The Commentary as Platform for Debate, Change, and Authority Construction

By Felicitas Opwis As presented in the previous post, the discursive tradition of commentaries involves extensive intertextuality. This intertextuality is not only a dialogue between matn and sharḥ, but a discourse that engages previous commentaries on the same matn as well as the Shāfiʿī school’s intellectual output more generally. Sometimes, the arguments and positions referenced … Continue reading The Commentary as Platform for Debate, Change, and Authority Construction

Commentary :: Raziya bt. Abdallah v. Hafiza bt. Receb: A Former Concubine Wins her Manumission in Court

Case: Translation of the Court Record The woman called Radiya bt. Abd Allah, of Georgian origin and medium stature, appeared in the courthouse. She is known as the former slave of her recently deceased master, Küçük Hasan Beşe. She initiated a claim against [fakhr aqranihi – pride of equals] al-Hajj Sinan Beşe ibn Hasan, the … Continue reading Commentary :: Raziya bt. Abdallah v. Hafiza bt. Receb: A Former Concubine Wins her Manumission in Court

Weekend Scholarship Roundup

SCHOLARSHIP ROUNDUP On Islamic Law: In "Judicial Crisis in Damascus on the Eve of Baybars’s Reform: The Case of the Minor Orphan Girl (651–55/1253–57)" (Islamic Law and Society (March 23, 2022)), Mariam Sheibani (The University of Toronto Scarborough) "reconstructs a late-Ayyubid court case in Damascus that was litigated repeatedly between 651/1253 and 655/1257, five years … Continue reading Weekend Scholarship Roundup

Islamic Law in the News Roundup

ISLAMIC LAW IN THE NEWS The hijāb controversy in India, occasioned by a university administration refusing to admit some Muslim students wearing the Islamic veil, has been ongoing, with a court case regarding the matter still pending before Indian courts.  The Karnataka government, the Indian state in which the controversy has taken place, has so … Continue reading Islamic Law in the News Roundup

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

Early Fiqh and the Issue of Ḥadīth Dating

By Mathieu Tillier This is part one in a series of four posts on the historical formation of the Sunna, with a focus on methodological reflections on the emergence of Prophetic authority. Classical Islamic law hermeneutics relied on four well-known sources: the Qur’ān, the sunna, consensus, and analogy (qiyās). The first two represent textual sources … Continue reading Early Fiqh and the Issue of Ḥadīth Dating

Intellectual and Practical Caution as Grounds for Legal Pluralism

By Junaid Quadri* In 663/1265, Sultan al-Ẓāhir Baybars appointed a chief judge from each of the four Sunnī madhhabs. For scholars of Islamic law, this decision has served as a signal moment in the story told about the normative pluralism found within Sunnī Islam. I say that this was a signal moment, but it was … Continue reading Intellectual and Practical Caution as Grounds for Legal Pluralism

Islamic Law in the News Roundup

ISLAMIC LAW IN THE NEWS Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to cut interest rates, arguing that the cut is also in line with Islamic law. In a recent interview, one of the few female judges in Palestine, Kholoud al-Faqeeh, commenting on religious courts and women, stated: "A woman’s whole life cycle is before these … Continue reading Islamic Law in the News Roundup