NEWS |  10 Jul 2018
Faith and Inheritance:
A Case of a Vizier and Public Officials in 9th-Century Spain
This month, Maribel Fierro examines a case concerning an accusation of apostasy during the reign of the Cordoban Umayyad emir Muḥammad (r. 238–273/852–886) from Ibn Ḥārith al-Khushanī’s collection of judicial anecdotes from al-Andalus. A jealous vizier, Hāshim b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz, "conspired to confiscate [the] fortune" of the emir's secretary Qūmis b. Antunyān al-Naṣrānī after his death by accusing him of apostasy. Qūmis had converted to Islam from Christianity, but the vizier sought to prove in court that Qūmis had never converted. To do so, he "acted clandestinely through two different channels. On one end, Hāshim b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz got a muḥtasib (a layperson who served as a market inspector) to collect attestations of the deceased secretary’s apostasy and bring the case before the Cordoban judge, Sulaymān b. Aswad al-Ghāfiqī. At the same time, Hāshim b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz brought the case to the emir’s attention, advising the emir that he might have rights to the inheritance of Qūmis b. Antunyān, if it could be proven that Qūmis died a Christian." The case was eventually brought to court, where the judge Sulaymān b. al-Aswad presided. The judge would not accept Hāshim’s attempt to manipulate the testimony and instead informed the emir that "the accusations against Qūmis were not verified and that those who had provided testimony against Qūmis could not be accepted as witnesses." Hāshim's fortune was thus distributed to his heirs. Fierro's analysis of the case takes into consideration the role of witness selection and procedure in accusations pertaining to faith and the legal consequences that follow in medieval Islamic law.   Read more. Image credit: Wikipedia
The Case of Asia Bibi : Apostasy, Public Opinion, and the Law
The Asia Bibi case is one of the recent manifestations of blasphemy laws in Pakistan. The Applicant, Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, was sentenced to death by the trial court after allegedly uttering blasphemous statements against the Prophet Mohamed to fellow Muslim field workers. Student editor Aleema Jamal argues that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and the public opinion that surrounds them creates a situation that makes it very difficult for those facing accusations to have a just legal proceeding.   Read more.   Image credit: Wikipedia
Asia Bibi v. The State & Another (Lahore High Court of Pakistan): A Blasphemy Conviction
In a recent manifestation of Pakistani blasphemy laws and the miscarriages of justice that can result, Asia Bibi was a Christian woman, sentenced to death by a trial court in Pakistan after allegedly uttering blasphemous statements against the Prophet Muḥammad to her fellow Muslim workers. Despite serious questions about the quality of her defense and the truthfulness of the allegations against her, her conviction stood as the Lahore High Court dismissed her appeal.   Read more. Image credit: Times of Islamabad
SHARIAsource News
SHARIAsource Publication
The seventh book in the Harvard Series on Islamic Law is out: Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts (Islamic Legal Studies Program/Harvard University Press, 2017) . Edited by  Intisar A. Rabb   and  Abigail Krasner Balbale , this book presents a wide-ranging exploration of the administration of justice during Islam’s founding period, 632–1250 CE. Inspired by the scholarship of Professor Emeritus  Roy Parviz Mottahedeh and composed in his honor, this volume brings together ten leading scholars of Islamic law to examine the history of early Islamic courts. The book is available through Harvard University Press .

Islamic Law in the News
NPR and the Washington Post turned to Senior Scholar Noah Feldman for his takes on religion and the U.S. Supreme Court. Russia and Central Asia Editor Rozaliya Garipova discussed Russian legal tradition, including its imperial roots, on a panel sponsored by the Wilson Center ILSP affiliate  Tarek Masoud  was featured in  The Conversation   discussing the compatibility of religion and democracy.  The Independent  referenced former ILSP affiliate  Nadia Marzouki  in discussing France and its aversion towards Islamic head coverings.  Mada Masr , an Egyptian online newspaper, interviewed ILSP affiliate  Khaled Fahmy  on the Six-Day War on its 50th anniversary in Egypt .

SHARIAsource Features
SHARIAsource Portal: Search by Document Types. The SHARIAsource Portal aims to facilitate thinking about and searching for the often complex set of sources related to Islamic law. Scholars at the beginning of a new research project can access sources organized according to document types . Organizing sources by document type assists researchers who are looking for trends within different functions and contexts of Islamic law, or interested in adding their own sources to the Portal.   

