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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