Looking at the social, political and legal changes in Oman since
1970, this book challenges the Islamic and tribal traditional
cultural norms relating to marriage, divorce and women s rights
which guide social and legal practice in the modern Omani state.
The book argues that despite the establishment of legal instruments
guaranteeing equality for all citizens, the fact that the state
depends upon Islamic and tribal elites for its legitimacy
invalidates these guarantees in practice. Two particular features
of the legal and cultural regulation of marriage and marital rights
are focused on - the perceived requirement for kafa a or equality
in marriage between so called high and low socio-economic status
peoples is examined, and the institution of talaq, which grants
greater rights to men than to women in appeals for divorce. This
book addresses highly complex subjects with great rigor, in terms
of empirical research and engagement with theory, sociological and
political as well as theological and legal. It is an interesting
investigation of the divisions of authority between the state,
Islam and tribal norms, highlighting barriers to reform in both
Oman and wider Islamic society, and advocating the removal of such
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