The meanings and contexts of Shari'a are the subject of both curiosity and misunderstanding by non-Muslims. Shari'a is sometimes crudely characterised by outsiders as a punitive legal system operating broadly outside, and separate from, national laws and customs. This groundbreaking book shows that Shari'a and its 'fiqh' (laws set forward by various Islamic legal schools) comprise a far more nuanced matrix of interpretations than is often assumed to be the case. Far from being monolithic or impervious to change from without, Muslim legal tradition has - since its beginnings in the early Islamic period - placed an emphasis on equity and non-adversarial conflict-resolution. Mohamed Keshavjee examines both Sunni and Shi'a applications of Islamic law, demonstrating how political, cultural and other factors have influenced the practice of fiqh and Shari'a in the West. Exploring in particular the modern development of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), the author shows that this process can revitalise some of the essential principles that underlie Muslim teachings and jurispudence, delivering not only formal remedies but also perceived justice, even to non-Muslims.
MOHAMED M. KESHAVJEE is an international specialist on cross-cultural mediation. With a background in law from Britain and Canada, from 2000 to 2012 he directed, and lectured in, all the international training programmes in mediation for the National Conciliation and Arbitration Boards of the Ismaili Muslim community worldwide. He specialises in Islamic and international human rights law and obtained his PhD from the University of London.
Foreword Acknowledgements List of Figures 1. Introduction 2. The Muslim Community in Britain 3. Overview of the Hounslow Muslim Community 4. The Sharia, Religious Law of Muslims 5. The Muslim Law (Shariah) Council (UK) 6. The Many Faces of ADR in Hounslow 7. The Case for Court-Invoked Adjudication 8. Towards an Islamic Model of ADR 9. Policy Considerations Appendix: Some Perspectives on ADR Notes Glossary of Arabic, Persian and South Asian Terms Bibliography Index