NEWS |  14 Nov 2017
SHARIAsource Book Release: Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts
ILSP: SHARIAsource will be releasing the next book in the Harvard Series on Islamic Law this winter. Edited by Intisar A. Rabb and Abigail Krasner Balbale , this book presents an in-depth exploration of the administration of justice during Islam’s founding period, 632–1250 CE. Inspired by the scholarship of 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. This approach draws attention to both  how  and  why  the courts and the people associated with them functioned in early Islamic societies: When a dispute occurred, what happened in the courts? How did judges conceive of justice and their role in it? When and how did they give attention to politics and procedure? Each author draws on diverse sources that illuminate a broader and deeper vision of law and society than traditional legal literature alone can provide, including historical chronicles, biographical dictionaries, legal canons, exegetical works, and mirrors for princes. Altogether, the volume offers both a substantive intervention on early Islamic courts and on methods for studying legal history as social history. It illuminates the varied and dynamic legal landscapes stretching across early Islam, and maps new approaches to interdisciplinary legal history. Image credit: Harvard Law School Library
Codifying Polygamy in the 1957 Moroccan Mudawwana
Earlier this year, Tunisia lifted the 1973 ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslim men and is considering equalizing inheritance laws for men and women, on arguments based on the post-Arab Spring 2014 constitution calling for gender equality. This development follows in a line of earlier precedent for personal status code reforms, and the recent actions beg the question about comparative practice based on modern interpretations of Islamic law or Mālikī law. For perspective on both, student editor Ari Schriber discusses Morocco's 1957 Personal Status Code as the country's first unified set of family law statutes. Read more.
Sharifian Decree of 1957 - The Mudawwana : Law of Personal Status
This section of  Morocco’s Official Gazette, al-Jarīda al-Rasmiyya , officially promulgates the first two books of the Moroccan Personal Status Code, the  Mudawwana . The first book presents the stipulations concerning marriage, including issues such as the contract, dowry, and inhibitors (like number of wives). The second book deals with the dissolution of marriage, thus addressing conditions of repudiation, women’s repudiation, and the  ʿidda  (the woman’s waiting period until she may remarry).   Read more . Image credit: SHARIAsource
Other News

The Islamic Law Teaching Project
SHARIAsource has a new resource for Islamic law teachers! The Islamic Law Teaching Project  houses collections of syllabi and other teaching material for Islamic law courses taught primarily in law schools of the US and UK. In this sample syllabus is from Professor  Anver Emon  at the University of Toronto. Read more.

SHARIAsource News Update
We issue newsletters each month, along with regular publication of a wide array of research and resources on Islamic law: portal primary sources and commentary, blog posts, occasional papers, and books with the Harvard University Press. We'll continue to update you with new developments. For regular updates, please visit the portal and the blog . And researchers should always feel free to contact us to join the community of Islamic law scholars and submit their own sources, posts, and manuscripts.

ILSP SHARIAsource :: Upcoming Events

ILSP Lunch Talk :: A History Without Gaps: Legal Maxims and the Evolution of Islamic Law
(16 Nov 2017 | Cambridge, MA). Mariam Sheibani,  PhD Candidate, University of Chicago will survey the terminological and conceptual evolution of maxims in Shāfiʿī legal literature from the founding of the school in the ninth century to the emergence of maxim treatises in the fourteenth century. Examining this evolution not only provides a history of maxims without gaps, but it also offers unexpected insights about the significant role of maxims in negotiating jurists’ competing visions of the law. Details.

Middle East Librarians Association Annual Meeting: "SHARIAsource: The Online Portal for Academic Content and Context on Islamic Law" (16 Nov 2017 | Washington, DC). Aslihan Bulut , Library Editor at SHARIAsource and Sharon Tai , Deputy Editor of SHARIAsource, will discuss the information management of SHARIAsource. Details.

Institute for Advanced Study Digital Scholarship Conversations :: Digital Islamic Law: Prospects and Pitfalls (17 Nov 2017 | Princeton, NJ). Intisar Rabb and Sharon Tai will discuss the development of SHARIAsource and its place within the field of Islamic law. Details .

