For the Sake of Justice: Protecting Divorced Women’s Rights in Pakistan by Re-Examining the Sharia Principle of Mutat (Post-Divorce Maintenance)

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Abstract

In this paper the author seeks to address the issue of payment of mutat (post-divorce maintenance) to women under Islamic legal tradition. The author argues that the dynamic and evolving nature of Sharia does provide a room for awarding post-divorce maintenance to the ex-wife in legally pluralistic Muslim countries like Pakistan. To achieve this end, the debate on women rights needs to he refrained by emphasizing the egalitarian ethics of Islam while interpreting the Qur' an, and deconstructing Sharia-related rules, only then provisions such as muttat could be included in the legislative frameworks. Key Words: Post-divorce maintenance, Justice, Fairness and well-being, Ijtehad, Pakistan family law reform CONCEPT OF MUTAT IN ISLAMIC LEGAL TRADITION The concept of long-term maintenance of a woman after her iddat period is known as mutat and generally extends until her death or remarriage to another man.1 In the Qur' an the word muttat has been used in the context of maintenance and gift2 but it should not be confused with nafaqah (maintenance) or mahr (dower) as the three have existed as independent institutions of Islamic law. 3 In Islamic legal tradition the term also refers to maut'at al-talaq or nafaqat al mut'a, i.e. a payment by the husband to his wife upon divorcing her.4 The issue IlTe author is a Lecturer in Law at the Law School University of Hull, United Kingdom. ...D El-Alamni, 'Mut'at al-Talaq under Egyptian and Jordanian Law' (1995) 2 Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law 54. 3A Quraishi and FE Vogel (eds), The Islamic Mfarriage Contract: Case Studies in Islamic Family Law (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass 2008) 192. 4Mutat can be in the form of clothes, property or money commensurate to the position and the capability of the ex-husband. Islam does not fix the sum of mutat and it depends on the consensus of both parties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-58
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Islamic State Practice in International law
Volume6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law

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