The personal status laws in Egypt have been subject to considerable debate. Between Feminists and Islamists; these are some who call for reforms and those who call for the return to the Shari’a. In spite of the differences, the constant in this debate has been the knowledge that the personal status laws are divine. This paper challenges this narrative through examining the historical development of the Shari’a as a whole then move on to specific aspects of the personal status law, namely, divorce and child custody. It argues that the personal status law have been altered and modified through decades, and shifted from the original form of the Shariaa law.


Law Department

Degree Name

MA in International Human Rights Law

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2016

First Advisor

Sayed, Hani

Committee Member 1

Moussa, Jasmine


43 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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