Men in Charge?: Rethinking Authority in Muslim Legal Tradition

Men in Charge?: Rethinking Authority in Muslim Legal Tradition

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Both Muslims and non-Muslims see women in most Muslim countries as suffering from social, economic, and political discrimination, treated by law and society as second-class citizens subject to male authority. This discrimination is attributed to Islam and Islamic law, and since the late 19th century there has been a mass of literature tackling this issue.

Recently, exciting new feminist research has been challenging gender discrimination and male authority from within Islamic legal tradition: this book presents some important results from that research. The contributors all engage critically with two central juristic concepts; rooted in the Qur’an, they lie at the basis of this discrimination. One refers to a husband’s authority over his wife, his financial responsibility toward her, and his superior status and rights. The other is male family members’ right and duty of guardianship over female members (e.g., fathers over daughters when entering into marriage contracts) and the privileging of fathers over mothers in guardianship rights over their children.

The contributors are scholars from different disciplines and backgrounds, brought together by Musawah (Arabic for "equality"), a global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781780747163
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Publication date: 03/17/2015
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Ziba Mir-Hosseini is a legal anthropologist. A professorial research associate at the Centre for Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, SOAS, University of London, she is founding member of Musawah: Global Movement for Equality in Muslim Family Laws. She lives in London.
Mulki Al-Sharmani is a research fellow at the Academy of Finland, a lecturer at the University of Helsinki, and a research coordinator of the Musawah knowledge-building initiative to rethink the notion of male authority in Muslim family laws. She lives in Helsinki.
Jana Rumminger lives in Singapore and works with Musawah, the global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family. Her focus is on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Table of Contents

Foreword Zainah Anwar vii

Acknowledgements xi

Note on Translation and Transliteration xiii

Introduction Ziba Mir-Hosseini Mulki Al-Sharmani Jana Rumminger 1

Muslim Legal Tradition and the Challenge of Gender Equality Ziba Mir-Hosseini 13

The Interpretive Legacy of Qiwamah as an Exegetical Construct Omaima Abou-Bakr 44

An Egalitarian Reading of the Concepts of Khilafah, Wilayah and Qiwamah Asma Lamrabet 65

Producing Gender-Egalitarian Islamic Law: A Case Study of Guardianship (Wilayah) in Prophetic Practice Ayesha S. Chaudhry 88

Islamic Law, Sufism and Gender: Rethinking the Terms of the Debate Sádiyya Shaikh 106

Qiwamah and Wilayah as Legal Postulates in Muslim Family Laws Lynn Welchman 132

Islamic Law Meets Human Rights: Reformulating Qiwamah and Wilayah for Personal Status Law Reform Advocacy in Egypt Marwa Sharafeldin 163

'Men are the Protectors and Maintainers of Women…': Three Fatwas on Spousal Roles and Rights Lena Larsen 197

Understanding Qiwamah and Wilayah through Life Stories Mulki Al-Sharmani Jana Rumminger 219

The Ethics of Tawhid over the Ethics of Qiwamah Amina Wadud 256

About the Contributors 275

Index 280

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