Pickthall’s translation of the Qur’an: an analysis of selected verses on women

On Thursday 24th March,  Al-Mahdi Institute held a Research seminar on the topic of; “Pickthall’s translation of the Qur’an: an analysis of some selected verses on women” conducted by Dr Haifaa Jawad from University of Birmingham. The seminar was attended by AMI students, faculty and interested members of the public.

Dr Haifaa Jawad is currently the senior lecturer in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Birmingham University and author of important works ‘The Rights of Women in Islam: An Authentic Approach’. She also runs successful seminars in Islamic studies which bring prominent scholars to the University of Birmingham and lead to extensive postgraduate involvement. Dr Jawad’s theme for the seminar was ‘an analysis of some selected verses on women’.

An example of Dr Haifaa’s analysis from the seminar looked at the Quran, Chapter 4 verse 33 and the meaning of the word ‘Qiwamah’. She explains it is often mistakenly translated as superiority rather than the usual meaning of maintainer or guardian, its true meaning actually implies a degree of responsibility. Instead of saying men are in charge or maintainers over women, it then reads they are superior to women. Dr Jawad argues ‘Qiwamah’ is conditional upon the man being able to take care of the socio-economic needs of his wife and cannot be generalised as any inherent superiority of men over women despite a mans unquestionably superiority in physique and natural dominance. In the Quran, ‘qiwamah’ is used three times and in all three occasions it is conjoined with the idea of justice and fairness.

To view an abstract click here

To see more images of the seminar click here 


Dr Haifaa Jawad (University of Birmingham)