n Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg - Unveiling the Mind. The Legal Position of Women in Islam - A South African Context, Najma Moosa : book review

Volume 2013, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0257-7747
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2207



The basic thesis of Moosa's intriguing monograph entails the belief that equality is an ideal anchored in the primary sources of Islam (see 24-26 and 101-106). However, Islamic law historically developed in a contrary direction through interpretation by an elite group of jurists in the preservation of male interests (see 8-10, 138 and 164-166; "The divine lies buried underneath layers of interpretative classical jurisprudence" (168)). The author does not consider the door of reform and development to be closed (see especially 136-139 on Ramadan (2009)) and, in any event, "[i]t is to the broader ethical and egalitarian message and spirit implicit in norms that we must now return in order for women to have access to a more egalitarian Islamic law" (124) ( Ramadan 72: "The point is to be faithful to the higher, universal objectives of scriptural sources and no longer only to the wording of a specific ruling").

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