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By Erin E. Stiles

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This perceptive ethnographic learn bargains perception into the workings of the modern Islamic criminal approach. in accordance with fieldwork in Zanzibar, Stiles sheds mild on how humans comprehend and use Islamic criminal principles in marital disputes and at the judicial reasoning and litigant job in Islamic kin court docket. providing special interpretations, this booklet exhibits that Islamic judges (kadhis), clerks, and litigants cause utilizing not just their understandings of Islamic legislations but in addition their perspectives of genuine and excellent marital habit, neighborhood authority, and the court’s function in the neighborhood. Stiles’ account offers a compelling and far-reaching contribution to socio-legal scholarship.

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Extra resources for An Islamic Court in Context: An Ethnographic Study of Judicial Reasoning

Sample text

The desk was always tidy, and a well-worn leather-bound Qur’an and several aged books of hadith in Arabic were neatly arranged on top. In the center of the desk lay one or two current case files and an inexpensive ballpoint pen. Two wooden chairs for disputants sat facing the desk. The clerks’ desk was near the doorway. It was much smaller and far less tidy; most of the time it was piled high with case files. I always sat on a chair against the wall near Shaykh Hamid’s desk; I was often unlucky and got the worst chair in the room with the broken rattan seat.

It is to make sure that we have decided the cases to make sure everything is fair and right . . On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we don’t give hukumu (rulings) at all—not until Thursday [until after they have met together]. He continued by explaining that they wrote all of their decisions together, and waited to read them aloud to litigants until they had agreed on the ruling. In 2001, a bill was passed making official the fatwas of the mufti of Zanzibar, and this has the potential to inf luence judicial activity at the primary level.

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we don’t give hukumu (rulings) at all—not until Thursday [until after they have met together]. He continued by explaining that they wrote all of their decisions together, and waited to read them aloud to litigants until they had agreed on the ruling. In 2001, a bill was passed making official the fatwas of the mufti of Zanzibar, and this has the potential to inf luence judicial activity at the primary level. 10 Among others duties, the bill gives the Chief Mufti the duty to mediate disputes between the government and Muslim organizations, stipulates that his legal opinions are binding, and calls for Muslims to seek the mufti’s opinion before holding communal prayers.

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