English 1. Judicial System of the Swat State in the Regime of Wali Swat and its Appraisal in the Light of Islamic Law (Sharī’ah) (1917-1969)


  • Dr. Lutfullah Saqib Associate Professor (Law and Shar?‘ah), University of Swat, KP, Pakistan.
  • Rasheed Ahmad Faizy Department of Law & Shar?‘ah, University of Swat.
  • Dr. Syed Naeem Badshah Bukhari Associate Professor, University of Agriculture Peshawar.




Qa?a, Wali ?eb, Islamic law, Procedure, Judicial, Bacha ?eb, Shari’ah, Qadi, Ma?kamah, Yusufzai, Ullamas


The Judicial system in Yūsufzai state of Swat (1917-1969), being one of the prominent justice system, in the whole subcontinent; evolved in short interval of time owing to its cheap and speedy justice dispensation. In this study, the judicial system of former state of Swat, with primary focus on procedural law, had been examined critically from perspective of Islamic law; meaning thereby whether that law was in compliance with Sharī’ah. While carrying out this probe, the content analysis technique of qualitative research had adopted In the course of investigation, it was revealed that Yūsufzai court had incredible similarities with the Maḥkamah-e-Qaḍā (Islamic Judicial System) in many facets. It was found, too, that Jirga used to rule in the Swat state, due to the absence of formal justice system. The formal courts, simple and brief, were established in the early 30’s (thirties’); however, towards the end of second decade the formal courts were deep rooted, settling cumbersome issues with its complex hierarchal and prevailed set-up.  Study reveals, with solid evidences, that the appointment of Qāḍī by the ruler himself or with consultation from ‘Ullamās and hiring of Vakīl by the parties, were, primarily, Sharī’ah based. On the same way, suit institution, summoning defendant by plaintiff himself or Policeman, Shahādah on the alleger of fact, swearing on defendant and oral or written pronouncement of judgement and etc.  Were entirely Sharī’ah based.


Wright, Arnold, ed. Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceylon: Its History, People, Commerce, Industries, and Resources. New Delhi, Asian Educational Services, 1999, 16.

First law on earth, in preliminary era, was, “Might is Right”. … Redbeard, Ragnar. "Might Is Right: Survival of the Fittest." (1999): 99-138. Available at … https://archive.org/details/might-is-right/page/n99 (accessed on Sep 3rd, 2019).

Trial by ordeal was the way in which accused was supposed to pick up red hot iron bar or he had to pluck a stone from a big vessel wherein water was being boiled, or any such identical process which involved hardship. Their hands had to start healing in three days or they would be considered as convicted. Similarly, another way of ordeal trial was that accused used to be entirely tied and thrown into the lake, to see if he sinks, if sunk would be innocent. … United Kingdom, Judiciary, History of the Judiciary [Internet]; for elaborate discussion on the subject, visit website … https://www.judiciary.uk/about-the-judiciary/history-of-the-judiciary/ (accessed on Aug 2nd, 2019)

The Y?sufzai state of Swat situated to the north of present day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The state came into being in 1917, when Qab?ili Mashar?n (Tribal Chiefs) of Sw?t and Buner sensed the peril of World War-I, internationally and subjugation from Naw?b Dir, locally. They gathered in Kabal ground, selecting their first ruler Miy??gull ‘Abdul Wad?d, locally known as B?ch? ?eb to save Swat for upcoming generations. (Bakht Taj Mingora, T?r?khi Sw?t (Mingora, T?j company ltd. 2015): 112-113. ) He ruled from Sep, 1917 to Dec 12th, 1949; and was succeeded by his son Miy??gull ‘Abdul ?aqq Jah?? Zeb, locally known as W?l? ?eb, (who was known as Waly?t ?eb in Pushtu which originates from Urdu, Persian and Arabic word ‘W?l? ‘Ahad ???ib’), ruled from Dec 12th, 1949 to Jul 28th, 1969. The population of this princely state was estimated as half million.… The original text of the book runs as:

"???? ???? ??? ????? ???? ???? ???? ????? ???????? ???? ???? ??????? ?? ???? ????? ?? ?? ????? ?????? ???? ????"

