Women, Islam and Everyday Life

Renegotiating Polygamy in Indonesia

By Nina Nurmila

© 2009 – Routledge

216 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415673877
pub: 2011-04-10
US Dollars$54.95
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Hardback: 9780415468022
pub: 2009-06-09
US Dollars$155.00
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About the Book

This book examines Islam and women’s everyday life, focusing in particular on the highly controversial issue of polygamy. It discusses the competing interpretations of the Qur’anic verses that are at the heart of Muslim controversies over polygamy, with some groups believing that Islam enshrines polygamy as a male right, others seeing it as permitted but discouraged in favour of monogamy, and other groups arguing that Islam implicitly prohibits polygamy. Based on detailed fieldwork conducted in Indonesia, it provides an empirically-based account of women’s lived experiences in polygamous marriages, describing the different perceptions of the practice and strategies in dealing with it. It also considers the impact of changing public policy, in particular Indonesia’s 1974 Marriage Law which restricted the practice of polygamy. It shows that, in fact, this law has not resulted in widespread adherence, and considers how public policy could be modified to increase its effectiveness in affecting behaviour in everyday life. Overall, the book argues that polygamy has been a source of injustice towards women and children, that this is against Islamic teaching, and that a just Islamic law would need to call for the abolition of polygamy.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Polygamy in Context: Family and Kinship 3. Muslim Discourses on Polygamy in Indonesia 4. Reactions to and Negotiation around Polygamous Marriages 5. Polygamous Households 6. Conclusion

About the Author

Nina Nurmila is a lecturer at the Faculty of Islamic Education and Teaching, the State Islamic University (UIN) Bandung, Indonesia. She is currently a Fulbright Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Redlands, USA. She was previously an Endeavour Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. Her research interest is Gender and Islam in Muslim Societies, especially Indonesia.

About the Series

ASAA Women in Asia Series

The primary aim of this important series is to publish original, high quality work on all aspects of women in Asia. Submissions are welcomed from prospective authors, both new and established scholars, working in any appropriate discipline, and should in the first instance be sent to the series editor. Email: louise.edwards@unsw.edu.au

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POL000000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / General
REL037000
RELIGION / Islam / General
SOC000000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / General
SOC008000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General