Workshops

The LAWALISI team host one-day workshops every two months whereby scholars working on Sunni and Shiite law come together and share their research results in an informal setting. This provides an opportunity for emerging and established scholars to mix and network and for scholars working on the two legal traditions to explore the diversity of the Islamic legal tradition. The workshops are often text-based with presenters leading the group through Arabic texts.

17th September 2020: Hawza Studies: Current Research, Future Development Online Workshop

This workshop was a gathering of scholars, many of whom have been part of the Hawza Project network a decade ago; research findings were updated, and new avenues of research were explored.  Rob Gleave presented a paper at this workshop titled, “Hawza and Haram: The Scholarly-Shrine Relationship”.  A programme is available here.

10th – 11th September 2020: Qajar Legal Sources Online Workshop

A collection of scholars from Japan, Iran, Germany, Britain and the US gave papers on the practice of law in 19th century Iran, looking at case studies as well as general trends.  Rob Gleave presented “Murder in Bushire Revisited” at this workshop. A programme is available here.

19th – 20th May 2020: The Study of Early Shīʿī Ḥadīth: Sources and Methodology Online Workshop

A collaborative workshop, convened online, with papers from Iran, Leiden and the UK, examining the sources of early Shīʿism. Rob Gleave presented a paper titled “Ibn al-Musayyib and the early development of Shīʿī legal hadith material” and Kumail Rajani presented  “Negotiating Historicity of al-Qāḍī al-Nuʿmān’s (d. 363/974) Sources: A Case Study of an Early Shīʿī Ḥadīth Collection, al-Kutub al-Jaʿfariyya”.  A programme is available here, and the texts of the abstracts available here.

May – July 2020: LAWALISI Fiqh and Uṣūl Discussions Groups During UK Lockdown

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, LAWALISI was unable to hold its usual, 2-monthly, text reading workshops.  In their place, the project convened two weekly 90 minute sessions – devoted to Fiqh and Uṣūl respectively.  Scholars drawn from a network of 30 researchers from across Europe and North America gathered online to read, analyse and discuss texts of fiqh and uṣūl.

20th – 21st February 2020: Historiographical Sources on Islamicate Judges.

The workshop aimed to present primary sources that provided information about the role of the judge in an Islamicate context from a variety of geographies (spanning North Africa to Iran), historical periods (11th-early 20th centuries CE), genres (fatwas, historical chronicles, legal decisions, biographies), communities (rural, urban, Bedouin, Sunni, Shiʿi), and languages (Arabic, Persian, and Hebrew). By doing so, participants got a better sense of the wide variety of sources available in understanding how Islamicate judges were depicted and how their roles were envisioned within various communities, as well as the historiographical challenges in approaching various genres with historical questions. Participants also gained a more comprehensive understanding of how various aspects of the judgeship changed or remained identifiably static over time.

Texts examined:

Kitāb al-marqaba al-ʽulyā fī-man yastaḥiqqu l-qaḍāʼ wa-l-futyā, al-Bunnāhī (Maribel Fierro)

Nawāzil of Ibn al-Aʿmish al-Shinqīṭī and Fatāwā al-Sharīf Ḥamā Allāh al-Tishītī fī’l-fiqh al-Mālikī (Ismail Warscheid)

Kitāb adab al-qaḍāʾ by Rav Hai b. Sherira Gaon and Kitāb lawāzim al-ḥukkām, Rav Samuel b. Ḥofni Gaon (Neri Ariel)

Geniza iqrār fragments (Sarah Islam)

Fatwā by Najm al-Dı̄n Ibrāhı̄m ibn ‘Alı̄ al-Ṭarasūsı̄, al-Fatāwā al-Ṭarasūsī, Anfaʿ al-Wasā’il fī Tahrīr al-Masā’il
(Evan Metzger)

A court record from the Ṭāhiriyya sharīʿa court in Shiraz, O. Reẓāʿī, Dar-āmadī bar asnād-i sharʿī-yi dawra-yi Qājār

a legal opinion of Muḥammad Ḥasan al-Mūsawī, O. Reẓāʿī, Panjāh u yak ʿariḍa wa ḥukm-i sharʿī;  and ḥukm of Muḥammad Ḥusayn Fishārakī, Ishkawarī, Asnād-i Mawqūfāt-i Iṣfahān v. 3
(Zahir Bhalloo)

Participants:  Rob Gleave (Director of LAWALISI project), Raha Rafii (LAWALISI Postdoctoral Research Fellow), Amin Ehteshami (LAWALISI Postdoctoral Research Fellow), Cameron Zargar (LAWALISI Postdoctoral Research Fellow), Kumail Rajani (LAWALISI Postdoctoral Research Fellow), Maribel Fierro (Visiting al-Qasimi Professor of Islamic Studies), Ismail Warscheid (Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Bayreuth), Neri Ariel (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Sarah Islam (PhD Candidate, Princeton University), Evan Metzger (PhD Candidate, UCLA), and Zahir Bhalloo (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Freie Universität Berlin). 

