Hans-Georg Eber (Ed.): Articles on Islamic Law

Prof. Dr. Christine Schirrmacher

Hans-Georg Eber (Ed.): Beiträge zum Islamischen Recht [Articles on Islamic Law]. Leipziger Beiträge zur Orientforschung [Leipziger Articles on Oriental Research] 9. Peter Lang: Frankfurt, 2000, 134 pages, 27.60 €.

The contributions in this volume are based on speeches held in 1999 at the annual convention of the Incorporated Society for Arabic and Islamic Law, established in 1998. The society has taken on the task of elaborating fundamental issues, in theory and in practise, of the Islamic law of the Middle East and of presenting the legal sources, often difficult to find, as principles of law. The emphasis of this volume is on marriage, family and succession law. Especially of interest for the German context is Jürgen Rieck’s piece on the role of Islam in marriage contracts with a non-Moslem partner (p. 69ff.), the principles of Islamic marriage law (fundamental legitimacy of polygamy, fundamental claim of the husband to mutual children in case of divorce) and the practical ways these are often sidestepped (fathers frequently waive their rights to the children if the women waive their entitlement to all alimony payments). Fritz-René Grabau and Jürgen Hennecka deal with this topic even more specifically in the piece „The distribution of Parental Care According to Islamic Law” (pp. 91ff.). It is possible that those affected – couples from bireligious backgrounds who are engaged to be married – will have little access to such specialised publications. These are nevertheless of great significance, for through them Islamic law, otherwise scarcely comprehensible, becomes more transparent and conclusions for bi-religious marriage ceremonies become more conceivable.