Dispute Resolution in Islamic Legal History:
Mediation in Late Seventeenth-Century Cairo
This month, Ottoman editor
examines a court case,
Shukr ibn ʿĀmir v. Shaʿbān ibn Nāfiʿ,
from Cairo, dated 3 August 1667. In this case, the two parties bring charges against each other, Shukr accusing
of theft and
accusing Shukr of assault.
is able to produce evidence to substantiate his accusations, but Shukr cannot. Yet in the end, Shukr would
receive thirty silver
and "the two would declare that neither had any claim against the other, and [they would declare] a general, complete absence of debts,"
with no mention of compensation for
as victim of an alleged assault. Though each party started off presenting a serious grievance against the other,
notes that "
it seems likely that the mediator sympathized with Shukr,
" likely on the basis of class biases, even though Shukr failed to substantiate his claim. Followers of contemporary US and European law may recognize something familiar in this case
the decision to use
(mediation) yielded a different outcome than litigation, and the appearance of class status seemed to have something to do with the outcome.
Image credit: Ottoman History Podcast
Shukr b. ʿĀmir v. Shaʿbān b. Nāfiʿ:
(Ottoman Cairo 1667)
In this court record from Ottoman Cairo, dated 3 August 1667, two connected disputes are resolved by
(mediation) rather than litigation. Shukr b. ʿĀmir accuses Shaʿbān b. Nāfiʿ of theft, while Shaʿbān accuses Shukr of assault. Shukr fails to provide evidence to substantiate his claim, while Shaʿbān provides two witnesses for his claim. If the dispute had been adjudicated, the judge would have dismissed Shukr's claim of theft and held him liable for the assault. However, the litigants chose to enter mediation, which resulted in a very different settlement: Shaʿbān was ordered to make a modest payment to compensate Shukr for the alleged theft but dropped his claim of assault.
Image credit: Encylopedia Britannica
SHARIAsource New Feature :: Special Collection:
Under the direction of Library Editor
SHARIAsource has rolled out a new resource that presents Islamic law profiles of every country of the world.
Profile provides a basic overview of the legal history, institutional structures, and role (or lack thereof) of Islamic law in
divided according to
member countries of the
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
which includes some non-Muslim-majority countries,
This collection of
was developed in collaboration with or
in substantial part on research produced by the
Library of Congress
at NYU, and
The Constitute Project
at the University of Chicago.
Image credit: The Indian Express
If you have not seen it yet, there is time to order the latest ILSP / HUP publication before the new school year. 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
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
Spotlight on the SHARIAsource Portal Research Tools :: Search by Empires & Eras.
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 the list of
Empires & Eras
first compiled by Clifford Bosworth. The categories and metadata used to organize these sources assist researchers looking for trends across historical and contemporary contexts, or interested in adding their own sources to the Portal.
Scholarship Round-Up ::
now features weekly scholarship round-ups of new or notable work on Islamic law by SHARIAsource editors and other scholars of Islamic law. This month’s features include:
's recent work on legal modernization in nineteenth-century India as a process of "domesticating"
's recent article on how changing views of
as an individual duty versus a collective one have challenged the state’s jurisdiction over legitimate violence,
Ahmed El Shamsy
s article "
Bridging the Gap: Two Early Texts of Islamic Legal Theory"
Journal of the American Oriental Society
's article in
The Sociological Review
discussing how public perceptions of Islamic law have impacted the debate over Muslim immigration and multiculturalism in Australia.
has written a new
Restating Orientalism: A Critique of Modern Knowledge
According to the publisher, the book “reevaluates and deepens the critique of Orientalism,” and “exposes the depth of academia’s lethal complicity in modern forms of capitalism, colonialism, and hegemonic power.” And
recently wrote a
of a new translation of the Qurʾān in
Review of Qur’anic Research
(Do you have a new article, book, or case that you’d like to see featured? Feel free to send citations and abstracts to
Editors’ Round-Up ::
now also features weekly round-ups of SHARIAsource editors and other Islamic law scholars in the news, to help the community of Islamic law scholars keep up with new developments and events. This month's features include the following:
in Bloomberg News about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
SHARIAsource U.S. Editor
the “Outstanding Scholar Award” by the New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association for his work on complex matrimonial cases and Islamic family law.
