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In the Federation of Malaysia, Islam is the religion of the Federation but this does not extend to the legal perspective. In other words, Islamic law is not the supreme law of the Federation because the Federal Constitution has clearly stated that the supreme law of the country is the Constitution itself. This article aims to examine the status and implementation of Islamic law in Malaysia. At the onset, the article analyses the historical background of Islam in pre-Malaysia era with particular focus on its Islamic law perspective. The independence of Malaya in 1957 led to the formation of the Federal Constitution which is considered the main source of law in the country. This article assesses a number of provisions in the Constitutions and some related cases that touch on Islamic affairs. Also, the divisions of jurisdictions for both civil laws and Islamic laws is analysed against the backdrops of the Federal Constitution and other relevant legislations. To sum up, it can be said that despite the fact that Islam is given a special position under Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution, Islamic law is not fully implemented in Malaysia. The jurisdiction awarded by the Ninth Schedule, List II State List is very limited, only confined to Muslim followers and is mostly related to personal laws, including amongst others: marriage; divorce; inheritance and other offences that are against the precepts of the religion of Islam. Civil laws, on the other hand, are subject to federal jurisdiction, which cannot interfere with the State laws such as the Islamic laws which fall under the State jurisdiction.
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- The Status and Implementation of Islamic Law in Malaysia
Mohamed Azam Mohamed Adil
Nisar Mohammad Ahmad
- Chapter 16
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