Harvard Law School Faculty Book Talk :: Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts (28 Nov 2017 | Cambridge, MA) . Intisar Rabb , Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and Abigail Krasner Balbale , Assistant Professor of the Cultural History of the Islamic World at Bard Graduate Center, will discuss their soon-to-be released book Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts . Details.

ILSP Lunch Talk :: Research Methods: Studying Court Narratives through Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing (27 Nov 2017 | Cambridge, MA). Sharon Tai , SHARIAsource Deputy Editor and Ali Hashmi , former MIT Media Lab Fellow, use natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning techniques to build a taxonomy of entities for SHARIAsource’s collection of cases of Islamic law in U.S. Courts, including cases of family law and religious accommodation. From there, comparison of state courts with overall federal courts using computational text analysis methods allows for insights into whether there is consistency of themes and considerations between lower and upper court decisions. This can allow researchers to identify spots of bias, sentiment, and missing considerations that become future questions about the narrative created by U.S. Courts in dealing with Islamic law. Details.

Other Events

Middle East Librarians Association Annual Meeting: Digital Scholarship and Middle East Librarianship (16-17 Nov 2017 | Washington, DC) . T he Middle East Librarians Association (MELA) will be held at the George Washington University, Washington DC, November 16-17, 2017. This year’s theme for the annual meeting is Digital Scholarship and Middle East Librarianship. Details.

Middle East Studies Association Annual Meeting (18-21 Nov 2017 | Washington, DC). The annual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association will be held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. Details .

MESA Annual Meeting: " Violence, Legality, and Law on the Ottoman Periphery " (18 Nov 2017 | Washington, DC). Will Smiley will be using the law of war, and particularly the rules on prisoners of war, as a window on Ottoman engagement with Atlantic international law. Between the 1850s and 1880s, the Ottoman Empire increasingly engaged with the customs and scholarly traditions that had long defined rules between states in western Europe and the Atlantic world. Part of the panel "Violence, Legality, and Law on the Ottoman Periphery". Details.

MESA Annual Meeting: "Judicial activism in the field of Egyptian shari‘a-derived family law" (21 Nov 2017 | Washington, DC). Monika Lindbekk will be presenting on aspects of judicial activism in the field of Egyptian personal status law for Muslims. In a country where reform of the current personal status codes is politically fraught, family court judges perform an important semi-legislative task in interpreting and applying the law. Taking this as a point of departure, her paper argues that courts are an important site for exercising Islamic authority and positioning citizens as religious subjects. Details.

Governance and Violence in Islamic Law Workshop (24 Nov 2017 | Exeter, UK). This one-day workshop is held under the auspices of the USPPIP project (Understanding Sharia: Past Perfect, Imperfect Present) and will be hosted by the University of Exeter. The workshop will cover the specific focus of two elements of the project – violence (studied by Exeter USPPIP research team) and governance (studied by the Bergen USPPIP research team). The workshop will be convened by the USPPIP team members Drs Omar Anchassi and Eirik Hovden and Professors Robert Gleave and Knut Vikor . Details .

Twelver Imami Shiite Views on the Variant Readings of the Quran: Legal and Theological Implications (30 Nov 2017 | Cambridge, MA). Professor Shady Nasser's research interest is Qur’anic studies in general with particular focus on the history of the transmission of the text, its language, and its reception among the early Muslim community. Part of t he Harvard Law and Religion Lecture Series. Details .  

Islamic Law and Sexuality Conference (9-11 Jan 2018 | Exeter, UK). This two day workshop aims to investigate questions of Islamic law and sexuality, broadly conceived, including but not limited to such subjects as il/legitimate sex, communal perceptions of sexuality, marriage, sexual violence, gender, concubinage and sexual consent.  Details .

