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The Modern Muslim World

The Modern Muslim World provides a platform for scholarly research on Islamic and Muslim thought and history, emerging from any geographic area within the expansive Muslim world and dated to any period from the beginning of the modern period onwards. Of particular interest to the series are studies that trace the intellectual and historical impact of modern texts and thinkers on the contemporary world. Within this context, submissions are also welcome on Muslim diaspora. Authors are invited to submit proposals for original monographs, translations and edited volumes related to these broad areas of research. For more information about the series or to submit a proposal, please contact the series' Submissions Editor, Adam Walker: adam@gorgiaspress.com.

Series Editorial Board:

Professor Hina Azam (The University of Texas at Austin)
Professor Marcia Hermansen (Chair) (Loyola University Chicago)
Professor Ussaama Makdisi (Rice University)
Professor Martin Nguyen (Fairfield University)
Professor Joas Wagemakers (Utrecht University)

Series Advisory Board:

Professor Ebrahim Moosa (University of Notre Dame)
Professor Talal Asad (City University of New York)
Professor Islam Dayeh (Freie Universität Berlin)
Dr Rana Hisham Issa (University of Oslo)
Professor Adam Talib (Durham University)
Professor Marwa Elshakry (Columbia University)
Professor Khaled M. Abou El Fadl (University of California, Los Angeles)
Professor Aslı Niyazioğlu (University of Oxford)
Dr Amira K. Bennison (University of Cambridge)
Professor Armando Salvatore (McGill University)
Professor Tijana Krstic (Central European University)
Professor Adam Sabra (University of California, Santa Barbara)
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The Implicit Role of Custom (‘Urf) in the Islamic Jurisprudence of Saudi Arabia and Iran

A Comparative Legal Study of Mu‘āmalāt
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4351-7
The book argues for the importance of custom (‘urf) in the application of Islamic law in Iran and Saudi Arabia. Irrespective of whether there is a direct reference to ‘urf, the interpretation and use of Islamic legal principles have a relatively close connection to the surrounding contextual environment and customs. The extensive use of customary norms in the absence of legal sources or in the course of interpretation of legal texts are in excess of the permitted legal limits. The book compares the diversity of legal opinions and court verdicts between the two countries by placing a particular emphasis upon the usage of ‘urf, whether in the form of a legal principle with semi-independent style or the form of a subsidiary source that is dependent upon various legal principles. The latter includes istiḥsān, (common practice), istiṣlāḥ (common good), istiṣḥāb (presumption of continuity) sadd al-dharā’i‘ (blocking the means), ḍarūra (necessity), and siyāsa shar‘iyya (politics in accordance with the Islamic law). The study compares approaches adopted by Saudi-Ḥanbalī and Iranian-Ja‘farī scholars towards the shar‘ī status of ‘urf (custom) in three particular categories; the methodological perspective (classic and contemporary), the shar‘ī opinions of scholars (fatwā) and the court verdicts of judges (aḥkām). It illustrates the ways in which scholars achieve different implementations in their sharī‘a systems through the application of direct or indirect ‘urf. In addition, the book examines the extent to which the shar‘ī regulations have been altered or sustained through the prioritisation of the legal concept of ‘urf. The attitude of ‘ulamā’ (religious scholars) towards the application of ‘urf demonstrates that both the classical Ḥanbalī and Ja‘farī schools have approved the validity of ‘urf in the shar‘ī area. This applies both to direct usage of ‘urf and manipulations of its utility by rational explanations or secondary legal principles.

The Two-Edged Sea

Heterotopias of Contemporary Mediterranean Migrant Literature
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4372-2
Much Mediterranean migrant literature captures the Mediterranean’s fossilized binaries, North and South. But, The Two-Edged Sea also reveals that one inheres within the other. While the book explores two Mediterraneans, with asymmetrical power relations that reflect the sea’s northern and southern shores, it also delves into how they have been in dialogue with each other, effectively deconstructing the binary. Charting undocumented journeys from the Mediterranean’s southern shores, the book contributes both to discourse on migration literature and the current resurgence of the study of seas, while advancing the idea of the Mediterranean as both a dividing border and unifying contact zone.

Pluralism and Plurality in Islamic Legal Scholarship

The Case of the Fatāwā l-ʿĀlamgīrīya
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4231-2
This book presents the positions held by ḥanafite Muslim jurists in South Asia in the 17th century with regard to the coexistence of Muslims and non-Muslims, and, secondly, compares the opinions put forth by these South Asian jurists with those maintained by their counterparts in Central Asia and the Middle East.

The Many Faces of Iranian Modernity

Sufism and Subjectivity in the Safavid and Qajar Periods
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4237-4
This study into both reformism and mysticism demonstrates both that mystical rhetoric appeared regularly in supposedly anti-mystical modernist writing and that nineteenth- and twentieth-century Sufis actually addressed questions of intellectual and political reform in their writing, despite the common assertion that they were irrationally traditional and politically quietist.

Intellectual Currents and the Practice of Engagement

Ottoman and Algerian Writers in a Francophone Milieu, 1890-1914
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4239-8
The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries saw a great increase in the use of the printed word and the press by non-European actors to express and disseminate ideas and to participate in the intellectual life of both their home societies and a wider international context. This book examines the French-language writings of Ottoman and Algerian writers between 1890 and 1914.

Living the Quran with Joy and Purpose

Selections on Tawhid from Said Nursi's Epistles of Light
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4269-5
The current volume is an annotated translation of selections from a noteworthy Muslim theologian Said Nursi (1876-1960) on the Quranic theme of oneness of God (tawhid). Given the scarcity of theological themes in Islamic literature in English as well as the lack of studies on Said Nursi, who wrote in Ottoman Turkish, the book is an important contribution to the field. It offers a contemporary peek into the view that faith in God could be profoundly meaningful and fulfilling spiritual path.