Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tafsir and Modern Muslim Women Identity in the Malay World: A Study of Tafsir al-Azhar by Hamka

Norbani Ismail, International Islamic University, Malaysia

Tafsir al-Azhar by an Indonesian Islamic scholar Hamka is probably the best known interpretation of the Qur’an in the Malay world. This paper is a study of Tafsir al-Azhar’s treatment of issues pertaining to women, such as marriage, divorce, equality, polygamy, modest clothing and veiling. Hamka’s approach to these issues was a result of several developments in the Indonesian society: the modernist interpretation of Islam, the formation of the Indonesian nation-state, and the prevailing customs in the Indonesian society (adat). In addition, Tafsir al-Azhar also carries within itself strong educational overtones, which is in line with the Muhammadiyah’s modernist-didactic mission. The paper will contribute to the understanding of the Qur’anic interpretation in the Malay world in the 20th century. It also aims to bring this important work to the non-Malay speaking audiences.

Paper presented at AAR Annual Meeting 2012, Chicago, Nov 12-20.
Qur'an Group
Theme: Interpretations of the Qur'an
Sunday - 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
McCormick Place West-471A

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