3rd USPPIP Team Meeting and Workshop :: Maslaha, Siyasa and Good Governance: Shari’a and Society (19-20 Apr 2017 | Bergen, Norway). Key-note addresses by Professors Mohammed Fadel and Felicitas Opwis . This workshop will focus on the use of concepts such as maslaha and siyasa in Islamic discussion of reform and orthopraxy. To what degree do Islamic NGOs appeal to maslala in their activities? To what degree do Muslim thinkers today use the terms of siyasa  and maslaha in their discussions of state activities and laws in Muslim, mixed and non-Muslim states? A central concept for many state-oriented NGOs is “good governance”. This term, which may be used for accountability of the ruler, or more widely for works promoting democratic practices, is in many ways akin to “promotion of public welfare”, i.e. maslaha.   Details.

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 .


UC Berkeley Near Eastern Studies Graduate Conference (27-28 Apr 2018 | Berkeley, CA). The Near Eastern Studies graduate students at UC Berkeley would like to invite the graduate students to participate in the 2018 UC Berkeley Near Eastern Studies Graduate Student Conference. The title of this year’s symposium is,  Hard Times: Critical Approaches to Crisis and its Aftermath . From their perspective as students and scholars of the Near East, hard times have become an uncritical staple of contemporary discourse regarding the Middle East. In the news, in the streets and even in classrooms, the Middle East is often framed as an outworldly difficult place, defined by its hardships and catastrophes. In this conference, the wish is to not to deny this notion (at least, not offhandedly), but to complicate it by considering it from a diverse array of critical perspectives. Abstracts due 15 Dec 2017. Details.

Law and Society Association 2018 Junior Scholar Workshop (5-6 Jun 2018 | Toronto, ON). The Law and Society Association is pleased to announce its Junior Scholar Workshop will begin mid-day on Tuesday, June 5, and continue through the day on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. The workshop immediately precedes the 2018 joint Annual Meetings of the Law and Society Association and the Canadian Law and Society Association in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Abstracts due 18 Dec 2017. Details.

USPPIP Summer School for Early Career Researchers: “Uses of the Past in Islamic Law” (Jul 2018 | TBD ). Advanced notice: the First “Uses of the Past in Islamic Law” Summer School for Early Career Researchers, July 2018. In early January, USPPIP will open for applications from advanced PhD students and recently graduated PhD students/Post-doctoral researchers. The travel and accommodation expenses of all participants will be covered by USPPIP. Detail.

Visiting Fellowships at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (2018-2019 | Oxford, UK). The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies promotes excellence in the study of Islam and Muslim societies. Applications are invited for the following Visiting Fellowships tenable for the 2018-19 academic year. Other non-stipendiary Visiting Fellowships are available for shorter periods. Applications accepted on a rolling basis for these throughout the year. Applications due 19 Jan 2017 . Details .

Conference Call for Papers: The Reach of Empire – The Early Islamic Empire at Work (11-13 Oct 2018 | Hamburg, Germany). As the ERC project “The Early Islamic Empire at Work – The View from the Regions Toward the Center” nears its end, its final conference invites participants to consider the reach of the early Islamic Empire from the 7th to the 10th centuries CE. Abstracts due 31 Jan 2018 . Details .

American Institute for Maghrib Studies: Annual Grants Program (2018-2019). The American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS) is pleased to announce its Annual Grants Program for the 2018-2019 cycle. The program offers short and long term grants to U.S. scholars interested in conducting research on North Africa in any Maghrib country, specifically Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, or Tunisia. Applications due 31 Jan 2018 . Details .

Call for Papers: Rethinking Halal: Genealogy, Current Trends, and New Interpretation (24-25 Apr 2018 | Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium). The  Université Catholique de Louvain  Chair of the Law and Religions Research Institute in Religions, Societies, Cultures, Spiritualities invites scholars and researchers to speak on the genealogy of halal since Muslim religious scholars started to instruct a written knowledgeable debate on ‘halal’ and to unravel Muslim social practices toward it. The conference will discuss how the main stake holders in the halal industry (‘ulama, state, halal certificate bodies, scholars) are producing halal norms and standards applying to ‘others’. Abstracts are due by 8 Jan 2018 . Read more

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