New books in Islamic Law

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Shari’a and Social Engineering: The Implementation of Islamic Law in Contemporary Aceh, Indonesia

by R. Michael Feener

(Oxford University Press; 368 pages; Dec. 2013).
This book seeks to open new lines of discussion about how Islamic law is viewed as a potential tool for programs of social transformation in contemporary Muslim society. It does this through a critical examination of the workings of the state shari’a system as it was designed and implemented at the turn of the twenty-first century in Aceh, Indonesia.

book_family lawGender and Equality in Muslim Family Law: Justice and Ethics in the Islamic Legal Tradition edited by Ziba Mir-Hosseini and others (I.B. Tauris, distributed by Palgrave Macmillan; 279 pages; May 2013). Pays particular attention to qiwama and wilaya, both, traditionally, notions of male guardianship in Islamic law.

Islamic Legal Thought: A compendium of Muslim jurists edited by Oussama Arabi, David Powers, and Susan Spectorsky (Brill; 570 pages; Sept. 2013).  Twenty-three scholars each contribute a chapter on a distinguished Muslim jurist. The volume is organized chronologically and includes jurists who represent the formative, classical and modern periods of Islamic legal thought.

Islam, Sharia, and Alternative Dispute Resolution: Mechanisms for Legal Redress in the Muslim Community islam, sharia, dispute resolutionby Mohamed M. Keshavjee (I.B. Tauris, distributed by Palgrave Macmillan; 237 pages; July 2013). Mohamed Keshavjee examines both Sunni and Shi’a applications of Islamic law, demonstrating how political, cultural and other factors have influenced the practice of fiqh and Shari’a in the West.

Law, State, and Society in Modern Iran: Constitutionalism, Autocracy, and Legal Reform, 1906-1941 by Hadi Enayat (Palgrave Macmillan; 256 pages; $90; July 2013). Incorporating history, sociology, and rule of law studies, this book sheds light on an understudied but fascinating dimension of modernization in Iran, namely the emergence of a new legal system between the 1906 Constitutional Revolution and the end of Reza Shah’s rule in 1941.

legal integration of islam by Christian Joppke and John Torpey (Harvard University Press; 224 pages; April 2013). Countering strident claims on both the right and left, this book offers an empirically informed analysis of how four liberal democracies—France, Germany, Canada, and the United States—have responded to the challenge of integrating Islam and Muslim populations.

The New Muslims of Post-Conquest Iran: Tradition, Memory, and Conversion (Cambridge University Press; 304 pages; Sept. 2013). How do converts to a religion come to feel an attachment to it? The New Muslims of Post-Conquest Iran answers this important question for Iran by focusing on the role of memory and its revision and erasure in the ninth to eleventh centuries.

Questioning Secularism: Islam, Sovereignty, and the Rule of Law in Modern Egypt by Hussein Ali Agrama (University of Chicago Press; 288 pages; $85 hardcover). Focusing on the fatwa councils and family law courts of Egypt just prior to the revolution, Agrama delves deeply into the meaning of secularism itself and the ambiguities that lie at its heart.

Women in Classical Islamic Law: A Survey of the Sources by Susan A. Spectorsky (Brill; 223 pages; $67). Drawing on legal and hadīth texts from the formative and classical periods of Islamic legal history, this book offers an overview of the development of the questions prominent jurists asked and answered about women’s issues.

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