Comparative Law and the Islamic (Middle Eastern) Legal Culture

Chibli Mallat

in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780199296064
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

Comparative Law and the Islamic (Middle Eastern) Legal Culture


This article examines comparative law in Islamic legal culture. The first section discusses the comparative framework in Islamic law and civilization. The second section describes the rule of law in the prism of the legal profession. The third section discusses the notions of public and private in issues such as constitutions, contracts and torts, and family law. A millennium and a half after the Islamic revelation, unrest and violence associated with the Islamic/Middle Eastern world make one wonder, from a comparative perspective, whether West and East are not on a collision course precisely because of their diametrically opposed concepts of law. On the Western side, law is associated with nation-states and their territory; on the Islamic/Middle Eastern side, law is dominated by the personal dimension, defined on the basis of religion and even sect within that religion.

Keywords: Islamic law; Islamic civilization; family law; contract; tort; religion

Article.  15015 words. 

Subjects: Law ; Comparative Law

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