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Politics of Non-Motherhood in Shi’a Islam

The focus and interest in this article are to investigate representations, moral and theological contemporary imagery of non-motherhood in Shi’a Islam by looking into the case of Lady Fatemeh-Masoumeh of Qom as a highly venerated Shi’i figure.

Religion can be a source of both pressure and empowerment for mothers. It is sometimes speculated that Muslims have more negative attitudes toward childlessness, as Islam values and encourages procreation. Islam also has associated Muslim women’s social position with motherhood. Motherhood is frequently mentioned in connection to birth-giving, breastfeeding, and caring for the children in the Qur’an and Islamic fiqh. In canonical texts, non-motherhood is mostly represented as a struggle for families in general, and for women in particular. In Islamic history, however, there were prominent female figures who were childless/childfree. My focus and interest in this article are to investigate representations, moral and theological contemporary imagery of non-motherhood in Shi’a Islam by looking into the case of Lady Fatemeh-Masoumeh of Qom as a highly venerated Shi’i figure. I first introduce Lady Masoumeh, her life story and the significance of her narrative in Shi’a Islam. I then focus on her story as a non-mother and its representations in contemporary Shi’i cultural imaginary.

Bibliographic Information

Title: Politics of Non-Motherhood in Shi’a Islam: Imagery and Narratives around Lady Fatemeh-Masoumeh of Qom

Author(s): Ladan Rahbari

Published in: Turkish Journal of Shiite Studies, Volume: 2 Issue: 2.

 Language: English

Length: 15 Pages

Politics of Non-Motherhood in Shi’a Islam

About Ali Teymoori

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