ISLAMIC LAW AND CIVIL LAW: INTERPRETATION OF SECTION 7 OF THE CIVIL LAW ACT 1956
Islam existed in the Malaysian legal system since the Malacca Sultanate and survived through various periods of foreign colonisation. It once played a dominant role in the administration of the land. After Independence,the application of Islamic law is confined to Muslim personal laws and dealt with in Syariah Courts. Some scholars opine that laws passed by Parliament is not to be considered Islamic as they are not founded clearly on the Qur’an and Sunnah, the primary sources of Islamic law. Some others argue that since Islamic law in Malaysia could only be passed at the state level through State Legislative Assemblies and it is confined to respective states in Malaysia. At the federal level, the civil law dominates. This paper analyses laws in Malaysia, especially civil laws, which contain Islamic values as mandated by Shari’ah. This paper looks at section 7 of the Civil law as an example of civil law which contains Islamic values. The study is based on the method of case study and selected five court cases to shed light on the Islamic law embodied in section 7 of the Civil Law Act 1956, and how the judicial discretion exercised operates in the spirit of Islam.