COVID-19 and Islamic Law Roundup (1/3)

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Countries and communities around the world are working to contain COVID-19 and mitigate its effects. The following digest represents a variety of sources in which law, particularly Islamic law, was invoked in the decision making process. Bahrain's Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim calls for the suspension of religious and social activities throughout the country. Iran cancels … Continue reading COVID-19 and Islamic Law Roundup (1/3)

Marriage as Children’s Play: Unregistered Islamic Marriages under English Law

That marriage creates certain rights and obligations goes without saying. The legal definition of marriage, however, remains contentious, especially in multicultural, religiously diverse and legally pluralistic states and societies where legal and religious definitions of marriage may differ. The complexity of the issue is exacerbated when courts have to balance private and public interests while … Continue reading Marriage as Children’s Play: Unregistered Islamic Marriages under English Law

The Problem of Slavery in Islamic Law: A Review of Possessed by the Right Hand, by Bernard Freamon

For my final guest post on this esteemed Islamic Law Blog, I wanted to highlight the publication of a recent book on a subject that has not received the treatment it deserves in the Islamic world. This is the highly charged matter of slavery, which Professor Bernard Freamon tackles admirably in Possessed by the Right … Continue reading The Problem of Slavery in Islamic Law: A Review of Possessed by the Right Hand, by Bernard Freamon

The Libyan Supreme Court and the Meaning of Ribā: A New Approach?

One of the most vexing problems that modern high courts face when interpreting and applying Islamic law concerns the taking of money interest. The framework of the basic problem tends to be the same, whether the state is Egypt, Iraq, or Pakistan. Libya’s most recent foray into this field deserves some attention, however, because it … Continue reading The Libyan Supreme Court and the Meaning of Ribā: A New Approach?

Will Baghdad’s Government Decide Shi’i Islam’s Future Highest Jurist? Religion-State Entanglements and the Waqf in Iraq

One largely unnoticed development that has arisen in Iraq since the US invasion in 2003 has been the manner in which the Iraqi state and the Shi’i religious establishment known broadly as the marjaʿiyya have bound themselves rather tightly together in the area of waqf law. This is important, because the waqf business in Iraq … Continue reading Will Baghdad’s Government Decide Shi’i Islam’s Future Highest Jurist? Religion-State Entanglements and the Waqf in Iraq

Reading a Century of Change and Transformation through the ‘Ulamā

The nineteenth century marks a period of major transition for the Ottoman Empire. The changes and transformations that took place during this century differed significantly from those in previous centuries in several respects. First, pre-nineteenth century changes were limited to internal developments that remained within the requirements of the system established by the Empire. In … Continue reading Reading a Century of Change and Transformation through the ‘Ulamā

Jāmi‘ al-Riyāsatayn Shaykh al-Islām Hasan Fahmi Efendi

Jāmi‘ al-Riyāsatayn[1] Akşehirī Hasan Fahmi Efendi was born in 1796 in Ilgın, a district in Konya. He went to Konya to study at the important madrasas of the region and completed his education there. Madrasas in Konya were important centers of knowledge in central Anatolia. Therefore, prominent figures, such as Kara Halil Efendi (d. 1880), … Continue reading Jāmi‘ al-Riyāsatayn Shaykh al-Islām Hasan Fahmi Efendi

A Literary Bureaucrat Scholar and Shaykh al-Islām: Ahmad Ārif Hikmet Bey Efendi

Studies on the Ottoman Shaykh al-Islāms are largely focused on a few names, their fatwās, and their relations with the state. It is a fact that the fatwā constituted a significant part of their writings because they were mostly dealing with legal issues while maintaining their duties as a Shaykh al-Islāms. In addition, although the … Continue reading A Literary Bureaucrat Scholar and Shaykh al-Islām: Ahmad Ārif Hikmet Bey Efendi

Ottoman Shaykh al-Islāms of the Nineteenth Century and their Intellectual Biographies

Foundational studies on Islamic legal history in the modern era have largely ignored ​​Ottoman legal thought and experience. This approach, which dominated the historiography of Islamic law written in the 20th century, prevents us from understanding the role played by fiqh in the Ottoman era, which shaped and guided the fields of law, economics and … Continue reading Ottoman Shaykh al-Islāms of the Nineteenth Century and their Intellectual Biographies

Weekend Scholarship Roundup

Radhika Kanchana addresses citizenship access to “outsiders” in Muslim-majority states in "How do Muslim States Treat their 'Outsiders'?: Is Islamic Practice of Naturalisation Synonymous with Jus Sanguinis?", Islamic Law & Law of the Muslim World eJournal, (originally published in Migration and Islamic Ethics: Issues of Residence, Naturalisation and Citizenship). Kanchana focuses mainly on the states’ practice … Continue reading Weekend Scholarship Roundup