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

Weekend Scholarship Roundup

In Transformations of Tradition: Islamic Law in Colonial Modernity (Oxford University Press, 2021), Junaid Quadri (University of Illinois at Chicago), explores the various ways in which Islamic law was interpreted in innovative ways to accommodate new technologies and modernity, with a focus on a towering 20th century figure, Egyptian scholar Bakhit al-Muti'i, who all the … Continue reading Weekend Scholarship Roundup

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

A “Jabri” madhhab of the early modern Sudan?

By Kristina L. Richardson Given the centuries of exposure to northern African Islamic thought like Khārijism, Ibāḍism, and Mālikism, could sub-Saharan Muslims have established an indigenous, perhaps syncretic, Islamic legal school? 17th-century Ottoman explorer Evliya Çelebi claimed as much, though we may have to take his descriptions with a grain of salt. Between August 1672 … Continue reading A “Jabri” madhhab of the early modern Sudan?

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

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

Islamic Legal Canons as Memes

By Intisar Rabb This essay 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 a short post, also by Intisar Rabb: “Methods and Meaning in Islamic Law: Introduction." Introduction* We’ve all … Continue reading Islamic Legal Canons as Memes

The continuum approach: Multiple legal solutions to run a diverse empire

By Petra Sijpesteijn (Leiden University) This essay 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." Two … Continue reading The continuum approach: Multiple legal solutions to run a diverse empire

Measuring interpretive authority: a methodological reflection

By Irene K. F. Kirchner (Georgetown University) This essay 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: … Continue reading Measuring interpretive authority: a methodological reflection