Women in Islam
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Women in Islam are guided by primary Islamic sources of personal law, namely the Quran and hadiths, as well as secondary sources such as ijma, qiyas, ijtihad in form such as fatwas; the secondary sources vary with various sects of Islam and schools of jurisprudence (madhhab).12 In certain regions, in addition to religious guidelines, pre-Islamic cultural traditions play a role.3 Islamic laws and cultural customs impact various stages of a Muslim women's life, including her education, employment opportunities, rights to inheritance, female circumcision, dress, age of marriage, freedom to consent to marriage, marriage contract, mahr, permissibility of birth control, divorce, sex outside or before marriage, her ability to receive justice in case of sex crimes, property rights independent of her husband, and when salat (religious prayers) are mandatory for her.456 Polygyny is allowed to men under Islam, but not widespread; in some Islamic countries, such as Iran, a woman's husband may enter into temporary marriages in addition to permanent marriage.78 Islam forbids Muslim women from marrying a non-Muslim.9 There is debate and controversy on gender roles according to Islam.310
Sharia (Islamic law) provides for complementarianism,11 differences between women's and men's roles, rights, and obligations. Being a Muslim is more than a religious identity; Islam outlines and structures ways in which a Muslim woman lives her life on a day-to-day basis.12 Islam does not mandate Muslim women to be housewives;13 but needs her husband’s permission to leave house and take up employment.1415 In majority Muslim countries women exercise varying degrees of their religious rights with regards to marriage, divorce, legal status, dress code, and education based on different interpretations. Scholars and other commentators vary as to whether they are just and whether they are a correct interpretation of religious imperatives.
- 1 Sources of influence
- 2 Gender roles
- 3 Female religious education
- 4 Female employment
- 5 Legal matters
- 6 Marriage
- 7 Movement and travel
- 8 Dress code
- 9 Women in religious life
- 10 Women and politics
- 11 Comparison with other religions
- 12 Modern debate on the status of women in Islam
- 13 See also
- 14 Notes
- 15 References
- 16 Further reading
- 17 External links
There are four sources of influence under Islam for Muslim women. The first two - Quran and Hadiths - are considered primary sources, while the other two are secondary and derived sources that differ between various Muslim sects and schools of Islamic jurisprudence. The secondary sources of influence include ijma, qiyas, as well ijtihad in form such as fatwas.1216
- Primary sources
Women in Islam are provided a number of guidelines under Quran and hadiths, as understood by fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) as well as of the interpretations derived from the hadith that were agreed upon by majority of Sunni scholars as authentic beyond doubt based on hadith studies.317 Sunni Muslims are the largest Islamic sect, comprising approximately 80% of the world's Muslims. The Sunni sect includes many theological schools and doctrines interpreting the Quran. To Sunnis, the ahadith constitute an important source of legislation. Fiqh is the basis of jurisprudence, or legal practise, developed by Muslim jurists during the centuries following the creation of Islam, and largely influenced by the ahadith.18 These interpretations and their application were shaped by the historical context of the Muslim world at the time they were written.3 Many of the earliest writings were from a time of tribal warfare which could have been inappropriate for the 21st century, but most remain appropriate to how a Muslim following the sunnah should behave.
During his life Muhammad married eleven or thirteen women depending upon the differing accounts of who were his wives. In Arabian culture, marriage was generally contracted in accordance with the larger needs of the tribe and was based on the need to form alliances within the tribe and with other tribes. Virginity at the time of marriage was emphasized as a tribal honor.19 William Montgomery Watt states that all of Muhammad's marriages had the political aspect of strengthening friendly relationships and were based on the Arabian custom.20 The tradition set by Muhammad, as recorded in various hadiths are another primary source of influence for Muslim women.
- Secondary sources
The above primary sources of influence on women of Islam do not deal with every conceivable situation over time. This led to the development of jurisprudence and religious schools with Islamic scholars that referred to resources such as identifying authentic documents, internal discussions and establishing a consensus to find the correct religiously approved course of action for Muslims.12 These formed the secondary sources of influence for women. Among them are ijma, qiya, ijtihad and others depending on sect and the school of Islamic law. Included in secondary sources are fatwas, which are often widely distributed, orally or in writing by Muslim clerics, to the masses, in local language and describe behavior, roles and rights of women that conforms with religious requirements. Fatwas are theoretically non-binding, but seriously considered and has often been practiced by most Muslim believers. The secondary sources typically fall into five types of influence: the declared role or behavior for a Muslim woman is considered obligatory, commendable, permissible, despised or prohibited. There is considerable controversy, change over time, and conflict between the secondary sources.212223
The Quran dedicates numerous verses to Muslim women, their role, duties and rights, in addition to Sura 4 with 176 verses named An-Nisa (women).24 Some verses are considered as key in defining gender roles in Islam, one being verse 4.34:2526
Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.
The above verse 34 uses the word qawwamun to depict the gender role of men. This is the plural form often equated as lord, master, ruler, governor, manager. Some scholars1027 claim this verse establishes a hierarchical gender role, with man as ruler and woman as ruled. However, other scholars1027 suggest that this Arabic word may not mean ruler in its context. Rather, it means ‘bread-winner’ as an economic term. Such an interpretation of Quran then implies a division of functions, with men as bread winners, and women as child-bearers.
The other key verse on gender role is 2:228:28
And the divorced women should keep themselves in waiting for three courses; and it is not lawful for them that they should conceal what Allah has created in their wombs, if they believe in Allah and the last day; and their husbands have a better right to take them back in the meanwhile if they wish for reconciliation; and they have rights similar to those against them in a just manner, and the men are a degree above them, and Allah is Mighty, Wise.
This verse not only explains the divorce rights of women in Islam, it sets out iddah to prevent illegal custody of divorcing husband's child by a woman, specifies that each gender has divorce rights, and that Muslim men are a degree above Muslim women.293031
Islam differentiates the gender role of women who believe in Islam, and women who do not believe in Islam. The right to own slave women, seized during military campaigns and jihad against non-believing pagans and infidels from Southern Europe to Africa to India to Central Asia, was considered a natural right of a Muslim.3233 Slave women could be sold without their consent, expected to provide sexual concubinage, required permission from their owner to marry, and children born to them were automatically considered Muslim under Islamic law if the father was a Muslim.343536
How splendid were the women of the ansar; shame did not prevent them from becoming learned in the faith.
While it was not common for women to enroll as students in formal religious schools, it was common for women to attend informal lectures and study sessions at mosques, madrasat and other public places. For example, the attendance of women at the Fatimid Caliphate's "sessions of wisdom" (majālis al-ḥikma) was noted by various historians including Ibn al-Tuwayr, al-Muṣabbiḥī and Imam.3838
Historically, some Muslim women played an important role in the foundation of many religious educational institutions, such as Fatima al-Fihri's founding of the University of al-Karaouine in 859 CE.39 According to the Sunni scholar Ibn 'Asakir in the 12th century, there were various opportunities for female education in what is known as the medieval Islamic world. He writes that women could study, earn ijazahs (religious degrees), and qualify as ulama and Islamic teachers.40 Similarly, al-Sakhawi devotes an entire volume of his 12-volume biographical dictionary Daw al-Lami to female religious scholars, giving information on 1,075 of them, between 700 and 1800 CE.41
- Modern era
In a 2013 statement, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation noted that many Islamic member nations restrict education opportunities for girls.42 UNICEF notes that out of 24 nations with less than 60% female primary enrolment rates, 17 were Islamic nations; more than half the adult population is illiterate in several Islamic countries, and the proportion reaches 70% among Muslim women.43 Other scholars4445 claim Islamic nations have the world's highest gender gap in education. The 2012 World Economic Forum annual gender gap study finds the 17 out of 18 worst performing nations, out of a total of 135 nations, are the following members of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation: Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, (Nepal46), Turkey, Oman, Egypt, Iran, Mali, Morocco, Côte d'Ivoire, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Chad, Pakistan and Yemen.47
Some scholars 4849 refer to Khadijah - prophet Muhammad's first wife - who was a merchant before and after converting to Islam, and to verse 28:23 in Quran to justify Muslim women may undertake employment outside their homes.
And when he came to the water of Madyan, he found on it a group of men watering, and he found besides them two women keeping back (their flocks). He said: What is the matter with you? They said: We cannot water until the shepherds take away (their sheep) from the water, and our father is a very old man.
During medieval times, the labor force in Spanish Caliphate included women in diverse occupations and economic activities such as farming, construction workers, textile workers, managing slave girls, collecting taxes from prostitutes, as well as presidents of guilds, creditors, religious scholars.50
In the 12th century, Ibn Rushd, claimed that women were equal to men in all respects and possessed equal capacities to shine, citing examples of female warriors among the Arabs, Greeks and Africans to support his case.51 In the early history of Islam, examples of notable female Muslims who fought during the Muslim conquests and Fitna (civil wars) as soldiers or generals included Nusaybah bint Ka'ab52 a.k.a. Umm Amarah, Aisha,53 Kahula and Wafeira.54
Medieval bimarestan or hospitals included female staff as female nurses. Muslim hospitals were also the first to employ female physicians, such as Banu Zuhr family who served the Almohad caliph ruler Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur in the 12th century.55 This was necessary due to the segregation of male and female patients in Islamic hospitals. Later in the 15th century, female surgeons were employed at Şerafeddin Sabuncuoğlu's Cerrahiyyetu'l-Haniyye (Imperial Surgery).56
- Modern era
Patterns of women's employment vary throughout the Muslim world: as of 2005, 16% of Pakistani women were "economically active" (either employed, or unemployed but available to furnish labor), whereas 52% of Indonesian women were.57 According to 2012 World Economic Forum report,58 and other recent reports,59 Islamic nations in the Middle East and North Africa region are improving in creating economic and employment opportunities for its women; however, compared to every other region in the world, the Middle East and North African region ranks lowest on economic participation, employment opportunity and political empowerment of women. Ten countries with the lowest women labour force participation in the world - Jordan, Oman, Morocco, Iran, Turkey, Algeria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Syria - are Islamic countries, as are the four countries that have no women parliamentarian.58
Women are allowed to work in Islam, subject to certain conditions, such as if a woman is in financial need and her employment does not cause her to neglect her important role as a mother and wife.4860 It has been claimed that it is the responsibility of the Muslim community to organize work for women, so that she can do so in a Muslim cultural atmosphere, where her rights (as set out in the Quran) are respected.48 Islamic law however, permits women to work in Islamic conditions,48 such as the work not requiring the woman to violate Islamic law (e.g., serving alcohol), and that she maintain her modesty while she performs any work outside her home.
