Urf (Arabic: العرف) is an Arabic Islamic term referring to
the custom, or 'knowledge', of a given society. To be recognized in an
Islamic society, ʿurf must be compatible with the Sharia law. When
applied, it can lead to the deprecation or inoperability of a certain
aspect of fiqh فقه (Islamic jurisprudence).
Urf is a source of rulings where there are not explicit primary
texts of the
Qur'an and Sunnah specifying the ruling. ʿ
Urf can also
specify something generally established in the primary texts.
In some countries such as Egypt, marriage, the ʿurfi way, means to
get married without official papers issued by the state (زواج
عرفي Zawāg ʿUrfi). The validity of this type of marriage is
still under debate. see: common law marriage.
The term ʿurf, meaning "to know", refers to the customs and practices
of a given society. Although this was not formally included in Islamic
law, the Sharia recognizes customs that prevailed at the time of
Ma'ruf Adat Sources of Islamic law List of Islamic terms in Arabic
^ a b H. Patrick Glenn, Legal Traditions of the World. Oxford University Press, 2007, pg. 201. ^ Egypt: Customary marriage refworld.org ^ a b "Urf", Encyclopaedia of Islam ^ a b Hasan (2004), p. 169-71
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