Year published :October 2009

Pages :88 (78+x) pp.

Size :14x21 cm.

ISBN: 9789749511091

Islamic Law in Southeast Asia: A Study of Its Application in Kelantan and Aceh

by Silkworm Books

Kamaruzzaman Bustamam-Ahmad

This monograph examines the dynamics involved in implementing Islamic law in Southeast Asia, and how this issue has become a source of conflict in Kelantan, Malaysia, and Aceh, Indonesia. Using textual and fieldwork methodology, the study compares and contrasts the collective experience of trying to apply Islamic law in these two locations.

In both Kelantan and Aceh, Islamic law was first developed in the thirteenth century with the coming of Islam to the region, but was later replaced by colonial legal systems, and then by the jurisprudence of national governments following independence. Reinstituting Islamic law has become a dominant political issue in both countries.

Through an analysis of the conditions that have made the emergence of Islamic law in Kelantan and Aceh possible, the author helps extend previous studies on this issue by providing a sociological understanding of religious law as a source of both conflict and identity.

About the Author

Kamaruzzaman Bustamam-Ahmad is a PhD student at La Trobe University, Australia, researching Islamic revivalism and radicalism in Southeast Asia. He is the author of Wajah Baru Islam di Indonesia [New Images of Islam in Indonesia] (UII Press, 2004).


  • Fresh perspective by a young Muslim scholar on the conflicts and tensions involved in attempts to implement shariah law
  • Examines the extent to which socio-political and economic changes in Indonesia and Malaysia are forging the ways in which Islamic law is expressed
  • Presents a sociological understanding of religious law as a source of both conflict and identity


    Malaysia | Indonesia | shariah | hudud penal law | political conflict | sociology

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