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LUCIS Visiting Fellow Lecture

The Impact of 'Islamic law' on Premodern Muslim societies

Wednesday 15 May 2019
Free to visit; please register
LUCIS Visiting Fellow: Christian Müller
P.N. van Eyckhof 3
P.N. van Eyckhof 3
2311 BV Leiden

General studies on Islam rarely mention Islamic law as a historical factor. If however the jurists’ law was applied in Muslim cadi-courts during centuries, as I establish in the previous lectures, it has promise to consider the impact of such a long-lasting legal practice on societies. The various fields of Muslim legal thinking, cultual obligations like praying, fasting or the pilgrimage to Mekka, as well as contractual law and legal punishments serve as vantage point for investigating into how Islamic law might have shaped religion, economy and family life of premodern Muslim societies. By defining the personal status, roles and transaction-opportunities of its members, the law provided an institutionalized frame that helped to stabilize the expectations of human beings within society and thus enhanced the complexity of human transactions (Luhmann). This affords the opportunity to demonstrate the historical functioning of Islamic justice in various fields of the law.

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