2nd – 3rd December 2019: Texts on al-Qawāʿid al-Fiqhiyya

This workshop was convened with the aim of examining Islamic legal maxims (al-Qawāʿid al-Fiqhiyya) as a genre independent to legal and legal theory works. The demarcation between these disciplines of Islamic law is blurred and hence the participants devoted substantial amount of time discussing the contours that define legal maxims. The workshop also engaged in discussing how Shiʿi scholars participated in the growing trend of Sunni qawāʿid works of thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and how this act participation was informed by the Sunni-Shiʿi scholarly discourse in the pre-Akhbari period before it started getting secluded in the Akhbari and post-Akhbari period of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We examined these issues through a series of critical al-Qawāʿid al-Fiqhiyya texts of Sunni and Shiʿi Islamic legal traditions.

Texts examined:

Bāqir al-Īrawānī, Durūs tamhīdiyya fī al-qawāʿid al-fiqhiyya & al-Shyakh al-Anṣārī, Farāʾid al-uṣūl (Kumail Rajani)

Shihāb al-Dīn al-Qarāfī, Kitāb al-furūq/Anwār al-burūq fī anwāʾ al-furūq (Mariam Sheibani)

al-Shyakh al-Anṣārī, Kitāb al-makāsib (Ahmad Arbaboun)

Zayn al-Dīn Ibn al-Nujaym, al-Ashbāh wa al-naẓāʾir (Sohail Hanif)

Shams al-Dīn al-ʿĀmilī al-Shahīd al-Awwal, al-Qawāʿid wa al-fawāʾid (Alex Hainy-Khaleeli)

Taqī al-Dīn Ibn Taymiyya, al-Qawāʿid al-nurāniyya al-fiqhiyya (Abdullah Sliti)

Participants: Rob Gleave (Director of LAWALISI project), Raha Rafii (LAWALISI Postdoctoral research fellow), Amin Ehteshami (LAWALISI Postdoctoral research fellow), Cameron Zargar (LAWALISI Postdoctoral research fellow), Kumail Rajani (LAWALISI Postdoctoral research fellow), Kubra Memis (PhD Candidate, University of Exeter), Mariam Sheibani (Research Fellow, Harvard Law School), Abdullah Sliti (Heythrop College), Ahmad Arbaboun (PhD Candidate, Universiteit Leiden), Alex Hainy-Khaleeli (PhD Candidate, University of Exeter), Muhammed Reza Tajri (PhD Candidate, Lancaster University & Lecturer, Al-Mahdi Institute), Sohail Hanif (Lecturer, Cambridge Muslim College).

12th – 14th October 2019: Kitāb and Sunna in Uṣūl al-Fiqh texts

The second of our biennial meetings with our colleagues from UC Berkeley (led by Professor Asad Ahmed) convened in Exeter, and then in Hungerford, to discuss the mechanisms whereby the Book (i.e. the Qur’an) and the Example of the Prophet (the Sunna) can be established as authoritative legal sources.  Justifying such clearly foundational elements of the notion of Shari’a was done through extended arguments and there were, as the workshop discovered, numerous disputes in the works of uṣūl al-fiqh from across the traditions.

Texts examined:

awāhir kitāb Allāh from Muḥammad Amīn al-Astarābādī, al-Fawāʾid al- Madaniyya and Muḥammad Ṣāliḥ al-Māzandarānī, Kawāshif al-Ḥujub ʿan Mushkilāt al- Kutub (Hassan Rezakhany)

Section on akhbār from Muʿtaqad al-Shīʿa (Amin Ehteshami)

Section on tawātur from Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī, al-Maḥṣūl and Shihāb al-Dīn al-Qārafī, Nafāʾis al-uṣūl on (Madeline Wyse,)

Ijtihād and Tarjīḥ from ‘Abdallāh b. al-Hājj Ibrāhīm al-‘Alawī, Nashr al-bunūd ‘alā marāqī al-su’ūd, Muḥammad al-Māmī, Kitāb al-Bādiya (Ismail Warscheid)

Al-naql bil-maʿnā from Mīrzā Abū al-Qāsim al-Qummī, Qawānīn al-Uṣūl (Cameron Zargar)

On reciting the Qurʾān in Persian from al-Tawḍīḥ ma‘a al-Talwīḥ, Nūr al-Anwār, Sharḥ al-Wiqāya,  al-Durr al-Mukhtār, Mir’āt al-Uṣūl, and Rūḥ al-Bayān (Sumayyah Bostan)

On the actions of the Prophet from Muḥibballāh al-Bihārī, Musallam al-thubūt (Asad Ahmed)

Ẓawāhir al-kitāb  from Akhund al-Khurasānī, Kifāyat al-uṣūl (Robert Gleave)

Participants: Rob Gleave (LAWALISI project, Exeter), Raha Rafii (LAWALISI project, Exeter), Kumail Rajani (LAWALISI project, Exeter), Cameron Zargar (LAWALISI project, Exeter) Amin Ehteshami (LAWALISI project, Exeter), Maribel Fierro (CSIS, Madrid/Exeter), Eric Chaumont (CNRS, Aix-en-Provence), Asad Ahmed (UC Berkeley), Hassan Rezakhany (UC Berkeley), Sumayyah Bostan (UC Berkeley), Madeline Wyse (UC Berkeley), Feriel Bouhafa (Cambridge), Ismail Warscheid (Beyreuth)

