Quote from Kecia Ali

The legal structure of Islamic marriage is predicated on...

2018-05-01

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The legal structure of Islamic marriage is predicated on a gender-differentiated allocation of interdependent claims, which would be thrown into chaos by a same-sex union. In the standard contractual understanding of marriage, the husband holds milk al-nikah, control of the marriage tie, and the wife has a claim to dower and the obligation of sexual exclusivity and availability. Several early jurists considered the possibility of whether these rights and duties could be reallocated – whether a woman could pay a man a dower, for example, and retain control over sex and divorce – and agreed unanimously that such a reallocation is not permitted. Not only are husbands’ and wives’ rights distinct, but each role is fundamentally linked to the sex/gender of the person exercising it. A woman cannot wield control of the marriage tie; a man cannot be contractually bound to sexual availability to his wife. Thus, following that logic, it would not be possible for one woman to adopt the “husband” role and the other to adopt the “wife” role in the marriage of two women. The self-contained logic of the jurisprudential framework does not permit such an outcome.

Kecia Ali
Kecia Ali in "Sexual Ethics And Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur'an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence"

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