Child Custody (Hadanah) in Islamic Family Law: An Anatomy of Women's Rights in Nigeria and Malaysia

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Hakeem Ijaiya Hakeemat Ijaiya


The Qur’an, the Hadith and the Shari'ah recognise the rights of women to custody of their children when they are no longer with their husband, provided they do not remarry. This right is known as hadanah. The study examines the conditions for the award of hadanah in Nigeria and Malaysiawith a view to determining whether its practice is in conformity with the Islamic injunctions. The qualitative approach is used. The qualitative approach includes content, deductive, and inductive analysis as well as comparative method. The references used in this study are the primary and secondary sources. Both materials are analysed accordingly to get the information related to this study. The paper found that women in Nigeria and Malaysia are subjected to ill treatment due to misconceptions about hadanah as an Islamic practice. The study found that women are disadvantaged when securing divorce and custody of their children. The paper concludes that the practice of hadanah in both countries contravenes the constitutional provisions on gender equality. The study recommends that legislative measures be put in place in Nigeria and Malaysia to address the pitfalls of gender-bias.

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