Thank you, Marion Katz and Ahmed El Shamsy!

Thank you to Marion Katz and Ahmed El Shamsy for joining us as guest blog editors throughout the month of December. In case you missed any of their posts, here they are: Marion Katz:  Law, Narrative, and the Case of Fāṭima’s Chores Folk Interpretation and the “Dark Matter” of Pre-Modern Islamic Law Law in Action, in … Continue reading Thank you, Marion Katz and Ahmed El Shamsy!

:: Muwaṭṭaʾ Roundtable :: Who Are We Writing for When We Translate Classical Texts?

By Marion Katz (New York University)  Perhaps more than any other genre of academic writing, translations of primary sources raise questions about audience and purpose. In a Venn diagram of potential audiences for our scholarly output, our fellow subject specialists would usually occupy (for better or worse) the central position. It is true that in … Continue reading :: Muwaṭṭaʾ Roundtable :: Who Are We Writing for When We Translate Classical Texts?

:: Muwaṭṭaʾ Roundtable :: Al-Shāfiʿī’s Recension of Mālik’s Muwaṭṭaʾ

By Ahmed El Shamsy (The University of Chicago) The peripatetic Meccan jurist Muḥammad b. Idrīs al-Shāfiʿī (d. 204/820) studied with Mālik in Medina as a precocious youth. He reportedly memorized Mālik’s book, the Muwaṭṭaʾ, and then turned up at Mālik’s doorstep, demanding to study the text with its author personally and refusing to take no for … Continue reading :: Muwaṭṭaʾ Roundtable :: Al-Shāfiʿī’s Recension of Mālik’s Muwaṭṭaʾ

Thank you, David Vishanoff!

Thank you to David Vishanoff for joining us as the guest blog editor throughout the month of November. In case you missed any of his posts, here they are: Istanbul conference brings postclassical uṣūl al-fiqh into the limelight Teaching Islamic Law in a Red State Getting a handle on large research projects Is Islamic Legal … Continue reading Thank you, David Vishanoff!

Teaching Islamic Law in a Red State

If you teach Islamic law, chances are that your students are more cosmopolitan than those at the University of Oklahoma, where for thirteen years I have been teaching courses on Islamic law, Islamic theology, the Qur’an, and broader topics in religious studies. My greatest struggle has been bridging the gap between the questions my training … Continue reading Teaching Islamic Law in a Red State

Getting a handle on large research projects

I am drawn to big projects. Small projects are easier to manage: if I focus on a single well–defined question, and answer it using a narrowly circumscribed set of source material, I can go from idea to article in less than a year, before my thoughts and notes and sources become too unwieldy to handle … Continue reading Getting a handle on large research projects

Is Islamic Legal Theory Conservative?

There are plenty of reasons to say that it is. The corpus of revealed prooftexts is closely guarded and ranked by the decisions of hadith critics of old. The meaning of each word is governed by prescribed literal interpretations that must be followed in the absence of contrary evidence. When prooftexts conflict, abrogation settles the … Continue reading Is Islamic Legal Theory Conservative?

Istanbul conference brings postclassical uṣūl al-fiqh into the limelight

The academic study of Islamic legal theory in the English–speaking world has been marked by several landmark gatherings: in Princeton (1983), Alta, Utah (1999), and Istanbul (2016 and now October 2019). The latest, held October 15–17 at Istanbul University, for the first time gave equal attention to the formative, classical, postclassical, and modern periods of … Continue reading Istanbul conference brings postclassical uṣūl al-fiqh into the limelight

Thank you, Ahmad A. Ahmad!

It is time to bid farewell to our guest blogger for the month of October. Please join me in thanking Ahmad A. Ahmad for his thoughtful series of posts this month comparing and reflecting about Islamic and Roman law. In case you missed any of them, here they are compiled: Let's Lose Lawyers (1-4) Let's … Continue reading Thank you, Ahmad A. Ahmad!

Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers – Afterthoughts

Two points remain to be made at the end of this series, arising from a reaction to, and an interaction of relevance to, the previous blog posts. First, an excellent graduate student at Istanbul Şehir University (Ali Rıza Işın), who is as far as one gets from being a naïve individual, decided to feign naiveté and … Continue reading Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers – Afterthoughts