AnnouncementJournal of Islamic Law Open for SubmissionThe Journal of Islamic Law is still accepting Spring 2021 volume submissions for the following: Scholarship Reviews Book reviews of books or articles published within the last two years 2019-2021) will be accepted. Book review submissions should have fewer than 1,500 words, including footnotes. Digital Humanities / Data Science Essays or Reviews [New!] Digital humanities / data science essays examine research questions in Islamic law or legal history using data science or digital humanities methods. Essays must not exceed 10,000 words, including footnotes. Digital humanities / data science reviews critically assess new data science and digital humanities tools, including databases and relevant AI tools that operate at the intersection of data science methods and Islamic law and history. Submissions should not exceed 1,500 words. Deadline: January 22, 2021 Visit the Journal of Islamic Law submissions website. Please note that volume submissions for general articles and essays are no longer being accepted.
COVID-19 UpdatesMay 12, 2021 Harvard University hopes to be able to offer a less restricted, robust on-campus experience this fall. The latest information on the return to campus can be found on the University’s coronavirus website. To repopulate campus in the summer and fall, Harvard expects to continue to draw upon health and safety protocols that have helped to keep our community members safe during the current academic year. A key feature will be continued regular coronavirus testing, which will enable Harvard to monitor the status and impact of the virus on campus. Updates regarding testing requirements, frequency, and other specific guidelines will be forthcoming. To reach the high levels of vaccination needed to protect our community, Harvard will require COVID vaccination for all students who will be on campus this fall. As with existing student requirements for other vaccines, exceptions will be provided only for medical or religious reasons. For international students and any others unable to access an FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine before the fall, the University plans to offer vaccination on arrival. Harvard expects that faculty, staff, and researchers working on campus will make every effort to be vaccinated as well. Further guidance regarding vaccination expectations will be provided in the near future. For more about the requirements, how to submit documentation, or to ask questions on the vaccine, please consult the Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) website. Harvard University has issued new travel guidance effective May 15, 2021. Harvard faculty, students, postdoctoral fellows, and staff who are fully vaccinated may undertake Harvard-related travel within the U.S., or to any country rated Level 1 or Level 2 for COVID-19 by the CDC. Harvard faculty, doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and staff who are not fully vaccinated or who wish to travel to a country rated Level 3, Level 4, or Level Unknown for COVID-19 regardless of their vaccination status, may petition for an exemption to Harvard’s travel restriction if they meet certain criteria. The Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School adheres to Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Harvard University, and Harvard Law School directives and protocols. November 13, 2020 Harvard University has issued updated Coronavirus Workplace Policies. Unless otherwise advised, all staff, faculty, and academic personnel should plan to continue to work remotely through June 30, 2021. Effective January 15, 2021, idled Harvard employees whose work cannot be performed due to the COVID-19 public health emergency may use the emergency excused absence benefit to sustain up to 70% of their regular pay. Also, the University’s 2020 winter recess will now begin on Monday, December 21 rather than at noon on Thursday, December 24. The Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School adheres to Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Harvard University, and Harvard Law School directives and protocols. October 20, 2020 Dean Manning announced today that Harvard Law School will remain online for the Winter and Spring 2021 Terms due to increasing risks and uncertainties associated with the pandemic and seasonal interactions. Nevertheless, the entire Law School, including the Program in Islamic Law, will remain open and active virtually. Students will be provided with enhanced support through additional Teaching Fellow positions, new on-campus housing options for students encountering unexpected challenges, emergency dependent care support, renewed support for the Technology Assistance Fund, stipends for textbook shipping expenses for international students, student funding for printing course packs, and streamlining the class recording request process. The extension for students to apply for voluntary leaves of absence for Winter and Spring 2021 has been extended to December 1, 2020. For those facing challenges, please reach out to the Dean of Students Office or Counseling and Mental Health Services at Harvard University Health Services (HUHS). All HLS research programs remain committed to the work and to supporting the student experience by building an inclusive and equally accessible community of learning and service. The Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School adheres to Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Harvard University, and Harvard Law School directives and protocols. August 20, 2020 Harvard University has extended its prohibition