Publisher description for Marriage, money, and divorce in medieval Islamic society / Jossef Rapoport.

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Counter In medieval Islamic society, divorce was commonplace. Although Islamic law regarded it as a patriarchal privilege, the prevalence of divorce undermined the social order by destabilizing households and increasing the number of unattached single women. In this fascinating account of domestic life in Cairo, Damascus and Jerusalem, Yossef Rapoport explores this trend through a radical rethink of the economic and legal dimensions of gender relations. Using a variety of legal, documentary and literary sources, he demonstrates that women possessed a surprising level of economic independence, both within and outside marriage, and that women manipulated patriarchal ideals and used their economic leverage to initiate divorce as often as men. The book covers a range of topics including dowry, women's access to waged labour, and oaths of repudiation. It is a compelling read and promises to make a substantial contribution to the social history of a relatively understudied period.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Marriage Egypt Cairo History To 1500, Marriage Syria Damascus History To 1500, Marriage Jerusalem History To 1500, Divorce Egypt Cairo History To 1500, Divorce Syria Damascus History To 1500, Divorce Jerusalem History To 1500, Marriage (Islamic law)Divorce (Islamic law)Islamic countries Social conditions