Who is the legal person in Islamic law?

07 Apr 2021


Announced by the University of Pittsburgh

Since the early 20th century, the question of women’s status in Islamic law has been one of the most vibrant yet polarizing conversations. While some scholars have argued that women are given a subordinate status as legal subjects, others have argued that gender differentiated rulings should be understood as the complementarity between gender roles rather than the inferiority of women. Despite their different positions, the central issue in these debates is the question of legal personhood and how individuals acquire legal rights in Islamic law. This talk will explore Hanafi legal discussions on marriage to argue that the legal person in Islamic law is not an abstracted and autonomous individual but instead always a social being. Thus, individuals in Islamic law acquired legal rights and obligations through the network of social relations in which they were embedded.

Saadia Yacoob is Assistant Professor of Religion at Williams College. She holds a PhD in Islamic studies from Duke University and an MA from the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University. She has also studied Islamic law in Egypt and Jordan. Her research focuses on gender, childhood, and enslavement in Islamic law. Her forthcoming book manuscript titled Reading Gender in Early Islamic Law investigates the intersections of gender, age, and enslavement in the construction of legal personhood in Hanafi law. More broadly, her research interests include Islamic legal history, Muslim feminist studies, history of sexuality, and slavery studies. Her research has been published in The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Law and several academic blogs such as The Immanent Frame and Contending Modernities. She is also curator-host of the “History Speaks” stream at the Maydan Podcast.

Registration is required https://gmu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEucOCoqT8tGNR8-xY0Fndz1xKEnfQ1K6A...

Event Date: 
Wednesday, April 7, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Sponsored By: 
George Mason University AVACGIS Guest Lecture Series