Islamic Law

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Islamic Law


a system of law that evolved under the Arab caliphate between the seventh and tenth centuries, consisting essentially of rules of conduct for believers and sanctions, usually religious, for nonfulfillment of these precepts.

Islamic law only governs relations between Muslims. However, even in those Asian and African countries where the bulk of the population is Muslim and Islamic law is accorded great respect, Islamic law is generally supplemented by other laws and customs and has been codified and adapted in accordance with new social structures. Therefore, it is more correct to distinguish between religious Islamic law and the law of Islamic states.

The al-Majallah, a codification of the obligational and procedural norms of Islamic law, was promulgated between 1869 and 1877. It was the civil legal code of the Ottoman empire and subsequently of Turkey until 1926, Lebanon until 1932, Syria until 1949, and Iraq until 1951. The code has been partially retained in Jordan, Israel, and Cyprus.

From the second half of the 19th century, Muslim countries adopted criminal, commercial, procedural, and other legal codes, based partly on borrowings from the law of Western European countries. Islamic law played a regulatory role in family, inheritance, and certain other relations. These aspects of Islamic law have been codified in special laws in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, India, Pakistan, and elsewhere. Turkey rejected Islamic law in its entirety in 1926. In some Arab countries and in India, Pakistan, and Indonesia, Islamic law has remained in effect in codified form in matters concerning the personal status of Muslims and in some matters relating to non-Muslims. In the constitutions of some Arab countries, Islamic law is acknowledged as the basis of jurisprudence; its application is permitted in civil law and other branches of the law, and sharia courts have been preserved. Islamic law is also applied as customary law in some countries of East and Central Africa.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The doctrine is used as a 'basis of rationality and extendibility of Islamic law to changing circumstances as a fundamental principle for the universality and certainty of Islamic law.
Accordingly, in the context of Islamic law, a jurist who deduces rules, from the sources of Islamic law, through the process of ijtihad is called a mujtahid.
Trends within Al Nahda on full Islamic laws included adopting a flexible approach or not fully applying them, he said.
Is it harder to teach Islamic law, as it is more open to interpretation?
''We still believe that situation can be saved if President Zardari signs the order for the enforcement of Islamic laws in the area,'' he said.
Taliban spokesman Muslim Khansaid the militantswould adhere to any deal reached with the group if Islamic law is implemented in the region.
Because Islamic law rejected a hereditary principle of succession, jurists were given a practical opportunity to make themselves politically important players in succession battles.
The Judge, Ado Muktar, said that as stipulated by Islamic law, when a couple finds it difficult to live together, then the court should not force them.
The Sudan's ruling Transitional Military Council said on Tuesday that it agrees in general with the proposals of opposition leaders on the structure of the transitional period, but added that the Islamic law and local customs should be the source of legislation.
But the radical groups said the deputy head of the Transitional Military Council (TMC) pledged to satisfy all their demands including maintaining Islamic law and therefore decided to cancel the march which could have provoked clashes with the sit-inners who camp outside the army headquarters.
Relevant to contemporary times when Sharia, generally referred to as Islamic law, has been associated with numerous negative connotations -ranging from anti-women, homophobic and cruel- Baudouin Duprets What is the Sharia?
Islamic finance refers to the banking activity followed strictly in accordance with Islamic law, also called as Shariah.

Full browser ?