[FIRST ARAB TO RECEIVE A PHD ABOUT WOMEN'S RIGHTS IN SORBONNE] La condition privee de la femme dans le droit de l'Islam. [i.e. The legal status of women in the law of Islam]

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ABDALLAH-AL-YAFI, (1901-1986)., Imp. Graphique, Paris, 1925.

Original wrappers. Roy. 8vo. (24 x 16 cm). In French. [v], 163, [1] p. Chippings on extremities of cover, rubbed on spine, overall a good copy.

First edition of this scarce book titled in English "The Legal Status of Women in the Law of Islam", written by Al-Yafi who was the Prime Minister of Lebanon serving twelve times between 1938 and 1969, and at the forefront of the struggle to give women the right to vote, which he was able to achieve with his cabinet in power in 1952.

Abdallah Al-Yafi is the first Arab to receive a Ph.D. from Sorbonne University, where he wrote his thesis about women's rights in Islam. The thesis subject was "The Legal Status of Women in the Law of Islam" (French: La Condition Privée de la Femme dans le Droit de l'Islam). Drawing from Quranic decrees and Islamic principles, he made a case about how women are supposed to be allotted more rights in society.

Al-Yafi believed that the empowerment of women was crucial for building a stronger society, equality providing a steadier base. These thoughts, when expressed in the 1920s, had quite an 'avant-garde' ring to conservative Muslim ears: they were not always welcome with wide open arms or minds. Later on, in his political life, Abdallah Al-Yafi's political opponents brandished his thesis as a weapon of defamation to tarnish his reputation. According to them, he was not a "righteous Muslim" but a French minion who had given in to the French authorities-the colonial mandate authority in Lebanon at the time-in blaspheming the Islamic religion in reward of a "Doctorat d’État". These were aimed at ruining the honest image that he so carefully cultivated throughout his life.