NEWS | 18 Apr 2017
Islamic Law Lexicon :: Ḥadīth

SHARIAsource regularly draws on the work of Senior Scholars to illuminate complex topics in Islamic law “in plain English” and to showcase some of the diversity of thought and legal debates that arise around applications of these concepts in Islamic legal history and practice. This week, Joseph Lowry (University of Pennyslvania) succinctly defines and analyzes the term ḥadīthḤadīth is basically defined as “the corpus of traditions from the Prophet”; the reports of words and sayings attributed to the Prophet Muḥammad (for Sunnīs) as well as to a series of Imāms who succeeded him (for Shīʿa); and the text of the second source of Islamic law. Now for more context: Muhammad is undoubtedly one of the central figures in Islamic law and authority. His legal authority emanates from two primary phenomena. First, he is the transmitter of God’s divine revelation, that is, the Qur’an. Therefore, he is the immediate, although not ultimate, source of divine commands. Second, a complex set of prophetical sayings and teachings is attributed to the Prophet (hadith). Though inspired by divine will, these sayings constitute Muhammad’s direct contribution to Islamic law, consolidating his centrality to Islamic authority. " Read more. Image credit: The Centre for Academic Shi’a Studies

CASE:  The State of Bombay v. Narasu Appa Mali

In Narasu Appa Mali in 1952the Bombay High Court limited its own ability to address the constitutionality of Muslim personal law in India, holding that personal laws are not “laws in force” within the purview of Article 13 of the Constitution, and thus need not satisfy the fundamental rights test. Read more. Image credit: Local Press Co.

EVENT:  Shah Waliullah Dehlavi and His Neglected Views on Islamic Law

Islamic Legal Studies Program SHARIAsource / Fulbright Fellow Dr. Mubasher Hussain introduced the work of Shah Waliullah Dehlavi to the Harvard community on 17 April 2017. Hussain discussed Shah Waliullah often-overlooked thoughts on Islamic jurisprudence, focusing on the ways in which he differentiated between scholars of Islamic law labeled “first rank independent muftis” and “first rank affiliated muftis.” Read moreImage credit: Darrick Northington

Other News

ILSP Paper Prize on Islamic Law for HLS Students
Islamic Legal Studies Program Prize on Islamic Law (Cambridge, MA). Each year the Law School awards several prizes for the best papers written by Harvard Law School students in particular areas of the law. Graduating prize winners are noted in the Commencement Program and prize-winning papers are eligible to be published in the School’s public paper series. ILSP will award a prize of $1,000 annually to the Harvard Law School student writing the best paper in the field of Islamic law or on the intersection between other religious legal traditions and Islamic law. Papers eligible for consideration will be ones written during the current academic year, addressing any topic in Islamic legal history and theory, Islamic law and society, and Islamic comparative law – including these topics as related to other religious legal traditions. Papers are due in the Office of Academic Affairs (Lewis 208) by 5:00 pm on 28 Apr 2017. Read more.

Digital Preservation, Access, and Scholarship: The Case of and for West African Arabic Manuscripts. (18 Apr 2017 | Cambridge, MA). Graziano Kratli of Yale University will discuss digital preservation using West African texts. The event will be in the Barker Center 211 from 5-6:30 p.m.

Trailblazer Lecture Series: A Discussion with Raheemah Abdulaleem '01 (19 Apr 2017 | Cambridge, MA). Raheemah  Abdulaleem '01, Senior Associate General Counsel in the Executive Office of the President; Chair of KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights; Former Senior Trial Attorney in the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Section will be returning to Harvard Law School to discuss the course of her work. Read more

ILSP: SHARIAsource Fellow's Lecture :: Sohaira Siddiqui (24 Apr 2017 | Cambridge, MA).  Lecture by Sohaira Siddiqui, Policy Fellow, ILSP: SHARIAsource; Assistant Professor of Theology and Islamic Studies, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Doha, Qatar, on her current research over lunch. 
Temple Bar Scholarships (2-27 Oct 2017 | London). The Temple Bar Foundation is accepting applications for its scholarship program. Selected scholars will have the opportunity to shadow a barrister and observe and discuss English trial practice, spend time with a justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, observe appellate arguments, discuss legal issues with the country’s highest judges. Applications due 30 Apr 2017 . Read more.

