Sacred Questions A modern and re-imagined Islam Publication date : January 4, 2017
Faouzia Farida Charfi is a physicist and professor at the University of Tunis. A long-time activist, since the presidency of Habib Bourguiba, she was appointed Secretary of State for Higher Education in the interim government after the revolution of 14 January 2011. She resigned shortly afterwards in order to regain her freedom of speech and action.
Is the Quran — the word of God revealed to the prophet — a product of its time or is it free of any historical context? Was the prophet illiterate, as claimed by many websites? How do we account for the hadith — words and deeds of the prophet — being taken as dogma rather than revelation? Finally, what does Sharia, claimed by the proponents of political Islam, say that the Koran does not?
A Tunisian woman from a Muslim culture, Faouzi Farida Charfi tackles these issues head-on, providing responses matured in the reading of Arab thinkers — lawyers, historians, and Islamic scholars. She invites us to open a debate on the importance of contextualization of religion, and the volume of texts conceived by religious leaders who are now blocking movement on a number of issues.
With strength and conviction, drawing not only upon on the texts but also on the model that is developing, with difficulty, in Tunisia, Faouzia Farida Charfi demonstrates that a vision of Islam in line with modern thinking is possible on the law, on the status of women, and on the relationship of religion with science and art.