22nd – 23rd July 2019: Tarjīḥ and Ta‘āruḍ in Uṣūl al-Fiqh texts

The LAWALISI team and visitors from outside Exeter convened to discussed the mechanisms for resolving conflicts in indicators of the Law – when two reports, or a report and a verse from the Qur’an, or indeed any other combination of legal sources conflict.  The uṣūlīs expended much energy in finding mechanisms for resolving these conflicts, in part due to the potential challenge such conflicts posed to the integrity of the Shari’a and the unicity of God’s message.

Texts examined:

Bāb al-qawl fī tarjīḥ aḥad al-khabaryn ‘āla al-ākhir from Abū Isḥāq al-Shīrāzī, Kitāb al-Lumʿa (Robert Gleave and Éric Chaumont)

Qānūn al-Tarjīḥ from Mīrzā Abū al-Qāsim al-Qummī, Qawānīn al-uṣūl (Ali Reza Bhojani)

Bāb mā jāʿa ʿan al-salaf wal-ʿulamāʾ fī wujūb al-rujūʿ ilā ahl al-Madīna from Ibn al- Qaṣṣār, Muqaddima fī uṣūl al-fiqh  and al-Qāḍī ʿĪyāḍ, Tartīb al-Madāriq wa-taqrīb al-masālik and Abū al-Walīd al-Bājī, Kitāb al-Muntaqā Sharḥ al-Muwaṭṭaʾ (Maan Al-Dabbagh)

ḥaqīqat al-taʿāruḍ from Muḥammad Ridā al-Muẓaffar, Uṣūl al-fiqh (Seyed Fatemi)

Bāb al-qawl fī tarjīḥ iḥdā al-ʿillatayn ʿalā al-ukhrā from Abū Isḥāq al-Shīrāzī, Kitāb al-Lumʿa (Éric Chaumont)

Fī tazāhum al-istiṣḥābayn from Murtaḍā al-Fayrūzābādī, ʿInāyat al-uṣūl fī sharḥ kifāyat al-uṣūl (Hassan Rezakhany)

Participants: Rob Gleave (Director of LAWALISI project), Amin Ehteshami (LAWALISI Postdoctoral research fellow), Kumail Rajani (LAWALISI Postdoctoral research fellow), Raha Rafii (LAWALISI Postdoctoral research fellow); Maan Al-Dabbagh (Cambridge), Ahab Bdaiwi (Leiden), Ali-Reza Bhojani (Oxford), Éric Chaumont (Aix-en-Provence), Seyed Fatemi (Tehran), Majid Montazermahdi (Exeter), Hassaan Shahawy (Oxford), Rike Sinder (Freiburg), Hassan Rezakhany (UC Berkeley).

20th – 21st May 2019: Islamic Legal Case Materials

Colleagues from across Europe joined the LAWALISI team for two days of intensive discussion of documentary materials related to individual cases from different periods of Islamic history.  Each presenter assembled materials relating to cases, and these were read and analysed together to fully understand the dynamics of legal practice and thought.

Texts examined:

Properties acquired by illicit means, Ibn Rushd al-Jadd (Delfina Serrano)

From the office of qāḍī to jurist: Shiʻi judicial authority in 19th century Iran (Zahir Bhallo)

Al-Nasab and al-Istilḥāq: Cases from Morocco, 1374/1954 (Ari Schriber)

Three-year rule cases from Zaydi Yemen (Eirik Hovden)

Participants: Rob Gleave (Director of LAWALISI project, Exeter); Kumail Rajani (LAWALISI Postdoctoral researcher, Exeter); Amin Ehteshami (LAWALISI Postdoctoral researcher, Exeter); Ari Schriber (Harvard); Delfina Serrano (Madrid); Zahir Bhallo (Berlin); Eirik Hovden (Bergen); Ruud Peters (Amsterdam); Mahmood Kooria (Leiden); Omar Anchassi (Edinburgh); Nijmi Edres (Gottingen/Exeter)

30th March – 1st April 2019: Linguistic Postulates in Postclassical Uṣūl al-fiqh

We gathered for a special 3 day workshop on linguistic postulates, in cooperation with Professor Asad Ahmed of the University of Berkeley.  The discussions about language are fundamental to the way in which uṣūl al-fiqh writers construct their hermeneutic theory – but they are often the most obtuse and complex.  In this workshop we examined a range of texts, with a focus on the postclassical period.

