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Book: Narratives of Truth in Islamic Law

The truth, in legal terms, is the version of “what happened” which carries most authority. This original and thought-provoking book looks at how this narrative is constructed in Muslim societies, and which truths are privileged over others in constructing it.

This book addresses the issue of legal truth. Such an issue is two folded. On the one hand, there is the legal truth as it is told, produced, transformed and made relevant for legal purposes, from within the legal system and its actual functioning. The ways in which these stories about ‘what happened’ are told largely depend on and are oriented to, the relevancies and technicalities of the specific context of law practice. On the other hand, legal truth is also what is told ‘about the law,’ from outside the legal body. These are stories of what people think and say about legal happenings, and they are told in the performance of some other activity than the law, for different practical purposes. In a broader sense, therefore, this book addresses the production of narratives ‘in the law’ and ‘about the law.’

The truth, in legal terms, is the version of “what happened” which carries most authority. This original and thought-provoking book looks at how this narrative is constructed in Muslim societies, and which truths are privileged over others in constructing it. Looking at a range of contrasting case studies, from Sharia courts to inquiries into police abuse, this book explores how ordinary stories are transformed into authoritative truths.

Table of Contents

Legal Truth in Islamic History

  1. Zomeño: The Stories in the Fatwas and the Fatwas in History
  2. Messick: Legal Narratives From Shari‘a Courts
  3. Peters: The Violent Schoolmaster: The ‘Normalisation’ of the Dossier of a Nineteenth Century Egyptian Legal Case Stories About the Law
  1. Moors: Registering a Token Dower: The Multiple Meanings of a Legal Practice
  2. Schultz: Publicizing Propriety, “Telling the Truth”: Extra-court Constructions of Legal Stories in Mali
  3. Adly: The Saint, the Sheikh and the Adulteress: Letters From the Heart Addressed to Imam al-Shafi‘i in Cairo

Legal Stories From Within and From Without

  1. L. Buskens: Tales According to the Book: Professional Witnesses (‘udul) as Cultural Brokers in Morocco
  1. B. Drieskens: What to do With Djinns Stories About Law?
  2. L. Welchman: Trying Times in Tunis: Notes From a Purposeful Observer

Stories in the Law

  1. Z. Ghazzal: The Insane Shepherd-Who-Writes: Is He Competent to Stand Trial?
  1. N. Bernard-Maugiron: The Judicial Construction of the Facts and the Law: The Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court and the

Constitutionality of the Law on the Khul‘

  1. A. Wuerth: Investigating and Prosecuting Police Abuse in Egypt
  2. B. Dupret: The Categories of Morality: Homosexuality Between

Perversion and Debauchery

Bibliographic Information

Title: Narratives of Truth in Islamic Law

Editors: Baudouin Dupret , Barbara Drieskens and Annelies Moors

Publisher: I.B.Tauris (December 15, 2007)

Language: English

Length: 384 pages

ISBN: 978-1845111878

Pub. Date: December 15, 2007

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