Droit Comparé et Renouveau du Droit Musulman: le Vieux Rêve de Sanhoury Revisité

Authors Harithal-Dabbagh

ISSN: 2521-2605
Affiliations: Professeur adjoint, Faculté de Droit, Université de Montréal
Source: Journal of Comparative Law in Africa, Volume 2 Issue 2, p. 2 – 39


In the early twentieth century, a climate of mistrust regarding traditional Muslim law — sustained by the archaic nature of this system — prevailed in the Arab legal world. Sanhoury, the grand architect of the Arabic civil codifications, pledged a renaissance of Muslim law through comparative law. The transformation of this legal corpus into standards of substantive law, however, had to be preceded by an essential scientific study: a task that required the use of comparative law techniques. Retracing Sanhoury’s steps in France, Egypt and Iraq, the author attempts to explore to what extent the renovation theory suggested by Sanhoury was implemented in the Arab codifications. Close examination reveals that even in the most Islamised codes, the modernisation efforts undertaken remain superficial, incomplete and partial; devoid of any creative dimensions.