Role of Traditional Family Shalish for Muslim Matrimonial Dispute Resolution in Bangladesh: From the Perspective of Hakam

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Muhammad Rafiqul Hoque


Matrimonial dispute between husband and wife, even though very sensitive, is a common and normal phenomenon. Therefore, such disputes are required to be resolved as much as possible quietly and privately within the family by the family members. The Holy Qur’an initiated the institution of Hakam for this purpose.  It is instituted to act as the neutral third party in the process of dispute resolution in case the husband and wife fail to resolve it amicably. In Bangladesh, however, the traditional family shalish is commonly used for this purpose. Since family shalish plays the role of Hakam it is necessary to critically examine how closely its operations and performances conform to the role and goals of Hakam. This study is meant to serve that purpose.  From the analyses, it is found that the family shalish by and large closely conforms to the norms of Hakam in terms of formation, role, and goals. However, some slight modifications in respect of the selection of the shalishkers have been recommended for its improved performances. It is hoped that the findings will help shalishkers to deal with such disputes in a more effective manner to prevent the families from breaking up.


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Research Article (English)