International Conference on Transnational Families and Divorce: Revisiting Marital Break-Up in Times of Global (Im)mobilities) (27-29 Sep 2017 | Nijmegen, Netherlands). This conference examines transnational divorce, as its causes, processes, and after-effects increasingly take place across national and socio-cultural borders. It takes into account the different socio-legal and cultural contexts within which it occurs, notably how state policies influence the process of marital dissolution.  We particularly welcome papers from young scholars in the field of socio-legal studies, sociology,  anthropology, history, and other disciplines. We also encourage studies that employ a transnational  and/or intersectional approach (Crenshaw 1989) paying attention to structuring factors such as  gender, class, race and ethnicity. After the conference, selected papers will be published as parts of  an edited volume on transnational families and divorce. Abstracts due 30 Apr 2017  Read more.

Al-Qasimi Chair (Professor/Associate Professor) in Islamic Studies, IAIS, University of Exeter (Exeter, UK).  The post holder will be a leading international figure with the ability to attract high quality researchers at doctoral and postdoctoral level to the Islamic Studies research group. Any area of Islamic Studies is an appropriate specialism including (but not limited to) history, theology, philosophy, literature, mysticism, law, jurisprudence, art and architecture, art history, anthropology and sociology, digital humanities, and any period of the study of Islam. Applications due 1 May 2017 Read more.

Call for Papers: Islamic Law and Its Implementation in Asia and the Middle East (6 Oct 2017 | London). In conjunction with the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL), the editors of the Asian Yearbook of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (AYBHRHL) invite submissions for the above conference to be held at the British Institute of International & Comparative Law, Russell Square, London. The conference focuses on the topic of Islamic law and the implementation of Islamic law in Asia and the Middle East. Abstracts due 15 May 2017. Read more. 

Postdoctoral Fellowship for Tunisian Scholars (1 Sep 2017 - 30 Jun 2018 | Cambridge, MA). The Tunisia Office of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University invites Tunisian scholars to submit applications for a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. The call for applications is open to scholars in the Humanities or Social Sciences who have received their PhD within the past seven years. The fellowship extends for 10 months, from September 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018. The successful candidate will reside in the greater Boston area and will be required to teach a one-semester course on the area of specialization, in English or in Arabic. Preference will be given to the most qualified applicant whose research includes Tunisia and North Africa. Applications are due before 15 May 2017. Read more.

Call for Panels: Comparative Law, Faith and Religion: The Role of Faith in Law (26-28 Oct 2017 | Washington, D.C. ).  The American Society of Comparative Law and American University College of Law invites all interested scholars to consider submitting a panel proposal for the upcoming Annual Meeting of the American Society of Comparative Law that will be held between Thursday, October 26, and Saturday, October 28, 2017, at American University Washington College of Law, Washington D.C.  entitled Comparative Law, Faith and Religion: The Role of Faith in Law. Panel proposals should include up to four speakers, a panel title, and a one-to-two-paragraph description of the ideas that the panel will explore. Proposals are due 1 Jun 2017. Read more.

Call for Papers: Rethinking Halal: Genealogy, Current Trends, And New Interpretation. (24-25 Apr 2018 | Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium). The Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Chair of Law and Religions, Research Institute in Religions, Societies, Cultures, Spiritualities (RSCS)  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 towards halal. The conference will discuss how the main stake holders in halal (‘ulama, state, halal certificate bodies, scholars) are producing halal norms and standards applying to ‘others’. The conference aims to rethink how they become moral agents (individually or institutionally) aiming to control, to guide, and to dictate what is lawful and unlawful for societies, industries, and companies.Keynote speakers and selected-speakers are, therefore, expected to write a paper based upon an original and high-quality research, which will be distributed during the conference for critical comments, suggestions, and feedbacks. Abstracts due by 8 Jan 2018. Read more

Engagement Lab @ Emerson College: MA in Civic Media, Art, and Practice (Boston, MA).  For those who have an interest in digital Islamic law/humanities, and want graduate training to better prepare for an academic or industry career in the field, the Engagement Lab is accepting applications for their graduate program.  Read more.

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