The model of marriage constructed in classical Islamic jurisprudence rests on patriarchal ethics that privilege men. This worldview persists in gender norms and family laws in many Muslim contexts, despite reforms introduced over the past few decades.
In this volume, a diverse group of scholars explore how egalitarian marital relations can be supported from within Islamic tradition. Brought together by the Musawah movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family, they examine ethics and laws related to marriage and gender relations from the perspective of the Qur’an, Sunna, Muslim legal tradition, historical practices and contemporary law reform processes. Collectively they conceptualize how Muslim marriages can be grounded in equality, mutual well-being and the core Qur’anic principles of ‘adl (justice) and ihsan (goodness and beauty).
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About the Author
Mulki Al-Sharmani is Academy of Finland research fellow and lecturer, Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki, and research coordinator of the Musawah knowledge-building initiative to rethink the notion of male authority in Muslim family laws. Her research interests include Muslim family laws, Islamic feminism, gender, migration and transnationalism. She is the editor of Feminist Activism: Women’s Rights and Legal Reform (ZED Books, forthcoming 2014), and her Egyptian Muslim Family Laws: Legal Reforms and Gender Justice is under consideration for publication.
Jana Rumminger currently lives in Singapore and works with Musawah, the global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family. Her focus is on issues related to reform of Muslim family laws and implementation of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). After graduating from Northeastern University School of Law, Jana spent a year as a Luce Scholar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where she worked on advocacy and law reform at a local NGO, Women’s Aid Organization. She then served as programme officer with International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific, an international NGO that works for the realization of women’s human rights through the lens of CEDAW and other international human rights instruments. She graduated from Princeton University in 1997 and earned an MS in Law, Policy and Society concurrently with her law degree at Northeastern.
Table of Contents
Foreword Zainah Anwar vii
Note on Translation and Transliteration xv
Introduction: Towards Marriage as a Partnership of Equals Ziba Mir-Hosseini Mulki Al-Sharmani Jana Rumminger Sarah Marsso 1
Qur'anic Ethics of Marriage Omaima Abou-Bakr Asma Lamrabet Mulki Al-Sharmani 21
Reading the Qur'an Through Women's Experiences Nur Rofiah 57
ihsan: A Mandate for Beauty and Goodness in Family Relations Amira Abou-Taleb 85
Lessons from the Prophet
Reclaiming Khadija and Muhammad's Marriage as an Islamic Paradigm: Towards a New History of the Muslim Present Shadaab Rahemtulla Sara Ababneh 121
'Your Wife Enjoys Rights Over You' or Does She? Marriage in the Hadith Yasmin Amin 145
Qira'a Mubadala: Reciprocal Reading of Hadith on Marital Relationships Faqihuddin Abdul Kodir 181
Islamic Legal Theory and Ethics
Rethinking Muslim Marriage Rulings Through Structural Ijtibad Mohsen Kadivar 213
Reform of Usul al-Fiqh and Marriage: A Spiritually Integrative Approach Nevin Reda 232
Ethics and Gender Equality in Islam: A Constructivist Approach Mariam Al-Attar 272
Law and Practice
Historicrzing Muslim Marriage Practices in Pre-Modern Islamic Egypt Hoda El Saadi 299
Muslim Family Laws: Trajectories of Reform Lynn Welchman Zahia Jouirou Marwa Sharafeldin 321
Justice, Refinement and Beauty: Reflections on Marriage and Spirituality Sa'diyya Shaikh 363
About the Contributors 377