I’ve been listening to a lot of female recitations of the Qur’an lately. They bring me so, so much joy and peace that it angers me that we’ve been deprived of their voice – literally of their voice – for so long. What a tragedy, what a horror, what a loss, what a fucking violence to God’s word that our male scholars decided our voice is awrah (literally genitals, y’all!) and based on that premise alone denied the entire universe of the miracle that is women’s recitation of God’s word.
This is why I trust no one, I trust no scholar (for anything, not just for gender-related interpretations of the Qur’an/sunnah) – and I forgive no one – who ever, ever has uttered, at any point in time, that a woman cannot recite the Qur’an publicly. Perverted ideas translating into law. I can’t believe anyone ever took you seriously. I hope you’re burning in hell, all of you. #deathto #allmalepanels #allmaleijmaa’ #manels #youdon’tspeakformyCreator
When I get up there, I’m going to tell on all these men. I’m going to tell my Creator about all the ways in which they manipulated God’s word to justify their own perverted ideas about women. Some of them tell us women have no sexual urges, that men’s sexual urges are higher than women’s, while others contradict those guys and tell us that women’s sexual urges are much stronger than men’s and that’s why women are “naturally” shy, modest, etc.
I can’t even. People ask me why I’m so “angry” all the time. Really? How are you NOT angry? I can’t trust people who’re not angry. I can’t trust people who see no reason to be angry about all the ways women have been violated. dismissed. ignored. deprived.
Resist. Defy tradition when it hurts.
In my classes, I have made it a point to always, always show my students a recitation by a woman whenever we’re talking about Qur’anic verses. I’ll show a male recitation only when I can’t find a woman’s one (which was often until I learned that Maria Ulfa’s complete recitation of the Qur’an is available online!). And since looking for specific verses of women’s recitations is a lot of work – but looking up men’s recitations of those same verses and surahs is no work at all, just a youtube click away – I physically hurt and I apologize to my students that I’m showing them a verse that’s paradoxically about women and a woman’s concern being addressed by God in the Qur’an and we can’t hear that through a woman’s voice. Something feels so profoundly wrong and unacceptable and obviously very ironic about that.
Anyway, here are some recitations by women. Please. Listen to them. Resist the patriarchal nonsense than women’s voice is for their husbands and immediate male family members only while men’s voice is just the default, natural public thing, undesirable, etc. Really? Anyone who thinks men’s voice isn’t attractive clearly hasn’t yet heard Mishary al-Afasi. That guy is ultimate #MaleAwrah.
Maria Ulfa’s compelte recitation of the Qur’an
Faridah Mat Saman
Not sure who this one is, but it’s gorgeous too
Tahera Ahmed‘s recitation at ISNA (first public female recitation at ISNA!)
Nor Azra Ayub
Not sure about her name, but here’s another one