The diversity of interpretation within Islamic legal traditions can be challenging for those working within this field of study. Using a distinctly contextual approach, this book addresses such challenges by combining theoretical perspectives on Islamic law with insight into how local understandings impact on the application of law in Muslim daily life. Engaging with topics as diverse as Islamic constitutionalism, Islamic finance, human rights and internet fatawa, Shaheen Sardar Ali provides an invaluable resource for scholars, students and practitioners alike by exploring exactly what constitutes Islamic law in the contemporary world. Useful examples, case studies, a glossary of terms and the author's personal reflections accompany traditional academic critique, and together offer the reader a unique and discerning discussion of Islamic law in practice.
Shaheen Sardar Ali is Professor of Law at the University of Warwick and formerly Vice-Chair of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (2008-14). She has served as Professor II at Universitetet i Oslo, as well as Professor of Law and Director of the Women's Study Centre at the University of Peshawar, Pakistan. She has served as the first woman Cabinet Minister for Health, Population Welfare and Women's Development in the Government of the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan and Chair of Pakistan's first National Commission on the Status of Women. She served on the Prime Minister's Consultative Committee for Women, and the Senate National Commission of Enquiry on the Status of Women, both in Pakistan. Professor Ali has received a number of national and international awards including the Public Sector Award (Asian Women Achievements Awards) 2005, the British Muslims Annual Honours achievement plaque in the House of Lords, 2002, Star Woman of the Year 1996 in the field of law (Pakistan), the Presidential Award (Aizaz-i-Fazeelat) in 1992 for contribution to the teaching and research in higher education (Pakistan), and an honourable mention in the UNESCO Prize for the Teaching of Human Rights in 1992. In 2012, she was named one of the 100 most influential women of Pakistan. Professor Ali has published extensively in a number of areas including human rights, women's rights, children's rights, Islamic law and jurisprudence, international law and gender studies.
Acknowledgements; Table of cases; Table of legislation; Glossary; Introduction; 1. The flowing stream; 2. An elephant in the room or needle in a haystack? Searching for 'Islamic' constitutionalism(s); 3. Contextualising family-law reform and plural legalities in postcolonial Pakistan; 4. In search of legitimacy: the dilemma of Islamic finance; 5. Muslim women's contributions to drafting CEDAW: an untold narrative; 6. CEDAW? What's that? 'Domesticating' 'international' women's human rights in Muslim jurisdictions: Reflections on Pakistan's engagement with CEDAW; 7. Between the devil and the deep blue sea: Sharia councils and Muslim women's rights in British Muslim diaspora; 8. Internet Fatawa: challenging tradition and modernity in women and gender issues; Concluding reflections; Reflecting at the Dihliz; Bibliography.