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The Ḥanafī School: History, Transformations, and Future
3 December - 4 December 2018
09:00 - 17:00
NIAS, Sint Jorishof
Korte Spinhuissteeg
Conference room
By invitation

The Ḥanafī School: History, Transformations, and Future


Samy Ayoub, current fellow at NIAS, convenes a workshop on The Ḥanafī School: History, Transformations, and Future

Aim of the workshop

The Ḥanafī school enjoyed a privileged status within the Mamlūk and Ottoman legal spheres – which continued until the first half of the early 20th century CE. The Ḥanafī school was adopted as the official state school of Ottoman Empire, which allowed local officials to recruit many scholars from different schools to fill some of the positions in the judiciary, educational system, and Muftiships. The conversion to Ḥanafism (taḥḥnnuf) was an important highlight of an increasing bureaucratic apparatus in the Ottoman Empire. In the post-Tanzimat era, the Ḥanafī legal tradition was subject to the first successful codification of Islamic commercial law, the Mecelle. In colonial and post-colonial Muslim states, Islamic law was subject to intense codification. The British colonial authorities experimented in its colonies with creating a hybrid of codified Hanafi jurisprudence. In post 1950s, after independence of many Muslim majority states, sharīʿa courts were abolished and national legal systems were adopted.

This workshop explores how Ḥanafīs articulate a history of the school and pinpoint milestones of its transformation under Muslim rule, with a special emphasis on the madhhab as a fulcrum for Ḥanafī legal continuity. The workshop will also examine Ḥanafī controversies, relationship to political power, and development of state judiciary, international relations, governance, interfaith relations, and women issues. We also encourage papers that assess contemporary discussions about reviving Islamic legal school and the role of fiqh in Muslim societies today.



Day 1: December 3, 2018
• 11:00 am-1:30 pm – Registration & Lunch
• 1.30 pm-2:00 pm – Introduction and Welcoming Remarks

Panel One: 2:00 pm-3:30pm
Hanafī Fiqh: New Questions & Approaches
– Sohail Hanif, Cambridge Muslim College, “Fiqh as Method: Early Classical Ḥanafism in the Classroom”
– Aamir Bashir, University of Chicago “Persistence of a Madhhab: Lessons from Modern South Asia”
– Christian Lange, Utrecht University, “Reading Hanafi Sources, From a Distance”

• 3:30-4:00 pm – Coffee Break

Panel Two: 4:00 pm–6:00 pm
Ottoman Hanafism: Transformations and Reconstitution
– Guy Burak, NYU Libraries, “ Feyzullah Efendi, ‘Abd al-Rahim ibn Abi al-Lutf and the Rise of the Provincial Fatawa Collections in the Long Eighteenth Century”
– Hatice Kübra Kahya, Istanbul University, “The sentence of death: Nūr al-Dīn al-Tarâbulsī’s fatwa on waqf”
– Abdurrahman Atcil, Istanbul Sehir Univeristy, “The Kanun Laws and Sharia Courts in Egypt during the Mamluk-Ottoman Transition (1517 – 1524)”

Keynote Address: 6:00 pm–7:00 pm
Professor Murteza Bedir, Istanbul University, “The Hanafi School: Formation, Transformation, and Contemporary Relevance”


Day 2: December 4, 2018

Panel Three: 9:00 am-11:30 am
Early Hanafism and the Formation of a Legal Tradition
– Hacer Yetkin, Marmara University, “Rethinking the Hanafi-Mu‘tazili interaction: Is it overemphasized?”
– Ayşegül Şimşek, Marmara University, “The Formation and Evolution of the Early Ḥanafī Discourse on Rebellion”
– Nesrine Badawi, AUC Egypt, “Al-Shaybānī and the Regulation of Armed Conflict”
– Robert Gleave, University of Exeter, “Abū Hanīfa, Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq and the beginnings of Islamic Legal Theory

11:30 am-12.30 pm – Lunch

Panel Four: 1:00 pm–3:00 pm
Contemporary Hanafism
– Muhammad Almarakeby, University of Edinburgh, “Ijtihād and Social Changes in the fatwās of Late Ḥanafīs”
– Samy Ayoub, University of Texas, “ Pseudo-Ḥanafīs? Sharīʿa, Divorce, and Legal Reform in the 20th Egypt
– Muetaz A. Al-Khatib, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, “Muslim Minorities and Juristic Consideration: Hanafi Jurisprudence as a Case Study”

Panel Five: 3:00 pm–5:00 pm
Readings in Hanafī Texts
5:00 pm-5:30 pm – Concluding Remarks

Workshop organizers
Samy Ayoub, University of Texas at Austin
Christian Lange, University of Utrecht

Workshop Program and Abstracts

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