Texts examined:

Buḥūth fī ʿilm al-uṣūl, Muḥammad Bāqir al-Ṣadr (Cameron Zargar)

Taʿrīf al-Ḥaqīqa wa-ḥukmuhā”, Nūr al-anwār Mullā Jīwan (Asad Ahmed)

Tark al-istifṣāl fīḥikāyat al-ḥāl maʿa qiyām al-iḥtimāl” al-Fāḍil al-Tūnī, ʿAbd Allāh b. Muḥammad al-Bushrawī al- Khurāsānī (d. 1071/1660), al-Wāfiyya fī uṣūl al-fiqh (Hadī Qazwini)

Fatḥ al-Ghifār bi-sharḥ al-Manār, Ibn Nujaym (Samy Ayoub)

“ī” Mafātīḥ al-Uṣūl, al-Sayyid Mujāhid al- Ṭabaṭabāʾī (d. 1248/1826), (Tehran, 1873, Lithograph, n.p.) p.44-52. (Robert Gleave)

al-Muṭlaq wal-MuqayyadNūr al-anwār Mullā Jīwan (Mustafa Baig)

Tanqīḥ of Ṣadr al-Sharī‘ah al-Maḥbūbī; Talwīḥ of al-Taftāzānī (Sumayyah Bostan)

Participants included: Asad Ahmed (Berkeley), Rob Gleave (Exeter), Mustafa Baig (Exeter), Hadi Qazwini (Los Angeles), Samy Ayoub (Austin), Cameron Zargar (Los Angeles), Sumeyyah Bostan (Berkeley), Hasan Rezakhany (Berkeley), Madeleine Wyse (Berkeley), Syed Shiraz Ali (Berkeley).

31st January – 1st February 2019: Qiyās in uṣūl and related genres

Analogical reasoning, and other hermeneutic mechanisms collected under the title qiyās, are much discussed in works of uṣūl – this workshop was convened to study a series of texts examining qiyās and linked forms of legal reasoning.

Texts examined:

The functioning of al-qiyās al-manṣuṣ al-‘illa
 From Sayyid Muḥammad al-Ṭabaṭabāʾī al-Mujāhid (d.1248/1826), Mafātīḥ al-uṣūl (Tehran, 1873 – lithograph), p.672 and p.678. (Rob Gleave)

Section on Dawarān, Burhān al-Dīn al-Nasafī (d. 687/1288). Al-Fuṣūl fī ʿIlm al-Jadal (Ms) and Section on Dawarān, Shams al-Dīn al-Samarqandī (d. 722/1322). Sharḥ Fuṣūl al-Nasafī (Wlater Edward Young).

Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-Ṭūsī, al-ʿUdda fī uṣūl al-fiqh (Qum, 2004), pp.666-668 and Sayyid Sārim al-Dīn Ibrāhīm b. Muhammad al-Wazīr, al-Fusūl al-Luʾluʾiyya fī Uṣūl Fiqh al-ʿItra al-Zakiyya (Mohammad-Payam Saadat-Sarmadi)

al-Ghazālī, al-Muṣṭaṣfā (Jeddah, n.d), p.494-510 (Ziad Bou Akl)

Ḥasan b. al-Shahīd al-Thānī, Maʿālim al-dīn, Muqaddima fī uṣūl al-fiqh (Qum, 1373AH), p.312-318 (Ali-Reza Bhojani)

Participants: Rob Gleave (Director of LAWALISI project), Paul Gledhill (LAWALISI Postdoctoral research fellow), Ziad Bou Akl (CNRS, Paris), Eric Chaumont (CNRS, Aix-en-Provence), Bruce Lawrence (Exeter/Duke), miriam cooke (Exeter/Duke), Walter Edward Young (Montreal), Ali-Reza Bhojani (Nottingham), Sejad Mekic (Exeter), Raha Rafii (Philadelphia), Azaher Miah (Oxford), Tariq al-Timimi (SOAS).

26th – 27th November 2018 

The complex attitudes towards menstruation in a variety of genres were explored in this workshop – touching on aspects of gender, ritual and the body, the text demonstrated how menstruation was understood socially and also in the context of texts of fiqh, fatwas and poetry.  The workshop demonstrated how much more work is needed to gain a comprehensive picture of how menstruation was viewed in terms of religion and literature in early Islam.

Texts examined:

Istibrā’ al-ḥā’iḍ and ma‘rifat damm al-ḥayd min dam al-istiḥāḍa from Muḥammad b. Ya‘qūb al-Kulaynī (d.939), al-Kāfī fī ‘ilm al-dīn (Robert Gleave)

Dīwān al-Ḥamāsa of Abū Tammām (d.845) and its commentaries: Sharḥ Dīwān al- Ḥamāsa of Abū ‘Alī al-Marzūqī (d.1030) and Sharḥ Dīwān al-Ḥamāsa of Abū Zakariyya al- Tabrīzī (d.1108) (Peter Webb)

Fatwa on waṭ’ al-ḥā’iḍ qabl al-ghusl from Majmū‘ al-Fatawā, Ibn Taymiyya (d.1328) and al-Tamhīd of Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (d.1071) (Antonia Bosanquet)

Laws on Menstruation in Tabṣirat al-muta‘allimīn of al-‘Allāma al-Ḥillī (d.1325) (Nazmina Dhanji)

Kitāb al-ḥayḍ from Badā’i‘ al-Ṣanā’i‘ of Abū Bakr al-Kāsānī (d.1191) (Moussa Abou Ramadan)

Participants: Rob Gleave (Director of LAWALISI project); Paul Gledhill (LAWALISI Project, Exeter); Antonia Bosanquet (Hamburg), Nazmina Dhanji (Al-Mahdi Institute), Moussa Abou Ramadan (Strasbourg), Peter Webb (Leiden), Ed Zychowicz-Coghill (Cambridge), Sumeyra Yakar (Exeter), Enise Yakar (Exeter), Sejad Mekic (Exeter), Mustafa Baig (Exeter).

