The history of Islam and the changing role-performance of Muslim women, given the various interpretations of the belief system of Islam, are described. It is the contention of the authors that it is these various interpretations which have given rise to the conflict between the ideal and contextual realities. This book also includes papers which investigate the problems of feminism and employment for Muslim women, as well as the educational and legal aspects of their lives in contemporary Islamic society.

First published in 1984.

Preface Freda Hussain.  Introduction. The Ideal and Contextual Realities of Muslim Women Freda HussainPart 1. The Ideal  1. The Status of Women in Early Islam Barbara Freyer Stowasser  2. The Islamic Revolution and Women: Quest for the Quranic Model Feda Hussain and Kamelia Radwan  Part 2. Role Changes  3. Roles in Transition: The Evolving Position of Women in Arab-Islamic Countries Debbie J. Gerner  4. The Literary Treatment of Women in North Africa Anne-Marie Nisbet  5. Early Feminist Movements in Turkey and Egypt Leila Ahmed  Part 3. Contextual Realities  6. A Traditional Ceremony in an Islamic Milieu in Malaysia Heather Strange  7. Islam and the Legal Status of Women in Tunisia Norma Salem  8. Female Education in Egypt: Changing Attitudes over a Span of 100 Years Hind A. Khattab and Syeda Greiss el-Daeiff  9. The Struggle of Women in the National Development of Pakistan Freda Hussain  10. Lessons from Fieldwork in the Sudan Carolyn Fleuhr-Lobban