Waqfs as Moral Persons and Other Stories of Waqf Today

By Nada Moumtaz A few weeks ago, I was at a conference about Muslim philanthropy in Canada, which, gathered academics with practitioners working in the nonprofit/charitable sector, along with some who play both roles together. In a panel on waqf in Canada, the leader of a prominent organization lamented that their attempt to revive the … Continue reading Waqfs as Moral Persons and Other Stories of Waqf Today

Waqf and the Modern State, Capitalism, and the Private Property Regime

By Nada Moumtaz In the numerous small foundations that form the bulk of waqfs in Beirut in the nineteenth century, waqf, I suggested in my previous post, was the material foundation and an important means to live as a good Muslim — to get close to God, to care for one’s family as charity. Besides … Continue reading Waqf and the Modern State, Capitalism, and the Private Property Regime

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

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

Islamic Law in the News Roundup

The Endowments and Charity Affairs Organization of Iran's Fars province announced that most of the province's waqf properties would undergo extensive renovation. The Iranian government approved a bill to protect women against domestic violence, which will need to be reviewed and approved by the legislature and before being passed to the nation's Guardian Council that … Continue reading Islamic Law in the News Roundup

Weekend Scholarship Roundup

In a book review titled “Isn’t the Opposite Equally True?” written for the London Review of Books, former Program in Islamic Law fellow Lawrence Rosen (Princeton University) reviews two recent publications, Laurence Louër’s Sunnis and Shi‘a: A Political History (Princeton University Press, 2020) and Kim Ghattas’s Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry … Continue reading Weekend Scholarship Roundup

Weekend Scholarship Roundup

Michael Goodyear's (University of Michigan Law School) "Heaven or Earth: The Hagia Sophia Re-Conversion, Turkish and International Law, and Universal Religious Sites" (UCLA Journal of Islamic Law and Near Eastern Law (2021) (forthcoming)) takes a closer look at the recent Turkish court decision that enabled the reconversion of the Hagia Sophia into a mosque. While … Continue reading Weekend Scholarship Roundup

Weekend Scholarship Roundup

The 43rd Annual Donald A. Giannella Memorial Lecture speaker Intisar Rabb's (Harvard) presentation titled "Interpreting Islamic Law" explains the judicial overhaul that occurred during the thirteenth century under the reign of Baibars I, Mamlūk sultan of Egypt and Syria, who established four chief judgeships representing each of the four major (Sunnī) schools of Islamic law … Continue reading Weekend Scholarship Roundup

Recent Case Roundup: On the Turkish Decision on the Kariye Mosque

On November 11, 2019, a division of Turkey's highest administrative appellate court annulled a presidential decision dated 1945 by Ismet Inonu, the second president of the Turkish Republic and the successor to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founding president of the country, that had converted the Kariye Mosque into a museum. Prior to the conquest of … Continue reading Recent Case Roundup: On the Turkish Decision on the Kariye Mosque

Recent Case Roundup: On the Turkish Decision on Hagia Sofia

On July 2, 2020, a division of Turkey's highest administrative appellate court annulled a 1934 presidential decision by Kemal Ataturk, founding president of Turkey, converting Hagia Sophia (tr. Aya Sofya) into a museum.  Days later, on July 10, 2020, Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a decision based on the court ruling, restoring its status as a … Continue reading Recent Case Roundup: On the Turkish Decision on Hagia Sofia