7th – 9th October 2018: Texts of Ijmāʿ  in late classical uṣūl al-fiqh

We met for a longer workshop of 3 days as a collaborative meeting with Professor Asad Ahmed from UC Berkeley, and scholars from Berkeley, to discuss texts relating to consensus (ijmāʿ) in late classical Islamic legal theory (uṣūl al-fiqh).  The Shīʿī doctrine of ijmāʿ has, traditionally, been rather critical, arguing that the consensus of the scholars is of little value in itself – the principal proof is always the opinion of the Imam.  This has not prevented a doctrine of ijmāʿ which in places is quite similar to elements of Sunni doctrine emerging, since when all agree, the Imam’s opinion is revealed.  We explored these issues through a series of close texual studies over three days.

Texts examined:

Maʿālim al-Dīn of Ḥasan b. al-Shahīd al-Thānī and the Sharḥ Ma’ālim al-Dīn by Muḥammad Ṣāliḥ al-Māzandarānī (Robert Gleave)

Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī, al-Maḥṣūl fī ʿIlm al-uṣūl (Hassan Rezakhany)

 Asad Allāh al-Tūstarī, Kashf al-Qināʾ (Kumail Rajani)

 Muḥibbullah al-Bihārī, Musallam al-Thubūt (asad Ahmed)

 al-Bayḍāwī, Minhāj al-Wuṣūl (Sejad Mekic)

 Ḥusayn al-Burujirdī, Nihāyat al-uṣūl (Mehrdad Alipour)

 Ḥusayn al-Shawshāwī, Rafʿ al-Niqāb (Serdar Kurnuz)

 Muḥsin Fayḍ, Safīnat al-Najāt and Sayyid Muḥammad Mishkāt Mu‘taqad al-Imāmiyya (Amin Ehteshami)

Participants: Rob Gleave (LAWALISI, Exeter), Paul Gledhill (LAWALISI project, Exeter), Kumail Rajani (Exeter), Mehrdad Alipour (Exeter), Sejad Mekic (USPPIP, Exeter), Asad Ahmed (UC Berkeley), Hassan Rezakhany (UC Berkeley), Wissam Halawi (LAWALISI, Lausanne) Amin Ehteshami (UC Berkeley), Haroon Sidat (Blackburn Dar al-Uloom), Serdar Kernuz (Hamburg), Ziad Bou Akl (Paris), Mustafa Baig (Exeter).

23rd – 24th July 2018: Texts on Āmm and Khāṣṣ in Uṣūl al-Fiqh

In this workshop we studied texts relating to the general and the particular (‘Āmm and Khāṣṣ) in works of Islamic legal theory (uṣūl al-fiqh). We examined how God’s speech in revelation is understood by Muslim legal theorists to be general in linguistic form, but particular in meaning. The texts covered a wide time period, with the earliest being in the 11th century CE and the most recent being in the early 19th century and a range of legal traditions, enabling us to track themes through time and across confessional boundaries.

Texts examined:

al-Sharīf al-Murtaḍā, al-Dharī‘a ilā uṣūl al-sharīʿa (Tehran: University of Tehran, 1376Sh), v.1, 1, pp.237-238. (Rob Gleave)

Muḥammad b. Ḥasan al-Ṭūsī (d. 460/1068), al-‘Udda fī uṣūl al-fiqh (Qum: al- Muhaqqiq, 1417/1996-7), v.1, pp. 336-35. (Alex Hainy)

Abū Ya‘lā al-Ḥanbalī (d.458/1066), al-‘Udda fī uṣūl al-fiqh (Beirut: Dār al- Kutub al-ʻIlmīyah, 2002), pp.484-569 (selections).  (Rodrigo Adem)

Ibn Taymiyya (d. 728/1328), al-Tafsīr al-kabīr, (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyyah, 1408/1988), v.7, pp. 228- 231. (Abd al-Rahman Mustafa)

al-Qarāfī (d. 684/1285), Sharḥ Tanqīḥ al-fuṣūl, (Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1424/2004), pp. 321-325. (Abd al-Rahman Mustafa)

Mīrzā Qummī (d.1231/1815-16), Qawānīn al-Uṣūl (Beirut: Dār al-Murtaḍā, 1431/2010) , v.2, p.72-92. (Ali-Reza Bhojani)

Participants: Mahdiyyeh Abdulhussain; Rodrigo Adem; Najah Ahmad; Hassan Al-Bulushi, Omar Anchassi; Mustafa Baig; Alireza Bhojani; Rob Gleave (Director of LAWALISI project); Paul Gledhill (LAWALISI Project, Exeter); Alexander Hainy; Wissam Halawi (LAWALISI); Sohaira Siddiqui; Abd al-Rahman Mustafa; Kumail Rajani, Pooya Razavian.

