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Towards Third World Approaches to Islamic Law: Empire, Gunpowder and Praxis

Hamzić, Vanja (2015) Towards Third World Approaches to Islamic Law: Empire, Gunpowder and Praxis. In: Third World Approaches to International Law Conference: On Praxis and the Intellectual, February 2015, American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This paper analyses the potential for critical engagements akin to those of the TWAIL movement with the imperial past of Islamic law, focusing on the specific legal and social developments that influenced Islamic legal theory and practice in the Muslim ‘gunpowder empires’ – Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal. The paper also looks into later ‘post-’ and ‘inter-imperial’ reformulations of what in this brief study is conceived as praxis of Islamic law, towards a new understanding of the various agents of Islamic law, including the judge (qāḍī), the jurisconsult (muftī), the author-jurist and the professor at law as well as hitherto under-researched subjectivity of the gender-variant scholar (known, inter alia, as khadim or agha). The central argument of this paper is that, in order for praxis of Islamic law to re-emerge as a distinct post-colonial, post-imperial and epistemologically Third World phenomenon, a special attention has to be paid to class and social distinctions within the agential strata of Islamic law, with the positionality of the gender-variant scholar (khadim, agha) as a particularly skilful negotiator of legal, social and economic boundaries produced by theory and practice of Islamic law in their imperial and post-imperial life-forms.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Items (Paper)
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Law
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Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > School of Law
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > School of Law > Centre for Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (CIMEL)
Depositing User: Vanja Hamzic
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2015 14:01
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/21312

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