Dr Mossalli gained her doctorate in the field of Islamic History and Civilization and has a Graduate Diploma of Thought and Civilization. She is a poli- tician affiliated with the Islamist Party of Justice and Development, which is leading the current government following its victory during the last legislative elections. Dr Mossalli has been a long-term advocate for women’s rights. In Morocco, she is a member of the Forum “Al-Zahraa” that works to enhance awareness among women and advocates for their participation in Morocco’s economic, social and political spheres ; a founding manager of the Centre Al Wiam pour l’Assistance Familiale (Al Wiam) ; a member of the National Commission on Implementing Women’s Representation Support Fund, the Moroccan Commission on National Dialogue, the Executive Office of the Moroccan Parliamentarians Against Corruption, the Association of Writers of Renewal (Amman), and a former Member of Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
She has authored numerous publications concerning the family and women’s involvement in politics and social develop- ment, including the book : Almosharakah as-siasyyah li-almara’h bayn alwaqi’wal ma’moul (Political Participation of Woman between Reality and hope), published in 2009 by the Al Wiam Center ; and Alhrkah alnsaa‘iah fi almghrb alma‘asr ; etjahat wkdhaya (Feminism in Contemporary Morocco), Al Jazeera Centre for Studies in 2013. She is currently a Member (from 2002) as well as Secretary and Speaker (from 2011) of the Moroccan Parliament, and a visiting professor at the Faculty of Law, Mohammed V University.
Speech Title (Gender Issues panel)
The Men-Women Relationship from an Islamic Perspective
The research rationale behind this paper is based upon four considerations :
1. The need to build bridges among civilizations ;
2. The understanding that Islamic values are humanitarian and universal ;
3. The negative stereotypical image of Muslim women in western communities ;
4. And the man-woman relationship as a provocative ‘Gender Issue’ in modern communities.
The paper will consider four research premises before going on to present some conclusions and recommendations. The first premise relates to gender issues from the perspective of the universal and constituent principles and concepts of the Quran and Sunna. Islam provides a conceptual framework for the Islamic perception of human being, universe and life, with the aim to set the foundation of epistemological theory and of behavioral theory within Islam. This conceptual framework includes the concepts of stewardship ; human dignity (for men and women) ; human egalitarianism ; universal reform ; and human monolithic origin. Over time, some concepts have become independent principles and laws form- ing the Islamic viewpoint on social issues. This includes in particular questions relating to family, such as the principles of marriage, of equality, of autonomy, of the role and function integration among spouses, of love and mercy, of gentle treatment. There are also questions pertaining to the encouragement to marriage ; and questions relating to two particular rules, that of :
1. Marriage being based on generosity, not selfishness ;
2. Marriage draws on benevolence before fulfilling the standards of justice.
The second premise explores the need to invest all the mechanisms available in the Islamic fundamental methodologies, especially the methodologies of the renewal school in the modern Muslim thought. Islamic Laws and Legislations are interdependent and coherent. Branches and cases should be referred to the universal rules, objectives and legal principles.
The third premise, particular concepts such as qawama need to be further explored, so as to re-build the image of the Muslim woman in the Islamic discourse from the perspective of the Quran and Sunnah. Original concepts in the Quranic discourse can only be deduced by virtue of somewhat universal and sophisticated views of the epistemological paradigms dispersed in the universal contexts of the Quran and Sunnah.
The fourth and final premise is in the acknowledgement that the first Muslim generation was exemplary. It is essential to be aware of and to acknowledge the role of women in the manifestations of the first generation of the Prophet’s Female Companions. These women gave their pledge of allegiance to the Prophet during the difficult times before Islam became more widespread and powerful. It was a time when women guarded borders and paid the ultimate sacrifice for their beliefs during the Prophet’s era and the beginnings of Islam. These women proved their awareness of their important role in life. The man-woman relationship during that early period was also governed by value order and a system of public ethics that developed the framework of the community in true simplicity, one free from pretentious artificiality. In this context, the Islamic perception of the man-woman relationship should abide by the following methodological principles :
1. Distinguishing the variable ijtihad from the invariable Sharia princi- ples : The juristic opinions on women suffered several repulsive hyperboles and misunderstandings under some specific social and political contexts that gave rise to some fatwas (legal advice). During these eras of cultural decline, the process of ijtihad came to a standstill and Muslims failed to understand the mission of Islam and their role as human beings to bring about the universal reform of the world.
2. Drawing clear lines between Islam and realities of Muslims.
3. Laws referring to women should be collectively explored without partitioning : It is not possible to understand the legislations regarding women’s issues and gender relationship adequately when they are studied as separate units. More rather, they form an orderly and syncretic struc- ture in an integral system noted for its self-interpretation. As a principle, Islamic law draws on the fact that legal laws are not applicable separately and thus they should be integrally and comprehensively understood.
(Starting 4 min)