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Shari’a law and its internal logic examined by leading expert at SOAS

30 January 2014

Professor Wael Hallaq, author of Shari‘a: Theory, Practice, Transformations (2009) and one of the leading experts in Islamic Law, from Columbia University will be speaking at SOAS, University of London about Shari’a law and its internal logic.

Taking place on Tuesday, 4 February at 7pm, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, 'Regarding Liberty, Freedom, Representation and the Rule of Law: How Would Sharia Fare?' has been organised by the Centre of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (CIMEL) in collaboration with the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies of the University of Exeter.

In this lecture, Professor Hallaq, will explore whether the logic, in terms of what it perceived as the promotion and protection of society’s interests, is parallel and equivalent to modern notions of freedom, liberty and the rule of law.

Using the basic assumption of the necessity for all polities to establish their own versions of just and well-ordered societies, Professor Hallaq will ask how the pre-modern, pre-liberal Islamic order structured law and society, and in ways that provided for these basic requirements of justice and order.  Finally, the scholar will tease out the implications and relevance of such a historical enquiry for addressing political and constitutional challenges that the Muslim world is currently facing.

Professor Hallaq’s books include Ibn Taymiyya Against the Greek Logicians (1993); A History of Islamic Legal Theories: An Introduction to Sunni Usul al-fiqh (1997); Authority, Continuity and Change in Islamic Law (2001), An Introduction to Islamic Law (2009) and The Impossible State: Islam, Politics and Modernity's Moral Predicament (2012).

His work, Shari‘a: Theory, Practice, Transformations (2009) examines the doctrines and practices of Islamic law within the context of its history, from its beginnings in seventh-century Arabia, through its development and transformation under the Ottomans, and across lands as diverse as India, Africa and South-East Asia, to the present. Hallaq’s work has been widely read, and translated into Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Japanese, Indonesian and Hebrew.

This event is free to attend, registration is required.