Born in Baghdad (Iraq) in 1917, Abd Al-Karim Zedan Biej was educated in Iraq and Egypt. He graduated at the College of Law in Baghdad University in 1950, and obtained the Diploma of the Sharia Institute in 1958, and Ph.D. in Islamic Sharia from Cairo University in 1962.
Professor Biej taught Islamic Sharia at the College of Arts and the College of Law in Baghdad University for many years, and rose through academic ranks to full professorship and Deanship of the College of Islamic Studies. After his retirement, he was named Professor Emeritus at Baghdad University in recognition of his contributions to teaching and research. He subsequently served as Professor of Islamic Sharia and Comparative Fiqh at the Departments of Islamic Studies and Graduate Islamic Studies in the College of Arts at Sana’ University in Yemen.
Professor Biej authored numerous articles and several books; some of his works were translated into other languages – English, Turkish, Indonesian, Malaysian and Hindi – and are being used for teaching in several Arab and Islamic Universities. One of his most important accomplishments is his monumental text: A Detailed Study of the Status of Women and Family in Islamic Law. This 11-volume book deals in great depth with the status of women and their role in the Islamic society, not only from a religious perspective, but also from social and economic standpoints, and represents a serious attempt to relate the rationale of Islamic laws to contemporary issues facing women in modern societies.
The King Faisal International Prize recognized Professor Zaidan’ exceptional contributions to studies on the status of women in Islam as embodied in his 11-volume work entitled A Detailed Study of Women and Family in Islamic Law. Dr. Zaidan’s work represents a significant effort to relate the rationale of various aspects of Islamic law to contemporary issues facing women in the modern society.