This article discusses the writings of Amina bint Haydar al-Sadr, a prolific Shi‘i intellectual and novelist in Najaf during the 1960s and 1970s more commonly known by her pen name Bint al-Huda (“Daughter of the Right Path”). It examines the author’s ambivalence about marriage in modern law and society as both a promise of lifelong companionship and a private institution that threatens to close a woman off from her other relationships, especially those with her female friends, and thereby from her means of engaging in the ethical work of developing a pious self. It also reads this ambivalence in relation to the texts’ interpellation of a homosocial public of female Muslim readers in order to raise questions about certain theoretical conceptions of the modern “public” and “private” spheres.

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