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Document Thirteen Tribal Agreement On Regulations Relating To Corn Theft (1949)

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Chapter Summary

According to tribal customary law, all kinds of theft are in principle allowed if they are committed outside the tribal territory (dīra) against hostile tribes. The theft can be punished by monetary compensation or corporal punishment, such as cutting off the hand or even the death penalty. This chapter deals with an assembly of representatives of al-Sharāyiʿa, one of the tribes of al-Taʿāmira. The assembly was convened on account of a spate of thefts from caves. The Bedouin could not resort to the sharīʿa court, although the sharīʿa has severe sanctions, Qurʾānic and discretionary (taʿzīr), against theft. Under these circumstances the leaders of ʿAshīrat al-Sharāyiʿa decided to intensify the sanctions against corn thieves. The reforms of tribal customary law within the particular domain of corn theft were conducted with a view to adapting the legal norm to the exigencies of the present day.

Keywords: al-Sharāyiʿa; corn theft; corporal punishment; dīra; Qurʾānic; regulations; sharīʿa court; taʿzīr; tribal agreement; tribal customary law



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