Osman, Rawand (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the manner in which the Qur’an and sunna depict female personalities in their narrative literature. It is a comprehensive study of all the female personalities mentioned in the Qur’an, and is selective in the personalities of the sunna to the three prominent women of ahl al-bayt, Khadi>ja, Fa>t}ima, and Zaynab. The sources examined here are the major sources of Ima>mi> Shi>‘i> Islam, including the exegetical compilations of the eminent Shi>‘i> religious authorities of the classical and modern periods; as well as the authoritative books of Shi>’i> traditions. The results reached here are that female personalities are portrayed as human beings, and that they display feminine qualities, which are often viewed positively and are sometimes commendable traits for men, at least as far as the spiritual domain is concerned. The hypothesis, particularly about women’s humanity, will be tested against the depiction of womanhood in the h}adi>th literature, with special emphasis on Nahj al-Bala>gha. The study recommends that future research on the subject of “women in Islam” widen the scope of what it considers to be its data, outside the domain of the law.
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