“In his strong intentions founder of Swat in long terms…………… he bore the hardships of boat of five lac people.”

… Muft? Sh?h ?ussain Sh?mzai, W?d? Sw?t kay ‘??s? (Lahore, Nad?m Y?nus Printers, 2014): 36

In Sixteenth century Y?sufzai people came to Peshawar. Actually, a man named Manday, had two sons: Y?suf whose descendants were called the Y?sufzai tribe; ‘Umar whose son Mandanr became father to the one of prominent tribes, known as Mandanr Khel… Q??i A?mad J?n ?eb, Y?sufzai [https://www.khyber.org/pashtotribes/y/yusufzai-p.shtml…Original text flows as under:

"?? ??????? ??? ?? ?????? ??? ? ???? ?? ????? ?? ?????. ?? ?? ???? ?? ? ??? ??? ?????? ??. ? ?? ??? ???? ?? ? ? ?? ??? ?????. ??? ?? ?? ??? ??? ? ???? ????? ??. ? ???? ??? ???? ??. ? ?? ??? ???? ?? ?? ? ?? ???. ? ???? ? ????? ??? ???? ?? ?? ?? ? ??? ?? ??? ?? ?? ? ??? ??? ????? ?? ?? ? ??? ? ????? ???? ????? ??"…

Miy??gull ‘Abdul Wad?d ali (B?ch? ?eb) was grandson of ?a?rat ‘Abd-al Ghaf?r ali ( Saidu b?b?), to whom title of Akhund ???eb was given, (a great religious leader and reformer), who founded the modern state of Swat… For further details, see … http://www.visitswat.org/History.html

Sultan-I Rome, "Administrative system of the Princely State of Swat." Journal of the research society of Pakistan 43, no. 2 (2006): 2

Khan, Muhammad Asif. "The Story of Swat as told by its Own Founder Miangul Wadood Badshah Sahib." Peshawar: Ferozsons Ltd (1963),p. 124

Due to simplicity of process of the court, Wak?l was nominated verbally, considering enough for a suit or case.

The researchers met with Q??? Ghufr?n ud Din (locally known as Da Kok?rai Q?zi, Q??? of Kok?rai) who was N??im-i- Qu??t in the judicial system of Swat, As per his opinion beside being Q???, once he became advocate and, thus, presented a case.

The original text goes as under:

"?????? ???? ?? ???? ?? ???? ??? ????? ?? ?????? ?? ????? ???? ?????? ? ??????? ??? ????????? ??? ???????? ?? ??? ??????? ???? ???? ???? ??? ???? ?? ????? ??? ????? ??? ????? ?? ???? ??? ???? ??? ?? ?? ??? ???? ???? ???? ?? ????? ?? ?? ???? ??? ?????? ??? ???? ?????? ?????? ??? ?????? ?? ??? ??????? ???? ???? ??? ???? ???? ?? ????? ?? ???? ???? ??? ??? ??? ???? ?? ?????? ???? (?????)??? ???? ??? ?????? ???? ???? ?? ????? ???? ?? ?? ????? ??? ????? ??? ?????? ???? ?????? ????? ?? ??? ?????? ???? ??? ?????? ???? ???? ????? ???? ?? ????? ??? ?? ????? ??? ???? ?????? ???? ????? ?? ?????? ??? ??????" ???

“The state of Swat was free of all court fee etc. The special forms, issued from capital Saidu Sharif, were used for writing plaints and petitions. Every form, worth five pais?s, could be presented before the court after writing plaint and petition on it. Petition writer was appointed by the government to scribe the petition free of cost for the people.”…Mu?ammad ‘??if Kh?n, T?r?kh Riy?sati Sw?t 2nd Edition (Peshawar, new R?h?l printing press, 2001): 225-6.

Investigation of a witness whether he is a habitual liar or not or he has committed major sins or not in his daily life.

