Shari‘a and the Modern State

Anver M Emon

in Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199641444
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191741104 | DOI:
Shari‘a and the Modern State

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This chapter presents an introduction to Islamic law. Section A begins by discussing the basic themes in Islamic law; it provides an overview of the received narrative of the legal tradition, by which is meant the history of the legal tradition as encapsulated by leading scholarly research in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Section B moves beyond the premodern tradition as outlined in Section A and brings the narrative into the modern period. It shows show how the shifts in governance frameworks that came with the era of European colonialism and the modern state system has drastically altered the substance and authority of Islamic law in contemporary legal systems. Section C offers an intervention to the received narrative of Islamic law in the premodern and modern periods by recasting it in a different thematic frame, namely Shari'a as rule of law. Section D concludes by explicating how the proposed systemic approach to Islamic law allows us to appreciate the way in which it (and human rights law) are embedded in different systems of governance, and co-exist with multiple traditions that contribute to the way in which society is governed.

Keywords: Islamic law; legal tradition; European colonialism; modern state system; governance; rule of law; human rights law

Chapter.  16953 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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