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Islam and ColonialismBecoming Modern in Indonesia and Malaya$
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Muhamad Ali

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474409209

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474409209.001.0001

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Formalising Legal Plurality

Formalising Legal Plurality

(p.193) VI Formalising Legal Plurality
Islam and Colonialism

Muhamad Ali

Edinburgh University Press

It investigates how the Dutch and British administrators and scholars, who often criticised Islamic and customary laws for their lack of compatibility with their Western laws, were compelled to develop formal and centralised legal systems in the colonies. Europeans put narrow limits on the jurisdiction of shari’ah as Islamic law, but leaving Muslim groups to interpret shari’ah through their fatwas and other non-governmental means. Colonial legal modernisation and Islamic reform collided in their negotiations as to whether local practices should be deemed Islamic or customary. Jurisprudential politics should include the compromises among different agents and thus legal plurality was the outcome.

Keywords:   Legal Pluralism, Adatrecht (Customary Law), Hierarchical Justice, Shari’ah Council, Qadi (Muslim judge), Jurisprudential Politics

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