In my recent studies of 17th and 18th century scholar interpretations of scripture on the topic of male and female. I can definitely see how the oppression of women could seep into religious beliefs. Scripture leaves the definition of what is “female” to be explored while it primarily hones in on the “male” principals found in both sexes. This is because what is female represents our common human nature while what is male speaks to our individual characteristics.

When man tries to define women by what is female without referencing her male principal, he sounds offensive as if he is speaking of an object that needs to be influenced or a thing lacking capability or authority. On the flip side, when a man is defined by what is male without referencing his female principal, it sounds like he is speaking of the human is his most excellent capacity.

It is clear that this is not what Allah intended in scripture so it is unclear to me why the scholars project it as such. I don’t accuse them to be chauvinist (even if they were) because I can see the beauty and great thinking that has gone into their work. Instead, I see that this is a flaw that needs to be addressed. My studies have led me to the conclusion that what is female is to be explored and only after determining its male counterpart.


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