Islamic Law as Indigenous Law: Sharīʿa Courts in Israel from a Postcolonial Perspective

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter offers a post-colonial perspective on Sharīʿa courts in Palestine/Israel. It argues that the transformations in these courts from the late nineteenth century onwards are reminiscent of transformations that occurred in indigenous or 'customary' law in colonial settings. More specifically, these courts underwent processes of modernisation, bureaucratisation, systematisation and subordination of the Sharīʿa to state hegemony. It is further argued that Sharīʿa courts in Israel - like 'indigenous' legal institutions in colonial settings - have come to constitute, at one and the same time, an instrument of state hegemony and control and an arena of indigenous resistance. This argument is briefly illustrated with examples from the Sharīʿa courts of Beersheba and Jerusalem.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Islamic Law and Society
EditorsNorbert Oberauer, Yvonne Prief, Ulrike Qubaja
PublisherBrill Academic Publishers
Number of pages25
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameStudies in Islamic Law and Society
ISSN (Print)1384-1130

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Brill Academic Publishers. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • Law


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