The crisis of modernity in Islamic societies, generally, and of Muslim women's rights, specifically, has led some individuals to wonder whether Islam has become outdated. After all, the Qur'an was revealed over fourteen hundred years ago to an illiterate man in the Arabian peninsula. How relevant could that revelation be today in a highly technological global village at the dawn of the twenty-first century?
This article addresses this issue by starting from the premise that the Qur'an was revealed for all people, for all times and for all places. Consequently, it is as relevant today to the United States and Indonesia as it was relevant to the Arabian tribes of the past. The article will argue that not only is the Qur'an not outdated, but in fact it is extremely well-suited to the needs of the twenty-first century. In our new global village, human beings can achieve a better approximation of basic Qur'anic principles than at any other time in prior history.
Azizah Y. al-Hibri, Qur'anic Foundations of the Rights of Muslim Women in the Twenty-First Century, in Women in Indonesian Society: Access, Empowerment and Opportunity (M. Atho Mudzhar, Sajida S. Alvi, Saparinah Sadli, & M. Quraish Shihab, eds., Sunan Kalijaga Press 1997).