Sardaraz Faizy, Riy?sat-i-Sw?t kay Daur may Kohist?n K? ‘Ad?lti Ni??m… Please visit for further details … https://swatnews.com/story-37391/

Sultan Rome. "Crisis and reconciliation in Swat." Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies 3, no. 1 (2010): 57

The Original text flows as under:

"??? ??????? ??????????? ???????????? ??? ????????????? ??????? ???????? ???????? ?????????? ???? ?????????????? ??? ?????????? ??????? ?????????? ?????????????? ?????????? ?????????????? ??????????????? ????? ??????? ???????????? ???????????????? ???? ????????? ??????????."

‘Ali ?aidar Khw?j? Am?n Afandi, Durar-ul-?ukk?m Fi Shar? Majallatil A?k?m, 1st ed., (Beirut, D?rul Jail, 1991), 3:634.

It is a name of Persian origin, written as, ‘M?rz?’ which literally means prince or a high nobleman. Here, in the context of Swat state’s judiciary, it was a person who used to write the plaints and petitions. In conventional judicial system one is called ‘Petition writer’.

Mo?ammad bin A?mad bin Abi A?mad alias ‘Im?m al-thamarqandi, Tu?fah al-fuqah?, 2nd ed., (Beirut, D?r-al- Kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 1994), 3:373.

The Original text flows as under:

????? ?????? ??? ?????????? ???? ?????? ????????? ???????? ?????????????? ????? ??????? ????????? ????????? ??????? ????????????? ?????? ???????"

… Kuwait, Al-Mous?’atul Fiqhiyyatul Kuwaitiyyah, 2nd Ed., (Kuwait, D?r ul Sal?sil, 2004), 24:289.

The Original text is as under

"??????????? ?????????? ???? ?????? ?????????? ???????? ???? ???????? ???????????"

… ‘Ibr?him bin ‘Ali bin Mo?ammad alias Ibni Far??n, Tab?irah al- ?ukk?m Fi ‘Us?l al-Aq?iyya wa Man?hij al- ?ukk?m, 1st Ed. (Cairo, Maktabah al-Kulliy?t al-Azhariyyah, 1986) 1:56.

Federally Administered Tribal Areas

A local institution, settling disputes keeping Riw?j (customary law and rituals) in view, chaired by Spin Giri (grey bearded elders), deciding the issue as a bench in modern times, binding on its Pariqayn (parties). … Ali Wardak. "Building a post-war justice system in Afghanistan." Crime, Law and Social Change 41, no. 4 (2004): 326

A renowned researcher and author of history, who wrote many books and published several articles on Swat, in particular, and on Pakistan in general. He can be reached through … http://www.uop.edu.pk/departments/Teaching-Faculty/?r=673&q=Prof-Dr-Fakhr-ul-Islam

Kh?n, T?r?kh Riy?sati Sw?t (Peshawer, New R?h?l Printing Press, 2001): 224.

Muft? Mo?ammad Wah?b Manglawari, “Riy?sti Ma?kama-i-Qa?? Aur D?rul-‘ul?m ‘Isl?miyah Saidu Sharif.” Al-Tans?q: Tadhkira ‘ak?bir wa Mash?’ekh wa D?rul-‘ul?m (2019): 44

It was also known as Ma?kama-e-‘?lia (Superior court).

Ghazala Rafi, "The Fall of Swat Valley to the Taliban: Reflecting on Immediate and Long Term Causes." Pakistan Journal of Criminology 9, no. 2 (2017): 39

An unwritten code that was strongly embedded Pukht?ns’minds. For further explanation of the term, see … Sherzaman Taizi, Jirga System in Tribal Life, (Area study Centre, Russia; China; and Central Asia, 2007),.5.

Hassan M. Yousufzai and Ali Gouhar, Towards understanding Pukhton Jirga, (Peshawar, Just Peace International, 2005), 20

Kh?n, T?r?kh Riy?sati Sw?t (Peshawer, new R?h?l printing press, 2001), 225.

In such book the sources were mostly taken from ?anaf? school including, not exahstively, Hid?ya, Durr Mukht?r, Radd-al-Mu?t?r, Fat?wa ?lamg?ri, Fat?wa Q??? Kh?n, Ba?r-al-R?’eq, Mabs??, Majma’-al-Anhurr, Kanz-al-daq?’eq and many other books,

About the two volumes of this book and its nature there was a common misconception even among researchers that the first volume had related to Mu’?mal?t and the second one to ‘Ib?d?t. However, factually, the author wrote the second volume first (Mu’?mal?t) and first volume (‘Ib?d?t) afterwards. This fact had clarified by the author in the foreword of book . The same method was followed by the classical fuqah? , too, in their scholarly work..

