Illiteracy was such a certain fate for women that my grandmother would not believe that women’s education was a serious state undertaking. For years she kept waking my sister and me at dawn to get us ready for school. We would explain that school started exactly three hours after her first dawn prayer, and that we needed only five minutes to get there. But she would mumble, while handing us our morning tea: “You better get yourself there and stare at the wonderful gate of that school for hours. Only God knows how long it is going to last.” She had an obsessive dream: to see us read the Quran and master mathematics. “I want you to read every word of that Quran and I want you to answer my questions when I demand an explanation of a verse. That is how the qadis [Muslim judges] get all their power. But knowing the Quran is not enough to make a woman happy. She has to learn how to do sums. The winners are the ones who master mathematics.” The political dimension of education was evident to our grandmother’s generation. Fatima Mernissi
· #Fatima Mernissi #Islam #Islam and women #Islamic feminism #education #feminism #muslim #muslim women #religion #quote #Qur'an #quotes
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