Welcome to the Understanding Shari’a project – This two year project addresses how Muslim legal scholars have used the idea of a perfect past to try and change the imperfect present. Islamic legal thought has always stressed the importance of previous example – legal scholars often refer to the “example of the Prophet” or “established tradition or custom” to justify a rule. This project focuses on these uses of the past, and tries to show how they are changing and how the past is being used to support legal change and reform in contemporary Muslim discourse.
Funded by HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) under their USES OF THE PAST programme, the project team includes scholars in the Universities of Exeter, Leiden, Göttingen and Bergen and examines the uses of the past in the areas of violence, custom, gender and the state.
Details of all our activities, including workshops, conferences and publications, can be found here – and please do get in touch if you have any comments or would like to join our mailing list.
Robert Gleave, University of Exeter – Project Lead
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 649307
Latest News & Events
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS – Uses of the Past in Islamic Legal Thought and Practice: Autumn School 11th – 17th November 2018
27 June 2018, Göttingen: Female Judges – experiences, successes and challenges in Palestine and Germany: Somoud al-Damiri, Palestinian Judge of the Sharia Court of Ramalllah and Prof. Maria Wersig, University of Dortmund and Head of the Female Jurists‘ Association in Germany
28-29 June 2018 “Uses of the Past: Islamic International Law and the Problem of Translation. Concepts and Applications”, University of Göttingen
Invitation: Opening Lecture of the Conference “Gender and Sharīʿah in Muslim Legal Theory and Practice”. Göttingen University, 12th October 2017