Portals to the Future: Translations of Powers of Attorney

By Nurfadzilah Yahaya Powers of attorney form the basis of the second chapter of my book Fluid Jurisdictions: Colonial Law and Arabs in Southeast Asia (Cornell University Press, 2020). The digital collection of these documents produced by the Arab communities in the Straits Settlements (mostly Singapore) in the Koh Seow Chuan Collection in the National … Continue reading Portals to the Future: Translations of Powers of Attorney

Commentarial Ocean

By Mahmood Kooria The postclassical commentarial literature of Islamic law, once ignored for being repetitive and inauthentic, now has been receiving considerable scholarly attention. Through the processes of canonization, codification, regionalization, synthesis and transregional connections; forms such as core texts, commentaries, supercommentaries, autocommentaries, glosses, translations and summaries; and contents such as substantive laws, contextual selections … Continue reading Commentarial Ocean

Late Ottoman Beiruti Waqfs: Closeness to God (Qurba) and Charity for the Family

By Nada Moumtaz In my book, God’s Property: Islam, Charity, and the Modern State, I seek to explain the contours of the contemporary waqf revival in Beirut against a longue durée of waqf reform since the mid-nineteenth century, starting with the Ottoman foundation of a Waqf Ministry in 1826 through French Mandatory (1920-1943) and postcolonial … Continue reading Late Ottoman Beiruti Waqfs: Closeness to God (Qurba) and Charity for the Family

Calling All Waqf Haters

By Nada Moumtaz Waqf (Islamic endowment), and its study, cannot leave a scholar of Islam unmoved, it would seem. For those not working on waqf, its complex legal technicalities instigate dread and “boredom of the heart.” Its accounting documents and the economic history they tell evoke the dryness of “counting beans,” as a colleague once … Continue reading Calling All Waqf Haters

Toni Morrison, John Ralph Willis, and Black Muslim History

By Kristina L. Richardson Allow me to share a factoid about Toni Morrison’s (1931-2019) little known connection to Islamic historians. She grew up in Lorain, Ohio, with her younger cousin John Ralph Willis (1938-2007), who carried the name of their grandfather, a violinist named John Solomon Willis. The cousins forged separate paths as adults, only … Continue reading Toni Morrison, John Ralph Willis, and Black Muslim History

Islam and Data Science Roundup

In "Constituted Islam and Muslim Everyday Practices in Austria: The Diversity of the Ties to Religious Organizational Structures and Religious Authorities in the Process of Change" (Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 40, no. 3 (2020)) Jonas Kolb uses "a comprehensive mixed-methods study" to document the many and varied ties of Muslims to what the author … Continue reading Islam and Data Science Roundup

Roundtable on Islamic Family Law in the UK :: Re-opening the Debate on the Law of Marriage as a Whole (Akhter v. Khan, July 2018)

Ralph Grillo comments on the High Court of Justice of England and Wales’ recent decision on the Akhter v. Khan case. The case is one example of the ongoing examination of the legal status of Islamic marriages and divorces under UK law. I hesitate to intervene in a roundtable on what is a complicated legal decision. As … Continue reading Roundtable on Islamic Family Law in the UK :: Re-opening the Debate on the Law of Marriage as a Whole (Akhter v. Khan, July 2018)