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

Social Dependencies of Islamic Law: A View Through the Legal Commentary

By Sohail Hanif My research has centred on unpacking layers of argumentation in works of Islamic law, particularly legal commentaries. As one unpacks these layers, one comes to learn that what actually is ‘law’ is not always clear, and that it is within the arguments that one finds the principles and reasoning for the sake … Continue reading Social Dependencies of Islamic Law: A View Through the Legal Commentary

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

Monthly Lectures on Islamic Legal Genres: “Ṭabaqāt al-Fuqahāʾ: What is a Genre?” by Professor Marion Katz

By Omar Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar This is a summary of the lecture by Professor Marion Katz entitled “Ṭabaqāt al-Fuqahāʾ: What is a Genre?," delivered on October 27, 2021 at 12 noon (EST), 6 pm (Münster) 7 pm (Istanbul) via Zoom.  The video recording of the lecture can be accessed here. Professor Marion Katz delivered October’s lecture … Continue reading Monthly Lectures on Islamic Legal Genres: “Ṭabaqāt al-Fuqahāʾ: What is a Genre?” by Professor Marion Katz

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

Tools for Interpreting Ḥadīth in Shaybānī’s Ḥujja

By Issam Eido This is part four in a series of four posts on Ḥanafī criteria for using ḥadīth in the ‘courts and canons’ of early Islamic law. Kitāb al-Ḥujja ʿalā Ahl al-Madīna is one of several books attributed to the judge Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Shaybānī.[1] Early Ḥanafī biographical dictionaries used to classify early Ḥanafī … Continue reading Tools for Interpreting Ḥadīth in Shaybānī’s Ḥujja

Canons: Specific and General aṣl

By Issam Eido This is part three in a series of four posts on Ḥanafī criteria for using ḥadīth in the ‘courts and canons’ of early Islamic law. Before the emergence of the canonical ḥadīth books, courts served as one of the main factors in the formative period in impacting the concept of fiqh and … Continue reading Canons: Specific and General aṣl

Early Ḥanafī Jurists, Court Practice, and the Authority of General Afflictions (ʿUmūm al-Balwā)

By Issam Eido This is part two in a series of four posts on Ḥanafī criteria for using ḥadīth in the ‘courts and canons’ of early Islamic law. There are many legal canons (uṣūl or qawāʿid fiqhiyya) pertaining specifically to court evidence, procedure, or conduct, such as “the burden of proof is on the claimant … Continue reading Early Ḥanafī Jurists, Court Practice, and the Authority of General Afflictions (ʿUmūm al-Balwā)

Lived or Non-Lived Ḥadīth? Content vs. Narrator Criteria in Early Ḥanafī Law

By Issam Eido This is part one in a series of four posts on Ḥanafī criteria for using ḥadīth in the ‘courts and canons’ of early Islamic law. In this series of four essays, I examine briefly the interpretive standards that were followed by early Ḥanafīs for analyzing, verifying, or rejecting ḥadīth. The first essay discusses the significance … Continue reading Lived or Non-Lived Ḥadīth? Content vs. Narrator Criteria in Early Ḥanafī Law