By: Laura Comstock
Feminists, particularly those that live in the West, generally view Islam as a religion that is inherently oppressive and violent towards women. Although this narrative has been directed towards other religions, Islam is also found on the receiving end of these sort of critiques, citing countries as Saudi Arabia and Iran’s treatment of women as the standard for the Islamic faith’s attitude towards women. While fourteen centuries of Islamic thought has been dominated by male interpretation of the Qur’an, female scholars have recently begun a series of a rereading of the Qur’an through an interpretation that could be considered more “feminist”. In the case of this analysis, the words “feminist” and “feminism” are used as descriptors to challenging traditional male power within the context of tafsir and tawhid. The use of this modifier in this paper is used to signal the rejection of sexism and male domination over women to describe the work Muslim women have accomplished in order to find gendered liberation through Islam. The rejection of sexism and patriarchy has occurred since the nineteenth century as Muslim women have undertaken the task of revisiting traditionalist interpretation of the Qur’an for the purpose of gender equality in their societies and at home. This paper seeks to illustrate just how Muslim women have begun to reinterpret the Qur’an through a female perspective and the challenges that they face in doing so.
This paper is divided into four major sections. Firstly, this paper will briefly outline Islamic feminist historiography beginning with the Islamic feminist movements of the nineteenth century and bringing us to the modern period. While this section seeks to highlight the progress made by Islamic feminists over the course of nearly two centuries, it also raises the problematization of what does Islamic feminism mean in the context of academia. The second section examines the practice of tafsir and the historical relationship between women and tafsir. The following section discusses feminist interpretations of the Qur’an, using Amina Wadud’s tafsir as an example. The final section of this paper will examine the traditionalist reaction to feminist tafsir. In this section, a case study of the Malaysian NGO, Sisters in Islam, will be utilized as they have applied the tafsir of Wadud to their own activism for Muslim women. Following the case study there is a brief discussion and evaluation of the Islamic feminist movement, its similarities to other faith movements, and questions raised for what the future of Islamic feminism will look like for Muslim women.
Brief Islamic Feminist Historiography:
The modern Islamic feminist movements began in the nineteenth century in Iran. Tahirih Qurrat al- ‘Ayn was the catalyst to the earliest feminist movement in the Middle East in the mid-1800s. While her public declarations against veiling, polygyny, and gender inequality were met by the state executing her in 1852, she had a profound impact on both men and women revisiting Quranic exegesis. While some Muslim male thinkers, like Qasim Amin, and European educated Muslim women, such as Huda Sha’arawi, advocated for women’s liberation, the work of these and many other early Muslim feminists paved the way for modern women to begin the important task of reading the Qur’an through feminine eyes. One such individual who has dedicated her life to this ardent task is Amina Wadud. Wadud has taken a reformist approach to Islam and ijtihad. Through her background in linguistics, she has applied linguistic analysis in her rereading of the Qur’an in her book Quran and Women: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman’s Perspective. Since Wadud’s important work, other women and women’s NGOs have undertaken this labor to provide an Islamically-sourced basis to resist patriarchal norms and laws in their own societies. One can simply look to social media to see the discussion held on forums such as Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram to see what Muslim women have to say about Islamic feminism and what it means (or does not mean) to them.
Islamic feminism is not a new concept, yet the terminology is somewhat debated. The concept of “Islamic feminism” itself entered the lexical use of Middle Eastern Studies scholars in the 1990s, despite, as illustrated above, Islamic feminism stretches back to the nineteenth century. The “f-word”, feminism, is highly contested in discourse by scholars of Middle Eastern gender studies and within the Muslim community. Many individuals in the Muslim community, particularly conservatives, view feminism as a western invention and inherently incompatible with Islam. Despite opposition, the term itself is becoming more widespread by scholars and Muslim women in both scholarship and activism.
Before we turn to how Islamic feminists begin to reinterpret the Qur’an, it is important to understand the tradition of Qur’anic exegesis and how it has operated over the past fourteen centuries. This section will provide readers with important definitions and explain what exactly is tafsir and how it is executed.
Tafsir most commonly refers to commentary or an interpretation of the Qur’an. In the Islamic tradition, the Prophet Muhammad was considered the first person, or mufassir, to interpret the Qur’an. Despite this, scholars are generally unsure of how the practice of tafsir emerged as a scholarly practice following the Prophet Muhammad’s death. While scholars are generally uncertain of how or when the practice emerged, then how does the practice of interpreting or creating commentaries of the Qur’an work?
