An Islamic Court in Context: An Ethnographic Study of by E. Stiles

By E. Stiles

Stiles makes use of in-depth ethnographic examine of judicial reasoning and litigant job in Islamic relatives court docket in Zanzibar, Tanzania to attract new and significant conclusions on how humans comprehend and use Islamic criminal principles in marital disputes.

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The historian Iris Agmon, who works on nineteenth-century Ottoman courts in Palestine, and has noted the dearth of studies of the way in which court documents are produced (1996, 2006; see also Borgene 2006). Like others, Agmon has identified the inherent challenges with using records from Ottoman courts, and comments that this is in part because of the clerks’ selective process of recording. She recognizes that the events recorded in the sijills are not a ref lection of what actually happened, and proposes that the documents may serve as a bridge of sorts “between 34 An Islamic Court in Context the dispute and the shari’a” (1996: 132).

The historian Iris Agmon, who works on nineteenth-century Ottoman courts in Palestine, and has noted the dearth of studies of the way in which court documents are produced (1996, 2006; see also Borgene 2006). Like others, Agmon has identified the inherent challenges with using records from Ottoman courts, and comments that this is in part because of the clerks’ selective process of recording. She recognizes that the events recorded in the sijills are not a ref lection of what actually happened, and proposes that the documents may serve as a bridge of sorts “between 34 An Islamic Court in Context the dispute and the shari’a” (1996: 132).

At the time, Zanzibari women with greater means nearly always wore a black buibui when going out in public. The buibui is subject to the winds of fashion and takes many forms, but is often a long, sometimes diaphanous, black cloak worn with a matching or contrasting headscarf. 1 Bi Amina had come to ask the court to require her former husband to take custody of their several children. She was in her forties, and recently experienced her third divorce from as many husbands. She had several children from that marriage.

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