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Title: The role of women in the Būyid and Saljūq periods of the Abbasid Caliphate (339-447/950-1055 & 447-547/1055-1152) : the case of Iraq
Author: Al Rudainy, Reem Saud
ISNI:       0000 0004 5372 7713
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2014
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The need for Muslim women’s emancipation is very often tied to what some scholars argue is the Islamic oppression and victimization of women; by a religion they argue is strictly patriarchal. As one of the greatest documented eras in medieval Islamic history, the Abbasid Caliphate, has been one of the most widely covered by researchers of Islamic history studies and will be the case study of this thesis. Through a historical analysis, this study finds that despite the extensive coverage by researchers of the period, research on women and their roles during the time has not yet claimed its rightful status. Indeed, in comparison to the studies of Islamic history, the study of Muslim women remains, at best, undeveloped. The lack of resources dealing with the roles of Muslim women in history and the subsequent sparse coverage of their achievements can be directly linked to the way people, both within academia and contemporary media, perceive women in Islam. This thesis merged the theories of Gaye Tuchman, Fatima Mernissi and S. Jay Kleinberg to form a troika through which the roles of Abbasid women may be re-assessed. As such, this research proposes a solution to remedy the invisibility of Muslim women and their roles in history: by creating a theoretical framework centred on the causes of said invisibility. In applying this framework, the thesis examines the textual materials by critically analysing the various aspects of women’s role in Abbasid society including political, social and religious facets of life in the Būyid and the Saljūq periods. This study of women, in said periods of Abbasid Iraq will highlight the major roles they played in shaping and developing Islamic society. It hence advances knowledge of this era in an original manner by the analysing of women’s history in Islam, via a new approach.
Supervisor: Netton, Ian Sponsor: Kuwait Cultural Office
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available