Introduction Exploring kafa’a as it was understood and debated in both pre-modern Islamic law and in Omani society prior to 1970 provides the bedrock for analyzing contemporary inequalities. This chapter explores the conflict between traditional culture and development in Oman by examining the practice of kafa’a in present-day Oman. I argue that kafa’a exemplifies a type of social and legal inequality that is at odds with state rhetoric but congruent with the type of hierarchical social structure traditionally valued by Omanis, which tolerates a high degree of inequality between individuals and groups. Moreover, the recognition of kafa’a as a condition of marriage in Article 20 of the Omani Personal Status Law serves, in effect, to reinforce traditional tribal and religious cultural practices in Oman.