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Orphaned Grandchildren in Islamic Law of Succession: Reform and Islamization in Pakistan

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The Islamic law of succession, worked out in precision by the classical jurists from a few Qurʾanic verses, is regarded as the central core and prime achievement of the shariʿa. However, in the changed circumstances of the fifteenth century Hijra, attention has focused on some perceived inequities of the traditional scheme, raising challenging questions of whether and how the traditional law can be reformed. This essay examines Pakistan's attempt to deal with the problem of the “orphaned grandchild.” It then turns to a consideration of the fate of the reformist legislation in the context of “Islamization” and the institutional heritage of the Zia period.

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