This edition of JISPIL offers a collection of papers, presented at the ‘Re-Imagining the Shari’a: Theory, Practice and Muslim Pluralism at Play’ conference hosted in Venice 13-16th September 2009 by the University of Warwick in collaboration with the University of Copenhagen. The conference aimed to bring together scholars of Islamic Law, engaged in either teaching or research in order to consider: ‘new conceptualisations and theories concerning the global understanding and reach of Shari’a’; the application of Shari’a in the West; and to highlight key areas of Shari’a including family law, finance, Zakat, and the social welfare system. More information about the conference can be found at the conference website:
First, the contribution from Prof. Jeffrey A. Redding of Saint Louis University, considers the use of Muslim civil dispute resolution systems in non-Muslim States and the coexistence of Muslim Personal Law alongside secular legal systems. This comparative review addresses current dialogue and legal developments in India, Canada and the United Kingdom in order to illustrate the role that liberal ideology has played in both promoting and hindering the evolution of these systems and the changing nature of the practices and expectations of the Muslim community.
Second, Rajnaara C Akhtar of the University of Warwick, continues the consideration of Muslim civil dispute resolution systems by focusing on the evolution and use of Shari’a Councils in the United Kingdom, with particular emphasis on Muslim Personal Law. The author considers the coexistence of the Shari’a Councils alongside the secular legal system and argues that the maintenance and improvement of this system is crucial to the integration of Muslims in the United Kingdom.
Third, Dr. Ayesha Shahid of the University of Hull considers the protection of the rights of divorced women in Pakistan, through re-examining the principle of mutat. This article provides a detailed examination of the case law in Pakistan and analyses how this complies with Islamic principles and the application of mutat in other Islamic States. The author argues that a dynamic interpretation of Sharia leads to the conclusion that post-divorce maintenance is compatible with Islam.
Professor Javaid Rehman, Dr Amir Ali Majid and Professor Kaiyan Kaikobad
Editors, Journal of Islamic State Practice in International Law (JISPIL)