Islamic Law

Introduction

Islamic Law - Research Guide International Law

Shari’a or the sacred law of Islam is the will of God revealed to the prophet Muhammad and eventually taken down in the text of the Quran. The Quran together with the Sunna, the normative precedents of the prophet and his followers, written down in the form of Traditions (hadith),  form the two main sources of the Shari’a. The legal scholars of the science of Shari’a (fiqh) developed methodologies and constructed an elaborate legal system, discussing cases and exercising legal reasoning on the basis of consensus (ijma’) and on analogy (qiyas). There are four pre-eminent schools of law: the Shafi’i, Hanafi, Maliki and Hanbali school. The Shari’a prescribes in detail how a Muslim must behave in all aspects of life, that is, in the religious, moral and legal sphere and represents an eternally valid ideal to which society must aspire. The main legal areas treated are family, inheritance, commercial, contract, criminal and evidence law. Justice is being administered by Islamic judges (qadi’s). The legal areas not covered by Islamic law belong to the discretionary power of the ruler, called siyasa. This double administration of justice, one religious and the other secular prevails until this day. The reception of Western political ideas and the formation of states in particular changed the natural environment of the Shari’a. Modern theories differ widely about the possibility of an Islamic state and about the Shari’a as a basis for legislation or human rights.

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on Islamic Law. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's classification index code 346. Works on the Law of Oriental Countries and on Islamic Law and subject heading (keyword) Islamic Law are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.

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Bibliography

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Books

Leading articles

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Periodicals, serial publications

Bibliographies

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  • Zee, M., Choosing Sharia?: Multiculturalism, Islamic Fundamentalism and Sharia Councils, The Hague, Eleven International Publishing, 2016.

    choosing-sharia-machteld-zee-boek-cover-9789462366343

    Proponents of multiculturalism do not usually subscribe to Islamist goals. Yet, across Europe, these are being furthered. Sharia councils are deeply at odds with Western moral and legal principles of equality, freedom, and justice. However, high-profile multiculturalists tend to present a romanticized view of these councils, which obscures both the ideology that motivates them and their practical consequences. Are Sharia councils a legitimate expression of the longing for identity, as multiculturalists claim? What do Islamists really want? And why do multiculturalists find it so difficult to counter their claims? This book explores the implications of multiculturalism and Islamic fundamentalism. It provides a vivid account of what really goes on inside Sharia councils, and it discusses the challenges they pose to liberal democracy. With impressive clarity and vital importance, the book offers insight into two ideologies crucial to Europe's future. *** "Author Machteld Zee draws upon direct experience observing Sharia councils as well as individual case studies as she analyzes the problem and prospective solutions. Choosing Sharia? is highly recommended."

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  • Vanhullebusch, M., War and law in the Islamic world, Leiden : Brill, Nijhoff, 2015.

    vanhullebusch

    Armed conflict, today, has diverged from war as it was known in generations past, and from this, has tested the means by which conflicts and violence are regulated. Written with an eye to a region plagued by such conflicts, War and Law in the Islamic World examines the origins and roles that two distinct systems of governance – Islamic law and international humanitarian law – have played in conflicts past and present. Meant equally for the scholar or student, this book presents the legal and policy complexities of today’s conflicts in a new light through its careful and well-researched investigation of the past and the present

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  • Rohe, M., Islamic Law in Past and Present, Leiden, Brill, 2015.

    Rohe, M., Islamic Law in Past and Present, Leiden, Brill, 2015.

    Islamic Law in Past and Present, written by the lawyer and Islamicist Mathias Rohe, is the first comprehensive study for decades on Islamic law, legal theory, reform mechanisms and the application of Islamic law in Islamic countries and the Muslim diaspora. It provides information based on an abundance of Oriental and Western sources regarding family and inheritance law, contract and economic law, penal law, constitutional, administrative and international law. The present situation and ‘law in action’ are highlighted particularly. This includes examples collected during field studies on the application of Islamic law in India, Canada and Germany.

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  • Ercanbrack, J.G., The Transformation of Islamic Law in Global Financial Markets, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2015.

    Ercanbrack, J.G., The Transformation of Islamic Law in Global Financial Markets, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2015.

