The Black Death in the Middle East and Central Asia

By Stuart Borsch[1] This analysis of the Black Death in the Middle East and Central Asia consists of two sections: SECTION ONE sums up results found via (1) Table of mortality of the Black Death in the Middle East and (2) Transmission Timeline East (a) and West (b) for the Black Death in the Middle … Continue reading The Black Death in the Middle East and Central Asia

A Tale of Two Contagions: Science, Imperialism, and the 1883 Cholera in Egypt

By Christopher Rose At Cairo, sanitary matters are nearly at a standstill; the executive administration cannot enforce their orders. On Saturday last, the bad feeling … nearly stirred up a rebellion, so that matters looked very serious. The Egyptian lower classes consider all precautions to be impious; “God is Great,” they cry, and all is … Continue reading A Tale of Two Contagions: Science, Imperialism, and the 1883 Cholera in Egypt

“It was a Memorable Day” – Plague Gatherings and their Critics

By Younus Mirza The Grand Umayyad mosque in Damascus played an instrumental role in the various responses to droughts and plagues. It is here that the great hadith collection of al-Bukhārī was read and various prayers and supplications were organized.     In a previous Islamic Law Blog post, Justin Stearns argues that we need to … Continue reading “It was a Memorable Day” – Plague Gatherings and their Critics

Economic Impact and Consequences of the Plagues on the Medieval Middle East      

By Şevket Pamuk * This is a summary of an article co-authored by Şevket Pamuk & Maya Shatzmiller, Plagues, Wages and Economic Change in the Islamic Middle East, 700-1500, 74 The Journal of Economic History 196 (2014). The medieval and early modern Middle East experienced two long episodes of plague. Both the Justinian Plague that began in … Continue reading Economic Impact and Consequences of the Plagues on the Medieval Middle East      

:: Pandemic Roundtable :: Introduction

In the age of COVID-2019, we at the Islamic Law Blog have curated a set of essays on the theme of pandemics in Islamic history and thought. Leading scholars and advanced students of Islamic law and history comment on the phenomena of plagues and epidemics across centuries and geographic boundaries, giving us an opportunity to … Continue reading :: Pandemic Roundtable :: Introduction

Against “flattening the [curve of] diversity of approaches” to Muslim understandings of contagion in a time of pandemic :: Part Two

By Justin Stearns Part Two: Diversity and Change in Scholarly Approaches to the Plague Jurists’ ongoing engagement with how to respond to epidemics speak to the vibrancy of this ongoing discussion, even as a quick comparison with chronicles shows that the juridical discussion did not map cleanly onto social responses. In the late fifteenth century, … Continue reading Against “flattening the [curve of] diversity of approaches” to Muslim understandings of contagion in a time of pandemic :: Part Two

Against “flattening the [curve of] diversity of approaches” to Muslim understandings of contagion in a time of pandemic :: Part One

By Justin Stearns Part One: Sources and Approaches The global spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 during the first months of 2020 exposed Muslims to a contagious pandemic on a scale unknown in living memory, prompting unprecedented public health measures in Muslim majority countries, and leading many Muslims to reflect on the ways in which past … Continue reading Against “flattening the [curve of] diversity of approaches” to Muslim understandings of contagion in a time of pandemic :: Part One