Tuesday 4th February 2014 School or Oriental and African Studies:  Wael Hallaq: Regarding Liberty, Freedom, Representation and the Rule of Law: How Would the Sharia Fare?

In this lecture, Professor Hallaq  explored four arguments that unravel Shari`a’s internal logic in terms of what it perceived as the promotion and protection of society’s interests, parallel and equivalent to modern notions of freedom, liberty and the rule of law. Taking as a basic assumption the necessity for all polities to establish their own versions of just and well-ordered societies, he considered how the pre-modern, pre-liberal Islamic order structured law and society in ways that provided for these basic requirements of justice and order.  Finally,  he  teased out the implications and relevance of such a historical enquiry for addressing political and constitutional challenges that the Muslim world is currently facing.

The Shari’a Project: A UK-Netherlands Network of Scholars of Islamic Law

Fourth Workshop, Thursday 6th February and Friday 7th February 2014

Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies

University of Exeter

Guest Scholar: Professor Wael Hallaq (Columbia University)


Sponsored by the AHRC (of the UK), NWO (of the Netherlands)

With additional support from the Leiden University Centre for Islam and Society (LUCIS) and The Islamic Reformulations Project (Exeter)

Thursday 6th February 2014:


09.00 Welcome:Léon Buskens (Director of LUCIS, Co-director - Sharia Project) and Robert Gleave (Director of the Islamic Reformulations Project and Co-director - Sharia Project)

09.15 Professor Wael Hallaq: “The Impossible State: Islam, Politics and Modernity’s Moral Predicament”

Mohammed Drammeh (Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies): “Reading The Impossible State in the Arab World: Contestations over Modernity, the Nation-State and the Sharīʿa”

Michael Nafi (John Abbott College/Harvard University): “What Do the Philosophers Want from the Law?”

12.10 Panel 2: The Challenge of Modernity to Islamic Legal thought

Ahmad Khan (University of Oxford): “Religious Reformers as Legal Historians: The Functions of the Asbāb al-Ikhtilāf Genre in the Early-Modern Period”

Valentino Cattelan (Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies): “Beyond ‘Islamic law’: from analogy to dialectics”

14.10 Panel 3: Gender and Marriage in Islamic Legal Thought and Practice

Omar Anchassi (QMU London): “Fazlur Rahman’s ‘Qur’ānic Turn’, Islamic Law and Gender”

Tahrat Shahid (University of Oxford): “Sexual equality in family laws for Muslims in Bangladesh: A fear of change”

Yahia Baiza (The Institute of Ismaili Studies): “The Shīʿa Ismailis of Afghanistan and their Engagement with Shari‘a: a study of folk religious traditions in the marriage system”

1610 Panel 4: Islamic Law and Judicial Practice

Zubair Abbasi (Lahore University of Management Sciences): “Co-existence of Sharīʿa and the Modern State: A Historical Perspective from South Asia”

Zahir Bhalloo (University of Oxford): “A legal controversy over the ḥukm in the absence of the defendant in early Qajar Iran, c.1231/1816”

17.10 Close

Friday 7th February 2014

0900 Professor Wael Hallaq: “Qur’ānic Constitutionalism and Moral Governmentality: Further Notes on the Founding Principles of Islamic Society and Polity

11.00 Panel 5: Government and Islamic Law (sponsored by the Islamic Reformulations project)

Sohaira Siddiqui (University of Cambridge) “The Sharia and Governance: A Model from Absent government”,

Yaser Ellethy (VU University Amsterdam):  “From Sharia to Democracy: Siyāsa sharʻiyya and siyāsa dimuqrāṭiyya

1200 Catherine Vieth (London School Of Economics): “Projects for Legislating Society:  Legal Pluralism, The Code Morand, and the Iraqi Constitution”

Mustafa Baig (University of Exeter): “Operating Islamic jurisprudence in non-Islamic Jurisdictions”

1415 Panel 6: Panel 7: Islamic Legal Dispute Resolution in the West

M.A. Muradin (Leiden University): “A Critical Review of Studies on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) within Muslim Communities in the West”

Kim Lecoyer (Ghent University): Islamic family law and dispute resolution: A Belgian case-study

1545 ʿUlamāʾ Authority – classical and modern

Talal Al-Azem (University of Oxford): “Periodisation and the Typologies of Jurists: Ibn Kemāl Pāshā’s Ṭabaqāt al-fuqahāʾ and its Detractors”

David Warren (University of Manchester) “Negotiating the Epistemic Authority of the ʿUlamāʾ and the Legal Tradition: Yūsuf al- Qaradāwī, Tariq Ramadan and Radical Reform in the Qatar Context”

1645 Closing Remarks: Professors Robert Gleave and Léon Buskens

1700 Close

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