In order to evaluate whether there really is only one valid, ideal Islamic masculinity, The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities explores key figures of the Qur’an and Indian-Pakistani Islamic history, and exposes the precariousness of tight constraints on Islamic manhood. By examining Qur’anic arguments and the strict social responsibilities advocated along with narrow Islamic masculinities, Amanullah De Sondy shows that God and women (to whom Muslim men relate but are different from) often act as foils for the construction of masculinity. He argues the constrainers of masculinity have used God and women to think with and to dominate through and that rigid gender roles are the product of a misguided enterprise: the highly personal relationship between humans and God does not lend itself to the organization of society, because that relationship cannot be typified and replicated.
Discussions and debates surrounding Islamic masculinities are quickly finding their place in the study of Islam and Muslims, and The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities makes a vital contribution to this emerging field.
“The study of Muslim masculinities is in its infancy, and The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities easily succeeds in laying a secure foundation for this highly significant but neglected field - a major step forward.” – Ahmet T. Karamustafa, Professor of History, University of Maryland, USA.
“This book opens the way to rethinking what it means to be a man in the Islamic tradition, showing the intricate ways in which constructions of femininity and masculinity are intertwined. It is a must-read for those wishing to understand the Islamists' obsession with sexuality, their rejection of gender equality, and their invocation of religious dogma as the basis for gender rights.” – Ziba Mir-Hosseini, Centre for Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, SOAS, UK.