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Khul‘ in Imāmī Law: Women’s Prerogative in Divorce and the Moral Order of the Jurists

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Khul‘ in Imāmī Law: Women’s Prerogative in Divorce and the Moral Order of the Jurists

Garadjalou, Taymaz (2010) Khul‘ in Imāmī Law: Women’s Prerogative in Divorce and the Moral Order of the Jurists. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Abstract


Khul‘ in Imāmī Law: Women’s Prerogative in Divorce and the Moral Order of the Jurists. Taymaz Garadjalou

This thesis explores obligatory khulʿ divorce (al-khulʿ al-wājib) in Imāmī Shīʿīsm. By “obligatory divorce” is meant an offer by a wife of negotiated payment in return for divorce which cannot be refused by the husband; it is more usual that khulʿ divorce cannot go forward without the husband’s consent. The method employed in this work is an overview of the main texts of explanatory law (al-fiqh al-istidlālī) in Imāmīsm. The work first gives a general account of marital dissolution in Islamic law, along with a detailed outline of the basic elements of khulʿ. Possible parallels with Jewish notions of divorce that appear to be similar to khulʿ and in particular its obligatory form are also noted. The work then outlines the opinions of the minority of Imāmī jurists, both classical and modern, who allowed women to receive khulʿ divorces without the consent of their husbands. Finally, the significance of this data is discussed in light of the patriarchal moral order of the jurists who compose and control the law. I argue that the controversial nature of obligatory khulʿ is not (primarily) due to ambiguities in the Imāmī legal texts, but is rather the result of negotiations between male jurists on 1) how to maintain male authority and power over matters of family law and 2) how to deal with a wife’s extreme discontent and even adultery as possible results of the non-availability of divorce and potential threats to male authority and control over women’s sexuality. The work concludes by providing an account of obligatory khulʿ by a prominent modern clerical reformist, Ayatullah Yūsuf Ṣāniʿī of Iran. Although his legal opinion and method may seem novel, this work demonstrates that they are, on the contrary, in line with classical Imāmī legal thought.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Religion
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Garadjalou, Taymaz
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:History and Philosophy of Religion
Date:October 2010
ID Code:7267
Deposited By:TAYMAZ GARADJALOU
Deposited On:09 Jun 2011 11:22
Last Modified:09 Jun 2011 11:22
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