If justice is an intrinsic value in Islam, why have women been treated as second-class citizens in Islamic legal tradition?
Today, the idea of gender equality, inherent to contemporary conceptions of justice, presents a challenge to established, patriarchal interpretations of Shari‘a. In thought-provoking discussions with six influential Muslim intellectuals – Abdullahi An-Na’im, Amina Wadud, Asma Lamrabet, Khaled Abou El Fadl, Mohsen Kadivar and Sedigheh Vasmaghi – Ziba Mir-Hosseini explores how egalitarian gender laws might be constructed from within the Islamic legal framework.
Ziba Mir-Hosseini is Professorial Research Associate at the Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Law, SOAS, University of London. A legal anthropologist, specialising in Islamic law, gender and development, she is a founding member of Musawah Global Movement for Equality and Justice in the Muslim Family. Her previous publications include Islam and Gender: The Religious Debate in Contemporary Islam and Men in Charge? Rethinking Authority in Muslim Legal Tradition.
‘Makes leading Muslim reformists’ works and arguments about gender and women’s rights accessible to a wider readership… Besides being an obvious choice for a textbook in Islam and Gender courses, Mir-Hosseini’s latest work will resonate with any readers seeking to reconcile notions like gender equality and women’s rights with outdated, patriarchal interpretations of Islam.’
– The New Arab
‘Ziba Mir-Hosseini offers us an insightful and illuminating meditation on the struggle for justice for women in Islam in recent decades. Essential reading on the subject, her book will surely become a classic.’
– Leila Ahmed, Victor S. Thomas Research Professor of Divinity, Harvard University
‘Among today’s most innovative and influential Islamic thinkers, Ziba Mir-Hosseini has worked for decades to promote gender equality in Muslim family law. The fascinating and engaging dialogues in this volume…reflect her twin commitments to conceptual precision and real-world transformation.’
– Kecia Ali, Professor of Religion, Boston University
‘Long one of our age’s most gifted scholars on Islam, gender, and equality, Ziba Mir-Hosseini has written a new book that takes readers through a conversational journey about gender equality with six leading Muslim intellectuals. Both deeply personal and scholarly, the journey’s narratives offer state-of-the-field commentaries on not just gender equality but Shari‘a law and Muslim ethics in our late-modern age. The result is one of the most important and enjoyable books on Islam and gender that I have ever read.’
– Robert W. Hefner, Professor of Anthropology and Global Affairs, Boston University
‘At once personal and scholarly, diverse yet focused on particular issues, presenting both spiritual and intellectual journeys, this work represents an original way of broaching the ever-elusive subject of gender in Islam.’
– Omaima Abou-Bakr, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Cairo University