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Islamic Law in Africa by J. D. Anderson

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Part I. Aden and East Africa

ADEN

It is in the Aden Protectorate that Sharī‘a law finds its widest application in the whole region of East Africa,1 for there—in some localities—it holds almost undisputed sway. Yet it is only recently, and under the pax Britannica, that Sharī‘a courts have been established in any organised form, except in isolated instances: for previously the only authority within each tribal unit was its sheikh and within each confederacy the sultan2 or some local manṣab,3 and the law they applied was that of ancient custom. Virtual anarchy was only averted by a system of tribal sanctions between tribe and tribe, tribe and sultan and confederation and confederation; while any litigation was referred to tribal judges or arbitrators. ...

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