The Rulings of Guardianship and the Objective of Natural Instinct (Fiṭrah): An Evaluative Study in Light of the Changes and Challenges of Contemporary Reality
أحكام القوامة ومقصد الفطرة: دراسة تقويمية في ظل متغيرات الواقع المعاصر وتحدياته
Keywords:Guardianship, Objectives, Instinct, Family, Modernity, Feminist
The Islamic Sharīʽah laid down its rulings related to the actions of a mukallaf (a legally responsible person) on the basis of considering the natural instinct (fiṭrah) upon which people are created, so that it will lead to realize the objectives of Sharīʽah in protecting maṣlaḥah (public interest) of the people and removing mafāsid (evil) from them in this world and the hereafter. Islamic Sharīʽah gives special attention to the family because of its importance in building the society. Therefore, the rules related to the family are laid down precisely and comprehensively based on considering the instinct (fiṭrah) and natural disposition upon which both men and women are created. The problem of the study lies in what is witnessed in contemporary reality in terms of important changes under which voices are raised in the name of modernity (ḥadāthah). Using this new term, modernists try to interpret the texts (of the Qur’ān and Sunnah) with special mechanisms and methods foreign (to Islamic scholarship) in terms of its origin, purposes, and contents. Additionally, there are advocates of equality (between men and women), such as the followers of the feminist movement who aim to destroy the foundations of the family. They call for the abolition of the guardianship of men over women, in violation of a legal ruling established in the texts of the Qur’ān and Sunnah. The detailed rulings regarding this guardianship explain its causes, conditions and impediments that nullify it. Through its sections, this study shows that the family rulings were built based on human instinct in order to realize the objectives of their legislation. The roles and responsibilities are distributed between the man and woman according to what suits each of them, and the role of guardianship is entrusted to the husband based on innate elements in his psychological and physical formation that qualify him to assume this responsibility, which is to take care of the family financially and morally alike. This guardianship has causes, legal conditions to establish it, and impediments that nullify it. This research is based on the methods of induction, analysis, and description. It concluded with several conclusions and recommendations, including that the guardianship is an obligatory duty of a man towards his wife in order to realize its objectives that are based on instinct (fiṭrah). Likewise, this guardianship leads to preserving the status and prestige of women, and to honor men by making them vicegerents on the earth.
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