Locating the Sharīʿa

Legal Fluidity in Theory, History and Practice


The study of the sharīʿa has enjoyed a renaissance in the last two decades and it will continue to attract interdisciplinary attention given the ongoing social, political and religious developments throughout the Muslim world. With such a variety of debates, and a corresponding multitude of theoretical methods, students and non-scholars are often overwhelmed by the complexity of the field. Even experts will often need to consult multiple sources to understand these new voices and provide accessible answers to specialist and non-specialist audiences alike. This volume is intended for both the novice and expert as a companion to understanding the evolution of the field of Islamic law, the current work that is shaping this field, and the new directions the sharīʿa will take in the twenty-first/fifteenth century.

Contributors are Khaled Abou El Fadl, Asma Afsaruddin Ahmad Ahmad, Sarah Albrecht, Ovamir Anjum, Dale Correa, Robert Gleave, Sohail Hanif, Rami Koujah, Marion Katz, Asifa Quraishi-Landes, David Warren and Salman Younas.

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Sohaira Z.M. Siddiqui is an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University in Qatar. She has published the book Law and Politics under the Abbasids: An Intellectual Portrait of al-Juwayni, and numerous articles in journals such as the Journal of Islamic Studies, Islamic Law and Society, and The Journal of the American Oriental Society.
Notes on Contributors

Part 1: Reflections on the Study of the Sharīʿa

1 The Roots of Persuasion and the Future of Sharīʿa
Khaled Abou El Fadl

2 Sectarianism and Integration
Contemporary Categories and the Prospects for Islamic Legal Studies
Robert Gleave

3 Gender and Legal Fluidity
Marion Katz

4 Translating The Fatigue of the Sharīʿa
Ahmad Atif Ahmad

Part 2: Study of the Sharīʿa in the Classical Period

5 Qurʾānic Jihād Refracted through a Juridical Lens
An Exercise in Realpolitik
Asma Afsaruddin

6 Al-Ḥadīth al-Mashhūr
A Ḥanafī Reference to Kufan Practice?
Sohail Hanif

7 Taking a Theological Turn in Legal Theory
Regional Priority and Theology in Transoxanian Ḥanafī Thought
Dale J. Correa

8 Maṣlaḥa as a Normative Claim of Islamic Jurisprudence
The Legal Philosophy of al-ʿIzz b. ʿAbd al-Salām
Rami Koujah

Part 3: Study of the Sharīʿa in the Modern and Contemporary Periods

9 A Conservative Jurist’s Approach to Legal Change
Ashraf ʿAlī al-Thānawī on Women’s Political Rule
Salman Younas

10 Legislating Morality and Other Illusions about Islamic Government
Asifa Quraishi-Landes

11 Relocating Dār al-Islām
Contemporary Islamic Perspectives on Territoriality
Sarah Albrecht

12 Religion, Politics, and the Anxiety of Contemporary Maṣlaḥa Reasoning
The Production of a Fiqh al-Thawra after the 2011 Egyptian Revolution
David H. Warren

13 Whither Islam?
Western Islamic Reform and Discursive Density
Ovamir Anjum
Academics in the field of Islamic law and intellectual history, graduate students, Middle East and Islamic Studies librarians.