Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Family Relationships, Islamic Law Of
Many observers view contemporary Islamic law as largely reduced to matters of personal status: marriage, divorce, custody, support, and the like. However, Islamic law is characterized less by substantive bodies of rules and regulations—important as these are—than by the modes of legal reasoning, the styles of adducing evidence, and the cultural assumptions that crosscut legal domains. Thus, for all the tendency toward codification and systems of judicial appeals, what remains central to Islamic law in everyday life are the ways that decision making is pressed down to the local level and the ways in which changing cultural and social forms are attended to by the law. Across the Muslim world, these processes continue to respond to the changing circumstances of the family. Several forces—sometimes complementary, sometimes contending—inform the relation of family life and Islamic law. As people have moved out of the countryside and into the cities in many parts ...