Islam and the Legal System

The legal system in Egypt is based on the French legal code with Anglo-American influences particularly in areas of commercial and corporate law. In practice, customary practices, local traditions and private arrangements have been important factors in the law. Family and personal status laws organize the rules of marriage, divorce, inheritance, and employment and bear a strong relationship to the rules of classical Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh). With some notable modern developments, personal status law in Egypt exhibits a strong tendency toward the Hanafi Islamic law, as Hanifism was the official school of law during the Ottoman Empire.

In the modern period, the application of Sharia to matters of Egyptian family and personal status matters went through a number of developments. Yet despite the presence of a wide base of legislation dealing with personal status issue in Egypt, personal status laws have not been codified into one comprehensive and exhaustive code. The policy of the state has been to codify personal status law step by step. There has been an effort to improve the status of women within the family; however there is much resistance to amending personal status laws due to the resistance staged by conservative religious groups within the society.

Continue Reading: