Genealogical Analysis of Islamic Law Books Relied on in the Courts of Pakistan

Al-Adwa December 2013

13 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2014 Last revised: 11 Feb 2017

See all articles by Shahbaz Ahmad Cheema

Shahbaz Ahmad Cheema

Punjab University - Law College

Samee Uzair Khan

University of the Punjab (PU)

Date Written: December 31, 2013


The legal cum judicial system in Pakistan is dual in its character which was erected as such in the colonial period by British government of the Indian Subcontinent. The courts in Pakistan decide cases on the basis of the enacted laws, but when they do not find any enacted law particularly in matters of Personal law they apply the Islamic law provided the parties to the suit are Muslims. This arrangement begs an important question: which books are relied upon by the courts for ascertaining the Islamic legal principles. This paper aims to respond this important question. The paper traces the genealogy of such books and attempts to explore how they have attained such a privileged status despite the fact that there are other authentic works on Islamic law available in market. The authors have carried out an exploratory exercise first to determine which books are more frequently referred to by the courts. On the basis of such an exercise, the paper carries out a genealogical analysis of some of the most important books considering the fact that a full-fledged analysis of the entire source material would not be possible within the space of a single paper.

Keywords: Islamic Law; British India; Judicial System; Pakistan; Supreme Court; High Court; Personal Law; Colonial India; Indian Subcontinent

Suggested Citation

Cheema, Shahbaz Ahmad and Khan, Samee Uzair, Genealogical Analysis of Islamic Law Books Relied on in the Courts of Pakistan (December 31, 2013). Al-Adwa December 2013. Available at SSRN:

Shahbaz Ahmad Cheema (Contact Author)

Punjab University - Law College ( email )

University Law College
University of the Punjab
Lahore, PA Punjab 54000

Samee Uzair Khan

University of the Punjab (PU) ( email )

New Campus
Lahore, Punjab 54000

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