The Female Voice in Sufi Ritual: Devotional Practices in Pakistan and India by Shemeem Burney Abbas (University of Texas Press) The female voice plays a more central role in Sufi ritual, especially in the singing of devotional poetry, than in almost any other area of Muslim culture. Female singers perform sufiana-kalam, or mystical poetry, at Sufi shrines and in concerts, folk festivals, and domestic life, while male singers assume the female voice when singing the myths of heroines in qawwali and sufiana-kalam. Yet, despite the centrality of the female voice in Sufi practice throughout South Asia and the Middle East, it has received little scholarly attention and is largely unknown in the West.
This book presents the first in-depth study of the female voice in Sufi practice in the subcontinent of Pakistan and India. Shemeem Burney Abbas investigates the rituals at the Sufi shrines and looks at women's participation in them, as well as male performers' use of the female voice. The strengths of the book are her use of interviews with both prominent and grassroots female and male musicians and her transliteration of audio- and videotaped performances. Through them, she draws vital connections between oral culture and the written Sufi poetry that the musicians sing for their audiences. This research clarifies why the female voice is so important in Sufi practice and underscores the many contributions of women to Sufism and its rituals.
'Believing Women' in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the
Qur’an by Asma Barlas (
Women's Rights, the Qur’an & Islam by Lisa Spray (BSM)
lacking the deconstructive and solid feminist suspicion of Barlas’s work, Spray
still deliveries an important apologetic for Islam. The religion of Islam today
continues to be one of the most misunderstood religions. For centuries Islam has
been presented to the world by people, scholars and countries that do not
actually follow the Islam taught in the Quran.
Terrible acts of terrorism done in the name of religion are
prime examples. The attacks on
That is why Spray's work in this book is such an important
undertaking. She brings forth all the issues confronting today's women who
follow or want to follow the religion of Islam. She gives examples from her
experience and tells us how she dealt with each issue. She also includes many
real life stories of friends who went through similar experiences.
Spray opens the door and invites in to share us in her
experiences becoming a Muslim and deepening her faith.. But it is not just her
party, there are women from the
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