By Nikhil Goyal This post is part of the Digital Islamic Law Lab (DILL) series, in which a Harvard student analyzes a primary source of Islamic law, previously workshopped in the DIL Lab. Source Summary: In Farooq Siddiqui v. Mst. Farzana Naheed, the Federal Shariat Court of Pakistan (“the Court”) considers whether surrogacy can be reconciled with … Continue reading Sharī‘a and Surrogacy in Pakistan
By Zubair Abbasi Ever since Pakistan’s creation as an independent state in 1947, Islam has continued to permeate its constitutional and legal system. From the confines of the personal law of Muslims at the time of independence, Islam has become the grundnorm of Pakistan’s constitutional system. Curiously, the gradual elevation of Islam in the formal … Continue reading Conjoined Twins: Human Rights and Islam in the Constitutional System of Pakistan
By Zubair Abbasi The enthusiasm of the Shariat Benches to judicially Islamize laws is best reflected in the judgment of the Shariat Bench of the Peshawar High Court in Mst. Farishta v Federation of Pakistan. In this judgment, the Shariat Bench reviewed the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961 (MFLO). Pakistan’s first military ruler, Ayub Khan … Continue reading Islamic Judicial Review in Practice (3): Sharia and State Law
By Zubair Abbasi The most significant impact of Islamic judicial review is the incorporation of qiṣāṣ and dīyah in the legal system of Pakistan. During the colonial period, the British replaced Islamic criminal law with the Indian Penal Code 1860. There are two important components of Islamic criminal law: ḥudūd and qiṣāṣ. Ḥudūd are fixed … Continue reading Islamic Judicial Review in Practice (2): Strategic Islamization of Laws
By Zubair Abbasi In my previous blog posts, I identified Islamic judicial review as the distinctive feature of Pakistan’s legal system. In my next three posts, I shall scrutinize how Islamic judicial review works in practice through the analysis of a few important judgments related to criminal law and family law. In this first post, … Continue reading Islamic Judicial Review in Practice (1): Decolonization through Islamization of Laws
By Zubair Abbasi Since its beginning in 1979, Islamic judicial review was unlikely to cause major constitutional and legal changes because of its inherent design to maintain the status quo. This can be explained by a number of factors. Firstly, the Federal Shariat Court (FSC) did not have jurisdiction over the provisions of the Constitution. … Continue reading The Impact of Islamic Judicial Review in Pakistan
By Zubair Abbasi Despite assigning a significant role to Islam, the Pakistani constitutional model does not propose a theocratic order. Rather, the theocratic tendencies resulting from the substantial role of Islam in the legal system are checked by a curious synthesis of Islamic constitutionalism and liberal constitutionalism. Instead of assigning the interpretative authority of Islamic … Continue reading Islamic Constitutionalism in Pakistan: Is it Theocratic?
Pakistan came into being through a constitutionally governed election when Muslims in British India voted for an independent state that comprised the Muslim-majority parts of India. It had two wings: East Pakistan (currently Bangladesh) and West Pakistan, geographically separated by more than a thousand kilometers. Since Islam was the only common link between the two … Continue reading Islamic Constitutionalism in Pakistan: Does it Matter?
In this post, I will examine a landmark case, Abdul Waheed v. Asma Jehangir, that was brought before the Pakistani Supreme Court and decided in 2004. The Court was asked to decide the substantive issue of whether a Muslim girl who has reached the age of puberty needs the consent of a male guardian (walī) … Continue reading Commentary: The Principle of Harmonious Interpretation and the Expansion of Federal Shariat Court Jurisdiction in Pakistan
In the “Islamization of Prison Laws” judgment of 2009, the Federal Shariat Court of Pakistan (FSC) expands its original jurisdiction by broadly construing the term “injunctions of Islam.” It construes the term to both include general Islamic principles and “the letter and the spirit” of said principles. This latter construction also gives the FSC … Continue reading Pakistan’s Federal Shariat Court and the Islamization of Prison Laws Judgment of 2009: Continued Expansion of Jurisdiction