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

Islamic Constitutionalism in Pakistan: Does it Matter?

Pakistan came into being through a constitutionally governed election when Muslims in British India voted for an independent state that comprised the Muslim-majority parts of India. It had two wings: East Pakistan (currently Bangladesh) and West Pakistan, geographically separated by more than a thousand kilometers. Since Islam was the only common link between the two … Continue reading Islamic Constitutionalism in Pakistan: Does it Matter?

In the News: Prison Chaplains

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed Alabama to execute a Muslim inmate who had filed a legal challenge after prison officials told him he could only have a Christian chaplain present in the execution chamber—but not a Muslim imam. Domineque Ray’s lawyers had argued that the prison’s policy violated the Establishment Clause of the … Continue reading In the News: Prison Chaplains

Interview :: The Social-Legal Implications of Islamic Law with Nadia Marzouki, Author of Islam: An American Religion

Nadia Marzouki is the author of Islam: An American Religion, published in 2013. She was an Andrew Carnegie Centennial Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center and a research fellow at HKS’s Belfer Center’s Middle East Initiative in 2017. She is currently a tenured research fellow (Chargée de Recherche) at the CNRS (Centre National de … Continue reading Interview :: The Social-Legal Implications of Islamic Law with Nadia Marzouki, Author of Islam: An American Religion

Commentary: Religious Opinions within Civil Discourse

By Professor Mohammad Fadel (University of Toronto, Faculty of Law) In a recent attempt to control religious discourse in Egypt, the chairperson of Egypt’s Supreme Media Regulatory Council (al-majlis al-aʿlā li-tanẓīm al-iʿlām), Makram Muhammad Ahmad, announced that only 50 people would be permitted to give an opinion (fatwā) pertaining to Islamic law. According to various … Continue reading Commentary: Religious Opinions within Civil Discourse

In Response to the Indian Supreme Court’s Recent Decision on Triple Ṭalāq: A Legislative Proposal

The Indian Supreme Court's decision on triple ṭalāq declared it unconstitutional, and gave the legislature six months to decide on appropriate reform. Pakistan editor Zubair Abbasi responds to the decision and outlines considerations the legislature should address. "According to media reports, triple ṭalāq (instant, irrevocable divorce initiated by a husband in some versions of Islamic law) epitomizes … Continue reading In Response to the Indian Supreme Court’s Recent Decision on Triple Ṭalāq: A Legislative Proposal

Shayara Bano v. Union of India, etc. (Supreme Court of India): Judgment on Constitutionalism of Triple Ṭalāq

In a 3-2 decision, the Supreme Court of India declared triple ṭalāq unconstitutional and gave India’s parliament six months “to consider legislation” for handling triple ṭalāq. In its opinion, the Court cited global advances in Islamic family law (in India, called Muslim personal law) in “even theocratic Islamic states” as evidence of the need for reform.  The Court … Continue reading Shayara Bano v. Union of India, etc. (Supreme Court of India): Judgment on Constitutionalism of Triple Ṭalāq

Comparing the Religion-State Divide in the Arab World: Constitutions

Nathan Brown, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University, asserts that "Arab constitutions are not abnormally religious," even though they legally integrate religion in different ways. "Religion appears in the constitutions of the Arab world, almost all with Muslim majorities, in a variety of … Continue reading Comparing the Religion-State Divide in the Arab World: Constitutions