Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Loci of Leadership


Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

Loci of Leadership: The Quasi-Judicial Authority of Shariah Tribunals in the British Muslim Community

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Article number406
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>27/06/2019
Issue number7
Number of pages13
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Leadership and authority were two central themes in the mission statement of the first ever Shariah tribunal to emerge in the UK. When the Islamic Shariah Council was established in 1982, it noted that its founding meeting had been attended by Muslim scholars from a number of mosques in the UK who represented the major schools of Islamic law. This ensured in its own words that it was widely accepted as an authoritative body with regards to Islamic law and that it was therefore able to cater to the basic religious needs of the Muslim community. Since their emergence in the 1980s, Shariah tribunals have played an important role in guiding the Muslim community through the provision of religious services. This paper seeks to enrich the literature on Shariah tribunals by critically assessing how such tribunals have used their expertise in Islamic law to wield quasi-judicial authority in the British Muslim community, within a legal system which does not directly grant legal jurisdiction to religious tribunals. The paper highlights the distinctive characteristics of the authority which Shariah tribunals exercise as religious institutions, which distinguish them from the secular courts of the state despite the judicial functions which both share in common