    The role of global capital in relation to human social systems has assumed enormous proportions in liberalised, deregulated markets. States attempt to nationalise it, financial centres spring up in its wake, and INGOs attempt to deal with its de-territorialising, supranational characteristics. A global adjudication system (arbitration) has been introduced to safeguard and buttress its flow. The power of Islamic capital has generated numerous sites of legal contestation and negotiation, ranging from gateway financial centres, international law firms and transnational financial institutions, all of which interact in the production of Islamic financial law (IFL). The process of producing IFL illustrates complex fields of action driven by power dynamics, neoliberal paradigms and the institutional momentum of the global economy. The municipal legal systems under study in this book (the United Kingdom, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and the Dubai International Financial Centre) illustrate globalisation's acceleration of legal, economic and social production.

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  • Kruiniger, P.M., Islamic Divorces in Europe, Bridging the Gap between European and Islamic Legal Orders, The Hague, Eleven International Publishing, 2015.

    Kruiniger, P.M., Islamic Divorces in Europe, Bridging the Gap between European and Islamic Legal Orders, The Hague, Eleven International Publishing, 2015.

    This book examines the issue of the recognition of Islamic divorces in European states. Repudiation-based divorces are particularly notorious for their presumed violation of fundamental rights of women and are consequently often not recognized. The resulting limping of legal relationships affects other fundamental rights of the persons involved, such as the right to marry and the right of free movement. For this reason, the book scrutinizes classical Islamic divorce law and the contemporary divorce laws and practices of Egypt, Iran, Morocco, and Pakistan, as well as the Dutch, English, and French recognition policies and relevant EU (case) law. By introducing various soft and hard law solutions, the book provides legal practitioners with the information and tools to tackle major shortcomings in the recognition of Islamic divorces. It is therefore a must read for legal practitioners, such as registrars, notaries, and members of the judiciary, as well as academics.

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  • Giunchi, E.G., Muslim Family Law in Western Courts, London; New York, Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2014.

    Giunchi, E.G., Muslim Family Law in Western Courts, London; New York, Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2014.

    This book focuses on Islamic family law as interpreted and applied by judges in Europe, Australia and North America. It uses court transcriptions and observations to discuss how the most contentious marriage-related issues - consent and age of spouses, dower, polygamy, and divorce - are adjudicated. The solutions proposed by different legal systems are reviewed , and some broader questions are addressed: how Islamic principles are harmonized with norms based on gender equality, how parties bargain strategically in and out of court, and how Muslim diasporas align their Islamic worldview with a Western normative narrative.

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  • Bassiouni, M.C., The Sharīʿa and Islamic Criminal Justice in Time of War and Peace, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2014.

    Bassiouni, M.C., The Sharīʿa and Islamic Criminal Justice in Time of War and Peace, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2014.

    This innovative and important book applies classical Sunni Muslim legal and religious doctrine to contemporary issues surrounding armed conflict. In doing so it shows that the shari'a and Islamic law are not only compatible with contemporary international human rights law and international humanitarian law norms, but are appropriate for use in Muslim societies. By grounding contemporary post-conflict processes and procedures in classical Muslim legal and religious doctrine, it becomes more accessible to Muslim societies who are looking for appropriate legal mechanisms to deal with the aftermath of armed conflict. This book uniquely presents a critique of the violent practices of contemporary Muslims and Muslim clerics who support these practices. It rebuts Islamophobes in the West that discredit Islam on the basis of the abhorrent practices of some Muslims, and hopes to reduce tensions between Western and Islamic civilizations by enhancing common understanding of the issues.

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Database

Blogs

  • Cultucide in Timbuktu: Shari’a and War Crimes

    Last weekend the Islamist Group Ansar Eddine (“Defenders of the Faith”) destroyed some of the age-old mausolea of Sufi Saints in Timbuktu. Despite the fact that recently on June 28 2012, these mausolea were placed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger.

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  • Islam and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

    In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) has helped many childless couples successfully produce families in all corners of the globe. Current developments regarding IVF treatment have sparked debates in many islamic nations among religious groups. This blog will focus on Iran and discuss the differences between Sunni and Shi’a Islam regarding this issue.

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