New book examines disability in Islamic law

December 12, 2007

This book, written by Dr. Vardit Rispler-Chaim of the Department of Arabic language and literature of the University of Haifa, analyzes attitudes to people with various disabilities based on Muslim jurists' works (fiqh) in the Middle Ages and the modern era.

In the Islamic legal literature people with disabilities are mentioned sporadically, and often within broad topics such as religious duties, jihad, marriage, etc., but seldom as a subject in its own right. Very little has been written so far on people with disabilities in a general Islamic context, much less in reference to Islamic law. That is the innovation of this book.

The main contribution of Disability in Islamic Law is that it focuses on people with disabilities and depicts the place and status that Islamic law has assigned to them, as well as how the law envisions their participation in religious, social and communal life.

All in all, the laws concerning people with disabilities demonstrate a very advanced social outlook, judging by the considerations and arguments of the Muslim jurists. Scholars of Islamic law, medicine and ethics, Islamic studies, sociology, social work and law, and anyone interested in comparative research of people with disabilities in various cultures and religions, will find an abundance of helpful information in this book.
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University of Haifa

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