There are many types of tafsir, however this section will discuss tafsir in general terms as explaining each type in greater detail goes beyond the scope of this paper. The reader should be aware that the most significant tafsir sciences include: asbab al-nuzul (the occasions of revelation), ahkam (legal applications), i‘rab (grammar), al-lughah(language), al-‘amm (general verses) and al-khass (specific verses), muhkamat (straightforward verses) and mutashabihat (ambiguous verses), and al-nasikh wa-l-mansukh (abrogating and abrogated verses). Tafsir as a practice relies on a practice called al-tafsir bi-l-ra’y, which simply centers itself on the reading of Hadith and Qur’an from the reasoning of the individual doing the interpreting, or mufassir. Both Sunni and Shiite practices of Islam have their own unique methodology through which they practice tafsir. In general, “the most celebrated works of traditional tafsir (particularly the Tafsir of Tabari) derive their authority and authenticity from the adoption of the transmissions of the Prophet and his Companions”. The Islamic ulema, religious experts, had a monopoly on the interpretation of religious knowledge until the nineteenth century with the advent of the Islamic modernist movement.
Tafsir itself as a practice developed through several stages. As has been established above, the first mufassir was the Prophet Muhammad who established the meanings of the Qur’an to the first community of Muslims. What is known as traditional tafsir could be found in Hadith traditions sourced from saying of the Prophet and his immediate companions. Eventually the practice of tafsir evolved into five specific types: “attempts to supply a narrative context for passages, efforts to explain the implications for conduct of various passages, concern with details of the text, concern with matters of rhetoric, and allegorical interpretation”. Traditionalist ulema scholarship dominated the practice of tafsir until the Islamic modernist movement around the nineteenth century, which will be discussed in the following section.
Women and Tafsir:
Where do women fall in terms of performing Qur’anic exegesis? Historically, women have not been included in this process. Traditionally, the ulema consisted of Muslim male theologians that performed tafsir and were the central authorities on Qur’an and Hadith scholarship. Many scholars point to the lack of participation of women in this process have ultimately harmed Muslim women, rather than empowering them as they suggest the Qur’an is supposed to do. This has not only been prevalent in history, but also in today’s society in the case of social systems in Muslim communities. According to one scholar this occurs:
“[a]s preachers continue to warn every Friday against introducing innovative ideas (bida’), Muslims, especially women, have surrendered their responsibilities completely and have become reliant on others’ interpretations instead of exercising their rights to learning and coming to their own understanding of Islam”.
But what does this have to do with women and tafsir? Traditionally, women have not had access to traditional religious institutions in order to have direct access to religious education, particularly those through which enables one to learn how to perform tafsir. Women have been historically bound by cultural patriarchal practices, not practices that are inherently Islamic, that barred them from fully exercising their agency in religious spaces and being allowed to formulate their own religious opinions. While there have been some Muslim women who were considered great scholars of Hadith, such as Zaynab bint Umar ibn al-Kindi (died c.1300 CE), the list of women who had access to formal Islamic education in order to perform tafsir remains extremely small.
It was not until the Islamic modernist movement that the role of women in Muslim-majority societies began to be questioned as the Middle East found itself under the thumb of Western imperialism. As modernity and imperialist Europe transformed many urban Muslim societies, the ulema found itself being challenged by the Islamic modernist movement who sought to strip the monopoly the ulema had on Islamic knowledge. Islamic modernists, such as Muhammad Abduh and Rashid Rida, advocated for women to have the right to an education and become active participants in Muslim society inside and outside of the home. One particular portion of the Islamic modernist movement that particular attention must be paid to is the idea that “gender equality and social justice as basic and intersecting principles enshrined in the Qur’an.”
As the modernist movement sought to subvert the ulema’s authority as the sole interpreters of Islamic knowledge, particularly in the case of the Quranic understanding of gender, some women participated in the modernist movement and created their own tafsirs. The most notable of the early modernist period would be Nazira Zain al-Din’s 1928 Al-sufur wa l-hijab (Unveiling and Veiling) where she argues against the patriarchal practices of female inferiority in Muslim societies that contract the Qur’an. The work of early female Islamic modernists allowed for women in the late twentieth century to devote mental and emotional labor towards creating gender-equal interpretations of the Qur’an that will be discussed in the next section, focusing on the work of Amina Wadud and the eventual establishment of the Malaysian NGO, Sisters in Islam.
