Islamic Law for the Colonists
Muftis in Nineteenth- Century British India
This paper is an exploration of the role of the Muslim law officer, or Mufti, in the legal system of British India. Using 400 cases of homicide adjudicated in the courts of Bengal and the Northwestern Provinces from January 1853 to December 1854, the paper argues that Muftis utilised the Islamic concept of siyasah to adapt Islamic jurisprudence regarding the establishment of intent and the categorisation of punishment. This was done to both accommodate overlapping British understandings of the law and ensure that criminals were punished according to shifting conceptions of justice during the nineteenth century.
Publication of material in the journal means that the author assigns copyright to Islamic Studies including the rights to electronic publishing. This is, inter alia, to ensure the efficient handling of requests from third parties to reproduce articles as well as to enable wide dissemination of the published material. Authors may, however, use their material in other publications acknowledging Islamic Studies as the original place of publication. Requests by third parties for permission to reprint should be addressed to the Editor, Islamic Studies.