An Egalitarian Understanding of Qiwamah and Wilayah

Picture: Flickr/mhobl ~ Take me home, Mama

Gender and Equality in Muslim Family Law offers a groundbreaking analysis of family law, based on fieldwork in family courts, and illuminated by insights from distinguished clerics and scholars of Islam from Morocco, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan and Indonesia, as well as by the experience of human rights and women’s rights activists.

It explores how male authority is sustained through law and court practice in different contexts, the consequences for women and the family, and the demands made by Muslim women’s groups. The book argues for women’s full equality before the law by re-examining the jurisprudential and theological arguments for male guardianship (qiwama, wilaya) in Islamic legal tradition.

Using contemporary examples from various contexts, from Morocco to Malaysia, this volume presents an informative and vital analysis of these societies and gender relations within them. It unpicks the complex and often contradictory attitudes towards Muslim family law, and the ways in which justice and ethics are conceived in the Islamic tradition.

The original report was first published by the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. Read the table of contents and introduction.

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