Islamic Law in the Modern World

Nationalization, Islamization, Reinstatement

In: Islamic Law and Society
Aharon Layish The Hebrew University of

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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 law in 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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