Rome, "Crisis and reconciliation in Swat." 57.

After thorough interview from many learned local elders, who either were employees in or witnessed various courts of different circuits, researchers came to know that the stringency in adherence with the procedural law was not observed in Stricto Senso (Strict sense). However, the provision of prompt justice was the actual purpose.

Appointment comes under the preview of executive law while process of the court falls under procedural law and implementation comes under the ambit of substantive law.

See for example: Kh?n, T?r?kh Riy?sati Sw?t (Peshawer, new R?h?l printing press, 2001).

Manglawari, “Riy?sti Ma?kama-i-Qa??,”: 44-46

D?rul-‘ul?m ‘Isl?miyah al-?aqq?nia was established on Jan 15th ,1945. Firstly its it was situated near Central Hospital. Later on it was shifted to Mingora.

Muft? Abu al-‘ashk?b a?r?r, “Y?sufzai ‘Afgh?n May ‘elmi wa tadr?s? ‘Irtiq? Aur D?rul-‘ul?m ‘Isl?miyah ki T?s?s” Al-Tans?q: Tadhkira ‘ak?bir wa Mash?’ekh wa D?rul-‘ul?m (2019): 36

He was ?adr (president) of the D?rul-‘ul?m ‘Isl?miyah al-?aqq?nia

Other members of the committee were consist of ‘Abdul Maj?d Baz?rgwi alias Baz?rgai b?b?; ‘Abdul Haleem Hodigr?mi (from odigram), Mo?ammad Naz?r Chakesari, ‘In?yat ullah Chakesri, ‘Aziz ur Rahman Qambar (he was also teacher of Wal? ‘Ahad (crown prince) Mo?ammad Aurangzeb Khan) and etc…Mo?ammad ‘Ibr?h?m Buneri Baz?rgwi, Fat?wa Wad?diyyah: P.0

The judges of ‘Ad?lat-i-‘?liya in 1950 were consist of Q???-al- Qu??t (chief justice) i.e. ‘Abdul Kh?liq Kotkay ghwarband, Mo?ammad Sher Z?da Mingora, Mu?ibbull?h Qambar and Mo?ammad ‘?lam Gul Saidu Sharif. This court used to hold its session at J?may’ Masjid Saidu Shar?f. …Mo?ammad ‘Ibr?h?m Buneri, Fat?wa Wad?diyyah: p.0

Malak used to speak for his tribe, sometimes without getting any pay or sometimes ha had to be paid.

‘?lim used to go when the matter involved crucial points of fiqh or Us?l fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence).

Researchers interviewed Shah Salam Khan (Advocate Supreme Court)who at the time of Swat state , visited local court of Chail (a town of Swat near to Bahrain) and others. He also investigated the judicial system of Swat with minute details.

In this kind of suits, instead of the lengthy procedure, short procedurewas used to be followed on the principle i.e. “Justice delayed is Justice denied”. See The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, Order. XXXVII… The original text runs as: “SUMMARY PROCEDURE ON NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS”

This order shall apply only to the High Court [to the District Court and to any other Civil Court notified in this behalf by the High Court.]”

The detail on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police’s DRC can be traced throgh the web link … http://kppolice.gov.pk/drc/

Rome, "Administrative system of the Princely State of Swat.",8-9.

Shah Salam Khan (Advocate Supreme court), while narrating his story , said that a shopkeeper had brought the petition against him regarding a debt in his account register, whereby he served oral summons himself upon Khan.

The Original text flows as:

"??? ?? ? ???? ?????? ??? ?? ??? ??? ???? ?? ?? ?? ?? ????? ?????? ?? ??? ????? ?? ????? ? ???? ???? ??? ????? ??? ?? ? ???? ??? ?? ??? ????? ?? ?? ??? ??? ??? ?? ?????? ???? ??? ????? ? ?? ? ??? ???? ???? ?? ? ???? ???? ??? ? ???? ??? ?? ?? ?? ???? ????? ? ???? ?? ?????? ??? ???? ???? ??? ? ?????? ???????? ????????? ??????? ?? ?? ??? ?? ???? ??? ??? ??? ?"

