17th – 18th June 2022: Rob Gleave at the “Canon or Code? Standardising and Transmitting Islamic Law” Conference, Bergen

Rob Gleave was a speaker in the closing panel discussion of the “Canon or Code? Standardising and Transmitting Islamic Law” conference, part of the Cancode project, led by Professor Eirik Hovden. A report on the conference can be found here.

14th – 16th June 2022: Rob Gleave speaks on “When Can You Reject the Literal Meaning? Answers from Early Muslim Legal Hermeneutics”

Rob Gleave presented at a conference in honour of Professor Jon Whitman on the occasion of his retirement. The conference, drawing on Professor Whitman’s ground-breaking work on the `notion of the literal sense, Rob Gleave presented his own appreciation of Professor Whitman’s framework in his lecture “When Can You Reject the Literal Meaning? Answers from Early Muslim Legal Hermeneutics”.

27th – 29th May 2022: Rob Gleave speaks at the Inaugural Conference of the Working Group for the Islamic Philosophy of Law

Rob Gleave gave the opening lecture of the Inaugural conference of the Working Group for the Islamic Philosophy of Law, led by Professor Serdar Kurnaz at the Humboldt University, Berlin. His talk was titled: “Legal Judgements and Moral Assessments: How does usul al-fiqh conceptualise the law/morality distinction?” Details of the conference can be found here.

20th – 21st May 2022: International Society for Islamic Legal Studies: Shiite Legal Development Panel chaired by Rob Gleave

Rob Gleave chaired a dedicated panel to Shiite legal developments at the ISILS conference held at the Agha Khan University, London. The panel included presentations from LAWALISI team member George Warner and long-time LAWALISI collaborator Hadi Qazwini. Details here.

21st February 2022: Kumail Rajani: “Shi’i Legal Tradition of India in the 18th and 19th Centuries”, Dynamics of Law across the Indian Ocean, Oman

Kumail’s presentation examined the Shiʿi legal tradition of India in the 18th and 19th centuries and whether it is a distinct tradition (madrasa) that is increasingly becoming popular in the secondary literature. By analysing the legal works in South India (Deccan) and North India (Lucknow), he demonstrated that the debates between Usulis and Akhbaris in India are reflections of their debates in the shrine cities of Iraq. 

23rd January 2022: Kumail Rajani: “A non-living mujtahid has no opinion”, Exeter – Berkeley Text Reading Workshop

Kumail Rajani presented his translation (along with his comments) of a treatise entitled Risālat fī jawāz taqlīd al-mayyit by Aḥmad b. Muḥammad al-Ardabīlī (d. 993/1585), popularly known as al-Muqaddas al-Ardabīlī. It concerns the then hotly debated topic of permissibility (or otherwise) of following the legal opinions of a mujtahid who is no longer alive.

20th January 2022: Rob Gleave:  “Must a Caliph be Popular? The Theological and Legal Ramifications of early Muslim Leadership Selection”

Rob Gleave gave a guest lecture at the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion in their “Voting the Divine?” lecture series, exploring the links between religion and democratic ideals.

15th January 2022: Rob Gleave presents “Law, Politics and Magic in Islam: The Strange Case of Mirza Muhammad Nishaburi”

Rob Gleave delivered a guest online lecture at the University of Calgary, Canada as part of the Department of Religion and Classics lecture series. You can watch the lecture online here.

9th December 2021: Rob Gleave presents at the journée d’étude “le Terme Maʿnā dans la tradition arabe” held at Paris Diderot University

Rob Gleave on “The maʿnā/murād distinction in Shī’ī ușūl al-fiqh” at this colloquium organised by Drs Miriam Rogasch and Lucie Tardy of the Université: Paris Diderot as part of a longer term project on the term maʿna in Islamic thought.

1st December 2021: Rob Gleave contributes to Online Roundtable: Genre as a tool for Understanding Islamic Law

Rob Gleave participated in the online roundtable hosted by the Harvard Program in Islamic Law, the University of Munster and the University of Istanbul. Details of the event can be found here.

