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Without knowledge action is useless, and knowledge without action is futile.

Research is the core of KARAMAH’s work, and serves as the bridge between thought and action in the struggle for justice. KARAMAH’s authentic, yet innovative research in Islamic jurisprudence is the source of the knowledge base essential to the promotion of the rights of Muslim women, and human rights for all, in an Islamic context. However, an understanding of Islamic jurisprudence alone is not enough to build networks of Muslim women and men around the world who support this mission. In order to become agents of change, future leaders also need knowledge and skills that will allow them to navigate sensitive issues and cogently present their thoughts. For this reason, KARAMAH also produces, collects, and disseminates research on leadership and conflict resolution.

KARAMAH’s Jurist Network – a network of over 400 scholars from around the world who contribute scholarly works on a variety of topics to our scholarship database, is vital to the success of many of KARAMAH’s endeavors. With their guidance and scholarly contributions, KARAMAH communicates knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence, leadership, and conflict resolution to the public at large by way of our educational programming and Law and Leadership Summer Program (LLSP).



In the case of female khitan (FGM), proponents of this practice rely on (a) a single verse in the Qur’an and (b) a number of hadiths attributed to Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him).  This study will show that the cited Qur’anic verse is inapplicable to the issue at hand and that the variously quoted hadiths are either unreliable or do not establish the desired result.  Furthermore, we shall establish that there is neither a valid reasoning by analogy nor consensus that would mandate female khitan. These facts together suffice to reject the argument that female khitan is required in Islam. However, our conclusion is further bolstered by the Islamic worldview and the basic principles of Islamic ethics.  These are clearly articulated in the Qur’an and hadith.

By adopting this comprehensive approach, we signal our refusal to view the issue of female khitan as an isolated issue unrelated to the overall Islamic architecture of human rights and gender relations.  Instead, we place the question of female khitan in its proper context within the overall Islamic value system.  This comprehensive approach leads us to conclude with added confidence that Islam does NOT require female khitan.

By Dr. Azizah al-Hibri, Ghada Ghazal, and Aljawharah Alassaf
KARAMAH February 2018

Click here to download the paper


KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights (“KARAMAH”) is a research-based educational organization. We strive to advance justice, gender equity, civil rights, and religious freedom within our Muslim community, in our society, and globally. The Executive Orders promulgated by President Trump violate the United States Constitution, harm national security, particularly harm women and children, risk compromising the civil rights of American Muslims, and advance a discriminatory view of Islam in America.

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Fatwa Concerning the United States Supreme Courtroom Frieze

Taha Jabir Al- Alwani

“What I have seen in the Supreme Courtroom deserves nothing but appreciation and gratitude from American Muslims. This is a positive gesture toward Islam made by the architect and other architectural decision-makers of the highest Court in America. God willing it will ameliorate some of the unfortunate misinformation that has surrounded Islam and Muslims in this country.”

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The Charter of Madinah and Religious Freedom

Azizah al-Hibri, Esq.

The Madinah Charter was executed by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on the one hand, and the various Muslim and Jewish tribes on the other. He had immigrated to Madinah, upon the invitation of its community, because his life was being threatened in Makkah due to his religious beliefs. The Madinah community liked the Prophet’s message and wanted to give it a home in its own city. So the Prophet experienced firsthand religious oppression and knew very well the importance of religious liberty.

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