The Management of Public and Private Spheres
While derived from the Qur’ān, the multifaceted concept of qiwāma has been reduced by many commentators to husbands’ moral and financial authority over wives, in order to demonstrate, “Islamicly speaking,” male power and the “superiority” of men to women. In fact, what the Qur’ān refers to is the financial responsibility of men, within the framework of conjugal life, given women’s preoccupation with childbirth and rearing, among others. The Qur’ān also uses qiwāma to incite male and female believers to be witnesses of truth and justice, even if such testimony goes against their proper interests. Today, it is up to Muslim men and women to instate equality and justice, which underlies the Qur’ānic concept of qiwāma, back into their private and public lives.