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The aim of this series is to publish monographs on Islamic jurisprudence and law that approach the Islamic legal tradition from a comparative perspective. The main interest is to publish studies that place the Islamic legal tradition in comparative conversations with other legal systems and traditions. The scope of the series includes studies that engage Islamic law within its many socio-historical manifestations and contexts, both in the Arab and non-Arab worlds, elucidating the Islamic legal experience from a comparative legal perspective.

The special focus of the series is on studies of the pre-modern or modern periods that explore the role of Islamic law, especially as it relates to normatively relevant issues such as race, gender, identity, rule of law, and constitutionalism, but that do so through the application of comparative legal methodologies. Also of special interest are studies on the transformative moment during the colonial period, which explore the influence of legal imperialism upon the historical trajectories of Islamic law.

Brill's Arab and Islamic Laws Series is the continuation of the discontinued series Arab and Islamic Laws Series. For more information on Arab and Islamic Laws Series click here.

The series published an average of one volume per year over the last 5 years.


This essay examines the juristic discourse on Muslim minorities from the second/eighth century to the eleventh/seventeenth century with regard to (1) whether or not Muslims may reside in non-Muslim territory and under what circumstances; (2) the relationship of these Muslims to dār al-Islām; and (3) the ethical and legal duties that these Muslims owe to the Sharī'a and to their host non-Muslim polity. The juristic discussions on legality of residence in non-Muslim territory in the first Islamic centuries were cryptic and ambiguous. Systematic juristic positions developed only after the sixth/twelfth century as a response to historical challenges. The various positions adopted by the jurists were a function of historical specificity and reflected a dynamic process of legal development. In theory, the position of Muslim minorities residing in non-Muslim territory is problematic because of the traditional dichotomy between dār al-Islām and dār al-harb. In practice, the persistent existence of Muslim minorities residing outside dār al-Islām challenged this dichotomous view. The linguistic dichotomy between dār al-Islām and dār al-harb obscures a much more complex historical reality. The juristic discourse on the issue was not dogmatic and does not lend itself to essentialist positions.

In: Islamic Law and Society

The issue of Islamic law and morality has for the most part received scant attention in the modern age. This essay contributes to the exploration of possible ways of understanding the relationship of ethics to Shariʿah and Islamic law. The author’s objective in this essay is largely normative. While he makes every effort to root his arguments in the fabric of the Islamic tradition, this essay is not descriptive, but aspirational in the sense that he seeks to persuade readers of the desirability of specific understandings of the meaning of Shariʿah and the relationship between Islamic law and ethics. As a point of departure, the author accepts that the Qurʾan and the laws of God are binding, and that an Islamic theory has to be expressed within the framework of Islamic principles. He maintains that the dynamism and vitality of Islamic law must be preserved in the contemporary age, and that such a result is not possible without maintaining the liberty and innovative capacities of the individual.

In: Journal of Islamic Ethics
In: Oriente Moderno


This paper explores what the author terms as “Islamic moral impulses,” a tradition that could be developed to address issues of migration and displacement. The aspiration is that Muslims would investigate their own moral tradition to help construct humanitarian paradigms that elevate international moral trajectories rather than simply acquiescing and rubber-stamping vague doctrines produced by nation-states in search of their own national interests. The Muslim tradition is replete with powerful virtuous ethical impulses that could make substantive contributions to the field of forced migrants and displacement. Among these ethical impulses are critical concepts of counter-istiḍʿāf—countering oppression and powerlessness through mobility and accessibility, first and foremost between Muslims themselves; and second, between Muslims and “the other”; as well as the ethics of muʾākha (brotherhood), ḍiyāfa (hospitality), and ʾijāra (asylum). These are ethical concepts that could easily find common ground with other religious and faith-based traditions, in a way that challenges and elevates, rather than simply apologetically rubber-stamping modern international law. The author argues for Muslims to deploy their own ethical tradition in the service of alleviating and removing human suffering.

In: Migration and Islamic Ethics
In: Locating the Sharīʿa