Abd El-Razzak El-Sanhuri


Abd El-Razzak El-Sanhuri

Abdel-Razzak el-Sanhuri or ‘Abd al-Razzāq al-Sanhūrī (1895-1971) ( _ar. عبد الرزاق السنهوري) was an Egyptian legal scholar and professor who drafted the first version of the Egyptian Civil Code in 1949. He wrote the draft of the Iraqi Civil Code with the help of many Iraqi Jurists guided by him. Forced into retirement by Nasser and physically attacked by a mob for attempting to restore constitutional government in 1954, Sanhuri left Egypt and helped draft the civil codes of of Shukri al-Kuwatli (who he might have meet during his 1949 exile in Egypt), Jordan, and Libya and the commercial code of Kuwait. In 1970 Egypt awarded him its prize for social sciences. [Arthur Goldschmidt, "Biographical Dictionary of Modern Egypt", Lynne Rienner Publishers: 2000, p. 181]

Sanhuri was known for attempting to recreate a "pure" Islamic law by modernizing the "sharia" using Western civil law (mainly of American and French inspiration), and the guidance when needed of an natural law obviously just to all, to guarantee justice above religion (but reaching its humanistic ends), ideology, and personal opinion in general, when all else (including the countries legislation, the sharia and traditional customs) fails to solve the problem [ Abd Al-Razzak Al-Sanhuri, Egyptian Civil Code, Article 1, 1949, "«in the absence of any applicable legislation, the judge shall decide according to the custom and failing the custom, according to the principles of Islamic Law. In the absence of these principles," the judge shall have recourse to natural law and the rules of equity".»" ] . One commentator argued that Sanhuri's code reflected a "hodgepodge of socialist doctrine and sociological jurisprudence." [ [http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/brill/ils/2001/00000008/00000002/art00003 Amr Shalakany, "Between Identity and Redistribution: Sanhuri, Genealogy and the Will to Islamise," "Islamic Law and Society" (8): 201-244, 2001] ] Regardless of such interpretations, his place in the legal history of the modern Middle East is secure; his twelve-volume "Al-Wasīṭ fī sharḥ al-qānūn al-madanī al-jadīd" [Medium commentary on the new Civil Code] (Cairo: 1952–1970) "adorns the bookshelves of many an Arab law firm, even in countries where the Egyptian Civil Code is not law" (Chibli Mallat).

References

Bibliography

*Bechor, Guy, "The Sanhuri Code, and the Emergence of Modern Arab Civil Law (1932 to 1949)", Brill, (2007), ISBN-10: 90 04 15878 2, ISSN: 1384-1130.
*Hill, Enid, "Al-Sanhuri and Islamic Law", (1987), ISBN 977-424-170-3.
*Riles, Annelise (ed.), "Rethinking the Masters of Comparative Law", (2001), ISBN 1-84113-289-6.
*Shalakany, Amr, "Between Identity and Redistribution: Sanhuri, Genealogy and the Will to Islamise", in "Islamic Law and Society", Vol. 8(2), 2001, ISSN 0928-9380.


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