A Secular Need
Islamic Law and State Governance in Contemporary India
- PUBLISHED: April 2020
- SUBJECT LISTING: Asian Studies / South Asia, Law, Politics
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 248 Pages, 6 x 9 in, 0 illustrations
- SERIES: Global South Asia
- ISBN: 9780295747088
Whether from the perspective of Islamic law’s advocates, secularism’s partisans, or communities caught in their crossfire, many people see the relationship between Islamic law and secularism as antagonistic and increasingly discordant. In the United States there are calls for “sharia bans” in the courts, in western Europe legal limitations have been imposed on mosques and the wearing of headscarves, and in the Arab Middle East conflicts between secularist old guards and Islamist revolutionaries persist—suggesting that previously unsteady coexistences are transforming into outright hostilities.
Jeffrey Redding’s exploration of India’s non-state system of Muslim dispute resolution—known as the dar-ul-qaza system and commonly referred to as “Muslim courts” or “shariat courts”—challenges conventional narratives about the inevitable opposition between Islamic law and secular forms of governance, demonstrating that Indian secular law and governance cannot work without the significant assistance of non-state Islamic legal actors.
Authors & Contributors
Jeffrey A. Redding is senior research fellow at Melbourne Law School and a New Generation Network scholar at the University of Melbourne’s Australia India Institute.
Redding’s approach is both novel and provocative. A Secular Need will make a unique contribution to the study of Islamic law as it is administered outside of the official judicial system in India.- Sylvia Vatuk, author of Marriage and Its Discontents: Women, Islam, and the Law in India