Islamic Perspective on Parenting Justice

Lailatis Syarifah is a lecturer at the State Islamic University Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta, apart from becoming a member at the Muhammadiyah Majelis Tarjih dan Tajdid (Council for Islamic Thoughts and Renewal) and ‘Aisyiyah Council for Cadre Development.

This paper argues for a more equitable approach to parenting in Islam.

  • Shared responsibility: The Quran and hadiths emphasize that both parents are equally responsible for raising children, financially and educationally. This applies during marriage and even after separation.
  • Equality before God: The concept of Tawhid suggests all people are equal before God. This undermines placing undue burden on one parent, typically the mother.
  • Lineage: The paper critiques the current system that assigns lineage based on wedlock. It argues that children born outside marriage also deserve to know their lineage.
  • Bilateral kinship: The Quran mentions inheritance rights for relatives from both the mother’s and father’s side. The paper argues for interpreting Quranic verses on lineage and inheritance to consider both sides of the family equally.
  • Women’s agency in marriage: There are differing interpretations on who has the authority to arrange a woman’s marriage. The paper suggests whoever protects the woman during marriage can be the guardian, potentially giving women more agency.

The paper concludes that Islamic law can be more fair by emphasizing shared responsibilities, recognizing bilateral kinship, and giving women more say in choosing their spouse.

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