Gender Equality In Islam

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During the time of Prophet Muhammad, the Muslim community followed his guidance and the rules he laid down for them through his divine inspiration. However, after his death in 632 CE, the ummah lost access to their “lawgiver” (Lombardi, 2013, pp. 617). Consequently, in several centuries ahead, the community debated about the legal authority and the schism amongst it. Through 10th and 12th century CE, the interpretation of sharia was the preserve of professional scholar-jurists (fuqaha). Islam was interpreted through a complex process of logical reasoning, cognizant by precedent and utility, by the fuqaha of both Sunni and Shia sects. The schools of thought (madhabs) were consolidated and entrenched by the end of 12th century throughout the…show more content…
In this paper, I will discuss the interplay between reason and revelation in the process of discovering and applying the Divine Law to the changing conditions of modern society, focusing specifically on the Islamic legal theory and social-political reality and practice with regards to gender equality in Islam. I will show the impact of the maqasid cum maṣlaḥa approach to Islamic family law pertaining to women in Muslim contemporary societies, drawing on legal theory, the nature of fiqh, and the current aspirations to implement Sharia by reformers, Muslim states, societies and local…show more content…
Sharia means the way or path and is revealed or is “canonical law” with the Quran being the primary source. The other source constitutes of the Sunna, the sayings and deeds of Prophet Muhammad collected in the vast Hadith writings. Hence, sharia is codified collection of divine laws that encompass the principles that direct believers towards justice and ethical conduct in life. The secondary sources of sharia include the principles of ijma (consensus by which the ulama reach a workable decision) and qiyas (analogy which is utilized in order to set a precedent). Additionally, non-textual sources of law such as maslaha (public interest or welfare), istidlal (inference), and maqasid al sharia (aims of the law) that involve the protection of life, religion, property, and others can be included in the process. (Johnston, 2007, pp.159) On the other hand, Fiqh is the human attempt to understand the Sharia, taking the form of positive laws, legal rulings, and jurisprudence (the law of jurists) that is fallible and changeable. The science of interpretation by jurists is known as usul al-fiqh, (roots of jurisprudence). Jurists use the hermeneutic tool of ijtihad (endeavour or self-exertion), a method by which rulings are made on new issues in the light of revelation (Johnston, 2007, pp.186). Perplexity between the distinction of legal imperatives of Islam, sharia, and

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