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The essay provides a general account of some of the main changes that Islamic law has undergone since the late 19th century: the transformation of Islamic law from a jurists’ law to a statutory law; the displacement of the ʿulamāʾ as the exclusive interpreters of Islamic law; and the secularization and nationalization of Islamic law through the judicial practice of the Constitutional Court and civil courts in Egypt. Other issues include the impact of the West on Islamic law; the reduction of Islamic lawin Turkey to the sta-tus of custom; the collapse of traditional family law and the waqf institution; the Isla-mization of custom in tribal societies; and the application of Islamic law in a non-Muslim state. In the conclusion, I assess the chances of reinstating Islamic law and Islamizing the statutory legal corpus based on the experience of Iran, the Sudan and Egypt.


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  • 2

    Hallaq 2004, 42; cf. Shaham, 190-1.

  • 4

    Layish 1987, 292 col. 2.

  • 6

    Hallaq 2009, 493-6; Hooker, 270-3.

  • 7

    Cf. Anderson, 34-8, 86-100; Coulson 1964, 149ff.; Layish 1991b.

  • 11

    Dirks, 34ff., 77-8; Hallaq 2009, 498; Yilmaz, 121-7; Koçak, 263.

  • 12

    Cf. Peters 2003, 91.

  • 16

    Hallaq 2009, 447-9; Lombardi, 81ff.; Anderson, 42-82; Layish 1978, 263-77; Layish 2004, 90-1.

  • 17

    Peters 2003, 88ff.

  • 18

    Cf. Hallaq 2009, 449.

  • 19

    Layish & Warburg, 220ff.; Layish 1978, 264.

  • 20

    Cf. Coulson 1969, 100.

  • 21

    Peters 2003, 93; Hallaq 2009, 500, 547; Cardinal; Baer, 91-2.

  • 23

    Cf. Peters 2003, 91, 93-5; Hallaq 2004, 22; Layish 2013, 531; Vikør, 256-7, 261-2.

  • 24

    Coulson 1971, 108-10, 141-2.

  • 26

    Layish, 2000a; cf. Hallaq, 2009, 450-71.

  • 28

    Layish 2000b; Hallaq 2009, 471-3.

  • 30

    Hallāq 2002, 53, 55, 61.

  • 31

    Cf. Stewart 2000; Stewart 2012.

  • 34

    Hallaq 1997, ch. 6.

  • 35

    Hallaq 1997, 83-4, 88-9,112; cf. Opwis 2005, 210-11. For further discussion, see below, 18.

  • 37

    Lombardi, 123-5, 129, 135; cf. Hallaq 2009, 479-80; Peters 2003, 91.

  • 38

    Cf. Peters 1988, 236.

  • 43

    Lombardi, 183, 188; Hallaq 2009, 480-1; cf. Peters 1988, 242; Dupret, 129ff., 136-43.

  • 46

    Naveh 1997, 374, 384-8, 398; Naveh 2002, 16-21.

  • 47

    Layish 1991a, 10-12, and the references to Ann Mayer’s articles.

  • 50

    In 1989, the constitution was amended so that the Guardian Jurist would no longer be the Chief Jurist, nor would he be the only individual tasked with exercising ijtihād. I am grateful to Ze’ev Maghen for this clarification.

  • 56

    Cf. Abou El Fadl 1994.

  • 58

    Layish 2008a, 129ff., 144-5.

  • 61

    Layish 1975, 334-7. For further details on siyāsa sharʿiyya, see further below, 293. Support for the “jurisprudence of minorities” (fiqh al-aqalliyyāt), an ideology designed to facilitate the integration of Muslims in non-Muslim states, is found in the Qurʾān, the ḥadīth, and legal doctrines such as public welfare, necessity, governance in accordance with the sharīʿa, the goals of the sharīʿa and facilitation (taysīr) of fiqh (March; Abou El Fadl 2005, chs. 10-11).

  • 62

    Shahar, 210; Abou Ramadan, 84; cf. Stern 2007, 35.

  • 64

    Hallaq, 2009, 522, 527; cf. Shaham, 190-1.

  • 66

    Layish 2004, 108.

  • 70

    Friedman, 215; cf. al-Atawneh 2001, 61.

  • 73

    Khadduri; Opwis 2005, 197ff.; Opwis 2010, Index, s.v. legal change; cf. Layish 2013, 524-5.

  • 74

    Hallaq 1997, 214ff.; cf. Layish 1978, 270-1; Shaham, 176.

  • 75

    Hallaq 1997, 218-19.

  • 78

    Vogel 1997, 694ff.; cf. Schacht, 54.

  • 81

    Layish, 1987, 280b; Vogel, 2000, 94; cf. Peters 2003, 87.

  • 82

    Vogel 2000, 175, 357-8. In 1992, Saudi Arabia codified its constitutional law in the Basic Ordinance; in 2001, it codified its criminal procedure law (Otto, 629).

  • 83

    Cf. Peters 2003, 90ff. Some ʿulamāʾ decline to issue the required legal opinions. Thus in the wake of the qāḍīs’ tendency to ignore the King’s regulations, other tribunals have been established to enforce these regulations (Vogel 2000, 175-6).

  • 84

    Vogel 2000, 343-4; Layish 1987, 285. Cf. Opwis 2005, 222.

  • 85

    Vogel 2000, 134-5.

  • 86

    Al-Atawneh 2010, 63-4, 139-40, 144; al-Atawneh 2011, 348f., 354-5.

  • 87

    Vogel 2000, 124, 173-5, 341.

  • 88

    Ibid., 295-6; Layish 1987, 284b.

  • 89

    Al-Atawneh 2001, 57.

  • 90

    Vogel 2000, 78; al-Atawneh 2010, 64ff.

  • 91

    Vogel 2000, 122-3; Layish 1987, 292; van Eijk, 161.

  • 93

    Vogel 2000, 342.

  • 94

    Ibid., 107, 126; al-Atawneh 2010, 148.

  • 95

    Cf. Layish 1978, 265.

  • 98

    Hallaq 2009, 475-8.

  • 100

    Al-Qaraḍāwī 1998a, 10, 92.

  • 101

    Al-Qaraḍāwī 1998a, 128.

  • 102

    Al-Qaraḍāwī 1998a, 16, 23, 103.

  • 103

    Al-Qaraḍāwī 1998a, 24, 26, 27, 37.

  • 104

    Al-Qaraḍāwī 1998a, 46, 50.

  • 105

    Al-Qaraḍāwī 1998a, 98-9.

  • 106

    Hallaq 2009, 104; see above, 10.

  • 107

    Al-Qaraḍāwī 1998b, 104-6.

  • 108

    MEMRI, 25 November 2007.

  • 110

    Al-Qaraḍāwī 2012.

  • 117

    Pelham 2011, 15.

  • 118

    In 2009, the Parliament considered introducing amputation as punishment for theft; see Issacharoff 2009.

  • 121

    Cf. Peters 2003, 93-4.

  • 122

    Cf. Peters 2003, 91.

  • 123

    Cf. Peters 2003, 92f.

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