25th November 2021: Rob Gleave delivers the Carsten Neibuhr Lecture, Copenhagen: Shi’ism, Sunnism and the Idea of Islamic Orthodoxy

Rob Gleave, recipient of the first Carsten Neibuhr prize delivered this lecture at the Davids Collection, in collaboration with the University of Copenhagen. Details can be found here.

17th June 2021: LAWALISI convenes a panel for the British Association of Islamic Studies

LAWALISI convened a panel as part of BRAIS’s online series titled Law and Authority in Shi’ite Islam with contributions from LAWALISI fellows Raha Rafii (“Envisioning the Medieval Judge in the Genre of Adab al-qāḍī: The Protocol of the Judge.”), Kumail Rajani (“Even if the Prophet did not Say it”) and Cameron Zargar (“Marja’iyya between law and laity: the requirements of jurists as imagined by their followers“).

5th March 2021: Harvard Islamic Law Blog Roundtable Event

Rob Gleave participated in the Harvard Law School’s Islamic Legal Studies programme online roundtable event. The event included over 20 international contributors discussing the latest development in the field of Islamic legal studies. Details here.

10th December 2021: Rob Gleave’s Harvard Islamic Law Blog published

Rob Gleave’s blog post “Shīʿī law/Islamic Law: Some Category Problems” has been published: . In it he examines how the field has struggled to include Shīʿī legal developments in the general narrative of Islamic legal development.

24th October 2020: Karbala Heritage and Its Position in the Islamic Library

Rob Gleave presented at an online conference organised by The Karbala Heritage Center of the Shrine of Abbas (al-ʿAtaba al-ʿAbbāsiyya) in Karbala, Iraq.  The conference title was “Karbala Heritage and Its Position in the Islamic Library” (al-Turāth al-Kabalāʾī wa-makānatuhu fī al-Ma;taba al-Islāmiyya) with the paper “The End of Akhbarism and the Beginning of Usulism in Karbala: The Bahrani-Bihbahani Relationship”.

22nd October 2020: Role of Religious Knowledge in Humanities and Social Sciences

Rob Gleave presented at an online conference organised by the Research Institute of Hawzah and University in Qum, Iran.  The conference was titled “Role of Religious Knowledge in Humanities and Social Sciences”. Rob Gleave’s presentation was: “Wittgenstein, Epistemology and the Akhbari Usuli Dispute in Shii Islam”.

3rd June 2020: 8th Annual AMI Contemporary Fiqhi Issues Workshop

Rob Gleave, in collaboration with Dr Shuruq Naguib of Lancaster University, gave a joint presentation titled “Menstrual Questions: Purity and Gender in Islam” at the 8th Annual AMI Contemporary Fiqhi Issues Workshop on “The Regulation of Purity (Ṭahāra) and Impurity (Najāsa) in Islam: Practical, Socio-Ethical and Theological Implications”.

11th December 2019: The Role of the Holy Spirit in Fayḍ Kāshānī’s Hermeneutics

Amin Ehteshami gave a lecture titled “The Role of the Holy Spirit in Fayḍ Kāshānī’s Hermeneutics” as part of the LUSSI series at Leiden University in the Netherlands.  More details here.

25th November 2019: Early Shiite Law and the Construction of the Shari’a

Rob Gleave gave a presentation titled “Early Shiite Law and the Construction of the Shari’a” at Harvard Law School as part of their visiting lecture series.

18th – 20th September 2019: Journées d’étude: Le droit musulman

Rob Gleave presented on “Shī‘ī legal Theory in Historical Context” at the study sessions Journées d’étude: Le droit musulman at the Université de Strasbourg.

4th – 6th July 2019: Contingency, Ambiguity and Casuistry New Approaches to the Study of Ethics in the Islamic Traditions

Rob Gleave presented his paper “Moral Qualities and Normative Assessments: The Relationship between Rational Ethics and the Five Legal Categories in Post- Classical Imāmī Shī‘ī Legal Theory” at the fascinating conference Contingency, Ambiguity and Casuistry New Approaches to the Study of Ethics in the Islamic Traditions organised by Dr Feriel Bouhafa at the University of Cambridge.  Information on this excellent conference is available here.

