Is Codification a Solution or Problem in Regulating the Personal Affairs of Muslims Under Islamic Law?
Keywords:Codification, Personal affairs, Islamic law, legislation, Subcontinent
The codification of religious law, at times, poses multiple challenges to the fuller achievement of its objectives. Islamic law is no exception to this rule. It is pertinent to note that Islamic law witnessed the so-called codification many centuries after its birth i.e., in the Ottoman era wherein a code of laws comprising the rules of Hanafi fiqh was compiled for its uniform enforcement. Later, the Indian sultans like Muhammad Tughlaqand Aurangzeb compiled Fiqh Feroz Shahi and Fatawa Aalamgiri respectively for the same purpose. The codification of Islamic law experienced yet another attitude when the non-Muslim British colonialists made the ‘Acts’ to regulate the personal affairs of their Muslim subjects. Moreover, such type of legislation continued in the post-independence era in India and Pakistan. This paper aims to provide a critical analysis of the history of the legislation of Islamic law in the subcontinent to frame the conclusion as to whether such legislation has helped enforcement of Shari‘ah or spoiled the spirit of this.