UN, Islam, land and property research series: Habitat Position papers 1 – 6

The six position papers are part of eight position papers produced as part of a series on Islam, land and property, accompanied by a database, with proposed strategies which could enhance the knowledge and augment the capacity of UN-HABITAT and its partners to work more effectively in Muslim contexts. However, these papers have been written for a general audience without any assumption of knowledge regarding Islam, law or property rights and are therefore offer basic information as well as an opportunity to revisit first principles.

a.    Islamic Land theories and Applications. Position paper I, Islam, Land and Property Research Series, Nairobi. United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT).

Position Paper I contextualises and introduces Islamic property and land concepts as part of a sophisticated and alternate land framework running alongside international regimes. The Islamic property rights framework conceives of land as a sacred trust but promotes individual ownership with a re-distributive ethos. It argues that engagement with Islamic dimensions of land may potentially support land rights initiatives in Muslim societies and has implications for programmes relating to land administration, land registration, urban planning and environmental sustainability.

b.    Islamic Land Tenure and Reforms. Position paper II, Islam, Land and Property Research Series, Nairobi. United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT).

Position Paper II explores how land tenure concepts, categorisations and arrangements within the Islamic world are multi-faceted, generally distinctive and certainly varied. This paper explores the socio-historical context and development of Islamic land tenure regimes leading to the ‘web of tenure’ in contemporary Muslim societies. An appreciation of the historical context of land tenure in Muslim societies and the range of land tenure forms contributes towards development of authentic and innovative strategies for enhancing access to land and land rights.

c.    Islamic Law, Land and Methodologies. Position paper III, Islam, Land and Property Research Series, Nairobi,United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT). 

Position Paper III on Islamic Law, Land and Methodologies finds Islamic law (Shari’a) an important factor influencing land rights and tenure systems in Muslim societies. Islamic law can be seen as an evolving, responsive and assimilating sphere of competing ideologies and interests, though it is a site of struggle between conservatives and liberals. An appreciation of the distinctive features and sources of Islamic law, its methodologies and diversity in application and its dispute resolution mechanisms would contribute towards strategies aimed at enhancing security of tenure.

d.    Islamic Human Rights and Land.Position paper IV, Islam, Land and Property Research Series, Nairobi, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT). 

Position Paper IV Islamic Human Rights and Land sets out to examine the relationship between international human rights and Islamic conceptions of human rights in theory and practice. It argues that, with respect to land rights, the difference between these two sets of rights appears minimal and a sensitive and careful recognition of Islamic religious and political sensitivities can help deliver international human rights more effectively in Muslim societies, without offending Islamic principles.

e.    Muslim Women’s Right to Property. Position paper V, Islam, Land and Property Research Series, Nairobi. United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT). 

Position Paper V Muslim Women’s Rights to Property explores the nature and scope of women’s rights to property and land under Islamic law (Shari’a) through a socio-historical background to women’s property rights, an appraisal of modern legal reforms and the avenues for enhancing their security of tenure.  It argues that despite assumptions to the contrary, there are potential empowering strategies for women through Islamic law which can enhance women’s access to land and enforcement of their other property rights.

f.     Islamic Inheritance Laws and Systems. Position paper VI, Islam, Land and Property Research Series, Nairobi,United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT).    

Position Paper VI Islamic Inheritance Laws and Systems considers how Muslim societies generally derived their inheritance rules from religious sources for the division of an individual’s property upon death, some of which are controversial. Yet, it argues that the application of these formal inheritance rules pertaining to designated shares must be understood in a broader socio-cultural and economic context and within wider inheritance systems of practice.

Auteur: 
Sait, Siraj and Lim H
Année: 
2005
Publisher and location: 
Nairobi, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)