16 Reasons Why: Forgery and the Household of the Prophet

By Rami Koujah This post is part of a series of posts on the latest publication in our Harvard Series in Islamic Law, Hossein Modarressi’s Text and Interpretation: Imam Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq and His Legacy in Islamic Law. This series of posts take a deeper dive into the book, which examines the main characteristics of the … Continue reading 16 Reasons Why: Forgery and the Household of the Prophet

Adjudication as Official Duty: Regular Activities in a Bureaucratically Governed Structure

By Nahed Samour Bureaucratization demands regular activities and official duties. These duties are a central aspect of a bureaucratically governed structure. Regularity is important particularly in the application and adjudication of the law so as to minimize arbitrariness.[1] Regularity can create transparency, accessibility, and accountability, and thereby add to adjudicative authority within a bureaucratically established … Continue reading Adjudication as Official Duty: Regular Activities in a Bureaucratically Governed Structure

Judicial Bureaucracy: Revisiting Modern Theory for the Study of Islamic Law

By Nahed Samour Surely, Max Weber was wrong with his assumptions about Kadi-Justice (kadijustiz).[1] He is rightly criticized as a modernization theorist, placing a protestant work ethics at the centre of progress in the modern West, which was picked up to explain a “global envy” of the West and an obsession to imitate it, encouraging … Continue reading Judicial Bureaucracy: Revisiting Modern Theory for the Study of Islamic Law

Weekend Scholarship Roundup

SCHOLARSHIP ROUNDUP On Islamic Law: In "The Hoax in the ISIS Flag" (Newlinesmag.org, October 28, 2021), Ahmed El Shamsy (Chicago University) explains how a forged letter, presented by a French diplomat in the middle of the 19th century as the genuine writing of the Prophet, ended up finding its way on the ISIS flag - … Continue reading Weekend Scholarship Roundup

Monthly Lectures on Islamic Legal Genres: “Fatāwā Compilations: Exploring a legal genre in the Islamic West” by Prof. Maribel Fierro

By Omar Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar This is a summary of the lecture by Prof. Maribel Fierro entitled “Fatāwā Compilations: Exploring a legal genre in the Islamic West,” delivered on June 30, 2021 at 12 noon (EST), 6 pm (Münster) 7 pm (Istanbul) via Zoom.  The video recording of the lecture can be accessed here. Thus far … Continue reading Monthly Lectures on Islamic Legal Genres: “Fatāwā Compilations: Exploring a legal genre in the Islamic West” by Prof. Maribel Fierro

Ibāḍism in the Medieval Sahel

By Kristina L. Richardson For centuries the Sunnī Mālikī madhhab has predominated among Muslims of northern and western Africa, but before the 12th century, Shīʿī, Khārijī, and Ibāḍī legal schools vied for dominance.[1] Merchants living under the Ibāḍī Rustamids (779-909, capital in Tāhart) and in independent Khārijī states in the western Maghrib, such as the … Continue reading Ibāḍism in the Medieval Sahel

The continuum approach: Multiple legal solutions to run a diverse empire

By Petra Sijpesteijn (Leiden University) This essay is part of the Islamic Law Blog’s Roundtable on Islamic Legal History & Historiography, edited by Intisar Rabb (Editor-in-Chief) and Mariam Sheibani (Lead Blog Editor), and introduced with a list of further readings in the short post by Intisar Rabb: “Methods and Meaning in Islamic Law: Introduction." Two … Continue reading The continuum approach: Multiple legal solutions to run a diverse empire

Weekend Scholarship Roundup

Sohaira Siddiqui explores how scholars grappled with questions of human reason and knowledge, challenging dominant ideas of Shari'a in "Law and Politics under the Abbasids: An Intellectual Portrait of al-Juwayni," Cambridge University Press. Siddiqui highlights the interconnections between al-Juwayni's discussions on theology, law and politics, and the socio-political intellectual landscapes that forged them. In "Consent … Continue reading Weekend Scholarship Roundup

Heterodoxy Among Muslim Judges: On Attempts at Jokes and Judicial Constraints

Guest contributor Maribel Fierro examines a scene of heterodoxy in the recently published English translation of The Ultimate Ambition. Translated from Arabic into English for the first time in full by Elias Muhanna of Brown University, The Ultimate Ambition was written in the 14th century by a retired Egyptian bureaucrat named Shihab al-Din al-Nuwayri. Fierro looks at a scene in … Continue reading Heterodoxy Among Muslim Judges: On Attempts at Jokes and Judicial Constraints