on University-related domestic and international travel and continues to strongly discourage personal travel. Those who require travel for work directly and immediately related to the COVID-19 pandemic or that enables critical research activities may file for the petition process with the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs. The prohibition does not affect student and personnel returning to Cambridge/Boston for the purposes of regular work or moving into on-campus housing. All those traveling or returning to Massachusetts must comply with the Massachusetts Travel Order. The Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School adheres to Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Harvard University, and Harvard Law School directives. August 7, 2020 The Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School will continue to work entirely remotely through at least the end of the 2020 calendar year. For any students returning to campus, beginning August 16, recurring COVID-19 testing will be required. The University’s test results website details comprehensive next steps, including contact tracing in case of a positive test result. Timely communication is essential and all students, staff, and affiliates are asked to keep mobile phones and electronic devices powered and on hand. Please refer to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health as well as all Harvard University and Harvard Law School directives, particularly as regards travel arriving from outside of Massachusetts. June 15, 2020 Harvard Law School has announced that the Fall Term 2020 will be fully operational and online. The Program in Islamic Law will also remain fully operational as a virtual center. The Program will continue to follow Harvard University and Harvard Law School directives on reopening on-campus operations. Decisions as regard Spring Term 2021 have not been made. All COVID-19 related updates as concern the Program in Islamic Law will continue to be posted to this dedicated webpage. May 20, 2020 The May 19 Massachusetts reopening announcement by the Office of the Governor does not affect the current remote operations of the Program in Islamic Law. The Program will follow Harvard University and Harvard Law School guidance on reopening and operations. All COVID-19 related updates as concern the Program in Islamic Law will continue to be posted to this dedicated webpage. May 5, 2020 Please consult the Harvard University and Harvard Law School dedicated sites for updates on Covid-19, which we follow. Harvard University remains operational. The University will be open for the Fall 2020 semester in some form with it yet to be announced whether on-campus activities will resume. For Program in Islamic Law (PIL) specific updates, please check this dedicated PIL Covid-19 site. PIL Events & Activities: Although all in-person events are canceled until further notice, PIL continues to engage the University and global communities through online platforms with new content, podcasts, and remote learning. The SHARIAsource Portal and Islamic Law Blog have new content encompassing an expanded set of primary source content and new collections of Islamic law research—including weekly roundups from around the world on Covid-19 and Islamic law, scholarship roundups, and guest blog posts by leading and emerging scholars of Islamic law on new scholarship, pedagogy, and other recent developments in Islamic law. March 16, 2020 Program in Islamic Law Updates Please consult the Harvard University and Harvard Law School dedicated sites for updates on Covid-19, which we follow. For PIL-specific updates, please check this dedicated PIL/Covid-19 site. Events: All events are canceled until further notice, but podcasts featuring current fellows and recent book authors will be available later this semester. Updates will be posted through regular channels. Harvard Library Resources: As announced this week on the Harvard Libraries dedicated site for Covid-19 updates, all university libraries are closed, and all print-based services (including borrowing returns, and Scan & Deliver) are suspended until further notice. For Islamic and Middle Eastern law questions, library liaisons remain available for research consultations, general questions, and troubleshooting via email and Zoom; contact them at [email protected] or [email protected] They compiled the following advice for Harvard affiliates needing to access materials in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies at this time: Electronic Materials: There is a lot more now available online, either open access or via HarvardKey, than was available even just last week. Many of the publishers and vendors that provide our online resources are stepping up and offering free or expanded access during this time. It’ll be a good idea to get in the habit of doing a three-point check for any one item or topic: 1) HOLLIS, 2) the likeliest database, and 3) Google or your web search of choice. For remote access to Arabic monographs, this is a reminder that Arabic Collections Online can be a useful resource that provides access to scanned collection material. Please do consult our Guide for Harvard Middle East Collection for tips on searching: https://guides.library.harvard.edu/mideast. In addition to the generous Harvard resources, the Middle East Librarians Association (MELA) is also active and sharing resources and support. You can always send specific citations or topic-based requests my way and take advantage of our greater network of librarians that may be able to resource materials. Teaching Remotely: For instructors and faculty, please