In some cases, when women have the right to work and are educated, women's job opportunities may in practice be unequal to those of men. In Egypt for example, women have limited opportunities to work in the private sector because women are still expected to put their role in the family first, which causes men to be seen as more reliable in the long term.61
Most Muslim majority countries, and some Muslim minority countries, follow a mixed legal system.62 The first part of legal system includes a constitution, parliamentary laws and state courts, the second part of legal system includes sharia-based religious laws and religious courts. This has led to disagreements on various issues such as the status of women's testimony in Islam and permissibility of child marriage. Those countries that use Sharia for legal matters involving women, adopt it mostly for personal law, but not criminal law; however, a few Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen apply the entire sharia code in legal matters for Muslim women.63
Some local customs such as diyya or blood money, jirga, vani, and honor killing remain an integral part of customary legal process for Muslim women, in parts of Islamic regions. By implementation this also discriminates against women. Diyya existed in Arabia since pre-Islamic times.6465 While the practice of diyya was affirmed by Muhammed,65 Islam does not prescribe any specific amount for diyya nor does it require discrimination between men and women.66 The Quran has left open to debate, its quantity, nature, and other related affairs to be defined by social custom and tradition.6667 However in practice, the killing of a woman will generally invoke a lesser diyya than the killing of a man. Commentators on the status of women in Islam have often focused on disparities in diyyat, the fines paid by killers to victims' next of kin after either intentional or unintentional homicide,66 between men and women.
Other than applicable laws to Muslim women, there is variation in the process of testimony and acceptable forms of evidence in legal matters. Some Islamic jurists have held that certain types of testimony by women may not be accepted. In other cases, the testimony of two women can equal that of one man (although the Quran says two women and two male are needed but if a male cannot find another male he may carry this testimony out himself).68 Reasons at the time the verse was revealed have been put forward including: women's temperament, women's lack of interest in legal matters,69 and also the need to spare women from the "burden of testifying".70 In other areas, women's testimony may be accepted on an equal basis with men's.7172 The verse itself however relates to finances only.73
Bernard Lewis notes that classical Islamic civilization granted free Muslim women relatively more property rights than women in the West, even as it sanctified three basic inequalities between master and slave, man and woman, believer and unbeliever.74 While the world modernised, women's rights in many Muslim dominated countries have remained comparatively restricted.
Women's property rights in the Quran are based around the marriage contract. A woman, according to Islamic tradition, does not have to give her pre-marriage possessions to her husband and receives a mahr (dower) which she owns.75 Furthermore, any earnings that a woman receives through employment or business, after marriage, is hers to keep and need not contribute towards family expenses. This is because, once the marriage is consummated, in exchange for ‘‘tamkin’’ (sexual submission), a woman is entitled to ‘‘nafaqa’’ - that is, the financial responsibility for reasonable housing, food and other household expenses for the family, including the spouse, falls entirely on the husband.1415 In traditional Islamic law, a woman is also not responsible for the upkeep of the home and may demand payment for any work she does in the domestic sphere.76
Women’s inheritance rights to her father’s property are unequal to her male siblings, and varies based on number of sisters, step sisters, step brothers, if mother is surviving, and other claimants. The rules of inheritance are specified by a number of verses, including Quran’s Surah Baqarah, chapter 2 verse 180, chapter 2 verse 240; Surah Nisa, chapter 4 verse 7–11, chapter 4 verse 19, chapter 4 verse 33; and Surah Maidah, chapter 5 verse 106–108. Three verses in the Quran describe the share of close relatives, Surah Nisah chapter 4 verses 11, 12 and 176. The religious inheritance laws for women in Islam are different than inheritance laws for non-Muslim women under modern common laws in Europe, Americas, Australia, Asia and Africa.
Sexual intercourse between a Muslim woman and any man who she is not married to, is called zina, a religious crime in Islam.7778 This includes extramarital sex, premarital sex and rape. It is in the list of hadd crimes, that is a crime against God: murder of a Muslim, theft of a Muslim's property, zina, consumption of alcohol or other intoxicants, and apostasy from Islam.7980 The punishment for unlawful sex is fixed for a woman in Islam, which is flogging with 100 lashes in public, or stoning to death.81 Accusing anyone of sex crime or rape, without proper witnesses, is also a hadd crime.82
The sex crime, zina, cannot be alleged by any woman or man, without four Muslim male eyewitnesses to the crime, or without confession in court by the man who committed the sex crime'.777883 Scholars778485 claim this sharia requirement of four eyewitnesses severely limits a woman's ability to press rape charges, a crime often committed without eyewitnesses.
Sex without consent against non-Muslim slave women is not considered a religious sex crime, zina, for Muslim men.86 This principle of religious crime only applies for unlawful sex between free Muslim men and free Muslim women.
While a sunnah suggests a woman should not be punished for having been coerced into having sex,87 it is the burden of the victim to establish coercion with eyewitnesses. In case a man confesses to zina, eyewitnesses are not required.88 However, this confession may be withdrawn, which then requires that four male Muslim eyewitnesses be provided. Failure to provide evidence is treated as a crime of false accusation, punishable with flogging.89 Currently, it is common for a Muslim woman who raises claims of rape to be not only denied justice, but to be charged as a criminal herself for committing fornication or adultery.90919293
Several Islamic countries allow rapists to avoid criminal prosecution if they marry their victim. For example, Morocco’s Article 475 of Penal Code, allows a rapist to escape criminal prosecution if he marries his victim. In 2012, a Moroccan 16-year-old girl committed suicide by swallowing rat poison, after having been forced to marry her rapist, by her family and the government prosecutor, and having endured abuse by the rapist after they married.94 Morocco’s parliament proposed to revise its Article 475 in 2013. Other Islamic nations with similar laws that protect the rapist by marrying his victim, include Lebanon (Article 514 of its code), Algeria, Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and others.95969798 There is a disagreement whether this practice is sanctioned by Islam or part of local custom.99100
In Qur'an, surah 2:182 equates two women as substitute for one man, in matters requiring witnesses.101
O ye who believe! When ye deal with each other, in transactions involving future obligations in a fixed period of time, reduce them to writing. Let a scribe write down faithfully as between the parties: let not the scribe refuse to write: as Allah has taught him, so let him write. Let him who incurs the liability dictate, but let him fear His Lord Allah, and not diminish aught of what he owes. If they party liable is mentally deficient, or weak, or unable himself to dictate, let his guardian dictate faithfully, and get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her.
The sunnah in various hadiths, which record the teachings and actions of Muhammad, are more explicit in comparing Muslim women to Muslim men, in matters of testimony. Of these, Sahih Bukhari, considered authentic and among the most trusted binding hadiths in Islam, two hadiths record the tradition set by the Prophet and his companions:
Once Allah's Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o 'Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)." They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Apostle ?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you." The women asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?" Allah's Apostle said, "Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?" The women replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her religion."
The Prophet said, "Isn't the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?" The women said, "Yes." He said, "This is because of the deficiency of a woman's mind."
Muhammad Akbar and Mohammad Hanif Ibrahim|Mohammad Hanif102 and Ghulam Ahmed Pervez claim in their books that above mentioned Quran verse is for special circumstances of financial matters, and that this should not apply in criminal matters.
