Feminism and the Rights of Muslim Women in Modern Legal Interpretations


The question of woman is one of the major areas of debate in most contemporary societies in Nigeria in particular and throughout the world in general. Social scientists, feminists and anthologists have tried to identify the essence of “woman” and how she differs from man if indeed, such difference exists. As a result, a variety of opinions regarding the “woman” and what determined her role in the society emerged. Furthermore the question of what is intrinsically Islamic with respect to ideas about woman and gender remains complicated by several clichés which have been confused with Islam, this has led to the belief that Islamic law is anti feminism in some or all of its forms. On the other hand, feminists’ discourses address basic issues of inequality in Islamic law and practice with the aim of attaining more equally balanced marital relationships, basic human rights and personal, civil and political rights. This paper attempts to examine a number of feminists’ issues on the above mentioned areas. It also shed light on the treatment of women by the Islamic legal system and in modern Muslim legal interpretations. Here a return to history is required looking at religious texts and high documents in a more critical and objective manner. The study finds out that Muslim women are subjugated to various forms of denials of rights because Islam has been abandoned in practice and misrepresented by some scholars. The study recommends that Muslim scholars both male and female should play the vital role of massive enlightenment campaigns to educate the people on the Shari’ah (Islamic law), its positive attitude towards gender equality and the right of all human beings.

Keywords: Feminism, Gender Equality, Legal Interpretation, Muslim Women

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 36-60 (Download PDF)

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