Ibāḍism in the Medieval Sahel

By Kristina L. Richardson For centuries the Sunnī Mālikī madhhab has predominated among Muslims of northern and western Africa, but before the 12th century, Shīʿī, Khārijī, and Ibāḍī legal schools vied for dominance.[1] Merchants living under the Ibāḍī Rustamids (779-909, capital in Tāhart) and in independent Khārijī states in the western Maghrib, such as the … Continue reading Ibāḍism in the Medieval Sahel

Toni Morrison, John Ralph Willis, and Black Muslim History

By Kristina L. Richardson Allow me to share a factoid about Toni Morrison’s (1931-2019) little known connection to Islamic historians. She grew up in Lorain, Ohio, with her younger cousin John Ralph Willis (1938-2007), who carried the name of their grandfather, a violinist named John Solomon Willis. The cousins forged separate paths as adults, only … Continue reading Toni Morrison, John Ralph Willis, and Black Muslim History

Scholarship as Resistance: An Interview with Wael Hallaq

This interview was conducted by Omar Abdel-Ghaffar (Harvard University, PhD student). This interview is part of the Islamic Law Blog’s Roundtable on Islamic Legal History & Historiography, edited by Intisar Rabb (Editor-in-Chief) and Mariam Sheibani (Lead Blog Editor), and introduced with a list of further readings in the short post by Intisar Rabb: “Methods and Meaning in Islamic Law: Introduction.” Islamic Law Blog … Continue reading Scholarship as Resistance: An Interview with Wael Hallaq

Lunch Talk: Borrowing and the Development of Islamic Legal Canons

On Apr 10, PIL Visiting Fellow Mariam Sheibani presented on “Influence, Borrowing, or Plagiarism? The Development of Legal Canons and Distinctions in Mamluk-era Islamic Law.” She discussed the extent to which the Mamlūk-era Mālikī jurist Qarāfī borrowed from his Shāfiʿī teacher, al-ʿIzz Ibn ʿAbd al-Salām, and why.

The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition by Elias Muhanna (2016)

The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition by Shihab al-Din al-Nuwayri, edited and translated from Arabic by Elias Muhanna, Manning Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature, Brown University, (New York: Penguin, 2016). This incredible work provides background for Maribel Fierro’s post on joking judges in early Islamic courts, and shows how the encyclopedic works of … Continue reading The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition by Elias Muhanna (2016)

Heterodoxy Among Muslim Judges: On Attempts at Jokes and Judicial Constraints

Guest contributor Maribel Fierro examines a scene of heterodoxy in the recently published English translation of The Ultimate Ambition. Translated from Arabic into English for the first time in full by Elias Muhanna of Brown University, The Ultimate Ambition was written in the 14th century by a retired Egyptian bureaucrat named Shihab al-Din al-Nuwayri. Fierro looks at a scene in … Continue reading Heterodoxy Among Muslim Judges: On Attempts at Jokes and Judicial Constraints