Islamic Law in the Law of National States in the Middle East and Southeast Asia Under this title I organized, on March 26 and 29, 2010, a workshop that discussed the place of Islamic law in the national codes of states with predominantly Muslim populations in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. What place do their codes assign to Islamic law? As none of the states concerned—with the exception of Turkey—declares itself to be a secular state, they can all claim that the law they enact is the law of an Islamic state and therefore Islamic law, even if the dependence of the codes on Western models often is obvious. The question is how the states’ claim to create new “Islamic law” affects the interpretation of the content of their codes that seem to be entirely “Western” and distinct from classical Islamic fiqh. Read more


Parting Words from the Acting Director On July 1, 2010, I ended my tenure as Acting Director of the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School and took over the directorship of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. As of July 1, Dr. Nazim Ali will be the Acting Executive Director of ILSP.

These changes in the directorship will not diminish the important potential that ILSP has as a center for research on Islamic legal history, as a forum in which members of the legal profession of Muslim countries (the judiciary, legal practitioners, and law professors) can meet and discuss questions of common interest with members of the American legal profession. ILSP will continue to be a common ground for visiting research fellows from countries with different cultural and religious backgrounds who come to Harvard to provide, through their research, a better understanding of the development of Islamic law past and present. ILSP and its Islamic Finance Program have established a solid reputation as one of the meeting points of scholars and practitioners in this field.


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