Feminist Interpretations of the Qur’an:
According to some scholars, what could be described as Islamic feminist thought remained marginalized until the 1970s where it has begun to gain traction among scholars and activists alike. Haifa Jawad characterizes Islamic feminism as:
“a category that includes scholars and activists who represent a mid-point position between the positions of secular feminists, who regard Islam as a purely cultural issue and hence understand Muslim women’s rights in mainly Western terms, and the ultra-conservative females and those who desire to replicate the historical model of Islam without taking into consideration the complexities of modern life or the impact of modernity on Muslim society”.
She makes the important distinction that not all women are found underneath the umbrella term of “Islamic feminism” and that it something that must be reiterated here. Muslims are not a monolithic ideological community and have disagreements regarding certain interpretations of the Qur’an, which will be illustrated below in the case study of Sisters in Islam and the reaction to the organization by conservative Muslim women.
The goal of many Islamic feminists is the deconstruction of male-centric authority in Islam and finding interpretations that benefit both men and women, particularly in legal systems. This is not, however, an easy task to accomplish. According to Hibba Abugideiri, the act of moving:
“the Islamic feminist project from deconstructing the Islamic past to scholarship based on reconstructing, or rethinking orthodoxical or legal edifice in hopes of legal reform is not as simple as one may think, especially when considering, among other things, the limitations posed by disciplinary modes of intellectual inquiry”.
Abugideiri is correct in her assertion that this is no simple task for Muslim women who seek to undertake a feminist rereading of the Qur’an and potentially create feminist tafsir. As will be highlighted in the following pages through the discussion of Sisters in Islam and Amina Wadud, the “limitations” imposed on these organizations and women stem from the traditionalist ulema’s resistance to revisiting and accepting new Qur’anic exegesis.
As discussed briefly in the introduction, Amina Wadud is one out of many female Muslim scholars undergoing the charge of reinterpreting the Qur’an through a female perspective. According to Wadud, her work is based on the belief that:
“the Qur’an adapts to the context of the modern woman as smoothly as it adapted to the original Muslim community fourteen centuries ago. This adaptation can be demonstrated if the text is interpreted with her in mind, thus indicating the universality of the text. Any interpretations which narrowly apply the Qur’anic guidelines only to literal mimics of the original community do an injustice to the text”.
She criticizes older tafsir practitioners for not taking the intent of the Qur’an into consideration while considering the role and status of Muslim women. Wadud criticizes the process of interpreting the Qur’an and the power traditionalist interpretations have held over Muslim women for over a millennia and how these interpretations seemingly blur the authority between them and the Qur’an. She states:
“No method of Qur’anic exegesis is fully objective. Each exegete makes some subjective choices. Some details of their interpretations reflect their subjective choices and not necessarily the intent of the text. Yet, often, no distinction is made between text and interpretation”.
She asserts that the Qur’an must continue to be reinterpreted throughout time in order for its teachings to remain relevant as human society progresses. Only through that could there be headway made towards gender equality between both Muslim men and women.
As mentioned briefly in the introduction to this paper, Wadud used her knowledge in linguistics to create feminist tafsirs using a hermeneutical model. This model is particularly concerned with the context in which the Qur’anic passages were revealed, the grammatical structure and composition of these passages, and the worldview presented in the Qur’an. A majority of the composition of Qur’an and Women focuses primarily on the meanings and implications of words or phrases in the text. This manner of focus relates to her critique of traditionalist interpretations in the text that she believes are undermined by the muffasirs’ patriarchal biases that they project unto women using the Qur’an and creating meanings that are not there. She elaborates on this concept further by stating:
“negative terms, if used at all, in the Qur’an are neither directly nor exclusively associated with women. Even when a negative word is coincidentally used exclusively with reference to women, it does not mean that all women necessarily fall prey to the indications of that word, nor that men are exempted from falling prey or permitted to fall prey. The interpretations of these words and other syntactical structures have not been juxtaposed with the entire Qur’anic world-view”.
Amina Wadud’s work is extremely important composition in terms of the current debate between gender and modernity in the Muslim community. While it challenges the traditionalist male-centric, and often patriarchal, interpretations of the Qur’an, she upholds the idea that both men and women are equal in the eyes of Allah on the Day of Judgement and that the current gender imbalances between men and women today in Muslim societies are antagonistic to the message of the Qur’an.
