Dispensing Justice in Islam: Qadis and Their Judgements, edited by Muhammad Khalid Masud, Rudolph Peters, and David S. Powers

Ovamir Anjum

Abstract


https://doi.org/10.12730/13091719.2014.52.113

Dispensing Justice in Islam : Qadis and Their Judgements, edited by Muhammad Khalid Masud, Rudolph Peters, and David S. Powers (Studies in Islamic Law and Society, 22), (Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2012), xiv + 591 pp., ISBN: 978-90-04-22683-8, €37.5 / $49.50 (pb)

(First paragraph)

The volume at hand is a treasure trove of available knowledge of two kinds, the field’s accumulated wisdom as well as new research over the last few decades. Published a decade later, the volume is based on a conference organized by M. Khalid Masud as the director of the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM) in 2001. The editors hope, quite justifiably, that the chapters thus brought together here “will serve as a sourcebook of Islamic legal practice and qāḍī judgments.” Given that no comparable volume exists on subject, the significance of this volume for the scholars of Islamic law, history, and politics cannot be overstated. The twenty one chapters, not including the introduction, are grouped in four sections, the first addressing the nature and function of Islamic judgeship; second, judicial apparatus; third, juristic doctrines in practice, and fourth, judicial procedure. All chapters, as required judiciously by the organizer, are constructed around “one or more court judgments” and include “a translation of an exemplary legal document” or focus on the judge’s application of legal doctrine in practice. The chapters cover a broad range in both time and space, but, limited perhaps by the contingencies of such collective endeavors and areas of active research, do not cover some important times and places, such as the Mughal and Ṣafavid empires, and contemporary Iran and Saudi Arabia.

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