This paper focuses on the activism and feminism of the Egyptian Islamist, Zaynab al-GhazzÄlÄ« al-JubaylÄ« (1918 to 2009) in order to examine how she has thought about Muslim women’s roles in both the political and Islamist struggles of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The existing literature while attesting to Zaynab al-GhazzÄlÄ«’s eminent position in both contemporary Islamic circles and feminist discourses, have failed to show how her feminist activities intersect with that of the Muslim brotherhood. As against the secular gender and feminist postulations of Muslim women like Fatima Mernissi, Ahmed Leila, Assia Djebar and Nawal Sadawi, this paper examines how Zaynab’s feminist activism and the organization of the Muslim Brotherhood intersect in their Da‘wah approaches and contributions to the revivalism of ‘authentic” Islamic feminism in contemporary society. This paper will ground itself upon Zaynab’s autobiographical work, AyyÄm min â•“ayÄtÄ« to show how Zaynab and her sisters, using the Muslim brotherhood’s struggles, were able to employ the Islamist female agency even under the unfavourable brutal regime of the then Egyptian President, JamÄl ‘Abd al-NÄsir (1375 to 1390/1956 to 1970).
Key words: Zaynab al- GhazzÄlÄ«, authentic islamic feminism, Egypt, Muslim brotherhood, female agency.
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