Lecture Series: Spousal Abuse and Islamic Law Reform

On Mar 28, Professor Mohammad Fadel of the University of Toronto gave a lecture on "Nushuz, Lawful Discipline and Spouse Abuse in the Maliki Madhab: A History and Its Relevance to Modern Islamic Law Reform." He discussed examples of Muslim judges from Mamlūk and Andalusian courts seeking out cases of spousal abuse rather than waiting for those cases to … Continue reading Lecture Series: Spousal Abuse and Islamic Law Reform

European Court of Human Rights Rules Against Forcing Greek Muslim Minority to Follow Islamic Law [Molla Sali v. Greece (ECHR 2018)]

In December 2018, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) considered the question whether Muslim citizens who lived in the Greek province of Thrace could be required to submit to the jurisdiction of Islamic law, as detailed by local experts called muftīs. In Greek law, Islamic law usually governed matters of family law—such as marriage, … Continue reading European Court of Human Rights Rules Against Forcing Greek Muslim Minority to Follow Islamic Law [Molla Sali v. Greece (ECHR 2018)]

Right to Counsel and the Problem of Distrust

The right to counsel is one of the constituent elements of a fair trial.[1] Iran’s judicial system has long grappled with the question whether, to ensure the basic rights of defendants, they must have unqualified access to an attorney in criminal investigations, especially for serious felonies such as national security crimes. In this post, through analyzing … Continue reading Right to Counsel and the Problem of Distrust

Whose Guardian: Sharīʿa or the Constitution? Judicial Review of Iran’s New Criminal Procedure Code

Judicial review has become a cornerstone of constitutionalism globally. In Muslim countries, judicial review, despite being a rising trend, has not been robustly practiced across the region.[1] Iran is one of the countries that has had a poor record with judicial review. In the absence of a constitutional court in Iran,[2] constitutional review of legislation falls to … Continue reading Whose Guardian: Sharīʿa or the Constitution? Judicial Review of Iran’s New Criminal Procedure Code

REVIEW: Judges on Cushions and Under Trees: Thoughts on “Qāḍī Justice” and Hyperpolemics (A Review of Intisar Rabb, “Against Kadijustiz” (2015))

Guest contributor Haider Hamoudi reviews Professor Intisar Rabb's, SHARIAsource founding editor-in-chief, new article in the Suffolk Law Review entitled Against Kadijustiz: On the Negative Citation of Foreign Law. Rabb focuses on how American courts have utilized inaccurate portrayals of "qāḍī justice" as antitheses to American court procedures. Hamoudi notes that this point is all the more important when one … Continue reading REVIEW: Judges on Cushions and Under Trees: Thoughts on “Qāḍī Justice” and Hyperpolemics (A Review of Intisar Rabb, “Against Kadijustiz” (2015))

CASE COMMENT: Shamim Ara and the Divorce Politics of a Secular and Modern India

South Asia editor Jeff Redding argues that the "state vs. non-state character of talaq" is too often overlooked as a factor influencing the Indian Supreme Court's decision in the landmark case Shamim Ara v. State of U.P. (2002). While the decision's positive effect on Muslim women's welfare in India cannot be denied, the contemporary Indian state's concerns about presenting itself as a … Continue reading CASE COMMENT: Shamim Ara and the Divorce Politics of a Secular and Modern India

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

Does ISIS Really Follow the Salafī Version of Islamic Law and Theology?

Guest contributor Jacob Olidort critically examines ISIS's claim of adherence to the doctrine of Salafism, a popular orientation among conservative Muslim clerics who attempt to model their actions on a certain vision of law and theology in the early Muslim community. Himself a scholar of modern Salafī thought, Olidort concludes that ISIS's claims are at … Continue reading Does ISIS Really Follow the Salafī Version of Islamic Law and Theology?

The Construction and Failure of Islamic Laws of Evidence in ISIS’s State-Building Project

Guest contributor Mara Revkin outlines the legal infrastructure of ISIS. She argues that the movement's barbarism and apparently wanton acts of terrorism belies a self-contained legal system based on Islamic law – including the Islamic law of evidence. Using interviews with eighty-two Syrians and Iraqis, Revkin reconstructs how evidence is used within ISIS's purported borders. … Continue reading The Construction and Failure of Islamic Laws of Evidence in ISIS’s State-Building Project

A Court by Any Other Name: State ‘Courts’ and Sharīʿa Councils

South Asia editor Jeff Redding compares the British sharīʿa courts debate to similar debates going on in India. He examines the semantic approach of the current debate, and questions whether this approach fully encompasses the issue. Controversies over non-state Islamic dispute resolution have flared around the globe in the last several years, in sites as diverse as Canada, India, and … Continue reading A Court by Any Other Name: State ‘Courts’ and Sharīʿa Councils