The Breadwinner

by

Deborah Ellis

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Breadwinner can help.
In Islam, sharia is a body of teachings and Quran-based guidance that helps Muslims live in accordance with God’s will. While Sharia is commonly mistaken for a kind of law in itself, fiqh is the body of law that are based on those religious tenets of Islam. Such law is based upon guidance found in the Quran (Islam’s holy book) and the Sunnah (a collection of sayings from the Prophet Muhammad) that scholars then interpret into laws about individuals’ appearance. In the novel, under the Taliban’s strict interpretation, this includes the mandate that men must grow beards and women must wear burqas, as well as laws forbidding women to work, receive education, or leave the house without a male family member as an escort—but it’s crucial to note these laws are fallible human interpretations of what is otherwise considered the divine, philosophical teachings of scripture.
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