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Tafattuq al-aḥkām also known as “ تفتّق الأكمام ”, “Épanouissement de la fleur ou étude sur la femme dans l’islam” Hernández-Justo, Tatiana


Šayj ( شيخ ) Muḥammad al-Sanūsī ( محمد السنوسي ) wrote and published the text at hand in 1890. The book was somewhat famous because, despite having been written by a scholar educated in conservative al- Zaytuna mosque, it was one of the first in Tunisia to rally for women's education. The book covers almost all of the Qur'anic dispositions regarding women, such as polygyny and testimony, from a conservative point of view that aligns with hegemonic interpretations of the times. The only topic that is portrayed under a different light is that of education. The book is filled with Qur'anic quotations as well as ahadith ( أحاديث ) to back the author's explanations of said issues and the laws related to them. Despite the fact that the book was not too well-known (except among fellow Zaytuna scholars), it did serve as a precedent for the educational reform, particularly with regards to the inclusion of women in education. The time scope we have chosen for the present entry reflects the period from the publication of the book until the Tunisian independence because it was in 1956 that the Law of Personal Status was published. Considering the topics covered by the text at hand and those present in the aforementioned law, we believe it is safe to assume that what little influence the text at hand could possibly have had in Tunisian society and the female emancipation and educational reform debates ended after the proclamation of the law.

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