The Development of Islamic Law and Society in the Maghrib

Powers, David S.
Date published: 
October 2011

The first eleven essays in this collection analyze the application of Islamic law in family law cases in Qadi courts in the Maghrib between 1100 and 1500 CE. Based on preserved legal documents and the expert opinions of Muslim jurists (Muftis), they demonstrate that the jurists placed high value on reasoned thought and were sensitive to the manner in which law, society, and culture interacted. The final essay shows how the treatment of family endowments by colonial regimes in Algeria and India at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries shaped, or misshaped the modern western scholarly understanding of Islamic law.