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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).


Patriarchal Customs, Not Shariah Law

Nevine Abdullah

“On August 16, 2010, The New York Times reported that the Taliban, in Afghanistan, ordered their first public executions by stoning since their fall from power. They stoned a young couple who had eloped. The punishment was carried out by hundreds of the victims’ neighbors in a village in northern Kunduz Province. Family members were involved, both in the stoning and in tricking the couple to return home after they had fled.”

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Family Planning and Islamic Jurisprudence

Azizah al-Hibri, Esq.

“To understand the fullness of the Islamic position on family planning, we need to look more carefully at the total picture. Its departure point, of course, is to encourage the life principle. Hence, the Prophet’s exhortation to multiply and the Qur’anic prohibition of infanticide, a wide-spread pre-Islamic practice involving born children which was motivated mostly by economic and gender considerations. But such a basic position does not necessitate the conclusion that contraception, or even abortion, is prohibited. Indeed, historically, the majority view among Muslims scholars on contraception has been that it is permissible with the wife’s consent, though perhaps disliked in certain cases.”

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Qur’anic Foundations of the Rights of Muslim Women in the Twenty-First Century

Azizah al-Hibri, Esq.

“The crisis of modernity in Islamic societies, generally, and of Muslim women’s rights, specifically, has led some individuals to wonder whether Islam has become outdated. After all, the Qur’an was revealed over fourteen hundred years ago to an illiterate man in the Arabian peninsula. How relevant could that revelation be today in a highly technological global village at the dawn of the twenty-first century? This article addresses this issue by starting from the premise that the Qur’an was revealed for all people, for all times and for all places. Consequently, it is as relevant today to the United States and Indonesia as it was relevant to the Arabian tribes of the past.”

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Redefining Muslim Women’s Roles in the Next Century

Azizah al-Hibri, Esq.

“The new millennium is blowing winds of change over the Muslim world. After centuries of relative seclusion, Muslim women have awakened to their critical role in society and are demanding their right to full participation in the public square. Patriarchal customs are being rejected, laws are being revised, and women are increasingly participating in various aspects of public life. Foremost in the struggle for greater roles in society is the revision of antiquated personal status codes (family laws) that have often deprived women of essential liberties. Revising these codes is not an easy matter because they rely primarily on religious law.”

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