28th – 30th April 2019: Islamic-Byszantine Border: From the Rise of Islam to the Fall of Constantinople

Rob Gleave gave a paper at the conference:  “Islamic-Byszantine Border: From the Rise of Islam to the Fall of Constantinople”, at the University of Notre Dame.  His paper was titled, “Empire and Emperor: Malik al-Rūm and Mulk al-Rūm in Shīʿī ḥadīth literature.”

9th April 2019: 15th Martyrdom Spring International Cultural Festival

Rob Gleave, at the invite of the Shrine of Abu al-Fadl Al-‘Abbas, Karbala, participated in the Spring Martyrs Festival in the Abbas Shrine and also in the Shrine of Imam Husayn.  Amongst the many appointments during his stay, he also visited the Imam Khoei Foundation headquarters in Najaf, and discussed possible future collaborations.

22nd – 23rd February 2019: Prophetic Traditions Materialized: Dimensions of Ḥadīth Manuscripts

The LAWALISI project presented 2 papers at the workshop held at the “Prophetic Traditions Materialized: Dimensions of Ḥadīth Manuscripts” Workshop held at the Center for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, Hamburg University:

Kumail Rajani (Exeter): Collection to Codification: Qāḍī Nuʿmān’s (d. 363/974) Encounter with Ḥadith

Robert Gleave (Exeter): The Formation of the Shīʿī Ḥadīth Canon: Manuscript Commentaries on the Four Books in Safavid and Qajar Iran.

24th – 25th January 2019: Acts of Protection in the early Islamic Empire

Rob Gleave presented a paper titled “Protection and Immunity in the exchanges of the Shi‘ite Imams” at the workshop “Acts of Protection in the early Islamic Empire, held at the University of Leiden.

3rd – 4th December 2018 The Ḥanafī School: History, Transformations and Future

Rob Gleave presented a paper titled “Abū Hanīfa, Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq and the beginnings of Islamic Legal Theory” at The Ḥanafī School: History, Transformations and future, 3-4 December 2018, convened by Professor Samy Ayoub during his tenure as visiting fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study.

14th – 15th November 2018: Approaching Shii Islam in the Academy 

Rob Gleave gave the keynote lecture at the conference “Approaching Shii Islam in the Academy” held at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, convened by the Leiden University Shi’i Studies Initiative (LUSSI).  His lecture examined Shii contribution to the early developement of Islamic legal thought and was titled, “Normalising the Study of Shiʿism: Shiʿi Contributions to the Formation of Islamic Law“.

3rd – 5th October 2018: The Renaissance of Shiʿi Islam in the 15th–17th Centuries: Facets of Thought and Practice”

Rob Gleave participated in the conference The Renaissance of Shiʿi Islam in the 15th–17th Centuries: Facets of Thought and Practice” at the Institute of Ismaili Studies.  He spoke on how the popular work of Shīʿī legal theory (uṣūl al-fiqh), the Maʿālim al-Dīn of Ḥasan b. al-Shahīd al-Thānī (d.1602-3) established itself as the principal work of legal theory in scholarly circles in the Safavid period.

5th – 6th July 2018: Past, Present and Future of Shi’i Ijtihad

Rob Gleave participated in the “Past, Present and Future of Shi’i Ijtihad” at the Al-Mahdi Institute in Selly Oak, Birmingham. More details on the workshop can be found here. His paper was titled ” The controversy around ijtihad in matters of belief”.

