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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Women's agency in Muslim marriage: 'fatwas' from Timbuktu
Author:Mathee, Mohamed ShaidISNI
Periodical:Journal for Islamic studies (ISSN 0257-7062)
Geographic term:Mali
gender relations
married women
Abstract:Can Islamic legal literature tell us stories about ordinary Muslim women and men, and how they experience Islamic law? Works on Islamic legal theory (usul al-fiqh) and manuals on Islamic substantive law (fiqh) have been the focus of the modern study of Islamic law, but they tell us almost nothing about ordinary men and women. However, fatwas, another genre of Islamic legal literature, show how ordinary Muslim individuals relate to Islamic law and that Muslim women clearly have their own ideas of sexual rights and obligations, marriage and divorce. A fatwa consists of a petition or question by a lay person addressed to a mufti and the mufti's answer. Fatwas show that women had knowledge of Islamic law and often acted independently in the light of this knowledge. This article demonstrates this agency in a number of fatwas issued in Timbuktu and the surrounding area (Mali) during the colonial era (1896-1960). Notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]