Historically, handling debts was a major issue described in the Islamic legal realm and handling insolvent debtors is a category thereof. Recently, in the 21st century in Egypt, the numbers of incarcerated insolvent debtors has increased dramatically constituting one third of the Egyptian prison population. This paper addresses the legal developments relating to adjudication and imprisonment of debtors since the time of the prophet throughout the development of the Islamic legal jurists’ literature that supported practical solutions to debtors’ insolvencies. Investigation of middle age Egyptian and Ottoman court cases are incorporated to prove the success of the Islamic legal system at the time. The New Commercial Law of 1999 check penalties coupled with the penalties associated with security receipts have led to the exacerbation of the problem of the poor insolvent debtors in Egypt. The immediate incarceration of defaulting debtors for reasons beyond their control is abusive in nature and works against Islamic law and other western laws. Therefore, an imminent legislative law change against imprisonment is the first step to resolve the increasing insolvency prisoners’ situation.
Arab & Islamic Civilizations Department
MA in Arabic Studies
Date of Award
Online Submission Date
Committee Member 1
El-Shawarby, Loay Y.
Committee Member 2
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(2018).Imprisonment for insolvent debtors in Egypt with specific reference to Al-Gharemoun cases [Master’s thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
ElSherif, Nivert. Imprisonment for insolvent debtors in Egypt with specific reference to Al-Gharemoun cases. 2018. American University in Cairo, Master's thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.