11th June 2018: Iranian World from the Sassanians to Islam
Rob Gleave delivered the lecture, “”Rule over them as you do the People of the Book””: Zoroastrians and Zoroastrian customs in early Islamic legal sources” as part of the Iranian World from the Sassanians to Islam at the University of Oxford.
9-11th April 2018: LAWALISI Panel – British Association for Islamic Studies (BRAIS) Conference

The LAWALISI project team gathered at the 2018 BRAIS conference to present their research in a specially convened panel.  The team of Rob Gleave, Wissam Halawi and Paul Gledhill were joined by Kumail Rajani, a regular participant in project events and a PhD student at the University of Exeter.  Here is the programme extract:

Law, Authority and Learning in Early Shī’ī Law

Chair: Rob Gleave (University of Exeter)

Rob Gleave (University of Exeter) Early Shī`ī Law in Wider Perspective

Paul Gledhill (University of Exeter) Some legal opinions attributed to early Shīʿī authorities in the Ishrāf ʿalá madhāhib al-ʿulamāʾ of Ibn al-Mundhir (d. 318/930)

Wissam Halawi (University of Exeter) Khums in Early Shīʿī Jurisprudence

Kumail Rajani (University of Exeter) Shi`ite Schools of Law in Comparative Perspective: Zaydi, Isma`ili and Imami Legal Doctrine

The panel was very well-attended and the project team welcomed a further opportunity to explore their research with researchers in the field.

28th March 2018: Lecture on “The rejection of Qiyās in Shīʿī law”
Rob Gleave gave a lecture titled “The rejection of Qiyās in Shīʿī law” as part of the Seminar La logique aristotélicienne et usul al fiqh: Le cas de qiyas at the
Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Université de Strasbourg. The seminar is organised by Dr Moussa Abou Ramadan, Professor of Muslim Law and Islamology at Strasbourg. The paper covered both the early polemic against qiyās in Shīʿī sources, and the rejection of qiyās in late classical Shīʿī jurisprudence.
28th March 2018: Centre for the Study of Islam, University of Exeter

Dr Wissam Halawi led a Centre for the Study of Islam Arabic texts session at the University of Exeter, with the title “Shaykh al-Mufîd (d. 413/1022) on the doctrine of Khums“.  Dr Halawi discussed a series of passages on khums in the writings of Shaykh al-Mufīd in the context of the development of Shīʿī law.

13th March 2018: Lecture “Shi’ite Law: Early Development and Later Elaboration”

Rob Gleave gave a lecture in the Seminar “Droit musulman et sociétés islamiques prémodernes (VIIIe–XIXe siècles)” organised by Professor Christian Müller and Dr Ismail Warscheid.  In the lecture, held at the Institut d’études de l’Islam et des sociétés du monde musulman.  He discussed the aims and objectives of the LAWALISI project and the state of the discipline, with a focus on how Shīʿī law can be understood within a broader Islamic legal context.

8th March 2018: Early Shīʿī Law in Context Workshop, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

2nd March 2018: Craft of Teaching Seminar
Rob Gleave gave a talk titled “Studying Uncertainty: contemporary Shi’i jurisprudence and the teaching of Shi’ism in the Western Academy” at the Craft of Teaching seminar, sponsored by the University of Chicago Divinity School, and hosted by the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilisations. His talk covered the challenges of integrating Shi’ism into Islamic Studies curricula, the distinctive nature of Shi’i jurisprudence and the role of uncertainty in contemporary Shi’i uṣūl al-fiqh.
28th October – 1st November 2017: Text Based Seminar on Late Classical Islamic Legal Theories (UC Berkeley)
Exeter’s LAWALISI project and UC Berkeley’s Graeco-Arabic Rationalism in Islamic Transmitted Sciences: The Post-Classical Period seminar series (hosted by Professor Asad Q. Ahmed) joined forces for a joint seminar on Usul al-fiqh in Post-Classical Islam.  The seminar participants included: Asad Q Ahmed, Rob Gleave, Tayyeb Mimouni, Kumail Rajani, Hassan Rezakhany, Ali Mian, Kevin Reinhart, Ulrich Rudolph, Amin Ehteshami and Kathryn Wyse.  The participants read late classical legal theory texts together, sharing the insights of their research. 
7th – 9th December 2017 Shīʿī Studies: The State of the Art conference, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
The LAWALISI project team attended the above conference, along with many of the major contributors to the study of Shiism.  Rob Gleave, Project Director,  gave a paper at the conference (“Early Shīʿī law: Limitations and Possibilities of Current Scholarship”).  The conference covered various strands and traditions within Shi’ism and stretched across numerous disciplines, from theology and law to sociology and art history.