10th – 11th May 2018: Texts on îjâb wa-qubûl in Islamic Marriage Law

This workshop aimed to see how rules on ījāb wa-qubūl have been developed and established by jurists in Islamic Marriage Law, and to explore to what extent it was constraining; but also, to examine, where possible, its potential basis in both uṣūl al-fiqhand uṣūl al-Dīn. We examined a series of legal texts written in three different contexts: Sunnī, Shīʿī and Druze. In addition, the concept of guardianship was analysed based on a series of early and premodern legal Islamic texts, as well as the doctrine of nikāḥ al-bāṭinin Ismaʿīlī theology. Draft translations were produced and discussed by participants.    

 Topics and texts examined:

 The theory of majlis al-ʿaqd in marriage contract” (Moussa Abou Ramadan)

 Kafāʾand guardianship in Ibn Taymiyya’s Majmūʿ al-fatāwa and al-Tarsūsī’s Anfaʾ al-wasāʾil” (Yossef Rappoport)

 Al-riḍā wa-l-taslīm in Druze Marriage Law” (Wissam H. Halawi) 

 Al-nikāḥ al-bāṭin in al-Tabarānā’s K. al-hāwā fī ʿilm al-fatawī” (Fârès Gillon)

 Guardianship in the Muṣannaf of ʿAbd al-Razzāq (d. 211/826)” (Hocine Benkheira)

 Taqdīm al-qabūl ʿala al-ījāb in Shīʿī jurisprudence: the al-Manāhil of al-Sayyid Mujāhid Muḥammad al-Ṭabaṭabāʾī (d.1242/1827)” (Robert Gleave)

Participants: Moussa Abou Ramadan (Strasbourg Univ.); Hocine Benkheira (CNRS, Paris); Fârès Gillon (EPHE, Paris); Robert Gleave (LAWALISI project); Paul Gledhill (LAWALISI project); Wissam H. Halawi (LAWALISI project); Yossef Rapoport (Queen Mary).

22nd – 23rd MARCH 2018: Texts on ZakātKhumsǦizya and taxation in Medieval Fiqh 

The aim of this workshop was to analyse how medieval and modern jurists elaborated rules on religious taxation in Islamic positive law. We examined a series of legal texts focussing on the sections on zakātkhums and ǧizya, and explored the contrasts between the treatment of these religious duties in different political contexts and legal traditions (Sunnī, Imāmī, Zaydī). The issues of translating this type of texts were discussed, with draft translations produced.

Topics and texts examined:

“Zaydī zakāt fiqh and the maʿūna tax” in Sīrat al-Imām al-Mutawakkil Aḥmad b. Sulaymān (d. 566/1171) and Maǧmūʿat rasāʾil al-Imām al-Manṣūr ʿAbdallāh b. Ḥamza (d. 614/1217) (Eirik Hovden)

Zakāt and ḫums in al-Muqniʿa of Shaykh al-Mufīd (d. 413/1022)” (Wissam Halawi)

“Recipients of zakāt in Riyāḍ al-Masāʾil of Al-Sayyid ʿAlī al-Ṭabatabāʾī (d. 1241/1816)” (Rob Gleave)

“Import tax in K. al-zakāt of the Hidāya” (Sohail Hanif)

The ǧizya in aḥkām ahl al-ḏimma of Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 751/1351)” (Antonia Bosanquet)

Participants: Mehrdad Alipour; Mustafa Baig; Antonia Bosanquet; Robert Gleave (LAWALISI project); Wissam Halawi (LAWALISI project); Sohail Hanif; Eirik Hovden; Kumail Rajani and Mohammad-Payam Saadat-Sarmadi.

22nd JANUARY 2018: Texts on Naskh in late classical Uṣūl al-Fiqh

In this workshop, we examined a series of late classical texts of Islamic legal theory, focussing on the sections on abrogation (naskh). The contrasts between the treatment of the subject in Sunni and Shīʿī legal traditions were explored, and the issues of translating this type of texts were discussed, with draft translations produced.

Texts examined:

Muḥammad Ḥusayn al-Ḥāʾirī (d.1250/1834), al-Fuṣūl al-Gharawiyya fī al-uṣūl al-fiqhiyya (Rob Gleave)

Badr al-Dīn al-Zarkashi (d.793/1392), al-Baḥr al-Muḥīṭ fī uṣūl al-fiqh (Kuwait, 1992CE), v.4, p.63-76. (Najah Ahmed)

Mullā Jīwan (d. 1130/1718), Nūr al-Anwār sharḥ al-anwār (Sadiqabad, 1419AH),  v.1, p.589-604. (Mansur Ali)

Mīrzā Abū al-Qāsim al-Qummī (d.1231/1816), al-Qawānīn al-Maḥkama fī al-uṣūl al-matqana (Qum, 1430AH), v.3, pp.2-14. (Ali-Rida Rizek)

Participants: Asad Q. Ahmed, Najah Ahmed, Mansur Ali, Mehrdad Alipour, Omar Anchassi, Philipp Bruckmayr, Feriel Bouhafa, Rob Gleave (LAWALISI project), Paul Gledhill (LAWALISI project), Wissam Halawi (LAWALISI project), Majid Montazermahdi and Walter Edward Young.