be in touch if you are missing course reserves, have upcoming assignments that require library research, or would like to offer a virtual library session via Zoom. Harvard Library has been gathering an inventory of Library resources and materials to support your remote classroom teaching: https://library.harvard.edu/how-to/use-library-resources-remote-teaching PIL Resources. The SHARIAsource Portal and the Islamic Law Blog will continue to operate and provide primary source content and scholarly context to various issues in Islamic law. This includes updates from around the world on Covid-19 & Islamic Law, weekly scholarship roundups, reviews of recent cases, and topical commentary by leading and emerging scholars of Islamic law who post as guest bloggers on new scholarship, pedagogy, and other recent developments in Islamic law or who provide material often of relevance to research interests or teaching use. March 11, 2020 Program in Islamic Law Updates Following Harvard University and Harvard Law School directives, in effect for the remainder of the semester, we are taking the following measures: Events: PIL will no longer hold scheduled events on campus during this period. For news on each event and other updates, please check this dedicated PIL/Covid-19 site. For events that PIL co-sponsors, please seek additional information from the principal event hosts. For out-of-state events, please follow University guidance in cancelling travel that may relate to the Program in Islamic Law; all University-related non-essential travel is prohibited both domestically and internationally through at least 4/30. Operations: PIL will continue our regular operations remotely, to the extent possible. Our offices and workspace will be closed for the remainder of the semester. If you have not already, please consult the University tools for remote access and work. Thank you for your patience as we deal with a rapidly changing situation. Please use your best discretion to take all precautions to stay safe and healthy.
VideoThe Program in Islamic Law hosted a live webinar to conclude and discuss the various contributions to the Roundtable on Islamic Legal History and Historiography! The Live Roundtable, which took place on Friday, March 5, 2021, takes stock of the state of scholarship on Islamic legal history and explores themes that emerged from the Roundtable that merited further scholarly attention. The first panel, "Social-historical studies: Legal texts as sources," featured Michael Cook, Najam Haider, Carl Petry, Yossef Rapoport, Marina Rustow, and Elizabeth Urban. This was followed by the second panel, "Doctrinal studies: Approaches to fiqh texts," which featured Ersilia Francesca, Rob Gleave, Haider Hammoudi, Marion Katz, and Sohaira Siddiqui. The final panel, "Quantitative methods: Computational approaches," featured Metin Cosgel, Bogac Ergene, Irene Kirchner, and PIL Faculty Director, Intisar Rabb.
OpportunitiesIslamic Law, Data Science, and AI Lab | Spring 2021 | Harvard Law School Convened by Intisar Rabb & Zahra Takhshid, Harvard Law School The PIL Islamic Law Lab seeks applicants interested in presenting or developing works in progress at the intersection of Islamic law and data science for the Spring 2021 Lab, with respect to their own research or to ongoing projects within our Lab. Specifically, our Lab will focus on emerging tools in the Islamic digital humanities / data science space, and to developing new components of our in-house data science tools: Courts & Canons: (1) creating historical gazetteers for the Islamic world, (2) ‘hacking the library’ to make bibliographic library searches in our field more useable and precise, and (3) better understanding and mapping Islamic legal genres. This Lab is also launching a research project on “AI Principles in Islam,” by which we aim to assess and develop ethical and legal guidelines that arise in AI from Islamic perspectives. Generally, research themes for which we seek proposals include research queries on Islamic law that make use of a data science/digital humanities tool, method, or a data set to answer novel questions in the fields of Islamic law or history; or algorithms, digital corpora, and other DH / data science tools (e.g., KITAB-project.org, e-Shia.ir, or others). We are open to a diverse set of research inquiries within these specific or general areas. Public lab sessions presenting research will last for one hour, consisting of a 15-20 presentation and 40-45 minutes Q&A. Additional lab lessons (by invitation) will be devoted to building tools native the Lab. We hope the Lab will facilitate students and collaborating scholars to produce publishable papers and data science tools over the course of the Spring semester. Selected work may be considered for publication opportunities on the Islamic Law Blog or the Journal of Islamic Law (research), and the SHARIAsource portal (tools). TO APPLY: Lab sessions will meet on the following dates, with 3 public sessions (for research) and 3 closed sessions (for project development): Feb. 1 (introductory meeting), 2/8, 2/22, 3/8, 3/22, 4/5, and 4/19. For interested students, please send a CV and statement of interest and background of no more than one paragraph (including reference to one of the specific listed above). For interested researchers: The deadline to submit your abstract or project proposal is February 5, 2021. Interested candidates should send a CV, abstract for a research paper (of no more than 800 words), and/or links to a website with an abstract representing your work. Submit applications through Formstack. For questions, contact Zahra Takhshid <[email protected]>.
