Retaining Waters of International Rivers in Islamic Jurisprudence and International Law

Prof. Aladdin Al Amin Zaki
Professor of Fundamentals of Jurisprudence
Department of Islamic Studies, Faculty of Arts
University of Khartoum, Sudan


This research paper deals with the issue of water retention for the purpose of benefiting from it, which is the problem that has caused conflicts between countries that share one river, considering that the retention may be a reason to reduce the percentage of water for the rest of the partners, especially the last one. Is it permissible for states to do so? And what does it entail? The research aims to show the role of Islamic jurisprudence in addressing the reality of life and developing a solution to the problem of controversy in water retention. The second issue is about the rulings on retaining the waters of common rivers in Islamic jurisprudence and international law. The third topic deals with arbitration in water retention in Islamic jurisprudence and international law.
The research paper reached a number of results the most important of which is that countries have the right to build dams and reservoirs for the purpose of retaining river water in the case of river sharing, on the condition of mutual consent and not harming the partners, and this is agreed upon in Islamic jurisprudence and international law, and that water retention has a certain limit and is not absolute, although international law was not explicit in the matter of the amount, and in its estimation is due to custom and need, especially when the area is wide and the number of people involved is large. The paper recommended that arbitration is important and necessary when the dispute between partners deepens, and that Islamic Sharia is the best to refer to.

Key words: water retention, shared rivers, arbitration, dam construction, reservoir construction.

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