Maternity in Medieval Muslim Discourse and Practice
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: State University of New York Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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The writing of this book was not unlike the process of giving birth: waves of anticipation and excitement tempered by doubt, discomfort, and brief episodes of pain. Many friends, family members, and col-leagues, however, have eased the burden with humor, confidence, and encouragement. I would like to thank them profusely for their unyield-...
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God, as conceived by the men who guard Islam?s early traditions, ninth?century Arab author of prose, literature, and Mu?tazilite theol?ogy,1 each part of the body?hand, leg, eye, ear?is ?designed to the highest standard of wise appropriateness,?2 which is ?evidence of Divine wisdom, design, and execution.?3 Given this belief in God?s ...
1On Wombs, Women, and the Hand of God
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The Qur??n hardly provides a comprehensive, systematic manual of reproductive theories and practices; rather, it projects a series of brief vignettes that disclose disparate and fragmentary conceptions of pro?creative processes and agents of creation on both a cosmic and indi?vidual level. These vignettes adumbrate the diverse nature of God?s ...
2Mapping the Maternal Body
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...while the other is incomplete and held back on the inside, as if According to Helen King, the human body is simultaneously a physi?cal and symbolic artifact; as such, it is both naturally and culturally construed.1 Many feminists take this perspective one step farther to suggest there is no ?natural? composition to the body whatsoever. ...
3Paradigms of the Good Mother
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Muslim exegetical writings draw upon the Qur??n but flesh out fur-ther its basic, revelatory proclamations with expansive details from the prophet?s biography (s?ra), medical wisdom, law, and tales from the isr???l?y?t.1 In the context of filling in the narratives surround-these authoritative, prescriptive, and folkloric writings hone further ...
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Public rituals and embodied practices serve to bridge the gap between the perfected queens of paradise and the real women whose lives and bodies often thwarted their efforts to achieve the ideal states of motherhood personified by Mary, ?siya, Khad?ja, and F??ima. As noted in chapter 3, for real women, the path to paradise was certainly ...
5Mother as Monster
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Unlike the stellar Mary, ?siya, Khad?ja or F??ima, ?bad? mothers deviance and corrupt faith, ritual, and practice. Bad mothers don?t confirm social births; rather, they undo both the ritual and theologi-cal structures that give their children (and themselves) a legitimate, meaningful life. As a result of their transgressions, they produce not ...
6The Cure of Perfection
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The monstrous forms on the margins or in the center that result the reestablishment of primary prohibitions necessary to preserve the divinely mandated social order encoded within its established maternal ideals. Such prohibitions both structure and patrol the women and establish the father (not the mother) as the principal ...
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As the examples above have shown, not every child born into the medieval Muslim world appears to have been ?designed to the high?est standard of wise appropriateness,?1 which is ?evidence of divine wisdom, design, and execution.?2 Barrenness, miscarriages, stillborn infants, and maternal mortality often reveal an experiential reality ...
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Page Count: 404
Publication Year: 2013