Mutahhari and his approach to women’s social life: with special reference to political participation and issuing fatwas

Ardeshir Larijany, Sareh ORCID: 0000-0002-0422-5122 (2021). Mutahhari and his approach to women’s social life: with special reference to political participation and issuing fatwas. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This research investigates Ayatollah Murtada Mutahhari’s approach to women’s social life focusing on political participation and issuing fatwas. Mutahhari (1919-1979) is one of the foremost thinkers of contemporary Iran who proposed a new theoretical foundation for the study of women’s rights based on rational-philosophical principles. Many studies have been conducted on gender equality and women’s issues from the perspective of Muslim traditionalists, secularists, feminists, and modern reformists. However, the contribution of Muslim traditional rationalist reformers (such as Mutahhari) to the study of women’s rights has been ignored, especially in the contemporary academic scholarship. What distinguishes Mutahhari from other traditional jurists is his awareness of modern developments and his rational-philosophical, dynamic and progressive methodology in jurisprudence. Mutahhari changed the traditional style of discussion about women’s rights from specialized and technical jurisprudential debate to a rational and philosophical argument. Treating justice and natural rights as meta-jurisprudential principles, he supported women’s right of issuing fatwas or their right of taking political positions, which did not agree with the common fatwas of the day. In fact, Mutahhari approved of women’s right to issue fatwas when this was (and still is) the exclusive right of men. This research demonstrates that, although Mutahhari was an influential figure in Iranian society and legitimised religious women’s social participation, some of his ideas were not developed and embraced by the religious authorities. This study reveals that by adopting Mutahhari’s rational-philosophical approach, different understandings of female leadership in society and religion could be developed.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Theology and Religion
Funders: Other
Other Funders: The World Federation of KSIMC
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc


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