© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2009 DOI: 10.1163/004325309X12548128581063 Die Welt des Islams 49 (2009) 429-465 Divine Law and Local Custom in Northern Nigerian zinā Trials Gunnar J. Weimann Amsterdam Abstract e introduction of Islamic criminal law in twelve northern states of the Nigerian federation after 1999 was widely perceived as an attempt to Islamise the Nigerian state. In this article it is argued that the “ šarīʿa project” started as a pre-election promise, but was immediately supported by Muslim reform groups whose aim was not the establishment of an Islamic state but rather the imposition of šarīʿa - compliant behaviour on Muslims. Particular emphasis was put on illicit sexual relations ( zinā ). However, Muslim societies of northern Nigeria have a notion of zinā which diﬀers in important aspects from the classical doctrine, and certain forms of socially accepted extramarital sexuality still exist. Based on an analysis of a sample of šarīʿa court trials for rape, sodomy, incest and zinā , it is shown that the judicial practice in šarīʿa courts has helped to mitigate the eﬀects of Islamic criminal law on the traditional societies in northern Nigeria. In particular, accusa- tions based on suspicion and pregnancy out
Die Welt des Islams – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2009
Keywords: CODIFICATION; NORTHERN NIGERIA; HAUSA; ZINĀ; ŠARĪ'A; ISLAMISATION; CONFLICT RESOLUTION
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