The emergence of women’s scholarship in Damascus during the late 20th century

Authored by: Feryal Salem

The Routledge Handbook of Islam and Gender

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815367772
eBook ISBN: 9781351256568
Adobe ISBN:


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In the years following the 1960s, women’s religious scholarship began to become prevalent in Damascus. Over the following decades, Muslim women published on a wide range of topics in the field of Islamic studies including, theology, Islamic law, prophetic history, early Islamic history, Qurʾanic, and ḥadith studies. Their publications presented materials from the classical scholastic tradition of Islam in modern formats that made them both accessible and relevant to a new generation of Muslims who had often lost connection to classical modes of learning. In doing so, the female Islamic scholarship based in Damascus played a foundational leadership role in the continuation of Islamic knowledge to later generations as well as shifting perceptions and frameworks through which gender roles were regarded in religious Muslim societies to those that were more egalitarian and inclusive of women’s experiences.

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