27th- 28th NOVEMBER 2017: Ḥadīth and Law in Early Islam

Our aim at this workshop was to explore topics related to the development of ḥadīth and Islamic law in the 8th and 9th centuries, especially rijāl criticism, legal historiography, the relation of fiqh to ḥadīth and evidence of interaction between the Sunni and Shiʿi legal traditions. We were fortunate to attract contributions from the following scholars:

Criticism of transmitters in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries AH: The terms kadhdhāb and madār (Pavel Pavlovitch, Sofia)

Statistical analysis of isnāds as a method for determining the provenance, and the currency in time and place, of legal rules in the 8th century CE (Hiroyuki Yanagihashi, Tokyo)

Ibn Abī Laylá (d. ca. 148/765‐6) in biography, ḥadīth criticism, and early ḥadīth collections (Paul Gledhill, Exeter)

How early biographical dictionaries from the Islamic West (al-Andalus and Ifriqiya) represent the ahl al‐ḥadīth and ahl al‐raʾy; Baqī b. Makhlad, Ibn Waḍḍāḥ, and the merging of raʾy and ḥadīth; how the legal doctrine regarding Q. 4:35 (the two arbiters) reflected the Sunni/Shīʿī divide (Maribel Fierro, Madrid)

The controversy over reciting the Qurʾan with tones (al‐qirāʾah bi‐l‐alḥān(Christopher Melchert, Oxford)

The use of ḥadīth in the work of early Arabic grammarians (Monique Bernards, Leuven)

The epistolary practice of the Imams and their agents, and the masāʾil genre as a bridging mechanism between the practical mechanics of Imamic legal authority and the preservation of Imamic hadith for posterity in the form of books; the use of reports of the Imams to trace the development of the doctrine of khums (Ed Hayes, Leiden)

Other participants: Rob Gleave (Exeter), Wissam Halawi (Exeter) and John Nawas (Leuven).

9-10 OCTOBER 2017: The relationship of Uṣūl to Furūʿ in Islamic Legal Traditions

In this workshop, we selected a principle of interpretation as found explicated in a work of uṣūl, and then explored its application in a work of fiqh. The relationship between uṣūl and furūʿ varied from constant explicit reference to uṣūl in fiqh writings, to an absence of reference, with legal reasoning being driven by other concerns.

Texts examined:

Ibn Ḥazm on whether the imperative applies to both men and women (Tariq Al-Timimi)

Abū al-Qāsim al-Khūʾī on the Form of the Imperative and Consensus (Hadi Rizvi)

Ibn Rushd on contradictory indicators (Serdar Kurnaz)

Al-ʿAllāma al-Ḥillī on preference between reports and classification of things before revelation (Ali Rida Rizek)

Participants: Tariq Al-Timimi, Mustafa Baig, Rob Gleave, Paul Gledhill, Wissam Halawi, Serdar Kurnaz, Tayyeb Mimouni, Ali Rida Rizek, Hadi Rizvi, Abdullah Sliti, Enise Yakar and Sumeyra Yakar.

17-18 JULY 2017: Uṣūl al-fiqh and linguistic interpretation

We discussed how uṣūlīs conceived of how language came into being and how it is used in revelatory texts. Whether there are conceptions of language specific to theological traditions, or whether the techniques of exegesis are used or discarded inconsistently was also a topic of discussion.

Texts examined:

Al-Ghazālī, al-Mustaṣfā min ʿilm al-uṣūl (Rana Alsoufi)

Muḥammad Riḍā al-Muẓaffar, Uṣūl al-fiqh (Alireza Bhojani)

Ibn ʿAqīl, al-Wāḍiḥ fī uṣūl al-fiqh (Feriel Bouhafa)

Muḥammad Bāqir alaṢadr, Durūs fī ʿIlm al-uṣūl, al-Ḥalaqa al-Thālitha (Alexander Hainy)

Fakhr al-dīn al-Rāzī, al-Maḥṣūl fī ʿilm uṣūl al-fiqh (Nora Kalbarczyk )

Participants: Najah Ahmed, Abdullah Alobaid, Rana Alsoufi, Alireza Bhojani, Ziad Bou Akl, Feriel Bouhafa, Rob Gleave, Paul Gledhill, Alexander Hainy, Wissam Halawi, Nora Kalbarczyk, Kumail Rajani, and Hadi Rizvi.

22-23 MAY 2017: Quran and Legal Interpretation

In this workshop, we examined the legal interpretation of specific Quranic verses, and both the common and unique methods of interpretation in Sunni and Shīʿī legal texts. How jurists derived legal rulings derived from Quranic verses was the principal focus of our discussions.

