Chapter

Rightful Measures: Irrigation, Land, and the Sharīοah in the Algerian Touat

Judith Scheele

in Legalism

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199664269
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744686 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199664269.003.0008
Rightful Measures: Irrigation, Land, and the Sharīοah in the Algerian Touat

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A common assumption is that law is imposed from above and that study of the ‘legalization’ of a given society is the study of spreading state influence. Yet examples from the periphery of universalizing legal systems suggest that there was often a keen demand on the ground for law, and in particular for written law. This chapter offers a case study from the Touat, a group of oases in southern Algeria, where, historically, state control was weak or absent. Nonetheless, locals attempted to follow Islamic law as best they could, and went to considerable lengths to pay legal experts, scribes, and quḍāh (Islamic ‘judges’) in order to fulfil the requirements of the sharīʿah.

Keywords: legalization; legal system; Islamic law; Islamic judges; quḍāh

Chapter.  14166 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Law ; History of Law

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