A workshop of the Islamic Reformulations project:


Uncovering the Divine Law in Islam

A Workshop on Muslim Legal Theory


4th-7th October 2015

Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies

University of Exeter 

In this workshop, we explore classical and contemporary trends in Muslim legal theory, as developed in works of uṣūl al-fiqh.  Works of uṣūl al-fiqh describe how the sources of ethical and legal knowledge are evaluated and interpreted, and how new laws might be derived when the sources seem to provide no answer.  Muslim jurists have been composing uṣul works for over a millennium, and the science of uṣūl has developed a detailed and sophisticated system of ethical and legal justification and derivation.  In this workshop, scholars working at the cutting edge of study of Islamic legal theory will outline their own research and identify the priorities for future scholarship.  The workshop will include research presentations and experiments in the translation of passages of uṣūl works to see how the complexity of Islamic legal theory might be made accessible to a wider audience.

NOTE: Not all sessions will be held at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies due to room availability.  Contact Robert Gleave in advance for the precise location.

Sunday 4th October 2015

1800 Introduction Session

2000 Evening Meal

Monday 5th October 2015

Coffee/Tea on arrival; Introduction to the day’s work programme

0915 Paper Presentations

1. Najah Nadi Ahmed (University of Oxford): “The Role of Kalām in the Genre of Uṣūl al-Fiqh: A Classical overview

2. Ali-Reza Bhojani (al-Mahdi Institute, Birmingham): “A three tiered approach to reconciling apparent conflicts between scriptural and non-scriptural evidence in an ʿAdliyya reading of Sharīʿa 

1015 Coffee/Tea

1040 Group sessions/activities

1230 Lunch

1330 Paper presentations

3. Ryan Rittenberg (Independent Scholar): "A Theory of Reading and Errors in Islamic Legal Production."

4. Dale Correa (University of Texas at Austin): "The Episteme in the Room: Theory of Knowledge in a New Ḥanafī Uṣūl al-Fiqh Source."

5. Mohammed Eissa (Freie Universitat Berlin): “Count the Truth: Debates on Legal Plurality within the Shāfiʿī School of Law”

1500 Coffee

1530 Translation Groups

Text 1: Istimdād al-uṣūl min al-kalām: texts by al-Juwaynī, al-Ghazālī, and al-Taftāzānī (Nadi Ahmed) and Text 2: al-Mīrzā Abū al-Qāsim al-Qummī, al-Qawānīn al-Muḥkama fī al-Uṣūl al-Mutqanā  (Bhojani)

Text 3: Alā’ al-Dīn ‘Alī b. Sulaymān al-Mardāwī, Tahrīr al-manqūl (Rittenberg) and Text 4: Section on sunna/akhbār from Kitāb Taḥṣīl Uṣūl al-Fiqh wa Tafṣīl al-Maqālāt fīhā ʿala ʾl-Wajh from Maṭlaʿ al-Nujūm wa Majmaʿ al-ʿUlūm (Correa)

1700 Break

1800 Paper presentations

6. Tariq Al-Timimi (SOAS, University of London): “Refining uṣūl al-fiqh from the ambiguity of isṭilāḥ: the use of the term naṣṣ as an example

7. Ziad Bou Akl (CNRS/ENS, Paris): "Taʾkhīr al-bayān in Averroes' abridgement of al-Mustaṣfā"

8. Sayed Hossein Al Qazwini (Islamic Seminary of Karbala): "Muḥammad Bāqir al -Ṣadr and the Origins of al-Sīra al-ʿUqalāʾīya"

1930 Close

2000 Evening Meal

Tuesday 6th October

Coffee on Arrival; Introduction to the day’s work programme

0930 Paper Presentations

9. Mariam Sheibani (University of Chicago); "Beyond Qiyās: The Significance of the ʿIlla in Post-formative Legal Reasoning"

10. Abdullah Sliti (University of Durham): “Ibn al-Qayyim’s Middle-Way Analogy of Ratio Legis.”

1030 Coffee/Tea

1100 Text Translations

Text 5: Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī, al-Mustaṣfā: al-Amārāt al-ẓaniyya laysat adilla bi-aʿyānihā (Eissa) and Text 7: Ibn Rushd, Al-Ḍurūrī fī uṣūl al-fiqh: fī taʾkhīr al-bayān (Bou Akl)

Text 8: Muḥammad Bāqir al-Ṣadr, Buḥūth fī ʿilm al-uṣūl: ḥujjiyyat al-sīra al-ʿuqalāʾiyya (Al Qazwini) and Text 9: al-Kāsānī, Badāʾiʿ al-anāʾiʿ (Sheibani)

1230 Lunch

1345 Group sessions/activities

1700 Coffee/tea

1730 Paper presentations

11. Ahmet Temel (Istanbul University): ‘Was there a Zaydī Uṣūl al-fiqh?: Searching for the Essence of Zaydī Legal Theory in the al-Mujzī fī uṣūl al-fiqh of al-Nāṭiq bi-l-Ḥaqq (340-424/951-1033)”

12. Sohail Hanif (University of Oxford): "Al-Ḥadīth al-Mashhūr: A Ḥanafī Reference to Kufan Practice?"

1830 Close

2000 Evening Meal

Wednesday 7th October

Coffee on Arrival; Introduction to the day’s work programme

0830 Translation Groups

Text 10: Ibn Qayyim, Iʿlām al-Muwaqqiʿīn: al-Qawl al-Wasaṭ bayn al-farīqayn (Sliti) and Text 11: Daʿwā Maways b. ‘Imran fī-l-ʿilm from al-Nāṭiq bi-l-ḥaqq, al-Mujzī fī uṣūl al-fiqh (Temel)

0915 Coffee

0945 Translation Groups

Text 12: Section on al-ḥadīth al-mashhūr from the Uṣūl al-Sarakhsī (Hanif) and Text 6: al-Qarāfī, Sharḥ Tanqīḥ…; Ibn ʿĀshūr,āshiyat al-Tawdīḥ; al-Ṭūfī, Sharḥ Mukhtaṣar al-Rawḍa  (Al-Timimi)

1030 Group Session

1100 Coffee

1130 Session 11:

Mustafa Baig (Cardiff Univerity): Text 13: Transitive and Intransitive Rulings in the Hanafi School; al-Muṭlaq Maḥmūl ʿalā al-Muqayyad in al-Nasafī’s al-Manār with Mullā Jivān’s commentary Nūr al-anwār

Robert Gleave: Translating uṣūl al-fiqh.

1230 Lunch at Reed Hall

1400 onwards: participants depart

There are limited places available for those wishing to attend the workshop.  Anyone interested should contact Robert Gleave on r.gleave@exeter.ac.uk.  A charge for catering and transportation costs.

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