Texts examined:

Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, Kitāb 55, Bābs 8-10. Re; 4.11 (Belal Abo-Alabbas)

Al-Qurtubī, al-Jāmiʿ lil-Aḥkām (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlimyya), vol.5, p.168f – re:Q4.34 9 (Karen Bauer)

Aḥmad b. Ismāʿīl al-Jazāʾirī (d.1151/1738-9), Qalāʾid al-Durar fī bayān aḥkām al-Qurʿān bil-athar (Qum: Maktabat al-Nashr al-Islāmī, 1332AH), v.2, p.368f; re: Q2.283 (Alex Hainy-Khaleeli)

Al-Shaykh al-Ṣadūq Ibn Bābawayh, Man Lā Yaḥduruhu al-faqīh (Beirut: Muʾassasat al-aʿlamī, 1406/1986), v.3, p.299f. Concerning mutʿa, citing Q24.3; 66.3. (George Warner)

Participants: Belal Abo-Alabbas, Mustafa Baig, Karen Bauer, Rob Gleave, Paul Gledhill, Alex Hainy-Khaleeli, Robert Hoyland, Jewel Jalil, Zarangez Karmova, Tayyeb Mimouni, Hadi Rizvi and George Warner.

13-14 MARCH 2017: Uṣūl texts workshop: Texts on Khabar al-Wāḥid

In this workshop, we read texts relating to the authoritativeness or probative force of isolated traditions (ḥujjiya khabar al-wāḥid), looking particularly at epistemological issues. Broadly speaking, many of the assumptions of the disputes around khabar al-wāḥid were shared between the traditions examined in the workshop.

Texts examined:

Ibn Ḥazm, al-Iḥkām, p.104-119 (Tariq Al-Timimi)

Al-Ghazālī, al-Mustaṣfā, p.219-228 (Ziad Bou Akl

Al-Tūnī, al-Wāfiyya, p.2-11 (Mehrdad Alipour)

Al-Muẓaffar, Uṣūl al-fiqh, p.79-82 (Hashim Bata)

Participants: Najah Ahmed, Omar Anchassi, Tariq Al-Timimi, Mustafa Baig, Hashim Bata, Alireza Bhojani, Ziad Bou Akl, Rob Gleave, Tayyeb Mimouni and Abdullah Sliti.

30-31 JANUARY 2017: Ḥadīth and Fiqh Texts

How law is derived from the hadith corpus is intimately linked to the development of particular conception of Sunna. The legal rules found in hadith reports whether ascribed to the Prophet, early authorities or the Shīʿī Imams are subject to differing treatments across the traditions. In this workshop we compared the mechanisms of how fiqh is derived from hadith, and the status of hadith as a legal source in the selected texts.

Texts examined:

al-Tahāwī, Sharḥ mushkil al-Āthār (Azaher Miah)

al-Zuhrī, Mukhtaṣar (introduction) (Paul Gledhill)

Imāmī Khums traditions (Ed Hayes)

Shīʿī writers on the adhān (Kumail Rajani)

Participants: Belal Abo-Alabbas, Tariq Al-Timimi, Omar Anchassi, Mustafa Baig, Rob Gleave, Paul Gledhill, Wissam Halawi, Ed Hayes, Jewel Jalil, Zarangez Karimova, Tayyeb Mimouni, Kumail Rajani and Abdullah Sliti.

14-15 November 2016: Uṣūl texts workshop: Texts on Ijmāʿ

The doctrine of ijmāʿ represents one of the major points of difference between Sunni and Shīʿī legal theorists. In this workshop, we examined the justifications for the doctrine of consensus in the two traditions, and how some scholars have proposed theories which aim to create common ground between the two traditions.

Texts examined:

Bāqir al-Ṣadr, Durūs fi ʿilm al-uṣūl, v.3, 158-165 (Alireza Bhojani)

Shāshī, Uṣūl al-Shāshī, 208-212 (Mansur Ali)

Ibn Qudāma, Rawḍat al-Naẓar, 160-163 (Abdullah Sliti)

Taftazānī, al-Talwīh ʿalā al-Tanqīh, v.2, 116-122. (Najah Ahmed)

Participants: Najah Ahmed, Mansur Ali, Omar Anchassi, Mustafa Baig, Alireza Bhojani, Rob Gleave, Tayyeb Mimouni, Abdullah Sliti and Tariq Al-Timimi.

Slot for giving zakat at the Zaouia Moulay Idriss II in Fez, Morocco

Naskh calligraphy

The declaration of Shi’ism as the state religion of Iran by Shah Ismail -Safavids dynasty 

The first Sura Al-Fātiha from a Qur’an manuscript by Hattat Aziz Efendi

Qur’an cover by Crystallina

Yunus-Emre-Brunnen, in Wien-Vienna, Austria. Quran inscription, Arabic calligraphy in Naskh style, as applied art in architecture.

Hadith books

Tilings of a Hadith on a Wall at Nishapur by Jamal Nazareth

Scallop shell inscribed with verses from the Qur’an in Nasta’aliq, Naskh, and Kufic scripts, Hindustan or Iran, first half of 17th century AD, mother of pearl – Aga Khan Museum – Toronto, Canada

Naskh calligraphy artwork, Iran – 1829