Canons (Qawāʿid) and Reasoning in Islamic Law and Ethics

By Mairaj Syed Although ethical thought is found in virtually every literary genre of Islamic civilization, it finds the most explicit articulation in works of adab (belles-lettres), akhlāq (virtue ethics), and fiqh (positive law).[1] There are a number of distinguishing features that make fiqh an rich repository of moral thought, especially useful for the types … Continue reading Canons (Qawāʿid) and Reasoning in Islamic Law and Ethics

A New Framework for the Analysis of Islamic Tradition-Bound Rationality

By Mairaj Syed My book Coercion and Responsibility in Islam seeks to organize the insights of the four conceptual approaches in the previous blog post into a coherent structure. It proposes an analytical framework that identifies and tracks the interactions of the key features that explain the content and historical development of concepts within technical … Continue reading A New Framework for the Analysis of Islamic Tradition-Bound Rationality

Four Conceptual Frameworks on Tradition-Bound Rationality

By Mairaj Syed Intellectual production in the premodern period was largely structured by belonging to a given, usually explicit and named, school. This was especially the case for theology and law. The school identities comprising these two disciplines of thought lasted many centuries, and at a minimum required a school-bound scholar to affirm a basic … Continue reading Four Conceptual Frameworks on Tradition-Bound Rationality

Is Islamic Legal Theory Conservative?

There are plenty of reasons to say that it is. The corpus of revealed prooftexts is closely guarded and ranked by the decisions of hadith critics of old. The meaning of each word is governed by prescribed literal interpretations that must be followed in the absence of contrary evidence. When prooftexts conflict, abrogation settles the … Continue reading Is Islamic Legal Theory Conservative?

Is Islamic Purposivism (maqāṣid al-sharīʿa) a Thinly-Disguised Form of Utilitarianism?

Thanks to the efforts of modern Muslim legal reformers, the medieval jurisprudential doctrine of maqāṣid al-sharīʿa has become ubiquitous, not only in the legal writings of contemporary Muslim jurists and scholars of Islamic law, but also among the educated Muslim lay-public. Yet, the appeal to maqāṣid al-sharīʿa – which I will translate as purposivism in this post … Continue reading Is Islamic Purposivism (maqāṣid al-sharīʿa) a Thinly-Disguised Form of Utilitarianism?

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

CASE: Farooq Siddiqui v. Mst. Farzana Naheed (Federal Shariat Court, Pakistan): Judgment on Surrogacy

A baby produced through medical intervention by the sperm and egg of duly wedded couples (without involving a third party) is permissible under Islamic law. However, surrogacy is not allowed because marriage is the only means through which children should be produced under Islamic law. Surrogacy is likely to give rise to innumerable legal problems regarding … Continue reading CASE: Farooq Siddiqui v. Mst. Farzana Naheed (Federal Shariat Court, Pakistan): Judgment on Surrogacy

Federal Shariat Court of Pakistan on Surrogacy: From Judicial Islamization of Laws to Judicial Legislation

Pakistan editor Zubair Abbasi examines the legality of surrogacy under Islamic law. In Farooq Siddiqui v Mst. Farzana Naheed, decided on 16 February 2017, the Federal Shariat Court (FSC) determined the legality of surrogacy under Islamic law. In this case note, Abbasi analyzes the judgment of the FSC on surrogacy. Based on this analysis, he argues that this judgment signifies a historical … Continue reading Federal Shariat Court of Pakistan on Surrogacy: From Judicial Islamization of Laws to Judicial Legislation

Review :: Clark Lombardi on Sharīʿa as a Source of Legislation

The constitutions of many Muslim-majority countries contain clauses that declare sharīʿa a source of legislation. These “sharīʿaclauses” may name sharīʿa as “a chief source,” “the chief source,” or “the only source,” among others, of national laws. Though the phrasing of these clauses seems quite similar, some scholars and government officials have ascribed importance to the differences between them. By … Continue reading Review :: Clark Lombardi on Sharīʿa as a Source of Legislation

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))