SHARIAsource Blog : Scholarship Round-Up. The Blog now features weekly scholarship round-ups of new or notable work in the field of Islamic legal studies.   This week's Round-Up highlights Editor Jeffrey A. Redding’s forthcoming chapter about Muslim discussions of gender, law, and society. Tracing conversations now taking place in Pakistan, Redding shows how these discussions differ (at least somewhat) from reigning Western discussions of these topics. (Do you have a new article, book, or case that you’d like to see featured? Feel free to send citations and abstracts to .) 

Global Events: Islamic Legal Studies

Workshop :: Modeling Travels in History: an ORBIS-esque Hackaton (18-20 Jul 2018 | Vienna). Everyone is familiar with Google Maps—all of us are using it on a daily basis. In 2012 a group of researchers at Stanford (led by Walter Scheidel), developed Orbis ( ), which, one may put, applied the same geographical principles to a particular historical context. Dubbed “a Google Maps for the Roman Empire,” this model became a popular historical online resource and an object of envy for scholars working in other historical contexts. Inspired by Orbis, the Uni-Wien DH Team is organizing a three-day hackathon at the University of Vienna on the theme of map visualisations for historical data. One specific objective of the hackathon will be to build a sort of “Orbis-in-a-Box”—an open-source platform that would allow others to model movements of people and objects in different historical and cultural contexts. (For more details on this particular idea, see: ). For questions please send a message to with “ORBIS-esque Hackathon” in the subject.

Conference :: 20th General Congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law (22-28 Jul 2018 | Fukuoka, Japan). A week-long conference on topics of comparative law, including workshops, round tables, and lunch meetings. A forum for younger scholars will also be held. Details .

Conference :: The RCSL-SDJ Lisbon Meeting 2018: “Law and Citizenship Beyond The States” (10-13 Sep 2018 | Lisbon). The conference will discuss, among other topics of sociology of law and justice, the contribution of law to the power of citizens, at a time of increasing competition between state law, once the main source of people’s rights, and multiple global and local normativities. Details .

Conference :: Arabic Pasts: Histories and Historiographies (12-13 Oct 2018 | London). The aim of this exploratory and informal workshop is to reflect on methodologies, research agendas, and case studies for investigating history writing in Arabic in the Middle East and North Africa in any period from the seventh century to the present. We are interested in papers that consider the practical and conceptual challenges of working on history writing in the region. Details .

Conference :: American Society for Legal Society Annual Meeting: "Judges and Courts in Islamic History" (8-11 Nov 2018 | Houston). This session's date is TBD. P anelists will include Raha Rafii , PhD Candidate in the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations department at UPenn, Amir Toft , PhD candidate at the University of Chicago and research fellow at Yale Law School, and Intisar Rabb , Professor of Law and History at Harvard Law School and Harvard University.

Opportunities: Jobs, Fellowships, CFPs

Middle Eastern Studies Association: Call for Nominations and Submissions (Jul-Aug 2018). MESA is now accepting submissions and nominations for a number of awards. For students and recent PhD graduates: MESA Graduate Student Paper Prize and the Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Awards. For retired faculty, academics, and those serving Middle East Studies: MESA Mentoring Award, Jere L. Bacharach Service Award, MESA Undergraduate Education Award. Submissions and nominations are due from 1 Jul to 15 Aug 2018 . Details .

Call for Papers :: Sharia and the Secular (19-20 Oct 2018 | Santa Barbara, CA). The SoCal Islamic Studies Graduate Student Consortium invites papers exploring the theme of “Sharia and the Secular.” Does Sharia rule Muslims’ lives? Is there a non-shar’ia side of life that could be conceived of as ‘secular’? How do non-shar’i aspects of state policy relate to Sharia? We are interested in papers that interrogate how Sharia and the realm of the non-shar’i has been constructed historically and how the practical application of Sharia reflects the non-shar’i domain. Papers that address shar’i and non-shar’i themes pertaining to the economy, medicine, society, public policy, and family life are especially welcome. In honor of Saba Mahmood, the conference also invites proposals that focus on her approach to the secular and secularism and how these relate to Sharia.This call is not limited to any specific geographic location, theoretical approach, or methodology. Anthropologists, sociologists, comparative literature scholars, historians, religious studies scholars as well as scholars of Islamic law whose work includes a focus on Muslims are invited to submit an abstract. Please submit a 300-word abstract indicating the topic, main argument, and methodology of your paper. Proposals should be sent to  and must be received by Jul 30 . Details .

