This paper addresses and critiques the case for state-level legislative bans on courts citing “Islamic law” or the law of Muslim-majority countries. In particular, the paper reviews the most substantive evidence adduced by the bans’ supporters, in the form of a set of state court cases published by the Center for Security Policy (CSP). Very few of these cases, in fact, show courts actually applying Islamic or foreign law, and in none of these cases would the various forms of proposed legislation have been likely to alter the result. Thus even this report does not suggest a need for the state laws purporting to ban sharīʿa. The paper thus argues that even if these bans are not unconstitutionally discriminatory in their effect, they are ineffective at achieving their claimed purpose.
The Muwaṭṭaʾis the first extant treatise on Islamic law, written by the eighth-century Medinan jurist Mālik b. Anas (d. 179/795). It provides an unparalleled window into the life of the early Muslim community of Medina—where the Prophet Muḥammad lived and died after immigrating from Mecca—as well as the rituals, laws, and customs that its members upheld years after his death. Harvard’s Program in Islamic Law, in conjunction with Harvard University Press, published an English translation of the Muwaṭṭaʾin 2019, edited and translated by well-known Islamic law scholars Professors Mohammad Fadel and Connell Monette. This translation is based on the recently published critical edition of the Muwaṭṭaʾ, The Royal Moroccan Edition (Rabat: Ministry of Endowments, 2013). With its extensive notes, the English edition is intended to make this important early legal text widely accessible to a broad spectrum of readers, including those interested in both legal history and Islamic Studies. This Online Companionto the Muwaṭṭaʾmakes the full texts of both the original Arabic edition and its English translation freely available online. We gratefully acknowledge the Moroccan Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs for permissions to make the full Arabic text available online.
This source is part of the Online Companion to the print edition al-Muwaṭṭaʾ, the Royal Moroccan Edition: The Recension of Yaḥyā Ibn Yaḥyā al-Laythī (Harvard Series in Islamic Law), edited and translated by Mohammad Fadel and Connell Monette (PIL/HUP, 2019).
Majmū’ al-fatāwā is a collection of the various fatwās the Ḥanbalī scholar Ibn Taymiyya gave during his lifetime. The two fatwās in this document answer questions regarding the legality of sharecropping. Ibn Taymiyyah provides an extended explanation of his legal school's position, citing both textual and analogical sources.