Why we should start with women

By Mona Oraby This is the second of two essays on Islamic law and pedagogy written by Mona Oraby. The first is "Islamic law and the liberal arts." The open curriculum at Amherst means that I mostly teach a captive audience. There are no gen-ed requirements to drive enrollment. Students who show up for my … Continue reading Why we should start with women

Islamic Law and the Liberal Arts

By Mona Oraby I teach a course called Islamic Constitutionalism at Amherst College. Colleagues at other institutions are often surprised and flattered when I tell them I use their casebooks, International Journal of Constitutional Law articles, and monographs in my teaching. Flattered because, well, it’s always flattering to hear that what we write is read … Continue reading Islamic Law and the Liberal Arts

:: Muwaṭṭaʾ Roundtable :: Zakāt, Wealth Tax and Extreme Inequality

By Mahmoud El-Gamal (Rice University) In Book 16 of the Muwaṭṭaʾ, nestled between Chapter 9 regarding alms taxes on merchandise and money and Chapter 11 regarding alms taxes on livestock (the two main forms of wealth in Arabia), we read in Chapter 10, Report 699 a text that condemns hoarding. The report’s representation of hoarded … Continue reading :: Muwaṭṭaʾ Roundtable :: Zakāt, Wealth Tax and Extreme Inequality

Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers – Afterthoughts

Two points remain to be made at the end of this series, arising from a reaction to, and an interaction of relevance to, the previous blog posts. First, an excellent graduate student at Istanbul Şehir University (Ali Rıza Işın), who is as far as one gets from being a naïve individual, decided to feign naiveté and … Continue reading Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers – Afterthoughts

Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers (4-4)

A minimally professionalized lawyer-advocate is less of an independent agent with interests diverging from those of their appointers. This, in a nutshell, is the image I depicted in three previous posts. If each member of society contemplates needing to defend themselves and their associates in court, they would think differently of rights, laws, and justice. … Continue reading Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers (4-4)

Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers (3-4)

In both Roman and Islamic law, legal representation is not limited to court appearances on behalf of a principal. It is more or less the default in everyday life that men and women (and even children), educated and uneducated, rich and poor—all need to be represented by others, and that need is presumed to arise … Continue reading Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers (3-4)

Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers (2-4)

At the end of the last post we met the negotiorum gestor, an administrator of the business of another, even without any mandate from the principal. The argument for this and for the more recognizable representative, who receives an explicit appointment by the principal, we learn (from Ulpian), was made from “necessity.”  In the Digest, … Continue reading Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers (2-4)

Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers (1-4)

INTRODUCTION TO A SERIES OF FOUR POSTS In this series, I aim to play with a few ideas. First, I will imagine a society without heavily professionalized sophists who can argue either side in a legal dispute, i.e., lawyer-advocates (posts 1-2). The historical models I employ (Roman and Islamic law) allow me to underscore the … Continue reading Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers (1-4)

Islamic Law at the 2019 Law and Society Association Annual Meeting

Each year, the Islamic Law and Society Collaborative Research Network (ILS-CRN) helps compose panels on Islamic law at the Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association. This year’s roster features a host of author-meets-reader book sessions and panels featuring Islamic law. Tamir Moustafa of Simon Fraser University will respond to commentators' reviews of his … Continue reading Islamic Law at the 2019 Law and Society Association Annual Meeting

Scholarship in “Plain English”: Clark Lombardi on Sharīʿa as a Source of Legislation

The constitutions of many Muslim-majority countries contain clauses that declare sharīʿa a source of legislation. These “sharīʿa clauses” may name sharīʿa as “a chief source,” “the chief source,” or “the only source,” among others, of national laws. Though the phrasing of these clauses seems quite similar, some scholars and government officials have ascribed importance to … Continue reading Scholarship in “Plain English”: Clark Lombardi on Sharīʿa as a Source of Legislation