Call for Papers :: Sectarian Identity and Community Formation in Islam (26-27 Oct 2018 | Chicago, IL). How did sectarian identities come to be formed in the Islamic context and how has the concept of “sectarianism” changed in the context of Shi‘i Islam over time? Given the modern and historical importance of sectarian identity in the Muslim world, the University of Chicago’s Shi‘i Studies Group is hosting this year’s annual symposium on “Sectarian Identity and Community Formation in Islam.” We invite papers looking at a broader range inter-Islamic sectarian issues and how perspectives from theology, politics, sociology and other disciplines can help approach larger questions of identity, doctrine, and popular beliefs. Abstracts due Jul 22 . Details.

Colloquium :: American Society for Legal History Student Research Colloquium (7-8 Nov 2018 | Houston, TX). The American Society for Legal History will host a Student Research Colloquium (SRC) before the ASLH’s annual meeting in Houston, Texas. The SRC annually enables eight Ph.D. students and law students to discuss their in-progress dissertations and articles with distinguished ASLH-affiliated scholars. This year, the Department of History at Rice University will host the event. The SRC’s target audience includes early-post-coursework Ph.D. students and historically minded law students. The colloquium seeks to introduce such students to legal history, to each other, and to the legal-historical scholarly community. Students working in all chronological periods, including ancient and medieval history, and all geographical fields, including non-U.S. history, are encouraged to apply, as are students who have not yet received any formal training in legal history. Applicants who have not had an opportunity to present their work to the ASLH are particularly encouraged to apply. A student may be on the program for the annual meeting and participate in the SRC in the same year. Applications due Jul 15 . Details.

Call for Papers :: Shiʿi Piety: Theory and Materiality from Premodern to Postmodern (16 Nov 2018 | Leiden). This one-day workshop brings together graduate students and early career scholars working on topics related to Shiʿism in all periods and from any disciplinary perspective. The workshop is open to work on Zaydi, Twelver, Ismaili and other forms of Shiʿism. The aim is thereby to allow for the discussion both of micro-historical and ethnographic specificities as well as long durée patterns and developments. The workshop will address the concept of piety in its material expression, its literary representation and its theoretical articulation. 300-word abstracts to  are due by by  Jul 15 . Details

Humboldt Yale History Travel Grants (Aug 2019). Funded by the Anneliese Maier Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and with support from Yale University, the Humboldt Yale History Network aims to assemble and sustain a global research network of historians. To that end, the network will offer a series of travel grants over the coming years. This year the Foundation is pleased to offer up to 10 short-term research grants of between $1,000 and $4,000 to support travel (for up to three months) to or within Europe for research on topics in the following areas: European history, Middle Eastern history, global early modern history, the history of empires, and environmental history. Applications for projects that cut across geographies, chronologies, and methods are encouraged. Priority will be given to those seeking support to visit archives and libraries to further their original research in the stated fields. These grants can support the research of scholars at any stage in their careers past the point of Ph.D. candidacy. These monies are meant to be supplemental grants to bridge funding gaps in ongoing research work. These grants do not represent employment and do not come with health insurance, childcare, social security, visa expenses, or the like. Applications due Aug 1 . Details .

Call for Papers :: Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting Call for Papers: Asylum and Refugee Rights in Islamic Law (Jan 2019). The AALS Section on Law and Religion and Immigration Law has approved a section on asylum and refugee rights in Islamic law, which will be held during the 2019 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA. The Muslim World today is currently experiencing the greatest rate of refugee movement in the world. This will allow scholars to explore historical and contemporary discourses on migration and refugee rights. The section will need four panelists to present on this subject If you have conducted a research in area, please reach out to Samy Ayoub and include an abstract at Details.