Criticisms of Feminist Interpretations of the Qur’an:
Feminist, women-centric, or gender-equal interpretations of the Qur’an have been met with harsh feedback regarding feminists practicing Qur’anic exegesis. Amina Wadud’s interpretations of the Qur’an have also been met with harsh feedback from traditionalists. Despite this, Wadud used her knowledge of the Qur’an to help cofound a Muslim women’s organization that seeks to establish gender justice in the Malaysian legal system. The following will discuss a case study regarding the Malaysian-based NGO, Sisters in Islam (also abbreviated SIS), and discuss the backlash that the organization faces from traditionalists and others that disagree with the organization’s goal of gender equality in the legal sphere.
Case Study: Sisters in Islam
Sisters in Islam (hereafter: SIS) is a Malaysian NGO that seeks to achieve equality and justice for women in Islamic law. As a civil society organization, SIS has evolved to include the promotion of human rights and democratic values in Malaysia and promises to continue to be advocates for such change. It is both the recipient of praise by feminists and criticism by conservative Muslims who claim that they are corrupting the message of the Qur’an for their own agenda. Despite this, SIS is one of the most successful female Muslim-led NGOs that seeks to achieve gender equality through reinterpretation of the Qur’an. This section aims to describe the historical context in which SIS has emerged, where it operates, how the organization has evolved over time, and the challenges they face in the Malaysian context.
SIS was founded in 1988 by seven women: Zainah Anwar, Amina Wadud, Askiah Adam, Norani Othman, Rashidah Abdullah, Rose Ismaili, and Sharifah Zuriah. Registered as an NGO in 1993, the group sought to prove that the suppression of women’s full participation in society and inequalities in sharia courts were attributed to patriarchy rather than Islam. As Muslim women, they believe that it is their right to reclaim Islamic interpretation and contribute to Islamic jurisprudence. The organization stresses that “since the equal status of women and men in spiritual matters is not only recognized but insisted upon in the Qur’an, what more the equal rights and obligations of women and men in temporal matters”.
While SIS has demonstrated that they are able to reinterpret sharia to benefit women in Malay society, they are the recipients of criticism from Malaysian academic and political institutions that reject the reinterpretation of the Qur’an. Even as recent as 2014, the organization had a fatwa issued against it stating that SIS’s promotion of pluralism and liberalism are in contradiction to Islam and their social media be monitored or restricted. In order to fully grasp the uphill battle SIS faces in Malaysia, the following paragraphs present the discussion from dissertations from two prominent Malaysian academic institutions that believe SIS is subverting interpretations of the Qur’an for their own agenda.
Islamic academic papers that have been published from Malaysian institutions, authored by both men and women, have criticized SIS for their reformist approach to sharia. Many of the critiques directed towards SIS declares that they distort the meaning of the Quran by lacking proper methods of interpretation and lacking the guidance to do so. Their critics discuss how the organization fails to provide concrete evidence for their claims about male-centric interpretations of the Qur’an and sharia.
In “The Status of Women and their Rights Based on the Understanding of Sisters in Islam: An Analysis from An Islamic Perspective”, the authors argue that SIS does not follow proper methods of interpreting the Qur’an and hadith, resulting in a liberalist interpretation of sharia, particularly equating equality and justice in Islamic law. According to the authors, “[j]ustice does not necessarily mean that every individual is given equal quantity of rights; rather justice is to place things in their rightful place by considering their suitability, ability, and fiṭrah”. Using this definition of justice, they are asserting that there are inherent rights and duties instilled on both men and women by Allah in the Qur’an and, while may not be considered equal by liberalist ideas, must be respected and followed in Islamic societies. Following the authors’ line of logic, SIS is subverting the message of the Qur’an by pushing for gender equality in sharia law because that is not how the text has been traditionally interpreted. The traditions of Qur’anic interpretation are not limited to gender, but rather if one is qualified to interpret or not. This idea is reflected in other studies from Malaysian Islamic universities and academics. A primary obstacle SIS faces is that institutions within Malaysia discredit the organization’s call for gender equality based on liberalism and the way they go about interpreting established norms and laws within Malaysia’s sharia courts. The studies declare that because SIS does not explicitly cite other Muslim scholars or Qur’an directly, they are not engaging with sharia in a proper manner.
Other scholars outside of the Malaysian context critique SIS’s reluctance to combat other issues such as intercourse outside of wedlock, LGBTQIA+ issues, and penetration across all classes. While these issues are certainly important in society, it is important for scholars to remember that SIS is an Islamic-based NGO and must navigate the complex issues that make up Malaysian society. Same-sex relationships is illegal and criminalized under penal code 377 and legal gender recognition is also impossible. While the organization itself has not come out in support of LGBTQIA+ rights in Malaysia, some of the founding members are pro-LGBTQIA+. Dr. Amina Wadud, one of the founding members of SIS, has dedicated her life to the promotion of women’s rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, and promoting women as imams (imama).
