Law and Custom in the Popular Legal Culture of North Africa

in Islamic Law and Society
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Abstract

Focusing on a series of instances from the Islamic courts of North Africa, the present article argues that custom does not stand apart from the sacred law but is seen by its adherents as itself Islamic and hence indissolubly linked to Islamic law. Local practice and universalizing principles of the sharīʿa thus merge in popular conceptualizations. Legal officials also share in the recognition of custom as part of the shariʾa, thus contributing to the overall legitimacy of the sharīʿa and to its capacity to respond to changing circumstances.

Law and Custom in the Popular Legal Culture of North Africa

in Islamic Law and Society

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