Terminological Tensions

By Guy Burak [Muḥammad al-Timurtāshī] said in Minaḥ al-Ghaffār: “the sijill is the document (ḥujja) where the verdict (ḥukm) of the judge [is written].” But this is in their custom (ʿurfihim, i.e. al-Timurtāshī and his circle). In our custom (ʿurfinā, presumably the custom endorsed by the Ottoman learned hierarchy and affiliates), it is a large … Continue reading Terminological Tensions

Narrating Change

By Guy Burak The increasingly systematic study of Ottoman Islam – or, perhaps, Islam in the Ottoman Empire – is arguably one of the greatest historiographical developments in Islamic studies in recent decades. Indeed, the examination of the relationship between the Ottoman dynasty and multiple Islamic traditions has radically transformed the understanding of the “middle … Continue reading Narrating Change

Islamic Law in the News Roundup

UPCOMING EVENTS & OPPORTUNITIES PIL & Harvard Calendar: Student work opportunity: Research assistant, Widener Library, Harvard University. Call for Papers: The 22nd Vagantes Conference on Medieval Studies, Harvard University, November 28, 2022. Global Calendar: Call for Papers: The 233rd Meeting of the American Oriental Society 2023, October 15, 2022. Conference: Materiality, Rituals and the Senses … Continue reading Islamic Law in the News Roundup

The Forms of Commentaries

By Felicitas Opwis As my previous posts illustrated, commentaries take different forms in length and scope. The commentator selects which topics and points found in the underlying matn he wants to elaborate, explain, and dispute. There is no linear or chronological development of constant growth and enlargement, but a seemingly random variation in breadth and … Continue reading The Forms of Commentaries

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

The Content of Commentaries

By Felicitas Opwis In the previous post I mentioned the vibrant commentary tradition on Abū Shujāʿ’s compendium of Shāfiʿī law, which indicates that Muslim scholars deemed it necessary to comment on the past, making it relevant to their present and incorporating whatever changes have occurred or were deemed desirable. It also allows us to gain … Continue reading The Content of Commentaries

The Discursive Tradition of Commentaries (shurūḥ) – Lessons from Matn Abī Shujāʿ

By Felicitas Opwis The study of commentaries (shurūḥ) and glosses (ḥawāshī) has rightly received attention and appreciation in recent years. The scholarship of Asad, El Shamsy, Saleh, Wisnovsky as well as El-Rouayheb, Bauer, and Messick[1] are correcting the previously invoked image of intellectual stagnation and decline of the so-called post-classical period as advocated most forcefully … Continue reading The Discursive Tradition of Commentaries (shurūḥ) – Lessons from Matn Abī Shujāʿ

Weekend Scholarship Roundup

SCHOLARSHIP ROUNDUP On Islamic Law: In Islamic Law in Circulation: Shafi'i Texts across the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean (Cambridge University Press, 2022), Mahmood Kooria (Universiteit Leiden and Ashoka University, India) "explores how certain texts shaped, transformed and influenced the juridical thoughts and lives of a significant community over a millennium in and between Asia, … Continue reading Weekend Scholarship Roundup

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

A Prayer-Based Civilizational Order: The Social Dimension of the Rules of Ritual Prayer

By Sohail Hanif Ritual prayer (ṣalāh) is a pillar of Islam. It functions as a pillar that upholds the daily routine and spiritual journey of a believer. However, the spiritual dimension of prayer is not a topic of investigation in works of Islamic law. There is, on the other hand, another overarching interest of Muslim … Continue reading A Prayer-Based Civilizational Order: The Social Dimension of the Rules of Ritual Prayer