Call for Papers :: Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting Call for Papers: 21st Century Textualism (Jan 2019). The AALS Section on Legislation & Law of the Political Process is pleased to announce a call for papers for its section program, which will be held during the 2019 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA. The program is entitled “21st Century Textualism.” Statutes dominate the American legal landscape and statutory text has become the focal point for questions of statutory interpretation. But, despite widespread agreement that text matters, there is less agreement among scholars and judges about how statutory text helps determine statutory meaning. This panel will explore how textualist arguments and methods are developing in the 21st Century, including current trends and practices in the courts and theoretical justifications for, and objections to, textualist methods of statutory interpretation. Eligibility and Submission Requirements: This Call for Papers is open to all faculty members from AALS member schools. Submissions should be an extended abstract of 2-3 pages in length and relate to the topic of the panel. Submissions due Jul 31 . Details.

Call for Papers :: The 2nd Annual International Graduate Edinburgh Byzantine Conference (30 Nov–1 Dec 2018 | Edinburgh) . Reception and appropriation (whether reuse, imitation, or variation) have long been recognised as necessary tools for the interpretation of Byzantine literature, art, architecture and archaeology, while research on innovations is still at a relatively early stage. The key theme of this conference is dialogue – dialogue between Byzantium and its neighbouring cultures. The conference will explore all three of the fundamental modes of dialogue and discourse (reception, appropriation and innovation) between Byzantium and its neighbours during any time period from the 5th-15th c. Confirmed invited speakers include Professor Claudia Rapp (Vienna), Dr Andrew Marsham (Cambridge), and Father Justin Sinaites (Librarian of St. Catherine’s, Mt. Sinai), in addition to confirmed internal speakers, both Byzantinists and Islamicists. We strongly encourage papers highlighting exchange in both directions, Byzantium receiving from other cultures and/or others receiving from Byzantium. Abstracts due 1 Aug 2018 . Details.

Call for Chapter Contributors :: Windows into the Medieval Mediterranean (2018). Contributors are sought for an edited collection designed for undergraduate through first-year graduate students, under contract with publishers Taylor and Francis, that illuminates the many worlds of the Medieval Mediterranean, 470-1350. Contributors are asked to provide narrative essays accompanied by primary source materials, written and/or visual, illustrative of their argument, and meant to engage students more deeply into the topic. Essays will vary between 2000 and 3000 words. The general theme of the chapters are as follows The Mediterranean and its Environmental History, The Mediterranean of Antiquity, Daily Life in the Medieval Mediterranean, A Space of Conflict, Corsairs and Pirates, A Space of Convergence and Cooperation, A Profitable Mediterranean, Religion in the Medieval Mediterranean World, Culture and Cultural Exchanges, Meeting in the Middle - Mediterranean Connections to Arabia and the Silk Road, Toward a Renaissance Mediterranean. Please send a 300-500 word abstract, including initial thoughts on primary sources to Jeanette M. Fregulia, by Sep 7, 2018

Fellowship with the School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study (2019 | Princeton, NJ). School of Historical Studies, Opportunities for Scholars 2019-2020. The Institute is an independent private institution founded in 1930 to create a community of scholars focused on intellectual inquiry, free from teaching and other university obligations. Scholars from around the world come to the Institute to pursue their own research. Candidates of any nationality may apply for a single term or a full academic year. Scholars may apply for a stipend, but those with sabbatical funding, other grants, retirement funding or other means are also invited to apply for a non-stipendiary membership. Some short-term visitorships (for less than a full term, and without stipend) are also available on an ad-hoc basis. Open to all fields of historical research, the School of Historical Studies' principal interests are Greek and Roman civilization, the history of Europe (medieval, early modern, and modern), the Islamic world, East Asian studies, art history, the history of science and philosophy, modern international relations and music studies.  Residence in Princeton during term time is required. The only other obligation of Members is to pursue their own research. The Ph.D. (or equivalent) and substantial publications are required. Inquiries sent by post should be addressed to the School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Einstein Dr., Princeton, N.J. 08540 (E-mail address: Applications are due 14 Oct 2018 . Details .

Fulbright U.S. Scholar Opportunities in Law (Various Locations | 2019-2020). The  Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program  offers teaching, research or combination teaching and research awards in over 125 countries for the 2019-2020 academic year. Opportunities are available for college and university faculty as well as for professionals and independent scholars. Awards that may be of interest to scholars of Islamic law include opportunities in Canada and the Maldives. Details.

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