Same-Sex Sexual Acts and the Making of the Islamic Tradition
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CitationOmar, Sara M. 2015. Same-Sex Sexual Acts and the Making of the Islamic Tradition. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractThis study is an exploration of the ways in which early Islamic conceptualizations and judgments concerning liwāṭ (male-male anal copulation) and siḥāq (tribadism) were not simply based on self-evident Scriptural passages, but involved a number of extrapolations and interpretations by early jurists and exegetes. These extrapolations and interpretations in turn reflect the discursive cultural and historical milieu of early Muslim scholars. This study will serve to illuminate the correlation between social context and the early development of the Islamic canon. It will be the first step towards gauging the relationship between existing social practices and the substance of what became the Islamic normative doctrine on sex and sexuality at large, both of which serve to shed light on the formation of the early Islamic tradition. To study the process by which exegetes, ḥadīth transmitters, jurists, and scholars interpreted and adjudicated same-sex sexual acts, a process that can be extended to other issues facing the nascent Muslim community, is to study the making of the Sunnī Islamic tradition. The aim of this research is therefore, to reconstruct the historical discourses concerning same-sex sexual acts (liwāṭ and siḥāq) as a means of gaining insight into the formation of the early Islamic tradition. But the overall project is certainly not to rest content with that, but to make a more general theoretical point about the relation between scriptural texts and authoritative religious interpretations, and the ways in which the latter inevitably go beyond the former in a number of historically specific ways.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:17467518
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