The Appointment of Muslim Women as Judges in the Courts:A Textual Analysis from Islamic Perspective


Yousuf Ali;


The appointment of women as judges in Muslim countries remains a challenging and debatable issue due to a general perception that such appointment might not be in conformity with the Sharê ah.Dual legal systems,i.e.civil and Sharê ah courts exist in the Muslim world.The Sharê ah Court has jurisdiction related to family law only for Muslims.A few Muslim women,even though their growth is continuously increasing,are contributing as judges in the Muslim world.However,it is imperatively essential to examine the textual sources in order to know the stance of Islamic Sharê ah.The juristic interpretations of the texts would benefit the entire humanity in the judicial system like other sectors if the avenues of opportunities are given to them.Therefore,this article examines critically the appointment of women as judges on the basis of the textual arguments of the Qur'én and the Sunnah that contribute in making a clear Islamic legal stance for a better understanding of the role of women in judicial system.In particular,it intends to focus on:a) analyzing the prohibition and permissibility of the appointment of women as judges in courts from the Islamic legal perspective,b) evaluating critically and clarifying the issue according to the classical as well as contemporary Muslim scholars,and c) providing some recommendations with the qualifications to be judges that can illuminate the existing debate about the appointment in both courts.The two key issues will be critically examined,which are;the question of the qualifications to be judges and the question of the legal stance of the Sharê ah about the appointment.Discussion would include implications of the research findings,shortcomings of the current study,and directions for future research.


Woman judgeship,leadership,competencies,perception,legality,and judicial leadership.


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