In the face of opposition to the appointment of 30 women to Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council, Saudi media is hauling out clerics — both Saudi and Egyptian — to say that the action is not something new, that’s it’s fully Islamic, and that even the Prophet Mohammed availed himself of women’s counsel. I can’t tell whether this is preemptory or in response to greater protests against the move.

Women’s Shoura participation ‘Shariah-compliant’
Top scholars back King Abdullah’s landmark decision, say Islamic history replete with examples
Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — A number of prominent Islamic scholars have commended the decision of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to appoint 30 women in the Shoura Council and said it was within the Shariah rules.

Speaking to Al-Riyadh Arabic newspaper, the scholars were unanimous that the King’s decision was a Shariah compliant move especially that it contained detailed Shariah controls.

They said the Islamic history is replete with instances in which women were consulted and their opinions adopted.

The scholars cited in this connection the advice of Um Salamah, wife of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), when he complained to her that his Companions would not release themselves from their Ihrams after the Hudaibiyah Pact with the Quraysh of Makkah under which the Muslims were prevented from performing Umrah that year.

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