Property Rights for Muslim Women in India

This Summer I will research Muslim personal law in India, specifically property rights, and its effect on gender equality for Muslim women in India. Personal law covers such areas as marriage, divorce, property rights and other family relations and, in India, is governed by religious laws. Although supported by classical Islamic law, women’s property rights are rarely enforced due to the institutionalization of interpretations of Islamic teachings. As a main objective for my study, I plan to investigate the disparity between classic Islamic teachings on women’s property rights and modern implementation through Islamic law. By reading and researching various textual and visual sources, I will study the theme of the difference  between the representation of Muslim women in traditional Islamic teachings, the Qur’an, and interpretations of these teachings over time. The difference between the classical sermons and interpretations is most noticeable and documentable in the institutionalization of Islamic teachings. I plan to build on this idea, investigating this imbalance in property rights for women. From this research I will gain a heightened understanding of the relationship between religion, culture, gender norms and law, and hope to approach the rest of my academic career with a critical, yet unbiased mindset.