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More than a billion Muslims have their lives in such matters as marriage, divorce, maintenance, paternity and the custody of children governed by certain aspects of the Shari'a, commonly known as Islamic Family Law, but identical principles do not apply everywhere. The practical application of the Shari'a principles is often modified by theological differences of interpretation, a country's particular customary practices and state policy and law. This book documents the scope and manner of application of Islamic Family Law worldwide. It provides strong factual foundations for any strategic legal reforms made necessary by changing social conditions. Since in most Islamic countries Shari'a has become contested ground between reactionary forces and modernist, liberal trends, reform must be conceived in realistic terms and advocated in ways that motivate and empower potential supporters working in their own communities.