2016 Volume 32 Issue 2 Pages 21-32
By the second half of the nineteenth century, the Russian Empire had conquered the whole of Western Turkestan and annexed most of its area. In the area annexed to the Empire, however, the Islamic legal system was allowed to co-exist with the newly introduced Russian legal system. This paper is a preliminary study to examine the influence of the dual legal system on the Central Asian Muslim society. To approach the problem, I compare here, as a case study, the court records of reversal cases of the Samarqand district court of 1901 with those of 1907 and examine the differences between them. There is a distinct difference between the objections of 1901 and 1907. The reasons of most objections in 1901 are simple violations of the Statute on the Administration of the Turkestan Region, while in 1907 the number of more complicated cases and objections based on Russian law increased. The difference suggests that under Russian rule Central Asian Muslims became incorporated into the Russian legal procedure and accustomed to Russian law, which, in a historical view, seems to have prepared them for the acceptance of a non-Islamic legal system after the Revolution.