Islamic Law and Imperialism: Tracing on The Development of Islamic Law In Indonesia and Malaysia

  • Imam Mawardi Faculty of Sharia and Law, Islamic State University of Sunan Ampel, Jl. Ahmad Yani No. 117 Jemur Wonosari Surabaya
Abstract views: 458 , PDF downloads: 274
Keywords: Roman law, common law, Indonesia, Malaysia


This study has demonstrated that the Dutch and British occupation in Indonesia and Malaysia, proves Edward Said’s assessment of imperialism a vehicle for cultural hegemony. In terms of the law, the Dutch influence on the development of legal system in Indonesia cannot be denied. Likewise, British imperialism also impacted the legal systems of Malaysia  in a profound sense. Dutch colonialism, which lasted for approximately 350 years in Indonesia, left its mark on the region by introducing Roman law to the Islamic Judiciary, as did the 160 years of British colonialism in Malaysia, witnessed in the forced application of Common law. From political perspective, the changes wrought to the legal system and to Indonesian Islam are the consequence of Dutch political policies which claimed to be “modernizing” Indonesia. The pervasive influence and legacy of Dutch rule on the Indonesian legal system is the practice of codification. Many developments overtaking Indonesian. Islamic law is a manifestation of this practice. Efforts to unify and create uniformity with respect to the source of law, have resulted in the enactment the law of Marriage no. 1/1974, the law of the Religious Judiciary no. 7/1989, and Kompilasi Hukum Islam di Indonesia (Compilation of Islamic Law in Indonesia) among others. However, it is naïve to view such recent developments as mere products of the influence of Dutch rule. Sociologically, developments in other realms such as education, economy, social and political structures should also be taken into account when considering the development of Islamic law.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Imam Mawardi, Faculty of Sharia and Law, Islamic State University of Sunan Ampel, Jl. Ahmad Yani No. 117 Jemur Wonosari Surabaya

Faculty of Sharia and Law, Islamic State University of Sunan Ampel, Jl. Ahmad Yani No. 117 Jemur Wonosari Surabaya


Alatas, Syed Farid. “Notes on Various Theories Regarding the Islamization of the Malay Archipelago”, in Muslim World 75 no. 3-4, (July-October, 1985).

Alatas, Syed Naquib. Preliminary Statement on General Theory of Islamization of the Malay-Indonesian Archipelago. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 1969.

Albar, Dato’ Syed Hamid. “The Syari’ah and The Syari’ah Court in Malaysia”, in Abdul Munir Yaacob, Undang-undang Keterangan dan Prosedur di Mahkamah. Kuala Lumpur: IKIM, 1995.

Ali, Muhammad Daud. “Kedudukan Hukum Islam dalam Sistem Hukum Indonesia”, in Taufik Abdullah and Sharon Siddique ( Tradisi dan Kebangkitan Islam di Asia Tenggara. Jakarta: LP3ES, 1989.

Anderson, J. N. D. “Reflection on Law-Natural, Divene and Positive”, in 940’th Ordinary General Meeting of the Victoria Institutes, at Westminster, December 10, 1956.

Barrison, Brian. Southeast Asia: A Short History. London: Mcmillan & Co, 1957.

Bollach, N. A. The Advance of Islam in Indonesia. Islamabad: NIHCR, 1980.

Cammack, Mark. “Islamic Law in Indonesia’s New Order,” in The British Institute of International and Comparative Law, vol. 38, (January 1989).

David, Rene and Brierly, John E.C. Major Legal System in the World Today: An Introduction to the Comparative Study of Law. London: Stevens &Son, 1978.

Etherington, Norman. Theories of Imperialism, War,Conquest and Capitals. Croom Helm, 1984

Fatimi, S. Q. Islam Comes to Malaysia, Singapore: Malaysia Sociological Research Institute, 1963.

Federspiel, Howard M. The Importance of Islamic Law in Twentieth-Century Indonesia, Completed research Awaiting Publication: Ohio State University, July 1995.

Feeley, Malcom M. “Quinney and Balbus”, in Charles E. Reasons and Robert M. Rich ( The Sociology of Law: A Conflict Perspective. Toronto: Butterworths, 1978.

Fletcher, Nancy. The Separation of Singapore from Malaysia. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1969.

Friedman, W. Teori & Filsafat Hukum. Trans. Muhammad Arifin. Jakarta: Rajawali Pres, 1990.

Galanter, M. “The Modernization of Law”, in M. Weiner (, Modernization. New York: Basic Books, 1966.

Hall, D. G. E. A History of Shoutheast Asia. London: Mcmillan & Co, 1964. Danies S. Lev, Islamic Court in Indonesia: A Study in the Political Bases of Legal Institution. London: University of California Press, 1972.

Han, Tan Cheng. Matrimonial Law in Singapore and Malaysia, Singapore, Malaysia, Hongkong: Butterworths Asia, 1994.

