Muslim Family Law, Secular Courts and Muslim Women of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh: A Study in…

Hardcover | December 31, 2010

byAlamgir Muhammad Serajuddin

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The classical Shari'a law on family relations is based on patriarchal family organization and male privileges, leading to legal and social discrimination against women, which is incompatible with present-day notions of gender equality and social justice. The discrimination is especiallypronounced in such vital matters as marriage, divorce, maintenance, guardianship and custody of children and inheritance; and yet, these are the institutions which form the bed-rock of security and stability in family life. In view of the sensitiveness of the issue of family law reform, thelegislative and executive organs of the state are reluctant to address these discriminations. But the courts cannot refuse to adjudicate, when social justice issues are addressed to them; for, to deny relief is to nullify the judicial process and negate justice. In an admirable display ofscholarship and creativity, the South Asian judiciary has shown that, by giving a liberal and pro-active interpretation to the rules of Muslim family law, it is possible to adapt many of them to the needs of a modern society, from within the Islamic legal framework. The book examines the extent towhich the pro-active roles of the courts have liberalized these laws, enlarged the dimensions of women's rights and contributed to secure equality of rights and social justice to Muslim women. The book also deals with conservative opposition to judicial law making and locates further areas wherejudicial activism may be useful. As India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have inherited the same legal traditions, the book argues that they can share one another's post-colonial experiences. Furthermore, the book finds that in the absence of legislation reflecting the ijma or consensus of the Muslimcommunity, judicial activism is the only alternative agent of social change.

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The classical Shari'a law on family relations is based on patriarchal family organization and male privileges, leading to legal and social discrimination against women, which is incompatible with present-day notions of gender equality and social justice. The discrimination is especiallypronounced in such vital matters as marriage, divo...

Professor Alamgir Serajuddin, formerly vice-chancellor of the University of Chittagong, Bangladesh, teaches in the department of history. A barrister-at-law from Lincoln's Inn, Serajuddin has a Ph.D. from London University. He is the author of Revenue Administration of the East India Company in Chittagong, 1761-1785, and has written s...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:350 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.1 inPublished:December 31, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195479688

ISBN - 13:9780195479683

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsPreface1. Introductory Statement2. Muslim Family Law, Colonial Courts and Muslim Women3. Muslim Family Law in India since 1947Section I: Muslim Family Law, Secular Courts and Muslim Women of India, 1947-1970Section II: Muslim Family Law, Judicial Activism and Legal Rights of Muslim Women of India since 1971Maintenance of Muslim Wives under Statutory and Personal LawTalaq under Muslim Personal LawTalaq-i bid'at (disapproved form of divorce) and Remarriage of Divorced CoupleJudicial Divorce under the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939Talaq-i-tafwid (delegated divorce)Restitution of Conjugal RightsRegistration of Marriage and Expenses of Marriage CeremonyCustody and Maintenance of Children4. Muslim Family Law in Pakistan since 1947Section I: Muslim Family Law, Judicial Creativity and Legal Rights of Muslim Women of Pakistan, 1947-1978Reinterpretation of the Sources of Shari'a Law Khula DivorceWomen's Right to Hold Judicial and Magisterial PositionsMaintenance of WivesDowerProtection of Women's Property RightsCustody of ChildrenInterpretation of the Provisions of the Muslim FamilyLaws Ordinance, 1961 and Talaq under the OrdinanceSection II: Muslim Family Law, Judicial Conservatism and Muslim Women of Pakistan since 19795. Muslim Family Law, Judicial Interpretation and Muslim Women's Legal Rights in BangladeshMarriage and DowerPolygamyRestitution of Conjugal RightsTalaq under the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 and the Tyranny of FatwaTalaq-i-tafwid (delegated divorce)Khula DivorceMaintenance of WivesChildren's Custody LawProtection of Pardanashin Women6. Concluding ObservationsGlossaryAbbreviationsTable of CasesBibliography