The Qur'an and the philosophy that derives from it are often the subject of contemporary debates over gender equality and the status of women. The criticism is usually superficial, poorly argued, and has little reference to the foundational principles of ethics outlined by the Qur'an or its esteemed interpreters, such as Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali, Nasiral-Din Tusi, and Jalal al-Din al-Dawani. It is difficult to find a contemporary assessment of Islamic ethics that dispassionately reviews the groundwork upon which moral claims are made. The historical scholarship on Islamic ethics (akhlaq) has often overlooked the most foundational question of equality—namely, is Islam actually equitable? Considering the varying and often distinct socially defined roles played by genders, relative to cultural norms over time and geography, there is a valid reason to pursue this question. Analyses of gendered tropes within particular ethical frameworks have received sparse attention in Middle Eastern studies,...

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