On a bright afternoon in March, I climbed a dusty path in the northern highlands of Jordan, passing olive groves, pine forests and grazing goats along the way. I arrived at a tent where Imam Sheikh Zuhare welcomed me warmly and invited me to take a seat with him on a rug on the ground under a giant photograph of Jordan’s King Abdullah.
He poured me a glass of sugary mint tea, served me a platter of crusty pita bread, fresh olive oil, zataar, labneh and hummus, and explained how things in this tiny corner of the Muslim world were changing.
Sheikh Zuhare wasn’t referring to the groundbreaking protests of the Arab Spring, although that was certainly on the tip of everyone’s tongue in Jordan at the time. Rather, he talked about the incremental shifts in how Muslim law was being interpreted in terms of family planning.