In practice, several Islamic countries presently treat a woman's testimony as half of a man's, in their Sharia courts. For example, since 1979, Pakistan courts have accepted the principle that a woman's testimony is half as reliable as a man's per Islamic guidelines, and adopted it in practice.103 Similarly, the law in many Arab countries gives a woman’s testimony half the weight of a man’s.104
Scholars105106 claim Islamic law, such as verse 4:34 of Quran, allows and encourages domestic violence against women, when a husband suspects nushuz (disobedience, disloyalty, rebellion, ill conduct) in his wife.107 Other scholars claim wife beating, for nashizah, is not consistent with modern perspectives of Quran.108 Some conservative translations suggest Muslim husbands are permitted ‘‘Idribuhunna’’ (use ’’light force’’) on their wives, and others claim permissibility to strike, hit, chastise, or beat.109110 The relationship between Islam and domestic violence is disputed by some Islamic scholars.109111
In practice, the legal doctrine of many Islamic nations, in deference to Sharia law, have refused to include, consider or prosecute cases of domestic violence, limiting legal protections available to Muslim women.112113114115 In 2010, for example, the highest court of United Arab Emirates (Federal Supreme Court) considered a lower court's ruling, and upheld a husband's right to "chastise" his wife and children with physical violence. Article 53 of the United Arab Emirates' penal code acknowledges the right of a "chastisement by a husband to his wife and the chastisement of minor children" so long as the assault does not exceed the limits prescribed by Sharia.116 In Lebanon, as many as three-quarters of all Lebanese women have suffered physical abuse at the hands of husbands or male relatives at some point in their lives.117118 In Afghanistan, over 85% of women report domestic violence;119 other nations with very high rates of domestic violence and limited legal rights include Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, Morocco, Iran, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.120 In some Islamic countries such as Turkey, where legal protections against domestic violence have been enacted, serial domestic violence by husband and other male members of her family is mostly ignored by witnesses and accepted by women without her getting legal help, according to a Government of Turkey report.121
Under Islamic law, marriage is not a status, it is a contract, that requires a woman's consent.122 "Women were given inheritance rights in a patriarchal society that had previously restricted inheritance to male relatives/ family members." Annemarie Schimmel claims, "compared to the pre-Islamic position of women, Islamic legislation meant an enormous progress; the woman has the right, at least according to the letter of the law, to administer the wealth she has brought into the family or has earned by her own work."123 Other scholars suggest Islam subsumed and expanded many cultural practices with regards to women, such as their gender role before and after marriage, continuation of bride price as mahr, and the sanction of female circumcision before she can be married, as Islam started and expanded from the Arabian peninsula.124125126
In contrast to the Western and Orient world where divorce was relatively uncommon until modern times, divorce was a more common occurrence in certain parts of the late medieval Muslim world. In the Mamluk Sultanate and Ottoman Empire, the rate of divorce was high.127128 In medieval Egypt, Al-Sakhawi recorded the marital history of 500 women, the largest sample of married women in the Middle Ages, and found that at least a third of all women in the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt and Syria married more than once, with many marrying three or more times. According to Al-Sakhawi, as many as three out of ten marriages in 15th century Cairo ended in divorce.129 In the early 20th century, some villages in western Java and the Malay peninsula had divorce rates as high as 70%.127
Marriage customs vary in Muslim dominated countries. Islamic law allows polygamy, where a Muslim man can be married to four wives at the same time, under certain conditions. Some countries allow Muslim men to enter into additional temporary marriages, beyond the four allowed marriages, such as the practice of sigheh marriages in Iran,130 and Nikah al-Mutah elsewhere in some Middle East countries.131132
In some countries, polygamy is restricted by new family codes, for example the Moudawwana in Morocco.133 Polygamy is permitted under restricted conditions,134 but it is not widespread.135 The Sharia requires that polygamous men treat all wives equally. Muslim women are not allowed to engage in polyandry, whereas men are allowed to engage in polygyny.136137
A marriage of pleasure, where a man pays a sum of money to a woman or her family in exchange for a temporary spousal relationship, is found and considered legal among Shia sect of Islam, for example in Iran after 1979. Temporary marriages are forbidden among Sunni sect of Islam.8 Among Shia, the number of temporary marriages can be unlimited, for a duration that is less than an hour to few months, recognized with an official temporary marriage certificate, and divorce is unnecessary because the temporary marriage automatically expires on the date and time specified on the certificate.138 Payment to the woman by the man is mandatory, in every temporary marriage and considered as mahr.139140 Its practitioners cite sharia law as permitting the practise. Women's rights groups have condemned it as a form of legalized prostitution.141142
Endogamy is common in Islamic countries. The observed endogamy is primarily consanguineous marriages, where the bride and the groom share a biological grandparent or other near ancestor.143144 The most common observed marriages are first cousin marriages, followed by uncle-niece and second cousin marriages. Consanguineous endogamous marriages are most common for women in Muslim communities in the Middle East, North Africa and Islamic Central Asia.145146 About 1 in 3 of all marriages in Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan are first cousin marriages; while overall consanguineous endogamous marriages exceed 65 to 80% in various Islamic populations of the Middle East, North Africa and Islamic Central Asia.144147
The age of marriage in Islam for women varies with country. Traditionally, Islam has permitted marriage of girls below the age of 10, because Sharia considers practices of Muhammad, the Prophet, as a basis for Islamic law. According to Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, the two authentic hadiths, the Prophet married Aisha, his third wife when she was 6, and consummated the marriage before she reached the age of 10.148149
Narrated 'Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).
There is a debate among Islamic scholars what the above sunnah means. Some scholars suggest that it is not the calendar age that matters, rather it is the biological age of the girl that determines when she can be married under Islamic law. According to these Islamic scholars, marriageable age in Islam is when a girl has reached sexual maturity, as determined by her nearest male guardian; this age can be, claim these Islamic scholars, less than 10 years, or 12, or another age depending on each girl. There is a strong belief among most Muslims and scholars, based on Sharia, that marrying a girl less than 15, or 12 years old is an acceptable practice for Muslims.150151 Muslim communities in Yemen,152153 Saudi Arabia,154 India,155156 Bangladesh, Pakistan,157 Indonesia,158 Egypt,159 Nigeria160 and elsewhere have insisted that it is their Islamic right to marry girls below age 15.161
In Islam, Muslim women may not marry non-Muslim men, a term that includes infidel, apostate, ex-Muslims, other monotheistic (Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian), non-theistic and polytheistic men (Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and others).165166167 Further, a Muslim woman - either by birth or after conversion - is not allowed to leave Islam to marry a non-Muslim, because leaving Islam is a religious hudud crime of apostasy punishable with death.168169170 The Quran allows Muslim men to marry women of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians), but the woman must be chaste. Many Islamic scholars explain this gender difference in marriage restrictions, where men can marry some non-Muslim women while Muslim women may never marry non-Muslim men, is that Islam considers marriage an unequal relationship, where a wife is subservient to her husband in ways similar to a slave being subservient to a master, and Islam forbids Muslim women who are superior because of their religion to place themselves in a subservient position as a wife of men with inferior religions.165171 Sharia stipulates severe punishment for non-Muslim and dhimmi men who marry and consummate their relationship with Muslim women. Hadd punishments are also stipulated for women who marry non-Muslims on their own accord.9165172
If after marriage, the husband leaves Islam or converts to another religion such as Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism or Buddhism, the marriage of the Muslim woman to him is automatically dissolved. This principle was established at the time of the Prophet Ramla bint Abi Sufyan whose husband converted to Christianity, whose marriage was declared void by the Prophet because of the husband's decision to leave Islam.
Islamic law and practice recognize gender disparity, in part, by assigning separate rights and obligations to a woman in married life. A woman’s space is in the private sphere of the home, and a man’s is in the public sphere.173174 Women must primarily fulfill marital and maternal responsibilities,175 whereas men are financial and administrative stewards of their families.173176 According to Sayyid Qutb, the Qur'an "gives the man the right of guardianship or superiority over the family structure in order to prevent dissension and friction between the spouses. The equity of this system lies in the fact that God both favoured the man with the necessary qualities and skills for the 'guardianship' and also charged him with the duty to provide for the structure's upkeep."177
The Quran considers the love between men and women to be a Sign of God.Quran 30:21 This said, the Quran also permits men to first admonish, then lightly tap or push and even beat her, if he suspects nushuz (disobedience, disloyalty, rebellion, ill conduct) in his wife.107Quran 4:34178
In Islam, there is no coverture, an idea central in European, American as well as in non-Islamic Asian common law, and the legal basis for the principle of marital property. An Islamic marriage is a contract between a man and his wives. A Muslim man and woman do not merge their legal identity upon marriage, and do not have rights over any shared marital property. The assets of the man before the marriage, and earned by him after the marriage, remain his during marriage and in case of a divorce.179 A divorce under Islamic law does not require redistribution of property. Rather, each spouse walks away from the marriage with his or her individual property. Divorcing Muslim women who did not work outside their home after marriage do not have a claim on the collective wealth of the couple under Islamic law, except for deferred mahr - an amount of money or property the man agrees to pay her before the woman signs the marriage contract.60180
In case of husband's death, his property is inherited partially by his wives according to a combination of sharia laws. If the man did not leave any children, his permanent wives will share a quarter of the movable property and the rest is shared by the blood relatives of the husband (for example, brother, father). If he had children from any of his wives, his wives share an eighth of the property and the rest is for his surviving children and blood relatives. The wives share as inheritance a part of movable property of her late husband, but they do not share anything from immovable property such as land, real estate, farm or such value. A woman's deferred mahr and the man's outstanding debts are paid before any inheritance is applied.181
In Islam, a Muslim woman can only have sex after her ‘‘nikah’’ - a proper marriage contract - with one Muslim man; sex is permitted to her only with her husband.7786182 The woman’s husband, may however, marry and have sex with more than one Muslim woman, as well as have sex with non-Muslim slave girls who are unmarried or married to non-Muslim men.7886183 According to Quran and Sahih Muslim, two primary sources of Sharia, Islam permits only vaginal sex.184
(...) "If he likes he may (have intercourse) being on the back or in front of her, but it should be through one opening (vagina).”
