ABSTRACT

This chapter will discuss why women are not currently allowed to work as judges in Iran. I argue that Shi’a fiqh (jurisprudence) is a dynamic phenomenon and has a real capacity to adapt laws and regulations according to time and place. This adaptability has been strengthened by the concept of ijtihad (the application of human reason and rationality), which offers a rational and analytical approach. The application of ijtihad allows interpretation of religious matters based on the Quran and on the teachings of the sunnah (the sunnah, or practice of the Prophet, is recorded in the hadith as accounts by others of his words or acts and forms the secondary authoritative basis for Islamic law).