Women and Prayer in Islamic Law
Behnam Sadeghi (Department of Religious Studies) has published The Logic of Law-Making in Islam: Women and Prayer in the Legal Tradition (Cambridge University Press, 2012). Sadeghi analyzes Hanafi jurists’ rulings on women’s participation in communal prayers from the eighth to the eighteenth century. The book elucidates the nature of reasoning in the Islamic legal tradition. It asks which factors determined the laws – scripture, precedents, or social values – and evaluates their roles. It discusses what made laws change or stay the same, and how changing laws were justified in terms of fixed, binding texts. The book’s findings clarify a number of questions: the extent to which sacred law is (not) different from secular law, what can be learned about the values of a society from its laws, and the nature of textual interpretation.