Debates on the Diya (Blood money): Contemporary juristic discourse and women’s rights

Ron Shaham*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The present study focuses on a fatwa issued in 2005 by Yūsuf al-Qaradāwī. Unlike the predominant opinion of all law schools that the female’s diya is half that of a male’s, al-Qaradāwī argues that it is equal to that of a male’s. I claim that the encounter between the Modern-Salafi juristic methodology, applied by al-Qaradāwī, and the Traditional-Salafi methodology, applied by those who opposed his fatwa, captures in a nutshell the main features of current juristic debates in general, and debates on the legal status of women in particular. Although the strict methodology of Traditional-Salafis does not hold substantive potential for change, Modern-Salafis are able to undermine the orthodox positions by exploiting the lack of agreement on the authoritative reports and the ambiguous definitions of consensus, to form legal opinions that enhance women’s status.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)129-158
Number of pages30
Issue number2
Early online date2019
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2019


  • Al-Qaradāwī
  • Fatwa
  • Female’s diya
  • Ijtihād
  • Modern-Salafi
  • Traditional-Salafi


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