Ijtihad, Reform and Women’s Rights

Ijtihad, Reform and Women’s Rights

The Shariah is not a rigid, monolithic, immutable text. The Islamic legal history has left behind a profound juristic legacy of legal plurality and intellectual engagement. FI proposes that Muslims and non-Muslims alike discover gender equality within the Islamic faith by returning to the sources of Islamic law. The beauty of the Islamic legal tradition is that it has offered us tools such as ijtihad (independent thinking), ijma (consensus) and takhayyur (selecting the best of different schools of thought) amongst others to extract a just concept of gender from Islamic law in the spirit of ‘adalah (Islamic justice). If FI with the support of other individuals and organisations solicit the participation from the community to re-engage with Islamic law, then we create a possibility of a gender-neutral Islam. There is no need to refer to western-inspired Conventions in order to discover women’s rights in Islam. Iqra! Read! was Allah’s first command to the Prophet. The Quran was sent as a message to be understood. The gender-neutral verses are in there. It just needs to be understood.

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