Meaning thereby, “When I became ruler of Swat, I reached to the conclusion that every nation and area must adopt their own language. Humiliating its own civilization and language is sheer slavery. And it’s (like) being in antagonism with one’s own honor. I, therefore, selected Pukhto as official language. Government forms, stamp papers, books and etc I have published in Pukhto.”

… Muhammad Asaf Khan, Tarikh Riyasat-e-Swat wa Sawanih Hayat Bani Riyasat-e-Swat Miangul Gul Shahzada Abdul Wadud Khan Bacha Sahib, n.p., 1958, .357,358.

Sardaraz Faizy, Riy?sat-i-Sw?t kay Daur may Kohist?n K? ‘Ad?lti Ni??m [Internet]; See for example … http://kohistantv.com/?p=315

Rome, "Administrative System of the Princely State of Swat.", 8.

Mediation law is not mandatory to be followed, notwithstanding, it depends on parties consent to opt it. For more explication of the term visit … http://www.pma.org.pk/mediation-laws/ (accessed on Aug 2nd, 2019)

The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, S.76, The original text runs as: “1. Any court may in any suit issue a commission for the examination on interrogatories or otherwise of any person resident within the local limits of its jurisdiction who is exempted under this Code from attending the Court or who is from sickness or infirmity unable to attend it…”

Shirazi, Nasim Shah, and Hafiz M. Yasin. Fiscal structure, social welfare program and infrastructure development in the former state of Swat (Pakistan): a case study with implications for Muslim countries. No. 1433-8. 2015.

Faizy, Riy?sat-i-Sw?t kay Daur may Kohist?n K? ‘Ad?lti Ni??m [Internet]; the whole article could be traced from… http://kohistantv.com/?p=315(accessed on Aug 22nd, 2019)

See for further details: United Kingdom, Judiciary, History of the Judiciary [Internet]; … https://www.judiciary.uk/about-the-judiciary/history-of-the-judiciary/ (accessed on Aug 2nd, 2019)

The word ‘ilm, as per the literature of fuqah? means “knowledge’

See for further details… Mohammad bin A?mad bin Abi Sahl Shamsul Aimma al-Sarakhs?, Al-Mabs?t, (Beirut, D?rul Ma’rifa, 1993), 15:71; Shams ud Din Mohammad bin ‘Abdullah al-Zarkashi al-Mi?ri al Hanbali, Sharh al Zarkashi, (Saudi Arabia, D?rul ‘Abik?n Riy?d, 1993), Vol. 7, 236;

Abu bakr bin Mohammad bin ‘Abdul Momin bin Hariz bin Mo’all? al-Hussaini al-Hasni, Taqi ud din al-Sh?fi’?, Kif?yatul Akhy?r Fi ?alli Gh?yatil Ikhti?ar, First ed. (Damascus, D?rul Khair, 1994), 1:550;

Abu al Wal?d Mohammad bin A?mad bin Mohammad bin Ahmad bin Rush al-Qurtabi al-Undulusi al-Shah?r, Bid?yat ul Mujtahid wa Nih?yat ul Muqtasid, First ed. (Lebanon, D?r Ibni Hazam, 1999), 1:768.

The original text flows as …

" ???????? ??????? ???? ???????? ??????????? ?????????: ??????????????? ??????????? ????? ????????? (???????) : ?????????? (?????????) ??????????? (?????????) : ????????????? (?????????) : ?????????????? (?????????) : ????????? (?????????) : ????????????"

…‘Al?udin abu bakr bin Mas’?d bin A?mad al-K?s?ni, Bad?i’ al-San?i’ F? Tart?bi-al-Shar?i’, 2nd ed. (Beirut, D?rul Kutub-ul-‘ilmiyyah, 1986), 7:3-4.

