Skip to main content
Login | Suomeksi | På svenska | In English

Browsing by Subject "Reproduction"

Sort by: Order: Results:

  • Karjula, Siiri (2024)
    This thesis analyses the construction of reproductive, sexual, and parental rights in selected birth control fatwas, issued by the Egyptian Dar al-Iftaʾ, the institution responsible for issuing official fatwas in Egypt. I conduct a textual analysis of the fatwa discourse by examining how the religious arguments are constructed and what modes of reasoning are employed and towards what aims. Birth control is chosen as the focus of this thesis due to its importance in modern Egypt as the country struggles with the problem of overpopulation as well as the significance of this issue for gender rights within marriage. Birth control accordingly is both a private and public matter. The nine fatwas were collected from the website of Dar al-Iftaʾ in April 2021. I used the search words birth control (manaʿ al-ḥaml) and family planning (tanẓīm al-nasl). The fatwas were issued between the years 2005 and 2016. I analysed the data from a critical feminist perspective. This feminist textual approach was informed by the scholarship on gender and Islamic law, and specifically by the works of Ziba Mir-Hosseini, Kecia Ali, Judith Tucker, and Lena Larsen. I examined these fatwas in relation to the interpretive approaches and discourse of traditional jurists from the past as well as their discursive functions within the context of contemporary Egypt and its statist discourse on birth control and governance. The study shows first that the researched fatwa discourse constructs reproductive, sexual, and parental rights within the framework of the classical fiqh models of marriage, i.e., a hierarchical relationship between man and woman, even if the permission of women for the use of birth control is emphasised. The male authority is most evident in cases of disagreement about the use of birth control. Second, the researched fatwas are also shaped by and reflect the Egyptian government discourse of creating a modern nation whose building blocks are small nuclear families with educated and prosperous children. The findings affirm the multiple functions of fatwas. They are on the one hand an integral part of Islamic textual tradition and thus reproduce their principles and methodologies. Yet they are also a discourse that is very much located in the contexts in which the fatwas are reproduced, reflecting the needs and concerns of the communities and times of those contexts.