Call for Papers: Journal of Islamic Law Special Issue

The Journal of Islamic Law invites papers that explore encounters between Islamic law and other legal traditions from the 18th through mid-20th centuries. Scholarship on encounters mostly focuses on colonial history, presenting a defeating view of shari’a, seen as having “died” against the intruding forces of colonialism. Indeed, European colonialism greatly affected the operation of Islamic law. Colonial officials, targeting the ulema and the courts, transformed the foundational practices and institutions on which the Islamic legal tradition rested. Yet, it is worth revisiting how Islamic law operated given its flexible nature and the agency of its actors. For example—with some exceptions—we know little about processes of negotiation, dependence, borrowing, jurisdictional jockeying, forum shopping, and entanglements between Islamic legal practices and those of other legal systems. Furthermore, a scholarly understanding of encounters between Islamic law and other legal traditions would greatly benefit from explorations of other regional and temporal spaces—and not just European colonialism—where legal encounters unfolded. This special issue is interested in hosting works on such legal encounters broadly from the 18th to the mid-20th century. Thematically, it seeks to present scholarship that looks at metamorphosis, borrowing, and dialogue between Islamic law or shari’a and other legal traditions in the context of foreign/external influences, colonial powers, and imperial interactions.

We seek articles of up to 25,000 words. To signal interest, please submit a proposed title and abstract of 250-500 words by November 18, 2022, using our online submissions portal. Once accepted, soon thereafter, the deadline for the submission of full drafts is February 1, 2023, after which we will go through a process of peer review, a final decision on acceptance, and editing and publication. This special issue of the Journal of Islamic Law is edited by Dilyara Agisheva ([email protected]), Research Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Program in Islamic Law, and will be published in Spring/Summer 2023. For further questions, please contact us at [email protected].