1st Edition

Islamic Law in the Indian Ocean World Texts, Ideas and Practices

Edited By Mahmood Kooria, Sanne Ravensbergen Copyright 2022
    220 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    220 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores the ways in which Muslim communities across the Indian Ocean world produced and shaped Islamic law and its texts, ideas and practices in their local, regional, imperial, national and transregional contexts.

    With a focus on the production and transmission of Islamic law in the Indian Ocean, the chapters in this book draw from and add to recent discourses on the legal histories and anthropologies of the Indian Ocean rim as well as to the conversations on global Islamic circulations. By doing so, this book argues for the importance of Islamic legal thoughts and practices of the so-called "peripheries" to the core and kernel of Islamic traditions and the urgency of addressing their long-existing role in the making of the historical and human experience of the religion. Islamic law was and is not merely brought to, but also produced in the Indian Ocean world through constant and critical engagements. The book takes a long-term and transregional perspective for a better understanding of the ways in which the oceanic Muslims have historically developed their religious, juridical and intellectual traditions and continue to shape their lives within the frameworks of their religion.

    Transregional and transdisciplinary in its approach, this book will be of interest to scholars of Islamic Studies, Indian Ocean Studies, Legal History and Legal Anthropology, Area Studies of South and Southeast Asia and East Africa.


    1. The Formation of Islamic Law in the Indian Ocean Littoral, c. 615-1000 CE

    Mahmood Kooria

    2. Legal Diglossia, Lexical Borrowing and Mixed Judicial Systems in Early Islamic Java and Sumatra

    Tom Hoogervorst

    3. Borrowing Adat and Adopting Islam: The Mandarese Records on the Creation and Islamization of Adat in West Sulawesi

    Muhammad Buana

    4. Sharīʿa Translated? Persian Documents in English Courts

    Nandini Chatterjee

    5. Possibilities and pitfalls of cosmopolitanism: Two treaties from northern Somalia in the late nineteenth century

    Nicholas W. Stephenson Smith

    6. Islamic Legal Crossings and Debates in Cambodia: Evidence from fatāwā and French Colonial Archives in the Early 20th Century

    Philipp Bruckmayr

    7. The Interplay of Two Sharīʿa Penal Codes: A Case from Gayo Society, Indonesia

    Arfiansyah Arfnor

    8. Post-colonial Nostalgia, Conspiracy Theories and Uneasy Quiescence: Muslim Newspaper Commentary on the Debate on Kadhis’ Courts in Contemporary Tanzania

    Felicitas Becker with Shabani Mwakalinga


    Mahmood Kooria is affiliated with Leiden University, the Netherlands, and Ashoka University, India. He read his PhD at the Leiden University Institute for History in 2016 and is the author of Islamic Law in Circulation: Shāfiʿī Texts across the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean (forthcoming) and co-editor of Malabar in the Indian Ocean World (2018).

    Sanne Ravensbergen is a cultural historian of law and colonialism. She is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for History at Leiden University, the Netherlands. Her research focuses on mixed courts and the material culture of law making in nineteenth and twentieth century Indonesia.