Hansen, Maren. “The Influence of French Law on the Legal Development of Saudi Arabia”, in Arab Law Quarterly, vol. 2 Part 3, (August 1987).

Harahap, M. Yahya. Kedudukan Kewenangan dan Acara Peradilan Agama. Jakarta: Pustaka Kartini, 1993.

Hariyanto, Erie. “BURGELIJK WETBOEK (Menelusuri Sejarah Hukum Pemberlakuannya Di Indonesia).” Al-Ihkam: Jurnal Hukum Dan Pranata Sosial Vol.4, No. 1 (3 September 2013)

Hashim, Abu Bakar bin. “Shari’ah dan Kodifikasi: Pengalaman Singapura”, in Sudirman Tebba ( Perkembangan Mutakhir Hukum Islam di Asia Tenggara Studi Kasus Hukum Keluarga dan pengkodifikasiannya. Bandung: Mizan, 1993

Hassan, Sharifah Zal Syed. From Saints to Bureaucrats: A Study of the Development of Islam in The State of Kedah Malaysia. Ph. D Dissertation, Faculty of the Graduate School of Cornell University, 1985

Ibrahim, Ahmad. “The Position of Islam in the Constitution of Malaysia”, in Muhammad Sufyan ( The Constitution of Malaysia its Development: 1957-1977. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1978.

Ibrahim, Tan Seri Datuk Ahmad bin Muhamed. “Recent Developments in The Shari’ah Law in Malaysia”, in Abdul Minir Yaacob, Undang-undang Keterangan dan Prosedur di Mahkamah. Kuala Lumpur: IKIM, 1995.

Ibrahim, Zuraidah. Muslims in Singapore A shared Vision. Singapore: Times Edition, 1994.

Jenkins, Iredell. Social Order and The Limit of Law. Princeton, New Jersey: Princton University Press, 1980.

Jones, Gavin W. Marriage and Divorce in Islamic South-East Asia. Kuala lumpur, Oxford, Singapore, and New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Kidder, Robert L. “Western Law in India”, in Harry M. Johnson (, Social System and Legal Process. Sun Fransisco, Washington and London: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1978.

Lapidus, Ira M. A History of Islamic Societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

Lee, Edwin. The British as Rulers Governing Multiradical Singapore 1867-1914. Singapore: Singapore University Press, 1991.

Lee, Raymond L. M. “The ethnic Implication of Contomporary Religious Movements and Organizations in Malaysia,” in Contemporary Shoutheast Asia Vol. 8 No. 1, (June 1986).

Mat, Isma’il bin. “Adat and Islam in Malaysia: A Study in Legal Conflict and Resolution”, Ph. D. dissertation, Temple University, 1985.

Meuleman, Johan Hendrik. “Reaction and Attitudes towards the Darul Arqam Movement in Southeast Asia”, in Studia Islamica vol. 3, no. 1, (1996).

Milne, R.S. “Singapore’s Exit From Malaysia: The Consequence of Ambiguity”, in Malaysian Survey, 6, (1966).

Niel, Robert van. “The Course of Indonesian History”, in Ruth T. McVey (, Indonesia. New Haven: SAS Yale University, nd.

Panitia Penyusun Biografi, Prof. KH. Ibrahim Hosen dan Pembaharuan Hukum Islam di Indonesia. Jakarta: C.V. Putra Harapan, 1990.

Prins, Jan. “Adat law and Muslim Religious Law in Modern Indonesia”, in The World of Islam vol. 1, Leiden, E. J. Brill, 1951.

Raffles, T. S. “Report on the Administration of Justice”, in Malaya Law Review, vol. 10, (1968).

Reid, Anthony J. S. Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce 1450- 1680, Vol. 1, The Lands Below the Winds. New Heaven: Yale University Press, 1988.

Schrieke, B. Indonesian Sociological Studies. Den Haag: W. van Hoven, 1955.

Shaham, Ron. “Custom, Islamic Law, and Stawary Legislation: Marriage registration and Minimum Age at Marriage in the Egyptian Shari’a Courts,” in Islamic Law and Society, Vol. 2 no. 3 (October 1995).

Sunny, Isma’il. “Kedudukan Hukum Islam dalam Sistem Ketatanegaraan Indonesia”, in Amrullah Ahmad (et. al.), Dimensi Hukum Islam dalam Sistem Hukum Nasional. Jakarta: Gema Insani Press, 1996.

Taylor, E. N. “Aspects of Customary Inheritance in Negeri Sembilan”, in M. B. Hooker (, Reading in Malay Adat Laws, Singapore, University of Singapore Press, nd.

Winstedt. The Malays: A Cultural History. Singapore: Kelly and Walsh, 1947.

Yatim, Rais. Freedom under Executive Power in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: Endowment Sdn. Bhd., 1995