Land Fragmentation in Muslim Communities: Traditional Challenges and Innovative Consolidation Approaches

M. Siraj Sait & Ombretta Tempra

Severe land fragmentation in many Muslim countries has been well documented. Though Muslimm countries exhibit uneven and diverse socio-economic, political and religious trajectories, they often share additional common causes for land fragmentation including compulsory Islamic inheritance rules, overlapping land tenure systems and community land use patterns. Yet, land consolidation projects in several Muslim majority countries have had been partly undermined by perceptions that the measures somehow circumvent Islamic law and destabilise Muslim socio-economic order. This paper explores traditional Islamic doctrines, community practices and contemporary land consolidation practices to argue that universal and professional interventions are supported by Muslim conceptions that could be effective and innovative. Using country examples including Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Pakistan and Indonesia, the paper critically examines select Islamic and customary to support land consolidation measures among Muslim communities, as appropriate.

Event: Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty 2015