Islamic Legal Philosophy: Ibn ʿAbd al-Salām and the Ethical Turn in Medieval Islamic Law
Mariam Sheibani, a candidate for the Assistant Professor Islamic History position
This talk examines an ethical turn in medieval Islamic law and the emergence of a purposive, analytical, and socially responsive legal discourse among Muslim jurists between the 5th/11th and 7th/13th centuries. These developments are explored through the thought of ʿIzz al-Dīn Ibn ʿAbd al-Salām (1181-1262 CE), a leading Shāfiʿī jurist in Ayyubid Damascus and Cairo. Living in a period of significant geo-political transformation, Ibn ʿAbd al-Salām’s innovative thought represented a shift away from a formalistic approach to the law towards a more ethical legal discourse that responded to the social needs of the time. Reconstructing Ibn ʿAbd al-Salām’s thought within the broader context of the destruction of the Muslim East and the emergence of Ayyubid centers of Sunni learning shows that Ibn ʿAbd al-Salām’s project built on potentialities in the intellectual traditions of Khurasani thinkers, which sharply contrasted with the approach of Iraqi jurists. Finally, the study shows how Ibn ʿAbd al-Salām influenced Mamluk and Ottoman-era legal philosophy, and considers why his thought continues to be mined by contemporary reformers in the Arab Middle East.
To attend, click the zoom link on Friday, March 19 at 2 PM
Meeting ID: 875 0741 0273