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Women and Men in Islam as Allies – (Interview with Prof. Ingrid Mattson)

Are women and men in Islam allies?

Prof. Ingrid Mattson speaks in this interview during her visit to Germany at the Institute for Islamic Theology (University Osnabrück) on a range of topics regarding women, men and Islam.

These topics include stories of Muslim women, which are not told, the responsiveness of the Qur’an to women’s concerns, gender role models and the Qur’anic ideal of shared responsibility between men and women.

Her talk given in the lecture series “Islam and the question of gender” with the title “And the believers, men and women, are allies of one another.”

Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’an:

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And the believers, men and women, are allies of one another.

They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger.

Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.” (9:71)

The first question in this interview was on the concept of the conspiracy of silence: about the fact that the stories about Muslim women are not told often, or even aren’t told at all.

Why is this?

And what can we do about it?

In her answer to this question, Dr. Mattson responds to the issue of women in public life by first going back to the history of Islam, where you find the names of women in the chains of transmission of fiqh texts and hadith texts.

By looking up the references of these women, the normal question which comes to mind is why did these women disappear?

One of the reasons discovered was that some modern publications of traditional texts were not academically accurate, in the sense that some modern versions of these books omitted parts of the original transcripts, and often this included parts where Muslim women scholars from the past were mentioned.

For more reasons and answers to other interesting questions related to men and women as allies in Islam, don’t miss this 31 minute interview with Dr. Mattson.