Books that will actually change your life in a male-dominated Muslim world

Book list provided by Shehnaz Haqqani / Photo by Claudio Maria Lerario

As for women, Islam in its purest form has never been against their freedom. It is, to the contrary, opposed to the idea of woman-as-object and it gives her back her dignity. A woman is a man’s equal; she and he are both free to determine their destiny and choose their occupations.

And, just to not forget that Islam, in its purest form, honors and elevates women, here it is a list of books highly recommended to anyone interested in understanding re-interpretations of Islam.

Women, you have the status of a true human being and a free individual. Maybe they just need more time to fully understand that there is no suppression in Islam. In Islam there is liberty for all strata of society, for women, men, for whites and blacks, for everyone.

The books

These are alternative readings to the traditionalist ones that are largely patriarchal in nature, or otherwise scholarship that complicate simplified ideas of Islam, women, gender, and sexuality (listed in order of author’s last name). Needless to say, this list is not comprehensive and not intended to be such.


Thanks to Shehnaz Haqqani for providing the list. Shehnaz is an Islamic Studies PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin. Her interests include Islamic feminism, gender and sexuality in Islamic law, and female religious authority. Shehnaz frequently writes on gender issues, Pashtuns (she’s an ethnic Pashtun), and Muslims in America.