What does Equality Mean in the Colonies?

By Nurfadzilah Yahaya Two phenomena struck me as particularly incongruous while researching for my book Fluid Jurisdictions: Colonial Law and Arabs in Southeast and plagued me throughout the process of writing it. The first was “illegal occupations” (‘onwettige occupaties’) which referred to land occupied by populations who were not allowed to own the land according … Continue reading What does Equality Mean in the Colonies?

Ṭalāq in the Colonies – Constraints on Colonial Judiciary

By Nurfadzilah Yahaya In my book, Fluid Jurisdictions: Colonial Law and Arabs in Southeast Asia (Cornell University Press, 2020), I demonstrate how colonialism embodies a contradiction; in a sense, colonial authorities limited and restricted subjects’ lives, but their authority gave rise to a sense of possibility for some colonial subjects perceived to be elite.[1] The largest … Continue reading Ṭalāq in the Colonies – Constraints on Colonial Judiciary

Islamic Law in the News Roundup

Ahmadullah, a prominent Muslim cleric from Bangladesh, issued a fatwā stating that using the laughing emoji to mock people is forbidden under Islamic law. Muslim women in Kenya have lobbied the government to ensure that a woman is appointed to the top Kadhi court adjudicating Islamic law matters. A new Pew Research study found that … Continue reading Islamic Law in the News Roundup

Weekend Scholarship Roundup

In "Peace to those of Faith: Political Affiliation and Belonging in Classical Islamic Thought" (Routledge Handbook of Citizenship in the Middle East and North Africa 2021), Omar Farahat (McGill University Faculty of Law) discusses the concept of belonging in classical Islamic thought, focusing on multilayered descriptions of tribal identity. In "Eradicating Gender-Based Violence against Female-Intimate … Continue reading Weekend Scholarship Roundup

Waqf and the Modern State, Capitalism, and the Private Property Regime

By Nada Moumtaz In the numerous small foundations that form the bulk of waqfs in Beirut in the nineteenth century, waqf, I suggested in my previous post, was the material foundation and an important means to live as a good Muslim — to get close to God, to care for one’s family as charity. Besides … Continue reading Waqf and the Modern State, Capitalism, and the Private Property Regime

Islamic Law in the News Roundup

The Kerala High Court (India) recently overturned a decades-long precedent that had prohibited Muslim women from divorcing their husbands without judicial intervention.  In its new decision, the Court noted that judicial intervention was warranted only in faskh cases that involved the intervention of an Islamic judge, thereby recognizing the right of Muslim women to dissolve … Continue reading Islamic Law in the News Roundup

Late Ottoman Beiruti Waqfs: Closeness to God (Qurba) and Charity for the Family

By Nada Moumtaz In my book, God’s Property: Islam, Charity, and the Modern State, I seek to explain the contours of the contemporary waqf revival in Beirut against a longue durée of waqf reform since the mid-nineteenth century, starting with the Ottoman foundation of a Waqf Ministry in 1826 through French Mandatory (1920-1943) and postcolonial … Continue reading Late Ottoman Beiruti Waqfs: Closeness to God (Qurba) and Charity for the Family

Calling All Waqf Haters

By Nada Moumtaz Waqf (Islamic endowment), and its study, cannot leave a scholar of Islam unmoved, it would seem. For those not working on waqf, its complex legal technicalities instigate dread and “boredom of the heart.” Its accounting documents and the economic history they tell evoke the dryness of “counting beans,” as a colleague once … Continue reading Calling All Waqf Haters

Islamic Law in the News Roundup

A California Court of Appeals refused to apply Iranian law in a case involving a plaintiff whose work in Iran exposed him to high levels of asbestos, reasoning that Iranian law reflects religious ideology instead of economic interest. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board issued a statement urging Muslims in India to adhere to Islamic … Continue reading Islamic Law in the News Roundup

Monthly Lectures on Islamic Legal Genres: “Genre as a Tool for Understanding Islamic Law” by Prof. Mohammad Fadel

By Omar Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar This is a summary of the lecture by Prof. Mohammad Fadel entitled "Form, Function and Historical Development of Mukthasars in Post-Mamluk Islamic Law," delivered on February 24, 2021 at 11am (EST), 5pm (Münster) 7pm (Istanbul) via Zoom. Professor Fadel’s lecture described the history, purpose, and nature of late medieval Mālikī mukhtaṣars. … Continue reading Monthly Lectures on Islamic Legal Genres: “Genre as a Tool for Understanding Islamic Law” by Prof. Mohammad Fadel