Sunday, April 24, 2011

XEER DIR CUSTOMERY LAW

Anno Revenge killing by one clan or sub-clan against another in the
absence of diya payment.

Barax Broadly translated into English as ‘mixing’, it is a practice not
accepted by Somali shari’a courts as the distortion of Islamic law
through mixing with other sources of law.

Dhig Aspects of xeer guud which apply to penal matters, including
murder (qudh), aggression (qoon), and thievery (tuugo).

Dhaqasho Aspects of xeer guud which apply to civil matters, including issues
of family (xilo), private property (xoolo), territory (deegan), and
hospitality (maamuus).

Diya A main principle of xeer, this is the ‘blood compensation’ paid by
one diya group to another, usually in the form of livestock.

Diya group Small social units that take collective responsibility for their own
security, as well as undertaking an obligation to compensate
other groups for any harm committed by one of its members.

Dumal The practice of forcing marriage between a widow and a male
relative of her deceased husband.

Gar dawe A xeer proceeding that strictly applies customary law in an
adversarial manner to determine guilt and innocence.

Godobtir The practice of forcing marriage between a young girl and an
aggrieved clan as part of a diya payment.

Higsian The practice of forcing marriage between the sister of a deceased
wife and the widower.


Madani Neighbourhood-based ‘vigilant groups’ which arm themselves to
provide for local security.

Masalaxo A xeer proceeding that focuses on mediation to identify a
solution that is acceptable to all parties.

Mooryaan A social category for bandits and uncontrolled militia.
Shahad Solicitation of financial and material support by Somali
traditional elders.


Suluh Broadly translated into English as ‘resolution’, it is a practice
applied by Somali shari’a courts to integrate Islamic, traditional
and statutory laws into a single workable decision for a case.
Xeer Somali customary law.

Xeer begti Respected and qualified elders who are entrusted to maintain
knowledge of applying xeer.
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Xeer gaar Specific aspects of xeer that regulate localised economic
production relations for clans and sub-clans specifically
involved in pastoralism, fishing, frankincense harvesting, etc.

Xeer guud Generally applicable aspects of xeer which are generally
applicable across all Somali clans, and regulate day-to-day
social life, civil and penal matters, and dispute settlement.

Xissi The most fundamental stipulations of xeer for which
unquestioned historical
adkaaday precedent exists.
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