Shadaab Rahemtullah

Apr 10, 2020

Qur'an of the Oppressed

Liberation Theology and Gender Justice in Islam

Oxford University Press 2017

purchase at Shadaab Rahemtullah's book Qur'an of the Oppressed: Liberation Theology and Gender Justice in Islam (Oxford University Press, 2017) offers a compelling comparative analysis of the works of four Muslim scholars of Islam – Asghar Ali Engineer, Farid Esack, Amina Wadud, and Asma Barlas. The book serves as an excellent introduction to the works of these scholars and is complete with a clear, thorough, and rich analysis of the ways that they approach Islam's most important scripture as a liberating text to respond to various issues, such as poverty, patriarchy, racism, and inter-religious conflict. Qur'an of the Oppressed relies both on these scholars' written works and on Rahemtullah's in-depth interviews with them. Each chapter is dedicated to an individual scholar and begins with an introduction to their backgrounds with a discussion of the political, social, and other contexts that shape their respective scholarship; while deeply appreciative of their works, Rahemtullah also carefully addresses the drawbacks of their arguments and methodologies and offers correctives when useful. Qur'an of the Oppressed is an accessible text that can be assigned in undergraduate and graduate courses as well as read by non-specialists, including anyone with an interest in religion, gender, liberation theology, and especially in Islam; it will also be of interest to anyone looking to better understand the ways that modern religious communities interpret their scriptures as a source of liberation and justice.
Shehnaz Haqqani is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Mercer University. Her primary research areas include Islam, gender, and questions of change and tradition in Islam. She can be reached at

Listen to more episodes on:

Your Host

Shehnaz Haqqani

Learn More