The Institution of Marriage in Islam and Modern Society

Al-Mahdi institute held its first post-Covid in-house Fiqhī workshop on The Institution of Marriage in Islam and Modern Society, on July 21st and 22nd.

Due to an ever-changing society and developments in human rights and legal systems around the world, a pertinent question arises on the role of Islam and its position in such a society. In recent times, topics such as gender equality, spousal roles and the importance and function of marriage has come under great scrutiny. Considering such topics, a question is asked regarding the Islamic view on these topics within the institution of marriage and its ability to offer solutions to many issues arising in marriage in the modern society.

AMI’s 10th annual contemporary issues workshop invited academics who discussed a range of different perspectives, approaches and methodologies when presenting on the Islamic conception of marriage in modern times.

Professor Mohaghegh Damad’s paper on juristic principles that govern family life began the proceedings of the workshop. He emphasised the need for a re-evaluation of the conception of a woman’s role in family life and spoke on the discriminatory juristic edicts against a wife and her rights in contrast to the Quranic ethos of love and mercy between spouses. This was complemented by Dr Jaafar Fadlallah’s paper on child custody in Islam and the rights of both the child and the spouses, and solutions to child custody. Professors Katherine Lemons and Liyakat Takim each discussed divorce with different approaches. Professor Lemons focused on how Muslim women were reforming marriage while Professor Takim analysed marriage and divorce and how it can be re-examined (jurisprudentially) in accordance with modern society. This was followed by two more presentations on: marriage in the Quran by Dr Karen Bauer followed by Professor Ali Fanaei who presented on the institution of marriage: between Quran, Sunna, morality, and jurisprudence. Day one ended with the final two panels: Professor Mohsen Kadivar presented a paper on revisiting the institution of marriage in Islam in the modern time which led seamlessly into Dr Ziba Mir-Hosseini’s presentation on contesting conceptions of marriage in Islam: between tradition and modernity.

On day two, the following panels dealt with the topic of marriage both sociologically and ethnographically. Papers were presented by Ms Aqleem Fatima on gender role sharing; Dr Laurens de Rooij on online Muslim dating for Muslims; a multi-disciplinary study on a purposive approach to Islamic marriage presented by Professor Seyed Fatemi, Dr Munzela Raza, Dr Abbas Ramji, and Shaykh Ahmad Kaouri. Dr Fouzia Azzouz discussed unregistered Muslim marriages in Britain and proposed mechanisms by which these can be regulated. The final panel of the workshop consisted of Dr Haider Hobballah who discussed the familial and societal rights of an illegitimate son as well as Shaykh Arif Abdul Hussain who presented an existential reading of faḍl and its implications on governorship and provision.

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Presenter Title of Paper View Abstract
Prof. Mustafa Mohaghegh Damad (Shahid Beheshti University) Juristic Principles Governing Family Life Click here
Shaykh Arif Abdulhussein (Al-Mahdi Institute) An Existential Reading of the Notion of Faḍl and
its Implications on Governorship (qawwāmiyya)
and Provision (infāq)
Click here
Prof. Katherine Lemons (McGill University) Divorce and Justice: Adjudicating Marital
Disputes in Indian Sharia Courts
Click here
Prof. Liyakat Takim (McMaster University) Marriage and Khulʿ Ṭalāq According to
Ayatullah Ṣāniʿī
Click here
Dr. Karen Bauer (Institute of Ismaili Studies) Marriage in the Qurʾān: A Historical-Contextual Approach to a Misunderstood Subject Click here
Professor Mohsen Kadivar
(Duke University)
Revisiting the Institution of Marriage in Islam and in the Modern Time Click here
Prof. Ali Fanaei (Al-Mahdi Institute and Mofid University) The Institution of Marriage: Between the Qurʾān, Sunna, Morality and Jurisprudence Click here
Dr. Ziba Mir-Hosseini  (SOAS University of London) Contesting Conceptions of Marriage in Islam: Between Tradition and Modernity Click here
Dr. Amina Tawasil
(Columbia University’s Teachers College)
Contributions of Ethnographic Fieldwork to the Fiqhī Discourse on Family Life Click here
Dr. Laurens de Rooij
(University of Chester)
Online Dating for Muslims Click here
Ms Aqleem Fatimah
(Allama Iqbal Open University)
Post-Matrimonial Challenge -Gender Role Sharing or Gender Role Reversal: Demystifying Islamic versus Post Development Discourse on Familial Masculinities Click here
Prof. Seyed Mohammad Ghari S. Fatemi (Al-Mahdi Institute & Shahid Beheshti University), Dr. Munzela Raza,  Shaykh Ahmad Kaouri (Al-Mahdi Institute), Dr. Abbas Ramji (Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust) A Purposive (Maqāsidī) Approach to Islamic Marriage: Re-assessment of Sūra Rūm, verse 21 Click here
Prof. Kathryn Spellman Poots (Columbia University and Aga Khan University) and Shabbir Agha-Abbas 0University of Arizona Persian and Iranian Studies) Temporary Marriage in the 21st Century: Legal and Intersectional Approaches in Diasporic Spaces Click here
Dr. Fouzia Azzouz (University of Bristol) Unregistered Muslim Marriages in Britain: Avenues for Regulation Click here
Dr. Sayyid Jaafar Fadlallah (Al-Mahdi Institute and Islamic Sharʾī Institute) Child Custody in an Open Approach Click here
Dr. Haidar Hobballah (University of Religions and Denominations, Qom) Familial and Societal Rights of ibn Zinā (illegitimate son) Click here