There is disagreement among Islamic scholars on proper interpretation of Islamic law on permissible sex between a husband and wife, with claims that non-vaginal sex within a marriage is disapproved but not forbidden.184185186
After sex, as well as menstruation, Islam requires women to do ghusl (major ritual washing with water, ablutions), and in some Islamic communities xoslay (prayers seeking forgiveness and purification), as sex and menstruation are considered some of the causes that makes women religiously impure (najis).187188 Some Islamic jurists suggest touching and foreplay, without any penetration, may qualify wudu (minor ritual washing) as sufficient form of religiously required ablution.189 A Muslim woman must also abstain from sex during a ritual fast, and during all times while on a pilgrimage to Mecca, as sexual act, touching of sexual parts and emission of sexual bodily fluids are considered ritually dirty.190
Sexual intercourse is not allowed to a Muslim woman during menstruation, postpartum period, during fasting and certain religious activities, disability and in iddah after divorce or widowhood. Homosexual relations and same sex marriages are forbidden to women in Islam.185 In vitro fertilization (IVF) is acceptable in Islam; but ovum donation along with sperm donation, embryo donation and child adoption are prohibited by Islam.184191192 Some debated fatwas from Shia sect of Islam, however, allow third party participation.193194
A high value is placed on female chastity (not to be confused with celibacy). To protect women from accusations of unchaste behaviour, the scripture lays down severe punishments towards those who make false allegations about a woman's chastity. However, in somewhich? societies, an accusation is rarely questioned and the woman who is accused rarely has a chance to defend herself in a fair and just manner.
There is no mention of female or male circumcision in the Quran. Although its origins are pre-Islamic, female circumcision - also known as female genital mutilation - became associated with Islam because of the high value placed on female chastity, and is found only within or near Islamic communities.195 It is praised in several hadith (sayings attributed to Muhammad) as noble, but not required, along with advice that the milder forms are kinder to women.125 A 2013 UNICEF report finds that there is a widespread belief in several countries, particularly Mali, Eritrea, Mauritania, Guinea and Egypt, that female genital mutilation is a religious requirement.6 A concerted effort is underway to end the practice of female genital mutilation. In Mauritania, where "health campaigners estimate that more than 70 percent of Mauritanian girls undergo the partial or total removal of their external genitalia for non-medical reasons", 34 Islamic scholars signed a fatwa banning the practice in January 2010. Their aim was to prevent people from citing religion as a justification for genital mutilation.196197
Islam, as the pre-Islamic Arabic culture before it, is natalist, and promotes the birth of as many children as a Muslim couple can produce. However, under certain circumstanceswhich?, it is permissible according to Islamic doctrine to limit (tahdid an-nasl) or at least control ('azl, coitus interruptus) reproduction, without suffering the fate of a penalty for the gesture. Limiting the number of children is recommended when a family lacks the resources to provide for them. In practice, abortion is banned in all the countries where Islam is the state religion, except for Tunisia.
Muslim jurists of the two major sects of Islam, Sunni and Shia, generally agree that birth control and family planning is not forbidden by Sharia.198 Some fatwas such as from Egypt claim birth control is permitted, while others such as from Saudi Arabia discourage or forbid birth control. Large families and many children are considered assets for an Islamic woman. Islamic scholars who oppose birth control cite al-An’am (Sura 6:151), al-Isra’ (Sura 17:31), al Takwir (Sura 81:8,9), and al-Mumtahana (Sura 60:12) to argue that even al-Azl (coitus interruptus) is infanticide.198 Islamic scholars who support birth control quote hadiths where al-Azl was practiced by companions of Muhammad on women who they had seized as captives of war, and with their female slaves.199 Muslim children are highly valued by Islam, and are considered gifts from God (al-Nahl, Sura 16:72).200 In practice, several Islamic nations such as Saudi Arabia forbid birth control for Muslim women, with contraception inaccessible; in some nations such as Qatar, the husband decides if his wife can use birth control.201202
Egypt's National Council for Women (NCW) has appealed to the Islamist-dominated parliament not to approve two controversial laws on the minimum age of marriage and allowing a husband to have sex with his dead wife within six hours of her death according to a report in an Egyptian newspaper.203 The appeal came in a message sent by Dr. Mervat al-Talawi, head of the NCW, to the Egyptian People's Assembly Speaker, Dr. Saad al-Katatni, addressing the woes of Egyptian women, especially after the popular uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. She was referring to two laws: one that would legalize the marriage of girls starting from the age of 14 and the other that permits a husband to have sex with his dead wife within the six hours following her death. According to Egyptian columnist Amro Abdul Samea in al-Ahram, Talawi's message included an appeal to parliament to avoid the controversial legislation that rid women of their rights of getting education and employment, under alleged religious interpretations.
In Islam, in some circumstances, a woman can initiate a divorce. If a Muslim woman wishes to divorce her husband she has two options under Sharia law: seek a tafriq, or seek a khul. A tafriq is a divorce for certain allowable reasons. This divorce is granted by a qadi, a religious judge, in cases where the qadi accepts her claims of abuse or abandonment. If a tafriq is denied by the qadi, she cannot divorce. If a tafriq is granted, the marriage is dissolved and the husband is obligated to pay her the deferred mahr in their marriage contract. The second method, by far more common in wife-initiated divorces, khul is a divorce without cause, by mutual consent. This divorce requires a husband's consent and it must be supported by consideration that passes from the wife to the husband. Often, this consideration almost always consists of the wife relinquishing her claim to the deferred mahr. In actual practice and outside of Islamic judicial theory, a woman’s right to divorce is often extremely limited compared with that of men in the Middle East.204
In contrast to limited allowable methods of divorce to a woman, Islam allows a Muslim husband may unilaterally divorce his wife, as talaq, with no requirement to show cause, nor is there any intervention by a qadi. However, upon talaq, the husband must pay the wife her deferred mahr.205 The husband is free to marry again immediately after a divorce, but the woman must observe iddah, that is wait for 3 lunar months206 before she can re-marry after divorce, to establish paternity, in case she discovers she is pregnant. In case of death of her husband, the iddah period is 4 lunar months and 10 days before she can start conjugal relations with another Muslim man.207208209
This contentious area of religious practice and tradition is being increasingly challenged by those promoting more liberal interpretations of Islam.
Although no limitation or prohibition against women's travelling alone is mentioned in the Quran, there is a debate in some Islamic sects, especially Salafis, regarding whether women may travel without a mahram (unmarriageable relative).210 Some scholars state that a woman may not travel by herself on a journey that takes longer than three days (equivalent to 48 miles in medieval Islam).211 According to the European Council for Fatwa and Research, this prohibition arose from fears for women's safety when travel was more dangerous.210 Some scholars relax this prohibition for journeys likely to be safe, such as travel with a trustworthy group of men or men and women, or travel via a modern train or plane when the woman will be met upon arrival.210
Sheikh Ayed Al-Qarni, a Saudi Islamic scholar, has said that neither the Quran nor the sunnah prohibits women from driving and that it is better for a woman to drive herself than to be driven by a stranger without a legal escort.212 He also stated, however, that he "personally will not allow [his] wife or daughters or sisters to drive."212 In most Muslim countries women are allowed to drive. However, they are forbidden to drive in Saudi Arabia per a 1990 fatwa (religious ruling);213 Saudi Arabia is currently the only Muslim country that bans women from driving.214215 John Esposito, professor of International Affairs and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, has argued that these restrictions originate from cultural customs and not Islam.216
- Cleanliness and travel restrictions
A Muslim woman may not move in a mosque, or perform salat, while she is menstruating or during postpartum period, because bodily fluids are considered ritually impure in Islam. Some Muslim scholars suggest that the woman should stay in her house, or near her house, during this state.190217218 Some Islamic jurists claim that this is an incorrect interpretation of sharia, and suggest the Islamic intent was about hygiene, not about religious ritual cleanliness.190
Islam admonishes Muslim women to dress modestly in garments that does not reveal the body silhouette and extremities to any man other than their husband, father, certain male family members, small children and male slaves free of sexual needs.190 However, Quran does not specify particulars, style or design of the clothing and other dress forms; clothing have varied widely across Islamic regions, styles have changed over the centuries, as do interpretation and regional requirements of Muslim dress codes. Generally some sort of head covering or veiling (hijab) is mandated for both Muslim women and men. In many Islamic countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia all women are required to veil in public, although the forms of veiling vary between countries; for example, as hijab, burqa, khimar to other designs. In some Muslim societies, such as Bangladesh, veils are a matter of personal choice.219
Historically, Muslim societies have used dress to distinguish social status, occupation, purity, believers from non-believers, male from female, and sometimes regional identity.190 Under Ottoman law, for example, dress of women from various religious communities within the empire was strictly regulated, with each religion allowed only specific colors, dress, shoes, and garments. In modern era, dress codes for Muslim women vary by region, and ranges from strict enforcement of mandatory dress code considered proper under Islam, to an optional personal choice that is partly based on pre-Islamic customs.
