Women's & gender studies

This week’s assignment is primarily a “reading guide” to help you work through t

This week’s assignment is primarily a “reading guide” to help you work through the important elements of Kecia Ali’s chapters on marriage and divorce. In this week’s reading, Kecia Ali indicates that:
i) in classical Islamic practice and law, “Muslim marriage is, above all, a contract” (p. 29); and
ii) that “arguments used by Muslim thinkers…to justify continued adherence to certain classical rules are incompatible with other commonly held ideas about marriage,” (p. 2)
After reading chapters 1 and 2 of Sexual Ethics and Islam, please answer the following questions related to those observations:
1) Marriage as Contract:
Short answer: What does it mean to describe marriage as a contract?
One of the main requirements of a legal ‘contract’ is the inclusion of mutual obligations. Make a list (on the basis of Chapter 1 and 2) of the main obligations stipulated for each party (wife and husband) of the marriage contract under classical Islamic law.
In the above list, highlight any requirements that involve the payment/transfer of wealth.
2) Classical vs. Modern Marriage
How is the classical Islamic practice and imagination of marriage different from contemporary analogues in the United States among non-Muslims (and/or among Muslims, if you happen to have knowledge of such marriage practices)?
What is a ‘dower’? Are you familiar with anything like it in modern Western marriage practices?
OPINION QUESTION: In your opinion, is marriage conceived in contractual terms fundamentally different than marriage conceived as a romantic companionate union? Are the two mutually exclusive?
3) Divorce
What are the main ways in which the parties to the classical Islamic marriage contract have different rights and responsibilities when it comes to divorce?
Comments from Customer
Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur’an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence by Kecia Ali