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Publisher's Summary

A classic pioneering account of the lives of women in Islamic history, republished for a new generation.

This pioneering study of the social and political lives of Muslim women has shaped a whole generation of scholarship. In it, Leila Ahmed explores the historical roots of contemporary debates, ambitiously surveying Islamic discourse on women from Arabia during the period in which Islam was founded to Iraq during the classical age to Egypt during the modern era. The book includes a new foreword by Kecia Ali situating the text in its scholarly context and explaining its enduring influence.

"Ahmed's book is a serious and independent-minded analysis of its subject, the best-informed, most sympathetic and reliable one that exists today." (Edward W. Said)

"Destined to become a classic... It gives [Muslim women] back our rightful place, at the center of our histories." (Rana Kabbani, The Guardian)

©1992 Yale University (P)2021 Tantor

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