Islamic women’s dress code, and the veil in particular, has become controversial in many non-Muslim countries.220 It is viewed by many as a sign of oppression of Muslim women, a security threat, or double standards where non-Muslim women visiting Islamic countries are required to accept local dress codes while Muslim women visiting non-Islamic countries are unwilling to accept the same principle.221222223 Others, however, view attempts to ban burqa in public as a sign of disrespect, and double standards where a Christian nun may wear her religious dress but Islamic woman may not wear her religious dress.224 Controversy over discriminatory dress code for Muslim women, and for non-Muslim women or slave girls under Muslim rule, is not new under Islam; from Spanish Caliphate to West Asia to South Asia to North Africa, dress code for women in Islam has been debated for centuries.225
In Islam, there is no difference between men and women's relationship to God; they receive identical rewards and punishments for their conduct.226
According to a saying attributed to Muhammad, women are allowed to go to mosques.227 However, as Islam spread, it became unusual for women to worship in mosques because of fears of unchastity caused by interaction between sexes; this condition persisted until the late 1960s.228 Since then, women have become increasingly involved in the mosque, though men and women generally worship separately.229 (Muslims explain this by citing the need to avoid distraction during prayer prostrations that raise the buttocks while the forehead touches the ground.230) Separation between sexes ranges from men and women on opposite sides of an aisle, to men in front of women (as was the case in the time of Muhammad), to women in second-floor balconies or separate rooms accessible by a door for women only.230
In Islam's earlier history, female religious scholars were relatively common. Mohammad Akram Nadwi, a Sunni religious scholar, has compiled biographies of 8,000 female jurists, and orientalist Ignaz Goldziher earlier estimated that 15 percent of medieval hadith scholars were women.231 After the 16th century, however, female scholars became fewer,231 and today – while female activists and writers are relatively common – there has not been a significant female jurist in over 200 years.232 Opportunities for women's religious education exist, but cultural barriers often keep women from pursuing such a vocation.231
Women's right to become imams, however, is disputed by many. A fundamental role of an imam (religious leader) in a mosque is to lead the salat (congregational prayers). Generally, women are not allowed to lead mixed prayers. However, some argue that Muhammad gave permission to Ume Warqa to lead a mixed prayer at the mosque of Dar.233234
Hui women are self-aware of their relative freedom as Chinese women in contrast to the status of Arab women in countries like Saudi Arabia where Arab women are restricted and forced to wear encompassing clothing. Hui women point out these restrictions as "low status", and feel better to be Chinese than to be Arab, claiming that it is Chinese women's advanced knowledge of the Quran which enables them to have equality between men and women.235
Sufi Islam teaches the doctrine of tariqa, meaning following a spiritual path in daily living habits. To support followers of this concept, separate institutions for men (ta'ifa, hizb, rabita) and women (khanqa, rabita, derga) were created. Initiates to these groups pursued a progression of seven stages of spiritual discipline, called makamat (stations) or ahwal (spiritual states).236
There are a number of prominent female Islamic scholars. They generally focus on questioning gender-based interpretations of the Quran, the traditions of the Prophet and early Islamic history. Some notable Muslim women scholars are: Azizah al-Hibri, Amina Wadud-Muhsin, Fatima Mernissi, Riffat Hassan, Laila Ahmad, Farhat Hashmi, Aisha Abdul-Rahman, and Merryl Wyn Davies.238
Many classical Islamic scholars, such as al-Tabari, supported female leadership.240 In early Islamic history, women including Aisha, Ume Warqa, and Samra Binte Wahaib took part in political activities.233 Abdurrahman ibn `Awf consulted with women in their rooms when he was charged of choosing `Uthman or Ali as the third caliphate after the death of Umar.241 The Caliph Umar appointed Samra Bint Nuhayk Al-Asadiyya as a market inspector in Mecca and Ash-Shifa bint Abdullah as an administrator in Medina. Ash-Shifa would later on become the head of Health and Safety in Basra, Iraq.242 Other historical Muslim female leaders include Razia Sultana, who ruled the Sultanate of Delhi from 1236 to 1239,243244 and Shajarat ad-Durr, who ruled Egypt from 1250 to 1257.245
In 1988 Pakistan became the first Muslim majority state with a female Prime Minister. In the past several decades, a number of countries in which Muslims are a majority, including Indonesia,246 Pakistan,247 Bangladesh,248 Turkey,249 and Kyrgyzstan have been led by women. Nearly one-third of the Parliament of Egypt in 2002 consisted of women.250 In 2004, an Afghan woman (Massouda Jalal) ran for presidency. Females also have a significant representation in the Afghan Parliament. A number of Afghan women are also ministers, governors and business owners. Azra Jafari became the first Afghan mayor.
According to Sheikh Zoubir Bouchikhi, Imam of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston’s Southeast Mosque, nothing in Islam specifically allows or disallows voting by women.251 Until recently most Muslim nations were non-democratic, but most today allow their citizens to have some level of voting and control over their government. The disparate times at which women’s suffrage was granted in Muslim-majority countries is indicative of the varied traditions and values present within the Muslim world. Azerbaijan has had women's suffrage since 1918.
Saudi women have been allowed to vote in some elections.252253 In 2012, among all regions of the world, Arab region had the lowest percentage of women in parliament, and no women in the parliaments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.254 The Shura Council of Saudi Arabia, after January 2013 decree by Saudi King, that created reserved parliamentary seats for women, now includes female members.255
The Marxist writer Valentine Moghadam argues that the position of Muslim women is mostly influenced by the extent of urbanization, industrialization, proletarization and political ploys of the state managers rather than culture or intrinsic properties of Islam; Islam, per Moghadam, is neither more nor less patriarchal than other world religions, such as Hinduism, Christianity and Judaism.256257 William Montgomery Watt claims that Muhammad, in the historical context of his time, can be seen as a figure who improved women's rights among those who were free and Muslim.258
In contrast, for slave women who accepted Islam and women who refused to accept Islam, women’s rights were severely limiting. Slaves are mentioned in at least twenty-nine verses of the Quran.259 including references to slave women, slave concubinage, and when to free slaves. Quran and hadiths recommended the institution of slavery, using the words 'abd' (slave) and the phrase ma malakat aymanukum ("that which your right hands own") to refer to women slaves, seized as captives of war. The Qur'an recognizes the basic inequality between master and women slave, between free women and slave women, as well as their unequal rights.260261 According to Muslim theologians, it has been lawful262263 for male masters to have sexual relations with female captives and slaves without her consent; the purchase of female slaves for sex was lawful from the perspective of Islamic law, and this was a motive for the purchase of slaves throughout Islamic history.264265 Slave women did not have a right to free movement or consent, nor did they have a right to bride price or property such as a ‘‘mahr’’.266267 Sikainga claims women slavery was widespread and "female slaves in many Muslim societies were prey for members of their owners' household, their neighbors, and their guests."266
Within the Muslim community, conservatives and Islamic feminists have used Islamic doctrine as the basis for discussion of women's rights, drawing on the Quran, the hadith, and the lives of prominent women in the early period of Muslim history as evidence.268 Where conservatives have seen evidence that existing gender asymmetries are divinely ordained, feminists have seen more egalitarian ideals in early Islam.268 Still others have argued that this discourse is essentialist and ahistorical, and have urged that Islamic doctrine not be the only framework within which discussion occurs.268
Conservatives reject the assertion that different laws prescribed for men and women imply that men are more valuable than women. Ali ibn Musa Al-reza reasoned that at the time of marriage a man has to pay something to his prospective bride, and that men are responsible for both their wives' and their own expenses but women have no such responsibility.269
The nebulous revivalist movement termed Islamism is one of the most dynamic movements within Islam in the 20th and 21st centuries. The experience of women in Islamist states has been varied. Women in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan faced treatment condemned by the international community.270 Women were forced to wear the burqa in public,271 not allowed to work,272 not allowed to be educated after the age of eight,273 and faced public flogging and execution for violations of the Taliban's laws.274275 The position of women in Iran, which has been a theocracy since its 1979 revolution, is more complex. Iranian Islamists are ideologically in favour of allowing female legislators in Iran's parliament276 and 60% of university students are women.277
Liberal Muslims have urged that ijtihad, a form of critical thinking, be used to develop a more progressive form of Islam with respect to the status of women.278 In addition, Islamic feminists have advocated for women's rights, gender equality, and social justice grounded in an Islamic framework. Although rooted in Islam, pioneers of Islamic feminism have also used secular and western feminist discourses and have sought to include Islamic feminism in the larger global feminist movement. Islamic feminists seek to highlight the teachings of equality in Islam to question patriarchal interpretations of Islamic teachings.279 Others point out the incredible amount of flexibility of shariah law, which can offer greater protections for women if the political will to do is present.280281
After the September 11, 2001, attacks, international attention was focused on the condition of women in the Muslim world.282 Critics asserted that women are not treated as equal members of Muslim societies283284 and criticized Muslim societies for condoning this treatment.283 Some critics have gone so far as to make allegations of gender apartheid due to women's status.285 Phyllis Chesler has alleged that Western academics, especially feminists, have ignored the plight of Muslim women in order to be considered "politically correct".286 However, one survey has found that most Muslim women do not see themselves as oppressed.287
The Indonesian Islamic professor Nasaruddin Umar is at the forefront of a reform movement from within Islam that aims at giving women equal status. Among his works is a book The Qur'an for Women, which provides a new feminist interpretation.
Some Muslim women exposed to the growth in civil rights accessible to secular or non-Muslim women have protested to strengthen their own rights within Islamic communities. One example is Malaysia, where 60% of the population is Muslim, and where there are separate parallel legal systems for secular law and sharia law. In 2006, Marina Mahathir, the daughter of Malaysia's former Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, published an editorial in the Malaysia Star newspaper to denounce what she termed "a growing form of apartheid" for Malaysia's Muslim women:
Non-Muslim Malaysian women have benefited from more progressive laws over the years while the opposite has happened for Muslim women.