Do you have a new event, op-ed, or job change that you’d like to see featured? Send your news to
Global Events: Islamic Legal Studies
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.
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.
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
, PhD Candidate in the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations department at UPenn,
, PhD candidate at the University of Chicago and research fellow at Yale Law School, and
, 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
Call for Applications :: Autumn School: Uses of the Past in Islamic Legal Thought and Practice (11-17 Nov 2018 | Leiden, Netherlands).
We are inviting advanced doctoral students and early career researchers in the area of Islamic legal studies to apply to participate in the USPPIP Autumn School. USPPIP is a collaborative project of the universities of Exeter, Bergen, Göttingen, and Leiden. The project (running from 2016 to 2018) aims to explore how the past is employed in Islamic legal thought and practice with a focus on the areas of violence, the state, gender and custom. Proposals dealing with custom and Islamic law, the focus of the USPPIP Leiden research team are particularly encouraged. Autumn School activities will include: 1) The presentation and discussion of a pre
distributed piece of research writing (maximum 10,000 words) from each participant; 2) The development of a translation (with introduction and/or commentary) of original source material, previously unavailable in English which informs our study of the “uses of the past” in Islamic law (maximum 3000 words in English). Intensive sessions will take place Monday to Friday and will include private study time, collaborative work and occasional recreational outings exploring the environs of Leiden. Six fully-funded places are available. Emailed applications are due by
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,
Sep 7, 2018
Call for Proposals :: Early-Career Faculty Grants in Islamic Studies (2018-2019 | Harvard University)
. The Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program is accepting proposals for early-career faculty grants to support workshops, symposia, or research projects during the 2018-19 academic year. Proposals must be of relevance to the study of Islam or Islamic societies. Applicants must be tenure-track Harvard faculty, either assistant or associate professors. For the 2018-19 academic year, the AISP seeks to fund two proposals in the range of $10,000 up to a maximum of $15,000 each. All financial matters and logistics related to the grant are to be managed by the AISP staff. The AISP staff, under the direction of the faculty, will coordinate and help staff the proposed activity. Please send a letter of interest along with a general budget and anticipated date of proposed activity to AISP Executive Director, Dr. Harry Bastermajian (
) no later than
. Proposals will be reviewed beginning on Sept 1.
Call for Papers :: Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting Call for Papers:
Asylum and Refugee Rights in Islamic Law
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 email@example.com.
Call For Papers :: Ibadi Manuscripts and Manuscript Cultures (5-6 Apr 2019 | Ifrane, Morocco).
This workshop aims to highlight the importance of the cultures of producing, using, buying, selling, endowing, and transmitting Ibadi manuscripts from the earliest history of the community to the 20th century. The intention is to bring those interested in Ibadi manuscripts together in order to workshop drafts of short research articles on different aspects of this topic, which will later be proposed for publication in a special issue of the Journal of Islamic Manuscripts. Applicants will be notified by early Jan 2019. Participants will be asked to submit working drafts of their articles (in Arabic, English, or French) by Mar 1, 2019. Housing and meals at Al Akhawayn University are covered.
Please send proposals (max. 500 words) by
to Paul Love (
) or Soufien Mestaoui (
Call for Papers :: The Qurʾān and Ethiopia: Context and Reception (8 Apr 2019 | Washington, DC)
. Connections between the Qurʾān and Ethiopia are vast and varied. On the one hand, Ethiopia provides an important historical context (among many others) for understanding the Qurʾān in its Late Antique milieu. After all, throughout Late Antiquity, Ethiopia was a major political power, situated just across the Red Sea from the Arabian Peninsula. On the other hand, the Qurʾān also had—and still has—a reception in Ethiopia. This one-day symposium aims to locate the Qurʾān in Ethiopia, both as a context for its early development and as a location for its later reception. Abstracts describing the precise topic treated with a length of approximately 200-300 words can be sent as an electronic version (PDF and Word) to Aaron Butts (
). Papers presented at the conference will be considered for publication in an edited volume, which aims to make this interesting topic available to a wider audience. Abstracts due
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: firstname.lastname@example.org). Applications are due
14 Oct 2018
Fulbright U.S. Scholar Opportunities in Law (Various Locations | 2019-2020).
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.
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