Mohammad Fadel, Professor Of Law, University Of Toronto
Lecture: “Nushuz, Lawful Discipline and Spouse Abuse in the Maliki Madhab: A History and Its Relevance to Modern Islamic Law Reform”
Nisa' 4:34 has received a disproportionate share of commentary among reformist Muslim scholars of this generation insofar as its plain sense appears to affirm the right of the husband not only to discipline a recalcitrant wife, but also to use physical violence to do so. Professor Fadel explores the historical evolution of Maliki teachings regarding a husband's use of violence against his spouse, with a view toward placing such violence within a broader context of judicial power, the general law of assault and battery, and crime and punishment in pre-modern Maliki doctrine. He will demonstrate that while the earliest authorities in the school, including Malik himself, thought of violence against a wife largely from the perspective of private law, by the late middle ages and the early modern period, the logic of criminal law had come to dominate Malikis' understanding of spouse abuse. Lunch will be provided. RSVP to PIL@law.harvard.edu.