Changing interpretations of Shari'a, 'Urf and Qanun. An antrhopologically grounded overview of Islamic encounters with the postenlightenment premises of European Family Law
Prepared for a conference on current developments in Islamic Family Law, this paper takes the opportunity
to compare and contrast the meaning of ‘law’ in general, and ‘family law’ in particular in the classical Shari’a
tradition with the premises which currently underpin contemporary forms of post-enlightment European
Family Law. Having done so, it goes on to explore the way in which the institutions of the Shari’a have
been comprehensively remoulded (if not yet entirely wholly eliminated) in the course of confrontations with
the impact of ‘progressive’ impact of hegemonic European ideological assumptions, no less in colonial, postcolonial
and diasporic contexts.