Are Medieval Arabic Judicial Documents as Opaque as They Look?

By Marina Rustow Legal documents have survived from the medieval Islamic world in considerable quantity, but the mystery of their quotidian production and use abides. The mystery concerns personnel and physical location: Who wrote documents, and where? Where did witnesses sign them? To what extent were judges involved in their production and handling? Over the … Continue reading Are Medieval Arabic Judicial Documents as Opaque as They Look?

Weekend Scholarship Roundup

SCHOLARSHIP ROUNDUP On Islamic Law In "The Long Arm of the Provincial Law: A Custody Battle in a Qāḍī Petition from the Medieval Fayyūm" (Al-ʿUṣūr al-Wusṭā 30 (2022)), Lev Weitz (Catholic University of America) "presents an edition, translation, and study of a short Arabic petition to a qāḍī and the rescript issued in response." In … Continue reading Weekend Scholarship Roundup

::Roundtable:: History of Islamic International Law: “Dispute Settlement in the Medieval Islamic World” by Mathieu Tillier

Summarized by Rami Koujah This post is part of the Roundtable on the History of Islamic International Law.  It is a summary of Mathieu Tillier's contribution titled "Dispute Settlement in the Medieval Islamic World" to volume eight of the Cambridge History of International Law series, co-edited by Intisar Rabb and Umut Özsu. Mathieu Tillier’s chapter … Continue reading ::Roundtable:: History of Islamic International Law: “Dispute Settlement in the Medieval Islamic World” by Mathieu Tillier

In Interim Order, Karnataka High Court Upholds Government Order Banning Hijab

By Raha Rafii In December 2021, a dispute broke out at Government Pre-University College for Girls in the state of Karnataka, India, where six students demanded to wear the headscarf/ḥijāb on school grounds.[1] This action set off several protests and counter-protests over subsequent months in multiple districts, including students wearing saffron shawls to assert religious … Continue reading In Interim Order, Karnataka High Court Upholds Government Order Banning Hijab

Adjudication as Official Duty: Regular Activities in a Bureaucratically Governed Structure

By Nahed Samour Bureaucratization demands regular activities and official duties. These duties are a central aspect of a bureaucratically governed structure. Regularity is important particularly in the application and adjudication of the law so as to minimize arbitrariness.[1] Regularity can create transparency, accessibility, and accountability, and thereby add to adjudicative authority within a bureaucratically established … Continue reading Adjudication as Official Duty: Regular Activities in a Bureaucratically Governed Structure

Judicial Bureaucracy: Revisiting Modern Theory for the Study of Islamic Law

By Nahed Samour Surely, Max Weber was wrong with his assumptions about Kadi-Justice (kadijustiz).[1] He is rightly criticized as a modernization theorist, placing a protestant work ethics at the centre of progress in the modern West, which was picked up to explain a “global envy” of the West and an obsession to imitate it, encouraging … Continue reading Judicial Bureaucracy: Revisiting Modern Theory for the Study of Islamic Law

Weekend Scholarship Roundup

SCHOLARSHIP ROUNDUP On Islamic Law: In "Legal Canons—In the Classroom and in the Courtroom or, Comparative Perspective on the Origins of Islamic Legal Canons, 1265–1519" (Villanova Law Review 66, no. 5 (2022)), Intisar Rabb (Editor-in-Chief; Harvard University) traces the origins of Islamic law canons, with a focus on how those canons were utilized in Islamic … Continue reading Weekend Scholarship Roundup

Monthly Lectures on Islamic Legal Genres: “Sijills and Transformations of Qāḍī Documents in Islamic Law” by Prof. Christian Müller

By Omar Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar This is a summary of the lecture by Prof. Christian Müller entitled “Sijills and Transformations of Qāḍī Documents in Islamic Law” delivered at 12 noon (EST), 6 pm (Münster) 7 pm (Istanbul) via Zoom.  The video recording of the lecture can be accessed here. Professor Müller offered this month what he … Continue reading Monthly Lectures on Islamic Legal Genres: “Sijills and Transformations of Qāḍī Documents in Islamic Law” by Prof. Christian Müller

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

State v. Waseem et al. – Waiver of Qiṣāṣ and Taz‘īr in Honor Killing

By Zainab Hashmi 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. Case Summary In September 2019, a Multan Sessions Court (state trial court) issued its decision in State v. Muhammad Waseem et al., a high-profile … Continue reading State v. Waseem et al. – Waiver of Qiṣāṣ and Taz‘īr in Honor Killing