Kecia Ali

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Kecia Ali (born 1972) is an American scholar of Islam who focuses on the study of Islamic Jurisprudence (fiqh) and Women in Early and Modern Islam. She is currently a Professor of Religion at Boston University.[1] She previously held a position at Brandeis University's Feminist Sexual Ethics Project, and was a research associate and postdoctoral fellow at Brandeis University (2001–2003) and Harvard Divinity School.

Education[edit]

Ali received her BA at Stanford University in History and Feminist Studies in 1993. Then, in 2000, she received her M.A. in Religion and in 2002 her Ph.D. in Religion both at Duke University. She converted to Islam while in college.[1]

Work[edit]

Ali has written a considerable amount relating to the topic of marriage, womanhood, and their connection with, and development alongside, Islam.[2] Her major works include Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur'an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence, Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam, Imam Shafi‘i: Scholar and Saint, The Lives of Muhammad, and most recently Human in Death: Morality and Mortality in J.D. Robb's Novels. Ali has also co-authored two books, including Women in Latin America and the Caribbean and Islam: The Key Concepts. As a scholar, she is sensitive to the way the Western World perceives women in Islam and says that in Islamic studies "Issues of gender are very much on everybody's minds."[3]

Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur'an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence was called a "challenging contribution" to Islamic history by Comparative Islamic Studies.[4] The first edition of this book was concerned with "intra-Muslim debates and discussions," focusing more on the "theoretical and sexual" than on lived experience.[5] Ali talks about controversial topics such as marriage, divorce, sex, concubinage, same-sex intimacy, and much more. In these chapters, she uses references to summarize different point of views in order to expand on each topic in which she covers. This allows for an idea of not only her opinion and the opinion of others within the Muslim community and outside of the Muslim community.[6] Ali has since published her anniversary addition. In the 2016 edition, Ali chose not to rewrite chapters, but she allows the original work to stand. Each chapter is supplemented with a Coda to further expand on topics previously addressed. The Coda focus on new publications that are selective rather than expansive. The Codas also tend to focus on recent updates in the subject in which she is covering. They also tend to correct previous comments or opinions with more modern thoughts. This edition still speaks relatively little of lived experience, but includes more reflections from Muslim women and gestures toward work yet to be done. [7] Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam was called a "meticulous, pellucid, authoritative and very focused survey of early Islamic marriage law" by the Journal of the American Academy of Religion.[8] The Journal of Law & Religion calls Marriage and Slavery a "valuable contribution to the fields of legal, historical and gender studies." [9]The Lives of Muhammad was reviewed favorably by Publishers Weekly.[1]

Publications[edit]

Books[edit]
  • Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur'an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence (2006; expanded ed. 2016).
  • Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam (2010).
  • Imam Shafi‘i: Scholar and Saint (2011).
  • A Jihad for Justice: Honoring the Work and Life of Amina Wadud (2012) (co-edited with Juliane Hammer and Laury Silvers).
  • The Lives of Muhammad (2014).
  • Human in Death: Morality and Mortality in J.D. Robb's Novels (2017).
  • Women in Latin America and the Caribbean (co-authored with ...).
  • Islam: The Key Concepts (2007) (co-authored with Oliver Leaman).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Yarger, Lauren (2014). "In Search of the Real Muhammad". Publishers Weekly. 12. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  2. ^ Hammer, Juliane (2012). American Muslim Women, Religious Authority, and Activism: More Than a Prayer (First ed.). Texas: University of Austin. pp. 86–88.
  3. ^ Smith, Susan E. (4 October 2007). "Defeating Stereotypes". Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. 24 (17): 20–24. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  4. ^ Hamid, Sadek (2008). "Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Quran, Hadith and Jurisprudence". Comparative Islamic Studies. 4: 237–238. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  5. ^ Ali, Kecia (2016). Sexual Ethics and Islam. England: Oneworld Publications. ISBN 978-1-78074-381-3.
  6. ^ Ali, Kecia (2016). Sexual Ethics and Islam. England: Oneworld Publications. ISBN 978-1-78074-381-3.
  7. ^ Ali, Kecia (2016). Sexual Ethics and Islam. England: Oneworld Publications. ISBN 978-1-78074-381-3.
  8. ^ Reinhart, Kevin A. (2014). "Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam by Kecia Ali". Journal of the American Academy of Religion. 82 (3): 902–903. doi:10.1093/jaarel/lfu045.
  9. ^ Rustomiji, Nerina (2012). "Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam". Journal of Law & Religion. 28 (1): 293–295. Retrieved 19 November 2015.