In discussing personal status codes, the article focuses on three specific issues: the right of a woman to contract her own marriage, the duty of the wife to obey her husband, and the right of the wife to initiate divorce. There are several good reasons for focusing on these issues. Foremost among them is the fact that they have been and continue to be of great concern to Muslim women. Another reason is that despite their diverse subject matter, these three issues are based on the same jurisprudential foundation. Hence, our discussion and critical analysis of that foundation will have similar implications for all three. In discussing the three issues, I provide an internal critique of the jurisprudence that led to their adoption. In the process, I shed some light on the logic of Islamic jurisprudence and its historical relation to existing personal status codes in Muslim countries. Finally, I propose a Muslim feminist solution to the advancement of women's rights in Muslim countries.
Azizah Y. al-Hibri, Islam, Law and Custom: Redefining Muslim Women's Rights, 12 Am. U. J. Int'l L. & Pol'y 1 (1997).