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Document Fourteen Mukhtārs’ Petition Concerning Shar'ī Marriage (N.D.)

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Chapter Summary

In a petition addressed to the Sharīʿa Court of Bethlehem, the mukhtārs and "elders" of ʿArab al-ʿUbaydiyya testify that to the best of their knowledge there are no Sharʿī or statutory impediments to concluding a Sharʿī marriage contract between a man and a non-virgin. The petition reflects the extent to which sharʿī norms have infiltrated into sedentary tribal society. Thus the mukhtārs claim that the man requesting the hand of the woman in marriage is "free from wives in the waiting-period of a revocable divorce", that is, a soft repudiation enabling the husband, during the waiting period, to reinstate his wife without the need for the conclusion of a new marriage contract. The document provides clear evidence to the effect that Bedouin resort to the sharīʿa court and conclude marriages according to the sharīʿa.

Keywords:Mukhtārs’ petition; Sharʿī marriage



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