It is important for scholars on feminism and political science to understand the fine line SIS works and operates within and not project their ideas of western liberalism on the organization to declare they are underperforming as an organization for women. The organization operates in a culture where racial and religious hierarchy are extremely important where the authoritarian regime prevents it from making drastic changes within the society. Both the regime and religious institutions have been working in tandem to prevent SIS from making significant strides towards gender equality, whether this has been through the courts, fatwa, or through the actions of political parties urging members to be “rehabilitated” from liberalist ideals.
Since its inception, Sisters in Islam has worked to achieve equality and justice for women in Malaysian sharia courts. As a civil society organization, SIS has since evolved from an organization that solely promotes gender equality to presently encompass human rights and democratic values in Malaysia. The organization has expanded its focus from just feminist reinterpretations of sharia in Malaysia to encompass issues related to democracy and human rights both abroad and at home. It also has displayed its adaptability and resilience regarding attacks from clerics on the organization and a global pandemic. Despite opposition from conservative institutions and fundamentalist groups, SIS is one of the most successful female Muslim-led NGOs that advocates for gender equality in Islam.
Quranic exegesis performed by women for gender equality is still a very new practice in the timeline of Islam’s history. The rejection of patriarchy in religion also follows along with Christian women seeking more active roles in the church and rejecting traditional church patriarchal theology in the late twentieth century, which was later followed by womanist theology and mujerista theology that focused on women of color and their experiences in religion. A central theme between these feminist movements in religious spaces is the liberation from patriarchy through the teachings of their respective faith practices. For Muslim women like Amina Wadud, questioning and reevaluating male-centric interpretations of the Qur’an is a step towards freedom and the realization of God’s will to be free from the oppression of mankind and only to serve Him. At the root of Muslim feminist organizations, such as SIS, there is an urgent need for gender equality and liberation while simultaneously fulfilling God’s will on earth.
The Muslim feminist movements that are occurring through Muslim-majority societies and in Muslim spaces are challenging both Muslims and non-Muslims’ perspectives on Islam. These movements inherently reject the Western notion that Muslim women lack agency and are incapable of changing the societies through which they live. The Islamic feminists discussed and sourced in this paper are all engaged in critiquing and creating their own feminism that is unique from Western feminist movements and trends, such as Free the Nipple, as well as evaluating what Islamic feminism should look like for Muslim women. While much work has to be done in terms of gender equality and liberation, Islamic feminists are at the forefront of resistance, championing freedom with faith, not freedom without faith. Questioning the relationship between gender and Islam has produced and will continue to produce unique literature relative to women and Islam. To quote Hidayatullah once more regarding female reinterpretations of traditionalist tafsir:
“Once we are able to view this questioning not just as the ending of something but also as the beginning of something else, not only as the closing of a door but also as the opening of another, we can forge ahead toward new possibilities”.
It is ultimately up to Muslim women, and Muslim women only, regarding what path they will choose regarding what freedom with faith looks like to them and how they will continue to live unapologetically Muslim. What that will look like in the future remains an open question for potential research regarding the Islamic feminist movement in Muslim-majority countries and Muslim spaces.
 Afraqi Savir and Jan T. Jasion, Tahririh in History: Perspectives on Qurratu’l-‘Ayn from East and West (Lost Angeles, Ca: Kalimat Press, 2004), pp. 185-201.
 Ijtihad simply refers to independent reasoning through which a legal issue is analyzed and ruled upon in a way that does not contradict the Qur’an and is used in cases where there is little consensus (ijma). Only individuals, or mujatahid, who are skilled or knowledgeable in Qur’an, the sunnah (sayings of the prophet), legal theory (usul al-figh), and able to exercise logic are qualified to practice ijtihad.
 Shakira Hussein, From Victims to Suspects: Muslim Women since 9/11 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2019), 147-9.
 Aysha A. Hidayatullah. Feminist Edges of the Qur’an. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press,
 Ibid., 24.
 Ibid., 26.
 Ibid., 24.
 Ibid., 27.
 Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Tafsīr.” Encyclopedia Britannica, September 27, 2019.
 Barazangi, N.H. 2009. “The Absence of Muslim Women in Shaping Islamic Thought: Foundations of
Muslims’ Peaceful and Just Co-Existence”. JOURNAL OF LAW AND RELIGION. 24, no. 2, 414.
 Ibid., 414.
 Hidayatullah, 34-35.
