muslim Tradition

Volume II of the Anthology has celebrated the diversity tradition of Islam and the centrality of women in Muslim tradition

University of Wollongong in Dubai’s (UOWD) Dr Feras Hamza, Head of the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences, has co-authored a volume of an Anthology demonstrating the importance of women in Muslim tradition and making it available in English for the first time.

The book, titled An Anthology of Qur'anic Commentaries, Volume II On Women has been co-authored with Dr. Karen Bauer, a Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London.

Building on the success of the first volume – An Anthology of Qur’anic Commentaries, Volume I: On the Nature of the Divine, the second volume showcases the intellectual variety of Muslim interpretations on verses dealing with women in the Qu’ran and is to be used in classrooms in any educational institution worldwide that teaches Islamic studies in English.

Dr Feras Hamza, Head of the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences at UOWD, said: “Empowering women is more important than ever, especially in Muslim geographies, and it is imperative that Muslim women have a voice in the future of Islamic society as a whole.”

“Students and scholars from across the world learning about the tradition of Qu’ranic commentary will greatly benefit from the book, which samples texts covering over 1,300 years of Islamic history. I am delighted to have contributed to the volume through a collaboration with an established research institution that promotes the study of Muslim cultures and societies to foster a greater understanding of their relationships with other faiths.”

An Anthology of Qurʾanic Commentaries, Volume II: On Women is the first volume of its type: a work which combines a comprehensive analysis of the Qurʾan’s discourse on women with a focus on key verses through critically annotated translations of some seventeen commentaries spanning the eighth to the twentieth centuries.

This presentation of the written tradition is supplemented with interviews of significant contemporary Muslim scholars, both reformist and traditionalist. Moving from the Qurʾan, through the medieval commentarial tradition, to the living interpretations of women, the book addresses sociocultural and legal issues that impact Muslims’ daily lives.

A livestreamed event was set up by the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London on 8 November 2021 where over 100 people joined from as far as India and the USA to celebrate the launch of the book.

Prior to the launch of this volume, English-speaking students learning Islamic Studies were unable to reference commentarial texts about the Qu’ran as this was only available for those who could read and write in Arabic.

The volume is now available from Oxford University Press.