Drawing on original survey research, this study examines how lay Muslims in Malaysia understand foundational concepts in Islamic law. The survey finds a substantial disjuncture between popular legal consciousness and core epistemological commitments in Islamic legal theory. In its classic form, Islamic legal theory was marked by its commitment to pluralism and the centrality of human agency in Islamic jurisprudence. Yet in contemporary Malaysia, lay Muslims tend to understand Islamic law as being purely divine, with a single “correct” answer to any given question.
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Library ResourcePeer-reviewed publicationFebruary, 2013Malaysia
Library ResourcePeer-reviewed publicationApril, 2015Malaysia
Why do activist groups representing some of society’s most marginalized employ legalistic forms of ‘rights talk’ when the reality of securing rights via the judicial system is almost unimaginable? The article considers this question in relation to the work of the Malaysian non-governmental organisation (NGO) EMPOWER who, in 2011, produced the Malaysian Women’s Human Rights Report focusing attention on the rights of informal sector workers, refugees, sexual minorities and women’s rights under non-Islamic family law.
Library ResourcePeer-reviewed publicationDecember, 2014Malaysia
Characterized as divinely ordained, the Islamic law of inheritance defines women’s rights to property of the deceased with specific roles and responsibilities for each individual. Obviously, the Islamic law of inheritance is a major contribution to the legal system of the world, compared to the customary laws in the pre‐Islamic Arab society that denied any proprietary right by way of inheritance to female relatives including daughters.
Library ResourcePeer-reviewed publicationMay, 2011Rwanda
In Rwanda, for many years ago, rights over land for women and female orphans were not
recognized. The main causes were the inexistence of efficient land administration systems and
the prevalence of traditional system of land tenure which were complex and did not favor
women and female descendants. In 2004, the Government of Rwanda had adopted a new land
policy which was complemented by the 2005 Organic Land Law and a series of laws and
regulations with regard to access to land, land management perspectives, and to the modalities
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