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  • Coming soon
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Expected online publication date: March 2024
  • Print publication year: 2024
  • Online ISBN: 9781009423076

Book description

Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed, is best known for her protest sermon, an important document from the early Islamic era. Mahjabeen Dhala here offers an in-depth analysis of this captivating narrative, which lies at the intersection of theology and women's studies. A fresh and deep study of Fatima's sermon from feminist and social justice perspectives, she reclaims the voice of a seventh-century Muslim woman theologian and female inheritance rights activist from patriarchal, sectarian, and secular biases. Dhala unveils a rich tapestry of empowerment for women and political minorities within the Islamic tradition. She also uncovers the early origins of female agency and empowerment in Islam, shattering prevailing Western misconceptions and challenging the notion that Muslim women are passive bystanders. Additionally, Dhala's book contributes to our understanding of the role of women in Islamic theology and ethics, revealing their active engagement in promoting social justice and fostering transformative change.


‘This is a landmark study of the figure of Fatima, the beloved daughter of the Prophet Muhammad.  Professor Dhala deftly combines her erudition in historical sources with her solid grasp of various theoretical fields, in order to uncover a powerful God-centered agent of social justice and moral reckoning. This important book, which offers a unique feminist reading within Islam, is bound to become a model for future scholarship: it addresses pressing contemporary issues related to minoritized communities and gender equality, while remaining sensitive to the historical sources and traditions that inform possibilities of progressive transformation.'

Asad Q. Ahmed - University of California, Berkeley

‘In Feminist Theology and Social Justice in Islam, Mahjabeen Dhala reaffirms the place of Fatima bint Muhammad as an inspirational figure for contemporary Muslim feminists, theologians, and scholar-activists. With her adeptness at explicating the Qur'an and finesse with Shi‘i exegetical literature, Dhala's monograph is essential reading for all who are invested in gender justice and early Islamic polity.'

Celene Ibrahim - Harvard University

‘From its beginnings, the Shi'a tradition has been concerned with social justice. In this important new monograph, Professor Dhala analyzes and helps us to better understand the Sermon of Fatima, both in its historical context, and its modern significance for female activism. Her work is a marvelous addition to the Islamic theological literature.'

Amir Hussain - Loyola Marymount University

‘Professor Dhala's brilliant study focuses on the sermon of Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad, and her role in female empowerment and engendering social activism. Navigating through a feminist perspective, Dhala's pioneering work demonstrates how Fatima challenged powerful patriarchal norms in her time and contributed to the shaping of Islamic theology and notions of social justice. This is a much needed study especially as Fatima has received scant attention in Western scholarship on Islam.'

Liyakat Takim - McMaster University


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