Many Muslim societies are in the throes of tumultuous political transitions, and common to all has been heightened debate over the place of shari`a law in modern politics and ethical life. Bringing together leading scholars of Islamic politics, ethics, and law, this book examines the varied meanings and uses of Islamic law, so as to assess the prospects for democratic, plural, and gender-equitable Islamic ethics today. These essays show that, contrary to the claims of some radicals, Muslim understandings of Islamic law and ethics have always been varied and emerge, not from unchanging texts but from real and active engagement with Islamic traditions and everyday life. The ethical debates that rage in contemporary Muslim societies reveal much about the prospects for democratic societies and a pluralist Islamic ethics in the future. They also suggest that despite the tragic violence wrought in recent years by Boko Haram and the Islamic State in Iraq, we may yet see an age of ethical renewal across the Muslim world.
Robert W. Hefner is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs at Boston University. He is editor of Shari'a Politics: Law and Society in the Modern Muslim World (IUP, 2011).
Acknowledgements A Note on Transliteration Contributors 1. Shari`a Law and the Quest for a Modern Muslim Ethics. Robert W. Hefner Section 1: Shari`a Pluralities 2. Shari`a and the Rule of Law. Anver M. Enom 3. Moral Contestations and Patriarchal Ethics: Women Challenging the Justice of Muslim Family Laws. Ziba Mir-Hosseini 4. Gender, Legality, and Public Ethics in Morocco. Zakia Salime Section 2: Islamic Law and the State 5. Constitutionalizing a Democratic Muslim State without Shari`a: The Religious Establishment in the Tunisian 2014 Constitution. Malika Zeghal 6. Transformations in Muslim Views about "Forbidding Wrong": The Rise and Fall of Islamist Litigation in Egypt. Clark B. Lombardi and Connie J. Cannon 7. Shari`a, Islamic Ethics, and Democracy: The Crisis of the "Turkish Model." Ahmet T. Kuru 8. Islamic Modernism, Ethics, and Shari`a in Pakistan. Muhammad Qasim Zaman Section 3: New Ethical Imbrications 9. "Shari`a" as a Moving Target? The Reconfiguration of Regional and National Fields of Muslim Debate in Mali. Dorothea E. Schulz 10. Syariah, Inc.: Continuities, Transformations, and Cultural Politics in Malaysia's Islamic Judiciary. Michael G. Peletz 11. Islamic Ethics and Muslim Feminism in Indonesia. Robert W. Hefner