VideoBook talk webinar video with Dr. Elias Saba (Grinnell College, Senior Lecturer, Departments of History and Religious Studies) speaking on his new book Harmonizing Similarities: A History of Distinctions Literature in Islamic Law. He was joined by discussant Professor Ahmad A. Ahmad (UCSanta Barbara) and moderator Dr. Sohaib Baig, a Research Fellow at the Program in Islamic Law.
NewsMarch NewsletterThe Program in Islamic Law's (PIL) monthly newsletter is out for the month of March! Content includes an overview of February's contributions to our Roundtable on Islamic Legal History & Historiography, including an essay by PIL faculty director, Professor Intisar Rabb, alongside many other contributions by scholars in the field, a highlight on our latest feature on the SHARIAsource portal, the new Online Companion to Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts, the latest Islamic Legal Genres lecture featuring Professor Mohammad Fadel, and much more. Subscribe to receive the newsletter every month! View previous newsletters which are packed with updates and research in the field of Islamic Law and Data Science.
NewsJanuary NewsletterThe Program in Islamic Law's (PIL) monthly newsletter is out for the month of January! Content includes a collection from our ongoing Roundtable on Islamic Legal History & Historiography, including an introduction by PIL faculty director, Professor Intisar Rabb, alongside many other contributions by scholars in the field, a highlight on our Islamic Law Blog's top five posts of 2020, the latest PIL Book Talk Webinar featuring Dr. Nathan Spannaus, and much more. Subscribe to receive the newsletter every month! View previous newsletters which are packed with updates and research in the field of Islamic Law and Data Science.
VideoBook talk webinar video with Dr. Nathan Spannaus (University of Jyväskylä) speaking on his new book Preserving Islamic Tradition: Abu Nasr Qursawi and the Beginnings of Modern Reformism. He is joined by moderator Dr. Sohaib Baig, a research fellow at the Program in Islamic Law.
VideoBook talk webinar video with Prof. Elizabeth Urban (WCU) speaking on her new book Conquered Populations in Early Islam: Non-Arabs, Slaves and the Sons of Slave Mothers. She was joined by discussant Prof. Matthew Gordon (Miami).
PodcastJoin the discussion with Professor Khaled Abou El Fadl (Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Distinguished Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law) on his book “Reasoning with God: Reclaiming Shari‘ah in the Modern Age” and his recent lecture at Harvard Law School titled "Islam in the Age of Fear". Available on the PIL podcast page and Soundcloud channel.
NewsletterDecember NewsletterThe Program in Islamic Law's (PIL) monthly newsletter is out for the month of December! Content includes a highlight on "PIL: Our Year in Review" which takes a closer look at our digital resources, such as our three major new projects set to soon launch: Courts & Canons (CnC), StackLife 2.0, and CorpusBuilder, the Online Companion to Mālik's Muwaṭṭaʾ, our series of a original podcasts, and Islamic Law Blog monthly editor pieces by Professor Omar Farahat and Student Editor Nikhil Goyal. Subscribe to receive the newsletter every month! View previous newsletters which are packed with updates and research in the field of Islamic Law and Data Science.