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Islamic Law and the State: Doctrine and History

                                 

The VII Islamic Legal Studies Conference, convened by the International Society for Islamic Legal Studies(ISILS), under the auspices of the Turkish Historical Association, Ankara 
“Islamic Law and the State: Doctrine and History”
May 30–June 1, 2012, Ankara, Turkey 
The conference will address how the relationship between the law and the state has been understood and practiced in Islamic legal history. The following questions inform the conference:
  • How, by means both practical and doctrinal, have Muslims pursued under the aegis of their religious law the goals or objects today called “constitutionalism,” i.e., the organization of functions of governance and the restraint of political authorities by law? For example, what should we learn from instances where scholars exerted not only their explicit powers to interpret and apply fiqh but also their moral, theological, social, administrative and political influence to “check and balance” political authorities?
  • How have powers of government been allocated de jure and de facto between ruling or political institutions, on the one hand, and scholarly institutions, on the other? Of particular interest are the religious or legal functions of the former and the political or governance functions of the latter. For example, how has the power to determine (“legislate”) the applicable civil and criminal law been allocated, given the ruler’s power to influence that law through decree, competing jurisdictions, and control over the appointment and jurisdiction of qadis?
  • When should adjudication by ruler-established non-qadi courts or legislation issued by the ruler be considered “extra-Shari’a”?
  • What analogues have existed in Islamic history to a church-state or din wa-dawla division?
  • How have the understanding and practice of Islamic law, the ruling political authority, and the relationship between them shifted at various points, for example, during 19th- and 20th-century legal modernization?
The Programfor the conference is available. For information about attendance and to register, please send an email to Evgenia Kermeli, evgenia@bilkent.edu.tr.
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