From the Acting Executive Director Greetings! This past year marked the 20th anniversary of the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School, and it is my pleasure to share its highlights with you. As usual, a variety of academic activities, including ILSP fellows’ lectures, seminars, forums, and panel discussions, took place during the year, as well as efforts to engage with various departments across Harvard and with colleagues and organizations outside of the University. Read more


Abd Al-Razzaq Al-Sanhuri Lecture Series On Modern Muslim societies are now facing the challenge of applying Shari‘a to contexts that have changed markedly from those that existed during the early decades of Islam. The current Islamic legal system has gone through periodic changes of growth and renewal that have not kept up with the rapid developments of the legal system in the world today. Despite reform and revitalization efforts to adapt Islamic law to contemporary issues, various Islamization and harmonization theories remain insufficient, and new challenges are continually forming. Much of the contemporary research in this field focuses primarily on the harmonization of legal systems. However, the effort should go beyond harmonization, through unified efforts from all Islamic agencies. In her lecture for the Abd alRazzaq al-Sanhuri Lecture Series on Legal Interpretation in the Muslim World, “Islamic Legal System and the Quest for Transformation in the 21st Century,” Professor Zaleha Kamaruddin, Rector of the International Islamic University Malaysia, argued that efforts to reform Islamic law should go beyond the harmonization of legal systems, harnessing unified efforts from all Islamic agencies. Read more


Islamic Finance Project  The Tenth Harvard University Forum on Islamic Finance was held at Harvard Law School on March 24 and 25, 2012. This forum is a biennial event organized by IFP to engage practitioners, scholars, and students of Islamic finance in a critical discussion of the latest developments in the field. This year’s forum, entitled “Islamic Finance and Development,” included three plenary sessions on global economic development, the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and faith-based investment and social responsibility. It also included two distinguished banquet speeches and four parallel sessions discussing various contemporary issues on Islamic finance and development. Read more


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