Embedding Mahr (Islamic Dower) in the European Legal System
Globalization and migration have served to make European societies multicultural to an unprecedented extent, but they have also increasingly brought multicultural life into the courtrooms and administrative institutions. However, there remains a lack of in-depth research investigating particular issues of Muslim family law and how these interact with society on an unofficial level, as well as in relation to the official legal processes. It is especially this latter aspect, i.e. how alternative norms play out in the formal courts, which is the focus of this book, with mahr as the main reference point. ~Mahr, usually translated as dower (to distinguish it from dowry as the contribution which a bride brings to a marriage), is an amount of money or property which, in a Muslim marriage, is an obligation of the husband to the wife, and has generally been more sympathetically treated by European courts than any other aspect of Islamic family law. Mahr engages various branches of the law, such as the legal status of religion, gender equality law, family law, inheritance law, contract law, and private international law. It is a topic which functions as a prism through which much broader issues of cultural, religious, and legal pluralism can be brought together for analysis, with implications beyond the apparent narrow focus of the immediate subject.
Publication Date: 2/1/2011