Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Ibn Arabi on Women,

A very interesting article sent to me by N. (thank you N.) on Ibn Arabi's two fold perception of "Woman" by Souad Hakim.

A fairly long article, but well worth reading for those who are interested in Sufi/Gnostic interpretations of the Islamic text.

Ibn 'ArabĂ®'s Twofold Perception of Woman. Woman as Human Being and Cosmic Principle .

I do not have the time to give my feedback on all of the points, some of which I agree with and others I dispute, but one quick footnote, namely the reference that Eve was created from Adam's rib. This does NOT exist in the Islamic text. It exists in the Old Testament but not in the Koran.

Secondly on the subject of "Qawama", wrongly interpreted as absolute "male superiority" by mainstream exegesis/theology, and interpreted correctly in this article as an ontological "superiority" meaning that Adam came into being first in the order of Creation.

And since every being created needs a Creator, I will let you deduce what the Essence of the Creator is, something that Ibn Arabi rightly concludes with.

In this light, the hadith of the Prophet extolling Mothers (Mother) by stating that Paradise lies at their feet affirms on an "earthly" level, a metaphysical Truth.

And Mother here is not solely referred to as "biological" mothers. Again, it is important to guard oneself from literalistic interpretations of words.

An article well worth reading and deeply pondering upon, especially at this conjuncture in history where the silent and not so silent war on "Woman" and "Femaleness" is on a rampage...

N.B: Another good read -- My Soul is a Woman: The Feminine in Islam by Annemarie Schimmel.