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LegalismProperty and Ownership$
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Georgy Kantor, Tom Lambert, and Hannah Skoda

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198813415

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198813415.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 October 2021

Cows and the sharīʿah in the Abéché Customary Court (Eastern Chad)

Cows and the sharīʿah in the Abéché Customary Court (Eastern Chad)

(p.29) 1 Cows and the sharīʿah in the Abéché Customary Court (Eastern Chad)

Judith Scheele

Oxford University Press

The records of the sharīʿah court in Abéché in eastern Chad span the twentieth century. While the legal notion of property used by the court is Islamic and thus not seen to be problematic, the content of the property relations is fluid, and difficult to fix over time. In an inherently mobile society, and one that has long been open to trans-regional exchange, this is done through reliance on guarantors and witnesses. Property thus emerges as an inherently relational and unstable category; and while in Western legal systems, legal philosophers agonise about the individual ‘state of mind’ that defines property transactions, these questions are here a matter of public opinion. Suretyship and the preponderance of property as a precondition for moral personhood might hide a nuanced approach to the notion of ‘authority’, giving us insights into the peculiar functioning of the Chadian state (and similar political formations elsewhere).

Keywords:   Abeche, Eastern Chad, Sharī’ah Court, Guarantors, State, Livestock, Property Transactions

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