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Kafaah

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

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    Kafaah

    Equivalence. Refers to a tradition requiring husband and wife (or wife's family) to be of equal rank in religion, lineage, social status, and means. Of these four, only religion is consistently significant across schools of law, although Muslim men are allowed to marry Jewish or Christian women while Muslim women may marry only Muslim men. Traditional Hanafi law stressed the husband's occupation as critical; premodern Maliki law stressed piety. Kafaah was not crucial in Shafii jurisprudence; Hanbalis emphasized lineage and means. Though not a critical concept in modern Islamic legal discourse, spousal equality is still culturally relevant.

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