This paper proposes that Islamic thought on gender rights and roles has embarked on a particularly dynamic phase, one where reconsideration of laws affecting women now has far less of a preoccupation than it formerly had with technical problems of reforming the heritage of Islamic jurisprudence. Muslim opinion now often emphasizes reformulating questions rather than using traditional methodologies to determine answers. The focus has increasingly shifted to broad policy issues relating to the role that women should play in contemporary societies. Rather than following the strategies typically seen during the mid-twentieth century, when reformers tinkered with inherited juristic rules, many Muslims currently attempt to derive foundational Islamic concepts from the Qur`an and example of the Prophet, asking how these apply to women’s concerns. Bold challenges are made to the monopoly that jurists with advanced training in the Islamic sciences seek to maintain defining Islamic rules; expertise in the intricacies of juristic treatises and the associated methodologies carries less weight.