Weekend Scholarship Roundup

  • The 43rd Annual Donald A. Giannella Memorial Lecture speaker Intisar Rabb‘s (Harvard) presentation titled “Interpreting Islamic Law” explains the judicial overhaul that occurred during the thirteenth century under the reign of Baibars I, Mamlūk sultan of Egypt and Syria, who established four chief judgeships representing each of the four major (Sunnī) schools of Islamic law and required each to issue opinions based on the majority opinion within their schools only.
  • In his article (in Turkish) “How Caviar Turned out to Be Halal?” (Yemek ve Kultur, 2020), Houchang Chehabi (Boston University) documents what he refers to as “the malleability of the sharī‘a” through a study on caviar. Initially forbidden in Iran, as only fish with scales are allowed for consumption under traditional interpretations of Islamic law, with the help of zoologists who documented that caviar, too, has scales, the country quickly moved to classify it as ḥalāl – a move Chehabi intimates had to do with Iran’s status as a major exporter of the product.  
  • In “Engagements and Entanglements: The Contemporary Waqf and the Fragility of Shi’ite Quietism,” (Journal of Law and Religion 35 (2020)) Haider Ala Hamoudi (University of Pittsburgh) explores how the Shi’ite jurists of Iraq have become deeply entangled with the state, especially evident in matters pertaining to the establishment, management, and liquidation of Islamic charitable trusts also known as waqfs, despite the Iraqi Constitution declaring emphatically in its Article 43 that waqfs shall be free from state intervention.
  • Sofian Herouach’s (Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University) “Liberal Feminism Impact on Moroccan Educated Women: Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences, FLDM, as a Field Study” (Open Political Science (2019)) investigates, through a questionnaire involving 350 participants, Moroccan women’s perceptions toward religion and gender roles.

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