 Margot Badran, Feminism in Islam: Secular and Religious Convergences (Oxford, England: Oneworld Publications, 2009.), quoted in Hidayatullah, Feminist Edges of the Qur’an (Oxford Scholarship Online, 2014), 35.
 Hidayatullah, 35.
 JAWAD, HAIFAA. “Muslim Feminism: A Case Study of Amina Wadud’s “Qur’an and Woman”.” Islamic Studies 42, no. 1 (2003), 110-111.
 Ibid., 111.
 For the sake of this paper, I will only be focusing on the traditional gender binary. While there are Muslims who identify as transgender or nonbinary, LGBTQ+ issues as it stands is still a very sensitive topic in the Muslim community. I do not seek to alienate nonbinary or transgender persons from this analysis as their identities are extremely important and valid. Based on the research used in this paper, scholars of Islamic feminism focus primarily on the gender binary. A point of further research should focus on the inclusivity of LGBTQ+ Muslims in an analysis on Islamic feminism and its intersectionality.
Hibba Abugideiri.”REVISITING THE ISLAMIC PAST, DECONSTRUCTING MALE
AUTHORITY: THE PROJECT OF ISLAMIC FEMINISM”. Religion & Literature. 42,
- 1-2 (2010), 137.
 Wadud, 95.
 Ibid., 97.
 Ibid., 1.
 Ibid., 4.
 Ibid., 3.
 Wadud, 97.
 Nyuk Yan Chee, “Gender Equality in Malaysia: Islamic Feminism and Sisters in Islam” (dissertation, Lund University, 2007), 23.
 Anna Spiegel, “Women’s Organizations and Social Transformation in Malaysia Between Social Work and Legal Reforms,” in Negotiating Development in Muslim Societies: Gendered Spaces and Translocal Connections, ed. Gudrun Lachenmann, and Petra Dennecker (Lanham, MD/New York: Lexington Books, 2010), 71.
 Zainah Anwar, “When Silence is Not Golden” in Contemporary Islam: Dynamic, not Static, ed. Abdul Aziz Said, Mohammed Abu-Nimer, and Meena Sharify-Funk (Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2006), 107.
 Sisters in Islam, Q&A booklet: Are Men and Women Equal Before Allah, Sisters in Islam, 3, http://www.sistersinislam.org.my/files/downloads/are_men_and_women_equal_before_allah.pdf
 According to Oxford Islamic Studies, a fatwa is an “authoritative legal opinion given by a mufti (legal scholar) in response to a question posed by an individual or a court of law. A fatwa is typically requested in cases not covered by the fiqh literature and is neither binding nor enforceable”. “Fatwa.” In The Oxford Dictionary of Islam., edited by John L. Esposito. Oxford Islamic Studies Online, http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t125/e646
 “Selangor,” Selangor | Portal Rasmi Fatwa Malaysia, https://web.archive.org/web/20141103123327/http://www.e-fatwa.gov.my/Selangor.
 Zuraidah Binti Kamaruddin, Saidatoklakma Binti Yunus, and Adibah Binti Abdul Rahim, “THE STATUS OF WOMEN AND THEIR RIGHTS BASED ON THE UNDERSTANDING OF SISTERS IN ISLAM; AN ANALYSIS FROM AN ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE,” Al-Shajarah: Journal of Islamic Thought and Civilization of the International Islamic University Malaysia 23, no. 2 (2018): pp. 447-467, 467.
 Ibid., 453.
 Zuraidah Binti Kamaruddin, Saidatolakma Binti Yunus, and Adibah Binti Abdul Rahim, “Proposals by Sisters in Islam (SIS) Pertaining To Ṭalāq Issues: An Analysis from an Islamic Perspective (Cadangan Oleh Sisters in Islam (SIS) Mengenai Isu-Isu Ṭalāq; Satu Analisis Dari Perspektif Islam),” Journal of Islam in Asia 14, no. 2 (2017): pp. 327-344, https://doi.org/10.31436/jia.v14i2.617.
 Chee, 50.
 Amina Wadud. Inside the Gender Jihad: Women’s Reform in Islam. Oxford: Oneworld, 2006.
 Daniels, 171. Chee, 51.
 Fatwas are considered legally binding in Malaysia.
Sa’odah Elias, “PAS Wants Sisters in Islam Probed,” The Star Online, June 7, 2009, https://web.archive.org/web/20090610151329/http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=%2F2009%2F6%2F7%2Fnation%2F20090607141027.
 Hidayatullah, 195.