34 ISLAMISATION AND MODERNISATION WITHIN THE UAE PENAL LAW: SHARI'A IN THE MODERN ERA* Butti Sultan Butti Ali Al-Muhairi** INTRODUCTION In so far as the fabric of the Muslim world and its society remained essentially the same for over a millennium, the Shari'a, by following the precepts of "Taqlid", was more than able to accommodate itself to any sort of development that the passage of time might produce. However, since the middle of the nineteenth century, the social and political conditions of the Muslim world have been dramatically changing because of the increasing influence of Western civilisation and its secular concepts of state and society, both considered incompatible with the tradition of Islam. The adoption of the concept of the modern nation-state and its consideration as the sole source of legal authority together testify to the profound impact of Western civilisation on Muslim perceptions of state and legal authority. Indeed, contrary to orthodox Islamic doctrine, most Muslims have come to think of the law as something produced by state agencies. Consequently, when modernisation of the Muslim legal system was deemed necessary due to the irreconcilable conflict between on the one hand the needs of Muslim society inspired by
Arab Law Quarterly – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1996
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