The aim of this article is to present selected major trends in Islam in contemporary Malaysia – its political representation (the dominant political parties: UMNO, PAS and PKR) and intellectual non-governmental groups (especially the NGO Sisters of Islam).
The paper defines their positions, their general ideas and, essentially, their attitudes concerning Islamic law and their influence on the development and application of Islamic family law and Islamic penal law. The article further describes the basic provisions and main problematic issues in Malaysian Islamic family law: marriage, polygamy conditions, kinds of divorce – talaq, khul‘, ta‘liq, li’an and fasakh, financial settlements during marriage and divorce, and custody. The article also provides information about the principal provisions of the Malaysian Islamic penal code. Islamic law has evolved into a real battlefield in relation to these groupings because it transfers theoretical intellectual work into its practical form and due to this it has a wide scale impact on the entire Muslim population of Malaysia. Currently, a specific form of Islamic penal law, especially its implementation, has become one of the key issues in Malaysian politics. The uncompromising enforcement of Islamic penal law constitutes a clear strategy by the opposition Islamic parties but simultaneously presents the main contradiction within the whole political opposition coalition.
About the Author
Mgr. Veronika Sobotková Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic, where she teaches courses on contemporary Islam and the history of Middle Eastern countries. Her current research work concerns the transformation of Shi‘ite fiqh within Islamic bioethics. She is conducting her research and coordinating on this topic with scholars, ‘ulama’ and other medical and research institutions in the Holy city of Qom, Iran.
Title: The Major Trends of Islam in Contemporary Malaysia and their Influence on the Form of Islamic Family and Penal Law
Author(s): Veronika Sobotková
Published in: ORIENTAL ARCHIVE 80, 2012.
Length: 28 Pages