Before 1945, there was no formal body but afterwards. However, later on, a committee for religious affairs was established, headed by chairman of ‘D?r-al-‘Ul?m al-‘Islamiyyah al-?aqq?niyyah, Saidu Sharif’ and other members; being Ullam?s and Mudarrisin. Such committee had to confirm the death penalties passed by Ma?kama ‘?liyya.

See for example Fat?ul Qad?r by ‘Ibn al-?amm?m, Adab al-Q??? by M?wardi, al-Mughni by ‘Ibn-i-Qud?ma and many others.

Kuwaitiyyah, 33:297.

Afandi, Durar-ul-?ukk?m Fi Shar? Majallatil A?k?m, 3:634.

… The original text flows as:

"????? ????????? ???????? ??? ????????? ???? ??????? ????? ???? ?????????? ??????? ?????? ?????????? ????? ????? ?????? ?????? ??????? ??????? ????????? ???

????? ??????? ?????? ???? ?????? ??????? ?????? ??? ?????????? ????? ???????? ??????? ?????????? ????????? ??????? ?????? ?????? ??? ???????? ??????? ????"

…‘Im?m al-thamarqandi, Tu?fah al-fuqah?, 3:373.

Abdullah Ahmad bin Mohammad bin Qud?ma, Al-Mughni, (Cairo, Maktabatul Q?hira, 1968), 10:133

Ibni Far??n, Tab?irah al- ?ukk?m Fi ‘Us?l al-Aq?iyya wa Man?hij al- ?ukk?m, 1:56.

Shaikh Ni??m wa Jam?’ah min ‘Ullam?-e-Hind, Fat?w? ‘?lamgiriyyah (also known as al- Fat?w? al-Hindiyyah) 2nd ed. (Quetta, Maktaba M?jidiyyah Eid-G?h, 1983), 6:145.

The original text runs as under:

?????????? ???? ?????? ??? ???????? ????????????? ???? ??????? ???? ????????? ???????? ???? ????? ???????"”, meaning thereby; appointing or empowering someone, with mutual consent by the parties, to solve the matter.… Mo?ammad al-‘am?m al-‘E?s?n al-Mujaddad? al-Barkat?, Qaw?’ed al-fiqh, 1st ed. (Karachi, al- ?adaf Publishers, 1986), 1:222.

See for further elaboration of the term ‘Ta?k?m’ …

… Attaullah, Qazi, and Lutfullah Saqib. Tracing the Concept of ADR in Shariah and Law " Hamdard Islamicus, ." XXXIX (3), 2016,


As per established principles of Islamic law, the verdict of the court may be in oral or in written form…Please see for minute details of the issue… ‘Abdul Kar?m bin ‘Abdull?h al-Khu?ayr, Shar? Bul?gh al-Mur?m, Kit?b al-Qa??-5, Page. 10/15: [Internet] … http://alfiqh.net/???-????-??????-???-??????-??????/ (accessed on Oct 14th, 2019).

Ab? ‘Abd-al-Ra?m?n ‘Abd-All?h bin ‘Abd-al-Ra?m?n bin ??le? bin ?amd bin Mo?ammad bin ?amd bin ‘Ibr?him al-bass?m al-Tam?m?, Taud??-al-‘A?k?m min Bul?gh al-Mar?m, 5th Ed., (Makkah al-Mukarramah, Maktabah al-‘Asadi, 2003), 7:159.

Now known as Government D?rul-‘ul?m ‘Isl?miyah, Saidu Sharif or D?rul-‘ul?m al-‘Isl?miyah al-?uk?miyyah.

‘T??rad?r’ is a Pushto version of Urdu word Th?ned?r, who is commonly known as station house officer.

Means, in evidence, the burden to prove is on the party who alleges the fact, and the party who denies the fact (opposite party) is to swear”.




How to Cite

Saqib, D. L., Faizy, R. A., & Badshah Bukhari, D. S. N. (2022). English 1. Judicial System of the Swat State in the Regime of Wali Swat and its Appraisal in the Light of Islamic Law (Sharī’ah) (1917-1969) . Al Khadim Research Journal of Islamic Culture and Civilization, 3(2), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.53575/arjicc.v3.02(22)e1.1-15