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

A Popular Initiative to Ban Minarets and Its Human Rights Implications

By Nathalie Gunasekera  This post is part of the Digital Islamic Law Lab (DILL) series, in which a Harvard student analyzes a primary source of Islamic law, previously workshopped in the DIL Lab. Abstract: In November 2009, Switzerland passed a popular initiative prohibiting the construction of minarets. In response, Mr. Ouardiri, a Muslim living in Switzerland, challenged … Continue reading A Popular Initiative to Ban Minarets and Its Human Rights Implications

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

The Supreme Court of India Weighs in on Muslim Personal Law

By Nathalie Gunasekera  This post is part of the Digital Islamic Law Lab (DILL) series, in which a Harvard student analyzes a primary source of Islamic law, previously workshopped in the DIL Lab. Abstract: Khursheed Ahmad Khan v. State of U.P. is a recent Indian Supreme Court case. Khursheed Ahmad Khan (appellant), a Muslim civil servant, married … Continue reading The Supreme Court of India Weighs in on Muslim Personal Law

Conjoined Twins: Human Rights and Islam in the Constitutional System of Pakistan

By Zubair Abbasi Ever since Pakistan’s creation as an independent state in 1947, Islam has continued to permeate its constitutional and legal system. From the confines of the personal law of Muslims at the time of independence, Islam has become the grundnorm of Pakistan’s constitutional system.[1] Curiously, the gradual elevation of Islam in the formal … Continue reading Conjoined Twins: Human Rights and Islam in the Constitutional System of Pakistan

Islamic Judicial Review in Practice (3): Sharia and State Law

By Zubair Abbasi The enthusiasm of the Shariat Benches to judicially Islamize laws is best reflected in the judgment of the Shariat Bench of the Peshawar High Court in Mst. Farishta v Federation of Pakistan.[1] In this judgment, the Shariat Bench reviewed the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961 (MFLO). Pakistan’s first military ruler, Ayub Khan … Continue reading Islamic Judicial Review in Practice (3): Sharia and State Law

Islamic Judicial Review in Practice (2): Strategic Islamization of Laws

By Zubair Abbasi The most significant impact of Islamic judicial review is the incorporation of qiṣāṣ and dīyah in the legal system of Pakistan. During the colonial period, the British replaced Islamic criminal law with the Indian Penal Code 1860. There are two important components of Islamic criminal law: ḥudūd and qiṣāṣ. Ḥudūd are fixed … Continue reading Islamic Judicial Review in Practice (2): Strategic Islamization of Laws

Islamic Judicial Review in Practice (1): Decolonization through Islamization of Laws

By Zubair Abbasi In my previous blog posts, I identified Islamic judicial review as the distinctive feature of Pakistan’s legal system. In my next three posts, I shall scrutinize how Islamic judicial review works in practice through the analysis of a few important judgments related to criminal law and family law. In this first post, … Continue reading Islamic Judicial Review in Practice (1): Decolonization through Islamization of Laws

The Impact of Islamic Judicial Review in Pakistan  

By Zubair Abbasi Since its beginning in 1979, Islamic judicial review was unlikely to cause major constitutional and legal changes because of its inherent design to maintain the status quo. This can be explained by a number of factors. Firstly, the Federal Shariat Court (FSC) did not have jurisdiction over the provisions of the Constitution. … Continue reading The Impact of Islamic Judicial Review in Pakistan  

Islamic Constitutionalism in Pakistan: Is it Theocratic?

By Zubair Abbasi Despite assigning a significant role to Islam, the Pakistani constitutional model does not propose a theocratic order. Rather, the theocratic tendencies resulting from the substantial role of Islam in the legal system are checked by a curious synthesis of Islamic constitutionalism and liberal constitutionalism. Instead of assigning the interpretative authority of Islamic … Continue reading Islamic Constitutionalism in Pakistan: Is it Theocratic?