About the book:
This study discusses woman's status under Islam; it discusses Islamic laws relating to marriage, divorce and dower; it discusses polygamy and concubinage which were not long ago important political institution of Islam; they were made possible by its fast-growing Imperialism and they in turn had fully served its expansionist needs. According to the author, Islam probably inherited a world where woman's position was low, but it became worse when Islam took over and the old Arabic social practices became Revealed Commands of God. Today woman's problem in Islam is more ideological than legal; her depressed social position derives from her depressed theological position. Woman can receive no justice much less honour in a religious ideology which has no concept of a female God. Although the Quran may teach here and there kind treatment of woman, it is within the framework of man's unquestioned superiority, moral and metaphysical. But now under new compulsions and impulses, some effort is being made to improve woman's lot. The author welcomes this effort but believes that the problem of reform under Islam is a difficult one; he holds that no worthwhile reform is possible within the ideational and ethical framework of Islam's traditional theology - as Taslima has discovered by experience. The author also mentions Islam's treatment of the infidels, a related and even more cruel aspect of the same problem, and also a question of grave concern to the non-Muslim world. The two credos derive from the same source - an inadequate and undeveloped spirituality; they also need the same cure - a review of religious categories such as exclusive gods, exclusive intermediaries and exclusive revelations. Any basic reform in Islam requires a new intellectual lead derived from a very different concept of man, woman and, yes, of deity; it requires self-questioning, a questioning about Islam itself! But for that, is Islam ready yet?