Reinterpreting The Concept of Shari’ah and Its Implication on Gender Issues

Agus Moh. Najib

Abstract


This paper deals with Mahmoud Mohamed Taha’s
thought on shari’ah and gender. The main message conveyed by
shari’ah is equality between man and woman with the aim of
achieving gender justice in society. Many Muslim scholars,
however, interpret shari’ah text written in the Qur`an and the
Sunnah textually, partially and out of its context. Such
interpretation then produce gender biased understandings and
unequal gender rulings. This paper analyze how Mahmoud
interprets the concept of shari’ah and implements it on gender
issues. Different from many Muslim scholars, Mahmoud views that
shari’ah evolves continuously in the history of human beings and it
is showed by the presence of different shari’ahs from one prophet
to another, from Adam until Mohamed (peace be upon them).
Because of its characteristic, the last shari’ah brought by Mohamed
also must evolve, namely, evolving from the subsidiary verses of
the Qur`an to its primary verses. In this way, shari’ah rules which
contain gender discriminations are regarded as transitional rules
suiting the social context at the time. In the contemporary era, the
relation between men and women must be based on the primary
verses of the Qur`an which emphasize the principles of gender
equality.


Keywords


shari'ah, gender, reinterpretation

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14421/asy-syir'ah.2008.%25x

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