Empire, Subalternity, and Ijtihād: Two Muslim Women's Leadership Models in the Post-9/11 US
Article first published online: 9 SEP 2011
© 2011 Hartford Seminary.
The Muslim World
Special Issue: 9/11: Retrospections on a Decade. Special Editors: Timur Yuskaev and Nicolas Mumejian
Volume 101, Issue 3, pages 494–510, July 2011
How to Cite
Ahmed, F. E. (2011), Empire, Subalternity, and Ijtihād: Two Muslim Women's Leadership Models in the Post-9/11 US. The Muslim World, 101: 494–510. doi: 10.1111/j.1478-1913.2011.01392.x
- Issue published online: 9 SEP 2011
- Article first published online: 9 SEP 2011
- post-9/11 America;
Binary stereotypes silence Muslim women in post 9/11 America, but little has been written about how Muslim women's leadership can enable voice. This article presents two leadership models based on the philosophy of ijtihād (independent reasoning), which facilitate self-worth and solidarity, key elements of voice. The less visible spiritual colleague model, which has a followership of practising Muslim women, facilitates self-worth through ijtihād, allowing women to seek self-definition through their own interpretation of the Qur'ān. As strategy, the leader converts her home into a space which is simultaneously sacred and political where such informal discussions take place around religious rituals. The public bridge-builder model creates solidarity between and among its following of practising and nonpractising Muslims and non-Muslim men and women. The strategy focuses on effective dialogue between different groups. Ijtihād as discourse in pursuit of knowledge (‘ilm) creates equality and respect, the basis of sustainable alliances.