"Sharia in Action": A Study of Interpretation and Implementation of Sharia-Based Legislation in Four Muslim Majority Countries
06 / 2009 - unknown
Different groups in the Muslim world struggle over the correct interpretation of the sources of Islamic law. The outcomes of this process vary widely from one country to the other. Where in 2000, this led Egyptian women being given the right to unilateral divorce, in Nigeria women were sentenced to stoning to death. The proposed research intends to explore and analyze the nature and the degree of such differences in interpretation and implementation of the sharia in contemporary times. It specifically argues that an understanding of such differences requires knowledge about ?sharia in practice? in addition to knowledge about ?sharia in the books.? While comparative studies on ?sharia in the books? already exist, no comparative study on the implementation of sharia in legal and everyday life practice has yet been conducted. A one-year stay at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London) serves two aims: first, to develop an analytical framework for comparative study of ?sharia in practice? and a corresponding new research method which enables cross-country anthropological fieldwork, and second, the application of this research tool to two fields of law (family and penal law) in four countries (Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan).