March 2020 Newsletter Screenshot

screenshot of PIL staff Zoom conference callNew Associate Director for a New EraThe Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School is pleased to announce that Mona Rahmani has joined the Program as our new Associate Director. Mona comes to Harvard with deep experience and vast background in data-driven research, international relations, and higher education administration. During these times of change and remote learning that come with a global pandemic, Mona will be critical to shaping new projects that both preserve the best of the old ways of sharing knowledge, and promise to change the way we think about building and sharing new types of knowledge by using innovative methods in digitization and data science. We are pleased to announce two new members of the PIL community as well: Sohaib Baig of UCLA will join us as an incoming 2020–2021 Research Fellow; Henry Shull has joined the team as the new Program Administrator. Our work goes on with gratitude and hope. We are grateful to be able to carry on the research and other exciting work that we do, with the addition of and a warm welcome to an expanding community with which to work. We are hopeful that we and the world will keep an eye on and help address the most vulnerable who lack good health, a safe haven, and secure work or access to resources. We look forward to working with all scholars and fellows, staff, and students in both veins. With best wishes that all keep healthy and safe and mindful during these times.~Intisar Rabb, Faculty Director


SHARIAsource search portalCONTENT: The Islamic Law of PandemicsOne objective of the SHARIAsource Portal is to facilitate a look at comparative Islamic law by providing quick access to multiple primary sources. We’ve collected advisory opinions (fatāwā) on responses to COVID-19 from various standpoints in Islamic law from around the world. This roundup documents some of the varied ways that governments and private institutions are invoking Islamic law to fashion pandemic emergency policies.


flattening the epidemic curveCONTEXT: How Is COVID-19 Affecting Islamic Law?Many countries have canceled jumuʿah (Friday prayers) in response to COVID-19. Imam Dr. Khalil Abdur-Rashid, Harvard University Muslim Chaplain and Instructor of Muslim Studies, Harvard Divinity School, offers an analysis of this decision based on Islamic law, featured in a two-part series on the Islamic Law Blog about different countries’ COVID-19 initiatives.


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