Seminar | “The majority of the dwellers of hell-fire are women”; Interpretations of a famous Prophetic hadith

You are invited to participate at the following events organized by the Haifa Center for German and European Studies. 

Date: Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Time: 14:30 – 16:00

Location: Library Auditorium [Room 146], Library Building

Ulrike Mitter did her MA in Islamic Sciences at the University of Hamburg (on Christians in Muslim Spain) and her PhD at Nijmegen University (on the origins of Islamic law). She is lecturing regularly at the University of Hamburg in the area of Islamic Studies. Since 2002 she is working as a DAAD lecturer for German as a Foreign Language and has been the head of the DAAD Information Centers in Baku and Damascus.

The lecture focuses on an interesting and notorious Prophetic saying (hadith) which states that women are the majority in hell. Starting with the historic context, the lecture will raise the question of the origin of the hadith. Can we tell when the hadith came into being and who spread the word? In order to try an answer to these questions, a method is used which combines the analysis of the hadith text and the transmitter chains. After that, the effects and the interpretations of this provoking text in the modern world are addressed – focusing on discussions on the internet and in university classrooms in Europe and especially Germany. It comes as no surprise that women, in contrast to men, are not enthusiastic about this statement. The hadith tells us a lot about the (legal) situation of Muslim women and the relation between men and women in the early Islamic period and in modern times.


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