The book “A critical analysis of Fatwas issues on Muslim women in India” is a monograph of fatwas in respect of women given on issues like marriage, divorce etc. A close study of the Qur’anic pronouncements about women clearly shows that the entire Qur’anic discourse on women is rights based while the entire discourse on men is duty based. However, it is quite ironic that within a century the patriarchal society reversed and the entire discourse about women in the Sharia law became duty based and women were required to be obedient to their husbands and not leave their houses without his permission etc.
The study of these fatwas shows how the status of women became considerably low in the eyes of patriarchal jurists so much so that in the modern world, Islam seems to suppress women’s rights. What is worse is that the Shari’ah laws have been given divine status and hence are considered immutable. However, Shari’ah is as much based on human opinions and patriarchal values as on divine injunctions and hence cannot be immutable in nature
This primer on Muslim women’s rights is meant to create better understanding about their rights in the Qur’an. Various Qur’anic verses have been misinterpreted to give women secondary position whereas Qur’an clearly pronounces gender equality. Also there are certain verses in Qur’an which have been interpreted to mean subjugation of women whereas the words, if carefully understood and read in conjunction with other verses on women in the Qur’an do not support any such subordination. This book is an attempt to explain these verses in proper context.
Qur’an is the first revealed scripture which gave equal honour and dignity to women in every respect. However, patriarchal Muslim society never acceded equal dignity to women. Today Muslim women are demanding equality and there is need for such literature to rightly explain Qur’anic position to Muslim women. This primer, it is hoped, will fulfill this much needed objective.