She pointed out that polygamy was illegal in Malaysia for non-Muslims but not for Muslims, and that child custody arrangements for Muslims were biased towards fathers as opposed to the shared-custody arrangements of non-Muslim parents.288 Women's groups in Malaysia began campaigning in the 1990s to have female sharia judges appointed to the sharia legal system in the country, and in 2010 two female judges were appointed.289
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- Hallaq, W. B. (1999). A History of Islamic Legal Theories: An Introduction to Sunni Usul al-Fiqh. Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521599863, pp 70-71
- Joseph Schacht, An Introduction to Islamic Law (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973), pp. 178-181
- Esmaeili, H., & Gans, J. (1999). Islamic law across cultural borders: the involvement of western nationals in Saudi murder trials, Denv. Journal Int'l Law & Pol'y, 28, 145
- Cheema, M. H., & Mustafa, A. R. (2008). From the Hudood Ordinances to the Protection of Women Act: Islamic Critiques of the Hudood Laws of Pakistan. UCLA Journal of Islamic & Near East Law, 8, 1-101
- Kamali, M. H. (1998). Punishment in Islamic law: A critique of the hudud bill of Kelantan, Malaysia; Arab Law Quarterly, 13(3), 203-234
- Juan Campo, Encyclopedia of Islam, see article on Adultery, pp 13-14, ISBN 978-0-8160-5454-1
- "Rape in Islam". Muslimaccess.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- Sunan Abu Dawud Sunan Abu Dawood, 38:4366
- Peters, R, see article on "Zinā or Zināʾ." Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Brill Online
- Jon Henley (January 3, 2002). "French 'rape victim' faces jail for adultery". The Guardian. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- Shahnaz Khan, Zina: Transnational Feminism, and the Moral Regulation of Pakistani Women, University of British Columbia Press, ISBN 978-0-7748-1285-6, pp 58-63
- Afghanistan: Surge in Women Jailed for ‘Moral Crimes’ Human Rights Watch (May 21, 2013)
- In Pakistan, Rape Victims Are the 'Criminals', SETH MYDANS, New York Times (May 17, 2002)
- Fatima-Zahra Lamrani, Rape as Loss of Honor in the Discourse of Moroccan Rape Trials, Language and Law, June 2004
- "BBC News - Morocco protest after raped Amina Filali kills herself". Bbc.co.uk. 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2013-08-17.
- Afghan woman freed from jail after agreeing to marry rapist Elizabeth Flock, The Washington Post (December 1, 2011)
- Warrick, Catherine. (2009). Law in the service of legitimacy: Gender and politics in Jordan. Farnham, Surrey, England; Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate Pub. pp. 65–68. ISBN 978-0-7546-7587-7.
- Rape and Hudood Ordinance: Perversions of Justice in the Name of Islam Mohammad Omar Farooq, Pakistan (December 2006)
- Freedom House. "Women's Rights in the Middle East and North Africa 2010".
- Ouis, P. (2009). Honourable Traditions-Honour Violence, Early Marriage and Sexual Abuse of Teenage Girls in Lebanon, and Occupied Palestinian Territories and Yemen. Int'l Journal of Child Rights, 17, 445
- Editors: Pernilla Ouis and Tove Myhrman (2007). A New Approach: Gender-Based Sexual Violence as a Violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Gender-Based Sexual Violence Against Teenage Girls in the Middle East, Sweden; ISBN 978-91-7321-256-4
- Engineer, A. (2008). The rights of women in Islam. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd.; ISBN 978-8120739338; page 73-74
- Kandiyoti, D. (Ed.). (1991). Women, Islam, and the state. Temple University Press; see page 16-17
- Kelly, S. (2010), Recent gains and new opportunities for women’s rights in the Gulf Arab states, Women’s Rights in the Middle East and North Africa: Gulf Edition; Editors: Kelly and Breslin; ISBN 978-1442203969
- Hajjar, Lisa. "Religion, state power, and domestic violence in Muslim societies: A framework for comparative analysis." Law & Social Inquiry 29.1 (2004); see pages 1-38
- Treacher, Amal. "Reading the Other Women, Feminism, and Islam." Studies in Gender and Sexuality 4.1 (2003); pages 59-71
- John C. Raines & Daniel C. Maguire (Ed), Farid Esack, What Men Owe to Women: Men's Voices from World Religions , State University of New York (2001), see pages 201-203
- Jackson, Nicky Ali, ed. Encyclopedia of domestic violence. CRC Press, 2007. (see chapter on Qur'anic perspectives on wife abuse)
- Ahmed, Ali S. V.; Jibouri, Yasin T. (2004). The Koran: Translation. Elmhurst, NY: Tahrike Tarsile Qurʼān. Print.
- Following verses of Quran and Hadiths are most cited by secondary and tertiary sources on permissibility of domestic violence under Islamic law:
- Steps recommended to Muslim husband for chastising his Muslim wifeQuran 4:34
- Aisha discusses wife beating with Allah’s messenger: Sahih al-Bukhari, 7:72:715
- The Prophet hit A’isha on chest which caused her pain: Sahih Muslim, 4:2127
- Prophet’s statement that a man should not be questioned for beating his wife: Sunan Abu Dawood, 11:2142
- Bakhtiar, Laleh. Verse in Koran on beating wife gets a new translation. New York Times (March 25, 2007)
- Fluehr-Lobban, Carolyn, and Lois Bardsley-Sirois. "Obedience (Ta'a) in Muslim Marriage: Religious Interpretation and Applied Law in Egypt." Journal of Comparative Family Studies 21.1 (1990): 39-53.
- Maghraoui, Abdeslam. "Political authority in crisis: Mohammed VI's Morocco."Middle East Report 218 (2001): 12-17.
- Critelli, Filomena M. "Women's rights= Human rights: Pakistani women against gender violence." J. Soc. & Soc. Welfare 37 (2010), pages 135-142
- Oweis, Arwa, et al. "Violence Against Women Unveiling the Suffering of Women with a Low Income in Jordan." Journal of Transcultural Nursing 20.1 (2009): 69-76.
- UAE: Spousal Abuse never a Right, Human Rights Watch (2010)
- Lebanon - IRIN, United Nations Office of Humanitarian Affairs (2009)
- Lebanon: Enact Family Violence Bill to Protect Women, Human Rights Watch (2011)
- Afghanistan - Ending Child Marriage and Domestic Violence Human Rights Watch (September 2013), pages 11-13
- Moha Ennaji and Fatima Sadiq, Gender and Violence in the Middle East, Routledge (2011), ISBN 978-0-415-59411-0; see pages 162-247
- Domestic violence against women in Turkey Jansen, Uner, Kardam, et al.; Turkish Republic Prime Minister Directorate General Office (2009); see Chapter 6
- Esposito (2004), p. 339
- Schimmel (1992) p.65
- "Mahr." Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Brill Online
- Gruenbaum, Ellen. The Female Circumcision Controversy, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001.
- William G. Clarence-Smith (2012), Female Circumcision in Southeast Asia since the Coming of Islam, in Chitra Raghavan and James P. Levine (eds.), Self-Determination and Women’s Rights in Muslim Societies, Brandeis University Press; ISBN 978-1611682809; see pages 124-146
- Rapoport, Yossef (2005). Marriage, Money and Divorce in Medieval Islamic Society. Cambridge University Press. p. 2. ISBN 0-521-84715-X
- Chebel, Malek (2009). L'islam explique par Malek Chabel. Perrin. p. 113. ISBN 978-2-262-02982-1.
- Rapoport, Yossef (2005). Marriage, Money and Divorce in Medieval Islamic Society. Cambridge University Press. pp. 5–6. ISBN 0-521-84715-X
- ELAINE SCIOLINO, Love Finds a Way in Iran: 'Temporary Marriage', New York Times, October 4, 2000
- Ehsanzadeh-Cheemeh et al. (2009), Sociocultural dimensions of HIV/AIDS among Middle Eastern immigrants in the US: bridging culture with HIV/AIDS programmes, Perspectives in public health, 129(5), pages 228-233
- Max Fisher, EGYPT: ‘Some girls have been married 60 times by the time they turn 18′, The Washington Post (August 6, 2013)
- Chebel, Malek (2009). L'islam explique par Malek Chabel. Perrin. p. 112. ISBN 978-2-262-02982-1.
- Ghamidi, Mizan, The Social Law of Islam.
- The New Encyclopedia of Islam (2002), AltaMira Press. ISBN 0-7591-0189-2 . p.477
- Oraegbunam, I. K., & Udezo, B. O. (2013). Women's Rights in Matrimonial Jurisprudence under Islamic Family Law in Nigeria: A Need for Reform. Journal of Religion and Human Relations, 1(4), 101-111
- Hassouneh-Phillips, D. (2001). Polygamy and wife abuse: A qualitative study of Muslim women in America. Health Care for Women International, 22(8), 735-748
- Ghori, S. (2008). The application of religious law in North American courts: a case study of_ mutʿa marriages. Journal of Islamic Law and Culture, 10(1), 29-40
- Haeri, S. (1989). Law of Desire: Temporary Marriage in Shiʼi Iran. Syracuse University Press.
- Haeri, S. (1992). Temporary marriage and the state in Iran: an Islamic discourse on female sexuality. Social Research, 201-223
- Jervis, Rick. "Pleasure marriages regain popularity in Iraq". USA Today. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- Williams, J. A. (2009). Unholy matrimony? Feminism, orientalism, and the possibility of double critique. Signs, 34(3), 611-632
- Tadmouri, G. O., Nair, P., Obeid, T., Al Ali, M. T., Al Khaja, N., & Hamamy, H. A. (2009). Consanguinity and reproductive health among Arabs. Reprod Health, 6(17), 1-9
- Joseph, S. E. (2007). Kissing Cousins, Current Anthropology, 48(5), pages 756-764
- Consanguineous marriages Brecia Young (2006)
- Hamamy, H., & Alwan, A. (1994). Hereditary disorders in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 72(1), 145-151
- R. Hussain (1999), Community perceptions of reasons for preference for consanguineous marriages in Pakistan, Journal of Biosocial Science, 31, pages 449-461
- Ahmed, L. (1986). Women and the Advent of Islam. Signs, 11(4), 665-691
- Ali, Kecia (2010), Marriage and slavery in early Islam, Harvard University Press, ISBN 978-0-674-05059-4, pages 35-77
- A.A. Ali, Child Marriage in Islamic Law, The Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University (Canada), August 2000; see pages 16-18
- Saudi judge refuses to annul 8-year-old's marriage, CNN World, April 12, 2009
- “How Come You Allow Little Girls to Get Married?” - Child Marriage in Yemen Human Rights Watch, (2011); pages 15-23
- YEMEN: Deep divisions over child brides IRIN, United Nations News Service, (March 28, 2010)
- "Top Saudi cleric: OK for young girls to wed". CNN. 17 January 2009.
