ILSS: Yusuf Celik

On Tuesday, October 19, 2021, PIL Data Science Fellow, Dr. Yusuf Celik, presented “Islamicate Digital Humanities and Redefining the Hermeneutical Circle in the Age of Data Science.” Noting that one of the most recognizable tropes in hermeneutics is undoubtedly the ‘hermeneutical circle,’ Celik argued that this has symbolized the dialectical nature of our understanding, namely that we understand the whole from its parts and […]

Islamic Legal Genres – Anas Sarmini

On September 29, 2021, Anas Sarmini (29 Mayis University, Istanbul) presented “Form, Function, and Historical Development of Ikhtilāf al-fuqahāʾ as a Genre.” Sarmini’s lecture described the historical development of ikhtilāf literature over three phases, and the influence of two intellectual currents in forging this genre of Islamic law. Ikhtilāf, or legal controversy, was an important way of articulating […]

Islamic Legal Genres – Walter Edward Young

On August 25, 2021, Walter Edward Young (McGill University) presented “Form, Function, and Historical Development of Genres of Juristic Dialectic.” Young discussed the topic of juristic dialectic, in Arabic, ʿilm al-jadal wal-khilāf, and he noted that premodern and modern Muslim scholars have discussed dialectical theories under the terms munāẓara and baḥth as well as. Young divides the process by which […]

Book Talk: Rachel Scott

On Tuesday, September 14th,  Professor Rachel Scott (Virginia Tech) spoke about her new book, Recasting Islamic Law: Religion and the Nation State in Egyptian Constitution Making (Cornell University Press, 2021). In her talk, Scott discusses the intersection of Islamic law, state law, religion, and culture in the Egyptian nation-building process. She highlights how  the sharia, when attached to constitutional commitments, is reshaped […]

Islamic Legal Genres – Christian Müller

On July 28, 2020, Christian Müller (CNRS – Paris) presented “Siǧillāt and the transformations of the qadis’ documents in Islamic law (10th-16th centuries).” He examined the genre of Ottoman sijills within the larger context of Islamic court records, offering a longue durée analysis of qāḍī court documents. An Ottoman sijill is a systematically archived court […]

Islamic Legal Genres – Maribel Fierro

On June 30, 2021, Maribel Fierro (CSIC- Madrid) presented “Fatawa compilations: exploring a legal genre in the Islamic West.” Fierro’s lecture examined trends of fatwā compilation in Andalusia and North Africa. Fierro argues that the Almohad period (1121-1269) produced only one fatwā compilation and that the presence of fatwā compilations is closely connected to two […]

Islamic Legal Genres – Samy Ayoub

On May 26, 2021, Samy Ayoub (University of Texas) presented “Creativity in Continuity: al-Rasa’il al-Fiqhiyya as a Genre for Legal Change.” Ayoub’s lecture expanded an ongoing conversation in the Islamic Legal Genre (ILG) lecture series about the ways in which a legal mode shapes the type of information a jurist can relay in writing. Ayoub […]

Islamic Legal Genres – Ahmed El Shamsy

On April 28, 2021, Ahmed El Shamsy (University of Chicago) presented “What kind of thing is a gloss (hashiya)?” El Shamsy’s lecture described the history, impact, and receptions of legal ḥāshiya literature, with a particular focus on Shāfiʿī law. El Shamsy describes German Orientalist Eduard Sachau’s (d. 1930) description of Shāfiʿī ḥāshiyas and their dominance […]

Islamic Legal Genres – Sohail Hanif

On March 31, 2021, Sohail Hanif (Cambridge Muslim College) presented “Form, Function, and Historical Development of the Sharḥ Literature as a Genre.” Hanif argued that this genre is the centerpiece of Islamic legal writing which contains a plethora of Islamic legal theory. He focused on four main points: the advantages of school specific studies, the […]

Islamic Legal Genres – Mohammed Fadel

On February 24, 2021, Mohammed Fadel (University of Toronto) presented “Form, Function, and Historical Development of Mukhtaṣar as a Genre.” Fadel’s lecture described the history, purpose, and nature of late medieval Mālikī mukhtaṣars. The mukhtaṣar as a genre allows jurists to tersely summarize their school’s positions, offering the Sunnī madhhab system a sense of cohesion […]