The Harvard Law School Library staff invites you to attend a book talk and panel discussion in celebration of Professor Intisar Rabb’s recently published book, Doubt in Islamic Law: A History of Legal Maxims, Interpretation, and Islamic Criminal Law.
Wednesday April 8, 2015, 12:00 noon.
Harvard Law School, Room WCC 2012. (Directions).
Sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library.
Lunch will be served.
Intisar A. Rabb is a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and a director of its Islamic Legal Studies Program. She also holds an appointment as a Professor of History at Harvard University and as a Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She previously served as an Associate Professor at NYU Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and at NYU Law School, as Visiting Associate Professor of Islamic Legal Studies at Harvard Law School, and as a member of the law faculty at Boston College Law School—where she has taught courses in criminal law, legislation and theories of statutory interpretation, and Islamic law. She also served as a law clerk for Judge Thomas L. Ambro of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She was named a 2010 Carnegie Scholar for research on issues of Islamic constitutionalism and contemporary law reform through processes of “internal critique” in the Muslim world, and a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard for a project designed to add scholarly context to ongoing discussions of Islamic law in new media. She has published on Islamic law in historical and modern contexts, including an edited volume, Law and Tradition in Classical Islamic Thought (with Michael Cook et al., Palgrave 2013), and numerous articles on Islamic constitutionalism, Islamic legal maxims, and on the early history of the Qur’an text. She received a BA from Georgetown University, a JD from Yale Law School, and an MA and PhD from Princeton University. She has conducted research in Egypt, Iran, Syria, and elsewhere.
“This book considers an important and largely neglected area of Islamic law by exploring how medieval Muslim jurists resolved criminal cases that could not be proven beyond a doubt. Intisar A. Rabb calls into question a controversial popular notion about Islamic law today, which is that Islamic law is a divine legal tradition that has little room for discretion or doubt, particularly in Islamic criminal law. Despite its contemporary popularity, that notion turns out to have been far outside the mainstream of Islamic law for most of its history. Instead of rejecting doubt, medieval Muslim scholars largely embraced it. In fact, they used doubt to enlarge their own power and to construct Islamic criminal law itself. Through a close examination of legal, historical, and theological sources, and a range of illustrative case studies, this book shows that Muslim jurists developed a highly sophisticated and regulated system for dealing with Islam’s unique concept of doubt, which evolved from the seventh to the sixteenth century.” — Cambridge University Press
The book talk panel includes:
Gurney Professor of Islamic History
Center for Middle Eastern Studies
Professor of Law
Harvard Law School