- Haviland, Charles (5 September 2002). "Battle over India's marriage age". BBC News.
- Muslim groups oppose ban on child marriage The Hindu (September 22, 2013)
- Muslim Family Law: The Latest Assault on Society Khaled Ahmed, Muslim Women League (2011)
- Indonesian cleric arrested over child bride Al Arabiya News, Indonesia (March 18, 2009)
- Shariah’s Limits New York Times (October 18, 2012)
- More on child brides: After a political fight, Nigeria will continue allowing them, Max Fisher, The Washington Post (July 24, 2013)
- Bunting, A. (2005), Stages of development: marriage of girls and teens as an international human rights issue, Social & Legal Studies, 14(1), pages 17-38
- "Ibni `Abbaas reported that a girl came to the Messenger of God, Muhammad (sws), and she reported that her father had forced her to marry without her consent. The Messenger of God gave her the choice [between accepting the marriage and invalidating it]." Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal 2469. "...the girl said: "Actually I accept this marriage but I wanted to let women know that parents have no right [to force a husband on them]". Sunan Ibn Maja 1873.
- Ouattara, M., Sen, P., & Thomson, M. (1998). Forced marriage, forced sex: the perils of childhood for girls. Gender & Development, 6(3), pp 27-33
- Warner, Elizabeth (2004), Behind the wedding veil: Child marriage as a form of trafficking in girls. American Univ Journal Gender Soc. Pol'y & Law, 12, pp 233-270
- Yohanan Friedmann, Tolerance and Coercion in Islam: Interfaith Relations in the Muslim Tradition, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-82703-4, pages 161-175
- Quran 60:10
- Quran 2:221
- Saeed, A., & Saeed, H. (Eds.). (2004). Freedom of religion, apostasy and Islam. Ashgate Publishing; ISBN 0-7546-3083-8
- See Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:52:260 * Sahih al-Bukhari, 9:83:17 * Sahih al-Bukhari, 9:89:271
- Quran 3:90 * Quran 9:66 * Quran 16:88
- Fluehr-Lobban, C., & Bardsley-Sirois, L. (1990). Obedience (Ta'a) in Muslim Marriage: Religious Interpretation and Applied Law in Egypt. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 21(1), pp 39-53
- Leeman, A. B. (2009), Interfaith Marriage in Islam: An Examination of the Legal Theory Behind the Traditional and Reformist Positions. Indiana Law Journal, 84, pp 743-746
- Hessini, L., 1994, Wearing the Hijab in Contemporary Morocco: Choice and Identity, in Göçek, F. M. & Balaghi, S., Reconstructing Gender in the Middle East: Tradition, Identity & Power, New York, Columbia University Press
- Suad Joseph and Afsāna Naǧmābādī, Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures: Family, Body, Sexuality, Volume 3, pp 224-227 and 250-281
- Ahmed, L., 1992, Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate, New Haven, Yale University Press.
- Qur'an, Quran 4:34
- Amherst Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and John L. Esposito (1998), Islam, Gender, and Social Change, Oxford University Press, pp 20-38
- Hajjar, Lisa, "Religion, state power, and domestic violence in Muslim societies: A framework for comparative analysis." Law & Social Inquiry 29.1 (2004); pp 1-38
- Ahmad v. Ahmad, No. L-00-1391, 2001 WL 1518116 (Ohio Ct. App. Nov. 30, 2001)
- Sameena Nazir and Leigh Tomppert, Ed., Women’s Rights in the Middle East and North Africa, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2005)
- Rules of Inheritance Wife and Husband (2007)
- see also: Quran 23:5 and Quran 23:6, Quran 70:29 and Quran 70:30
- see also, slaves were traditionally referred to by the phrase - the righthand owns: Quran 23:5 with Quran 23:6; Quran 70:29 with Quran 70:30; Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:459; Sahih Muslim, 8:3432 with introduction to Chapter 29 of Kitab Al-Nikah, on the same page, by University of Southern California scholars
- Editor: Susan Crocklin (1996). Religious views regarding gamete donation., in Family Building Through Egg and Sperm Donation. Boston: Jones and Bartlett, ISBN 978-0867204834, pp 242-250
- Schenker, Joseph (2000). Women’s reproductive health: Monotheistic religious perspectives. International journal of gynecology & obstetrics, 70(1), 77-86
- G I Serour (1995), Traditional sexual practices in Islamic world, Global Bioethics, Issue 1, pp. 35–47
- Janet L. Bauer, Sexuality and the Moral "Construction" of Women in an Islamic Society, Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 58, No. 3. (Jul., 1985), pp. 120-129
- Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan Ṭūsī, Concise Description of Islamic Law and Legal Opinions, ICAS Press London, ISBN 978-1-904063-29-2, pp 17-24
- Brannon Wheeler, Touching The Penis in Islamic Law, History of Religions, Vol. 44, No. 2 (November 2004), pp. 89-119
- Martin et al. (2003), Encyclopedia of Islam & the Muslim World, Macmillan Reference, ISBN 978-0028656038
- Inhorn, M. C. (2006). He Won't Be My Son. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 20(1), pp 94-120
- Husain, Fatima A. (2000). Reproductive issues from the Islamic perspective. Human fertility, 3(2), pp 124-128; doi:10.1080/1464727002000198831
- Serour, G. I. (2005). Religious perspectives of ethical issues in ART 1. Islamic perspectives of ethical issues in ART. Middle East Fertility Society Journal, 10(3), 185-190
- Clarke, M. (2006). Islam, kinship and new reproductive technology. Anthropology today, 22(5), pp 17-20
- Ending Footbinding and Infibulation: A Convention Account, Gerry Mackie, American Sociological Review, Vol. 61, No. 6 (Dec., 1996), pp. 999-1017
- "Mauritania fatwa bans female genital mutilation", BBC, January 18, 2010
- Mohamed Abdel Wedoud. "Mauritanian Islamic leaders ban genital mutilation". Magharebia. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
- Hasna, F. (2003). Islam, social traditions and family planning. Social policy & administration, 37(2), pp 181-197
- Akbar, Khalid Farooq (1974), Family planning and Islam: A review, Hamdard Islamicus, 17(3), 234-238
- Omran, A. R. (1992), Family Planning in the Legacy of Islam, London and New York: Routledge
- Al-Sabaie, A. (1989). Psychiatry in Saudi Arabia: cultural perspectives. Transcultural Psychiatry, 26(4), 245-262
- Mobaraki, A. H., & Söderfeldt, B. (2010). Gender inequity in Saudi Arabia and its role in public health, EMHJ, 16(1)
- "Video: having sex with dead wife is allowed in islam ( necrophilia )". EuropeNews. 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2013-09-08.
- Joseph and Najmabadi, p99.
- WAEL B. HALLAQ, SHARIA: THEORY, PRACTICE, TRANSFORMATIONS 271 (2009)
- Quran 2:228
- Quran 2:234
- Esposito, John, ed. (2003), "Iddah", The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-512558-4
- Shehzad Saleem. The Social Directives of Islam: Distinctive Aspects of Ghamidi’s Interpretation, Renaissance. March, 2004.
- Women Traveling without Mahram. European Council for Fatwa and Research.
- Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari. "Can Women Travel Without A Mahram?" Sunnipath.com (July 3, 2005).
- Somayya Jabarti & Maha Akeel. "Women Not Prohibited From Driving in Islam, Says Al-Qarni." Arab News (January 11, 2004).
- Amnesty International. "Saudi Arabia: Women." Amnesty.org.
- John L. Esposito(2002), p.99, What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam, Oxford University Press
- Natana J. Delong-Bas(2004), p.123, Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad, Oxford University Press
- For a detailed analysis of this subject, see: Khalid Chraibi – The King, the Mufti and the Facebook Girl – a power play – Who decides what is licit in Islam 
- Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan Ṭūsī, Concise Description of Islamic Law and Legal Opinions, ICAS Press London, ISBN 978-1-904063-29-2
- Hundt, G. L., Beckerleg, S., Kassem, F., Jafar, A. M. A., Belmaker, I., Saad, K. A., & Shoham-Vardi, I. (2000). Women's health custom made: building on the 40 days postpartum for Arab women. Health care for women international, 21(6), pp 529-542
- Bangladesh bans enforced Islamic dress code Anbarasan Ethirajan, BBC News (22 August 2010)
- See references in Islamic scarf controversy in France wikipedia article, for example
- McGoldrick, Dominic. Human Rights and Religion: The Islamic Headscarf Debate in Europe. Hart Publishing (2006), p13. ISBN 1-84113-652-2.
- Dutch Consider Ban on Burqas in Public GREGORY CROUCH, New York Times (November 18, 2006)
- Minister says burka is 'alien', prompting applause from Libs DEBBIE GUEST, JODIE MINUS, THE AUSTRALIAN, (APRIL 11, 2011)
- ""No Such Custom": An Exposition of I Corinthians 11:2-16". Ovc.edu. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- Stillman, Y. K. (2003). Arab dress: a short history: from the dawn of Islam to modern times (Vol. 2). N. A. Stillman (Ed.). Brill, The Netherlands; ISBN 978-9004135932; see also Vol 1
- Equality of Men and Women in all Three Levels of Islam
- "Do not stop Allah's women-slave from going to Allah's Mosques." (Sahih al-Bukhari, 2:13:23.)
- Mattson, Ingrid. "Women, Islam, and Mosques." In Encyclopedia of Women And Religion in North America (Rosemary Skinner Keller, Rosemary Radford Ruether, and Marie Cantlon, ed.). Indiana University Press (2006), p616. ISBN 0-253-34688-6.
- Mattson, Ingrid. "Women, Islam, and Mosques." In Encyclopedia of Women And Religion in North America (Rosemary Skinner Keller, Rosemary Radford Ruether, and Marie Cantlon, ed.). Indiana University Press (2006), p616-17. ISBN 0-253-34688-6.
- Smith, Jane L. Islam in America. Columbia University Press (2000): p111. ISBN 0-231-10967-9.
- Power, Carla. "A Secret History." New York Times (February 25, 2007).
- Khaled Abou El Fadl. "In Recognition of Women." Themodernreligion.com. Originally published (in a slightly different form) in The Minaret (July/Aug 1991) and reprinted in Voices vol. 1, no. 2 (Dec/Jan 1992).
- Javed Ahmed Ghamidi, Religious leadership of women in Islam, April 24, 2005, Daily Times, Pakistan
- Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, (Bayrut: Dar Ihya’ al-Turath al- ‘Arabi, n.d.) vol.5, 3:1375
- Maria Jaschok, Jingjun Shui (2000). The history of women's mosques in Chinese Islam: a mosque of their own. Routledge. p. 203. ISBN 0-7007-1302-6. Retrieved 2011-01-23.
- Chebel, Malek (2009). L'islam explique par Malek Chabel. Perrin. p. 138. ISBN 978-2-262-02982-1.
- Ziauddin Sardar and Zafar Abbas Malik (2009). Islam: A graphic guide. Totem. p. 93. ISBN 978-1-84831-084-1.
- Ziauddin Sardar and Zafar Abbas Malik (2009). Islam: A graphic guide. Totem. pp. 160–2. ISBN 978-1-84831-084-1.
- "Benazir Bhutto: Daughter of Tragedy" by Muhammad Najeeb, Hasan Zaidi, Saurabh Shulka and S. Prasannarajan, India Today, January 7, 2008
- Anne Sofie Roald. Women in Islam: The Western Experience, p186-7.
- "Jeddah Dawah Center > Q & A ABOUT ISLAM > The first group > PART TWO > Chapter 7: Family and Women Affairs". Worldreminder.net. Retrieved 2013-09-08.
- "Muslim Heritage in the Knowledge-Economy Conference in Jeddah". MuslimHeritage.com. 8 February 2008. Retrieved 2013-09-08.
- Beale, Thomas William and Henry George Keene. An Oriental Biographical Dictionary. W.H. Allen (1894), p392.
- Ahmed, Nazeer. Islam in Global History: From the Death of Prophet Muhammed to the First World War. Xlibris (2000), p284-86..
- Jimmy Dunn writing as Ismail Abaza. "Shajarat (Shaggar, Shagar) al-Durr And her Mausoleum in Cairo". Touregypt.net. Retrieved 2013-09-08.
- Karon, Tony. "Megawati: The Princess Who Settled for the Presidency." Time (July 27, 2001).
- Ali A. Mazrui, Pretender to Universalism: Western Culture in a Globalizing Age, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Volume 21, Number 1, April 2001
- MacDonald, Elizabeth and Chana R. Schoenberger. "The 100 Most Powerful Women: Khaleda Zia." Forbes (August 30, 2007).
- "Tansu Çiller." About.com.
- Shaheen, Jack G. (2003). "Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People". The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 588 (1): 171–193 . doi:10.1177/0002716203588001011
- Islam Online.netdead link
- "Saudi women take part in election ," BBC News.
- Central Intelligence Agency. "Saudi Arabia." World Factbook (2007).
- International women's day 2012: women's representation in politics The Guardian, United Kingdom (March 7, 2012)
- Breakthrough in Saudi Arabia: women allowed in parliament Al Arabiya (January 11, 2013)
- Wikan, Unni (November 1995). "Review of Modernizing Women: Gender and Social Change in the Middle East". American Ethnologist 22 (4): 1078–1079.
- Moghadam, Valentine (1993). Modernizing Women: Gender and Social Change in the Middle East. USA: Lynne Rienner Publishers. p. 5. ISBN 978-1588261717.
- Maan, McIntosh (1999)
- Encyclopedia of the Qur'an, Slaves and Slavery
- Brunschvig. 'Abd; Encyclopedia of Islam, page 13.
- (Quran 16:71, Quran 24:33,Quran 30:28)
- Brunschvig, see article on 'Abd, Encyclopedia of Islam
- Mazrui, A. A. (1997). Islamic and Western values. Foreign Affairs, pp 118-132.
- Ali, K. (2010). Marriage and slavery in early Islam. Harvard University Press.
- Sikainga, Ahmad A. (1996). Slaves Into Workers: Emancipation and Labor in Colonial Sudan. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-77694-2.
- Tucker, Judith E.; Nashat, Guity (1999). Women in the Middle East and North Africa. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-21264-2.
- Deniz Kandiyoti, "Women, Islam and the State", Middle East Report, No. 173, Gender and Politics. (Nov.-Dec. 1991), pp. 9–14.
- Quoted in Grand Ayatollah Makarim Shirazi, Tafsir Nemoneh, on verse 4:12.
- M. J. Gohari (2000). The Taliban: Ascent to Power. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 108–110. For an example, see http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/6185.htm.
- M. J. Gohari (2000). The Taliban: Ascent to Power. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 108–110.
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "Chronology of Events January 1995 – February 1997."dead link UNHCR.org.
- U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. "Report on the Taliban's War Against Women." State.gov (November 17, 2001).
- PDF (857 KB), Physicians for Human Rights, August 1998.
- A woman being flogged in publicdead link
- See, e.g., Tahereh Saffarzadeh, Masumeh Ebtekar, Marzieh Dabbaq and Zahra Rahnavard.
- Esfandiari, Golnaz. "Iran: Number Of Female University Students Rising Dramatically." Radio Free Europe/Free Liberty (November 19, 2003).
- Haddad, Moore, and Smith, p19.
- Madran, Margot. "Islamic feminism: what's in a name?" Al-Ahram Weekly Online, issue no. 569 (January 17–23, 2002).
- "The Role of Islamic Shari’ah in Protecting Women’s Rights".
-  Wagner, Rob L.: "Saudi-Islamic Feminist Movement: A Struggle for Male Allies and the Right Female Voice", University for Peace (Peace and Conflict Monitor), March 29, 2011.
- United States Institute of Peace. Islam and Democracy, Women in Religious Peacebuilding Peace Watch (August 2002).
- Timothy Garton Ash (May 10, 2006). "Islam in Europe". The New York Review of Books.
- Kamguian, Azam. "The Liberation of Women in the Middle East." NTPI.org.
- Feminist author Phyllis Chesler, for example, asserted: "Islamists oppose the ideals of dignity and equality for women by their practice of gender apartheid." (Kathryn Jean Lopez, "Witness to the Death of Feminism: Phyllis Chesler on Her Sisterhood at War". National Review (March 8, 2006).) For further examples, see http://www.google.com/search?q=%22gender+apartheid%22+islam
- Kathryn Jean Lopez, "Witness to the Death of Feminism: Phyllis Chesler on Her Sisterhood at War". National Review (March 8, 2006).
- Helena Andrews, "Muslim Women Don't See Themselves as Oppressed, Survey Finds", The New York Times, June 8, 2006.
- Berger, Sebastien. "Malaysian Muslim women 'live under apartheid'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- England, Vaudine. "Malaysian groups welcome first Islamic female judges". BBC News. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- El Fadl, Khaled Abou. "The Death Penalty, Mercy, and Islam: A Call for Retrospection." In Religion and the Death Penalty: A Call for Reckoning (Erik C. Owens, John David Carlson, and Eric P. Elshtain, eds.). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing (2004), ISBN 0-8028-2172-3.
- Friedmann, Yohanan (2003). Tolerance and Coercion in Islam: Interfaith Relations in the Muslim Tradition. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-02699-4.
- Glassé, Cyril. The New Encyclopedia of Islam (2002), AltaMira Press, ISBN 0-7591-0189-2.
- Yvonne Haddad and John Esposito. Islam, Gender, and Social Change, Published 1998. Oxford University Press, US. ISBN 0-19-511357-8.
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- Hessini, L., 1994, Wearing the Hijab in Contemporary Morocco: Choice and Identity, in Göçek, F. M. & Balaghi, S., Reconstructing Gender in the Middle East: Tradition, Identity & Power, New York, Columbia University Press
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||This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (August 2013)|
- Oxford Islamic Studies Online – numerous entries dealing with the role of women in Islamic societies.
- www.IslamsWomen.com Muslim Woman Status, Rights, Hijab, Marriage, and More – Official Website.
- Women and Islam A set of essays discussing women in Islam, including polygamy, inheritance, marriage to non-Muslims, birth control, and Islamic dress. Also highlighting Quranic and Biblical references concerning women.
- Women in Muslim History: Traditional Perspectives and New Strategies
- My Mother and My Religion: Mothers in Islam
- WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE EAST: PROGRESS OR REGRESS? Middle East Review of International Affairs, Volume 10, No. 2, Article 2 – June 2006
- The Status of Women in Islam by Dr. Jamal Badawi
- Women in Islam vs. Women in the Judeo-Christian Tradition
- Women in Islam
- The Noble Women Scholars of Hadeeth
- Division of Inheritance in Islam