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The Journal of Islamic Law is accepting submissions for the 2023 Special Issue.  

Call for Papers

The special issue for the Journal of Islamic Law invites papers that explore encounters between Islamic law and other legal traditions from the 18th through mid-20th centuries. Scholarship on encounters mostly focuses on colonial history, presenting a defeating view of shari’a, seen as having “died” against the intruding forces of colonialism. Indeed, European colonialism greatly affected the operation of Islamic law. Colonial officials, targeting the ulema and the courts, transformed the foundational practices and institutions on which the Islamic legal tradition rested. Yet, it is worth revisiting how Islamic law operated given its flexible nature and the agency of its actors. For example—with some exceptions—we know little about processes of negotiation, dependence, borrowing, jurisdictional jockeying, forum shopping, and entanglements between Islamic legal practices and those of other legal systems. Furthermore, a scholarly understanding of encounters between Islamic law and other legal traditions would greatly benefit from explorations of other regional and temporal spaces—and not just European colonialism—where legal encounters unfolded. This special issue is interested in hosting works on such legal encounters broadly from the 18th to the mid-20th century. Thematically, it seeks to present scholarship that looks at metamorphosis, borrowing, and dialogue between Islamic law or shari’a and other legal traditions in the context of foreign/external influences, colonial powers, and imperial interactions. 

We seek articles of up to 25,000 words. To signal interest, please submit a proposed title and abstract of 250-500 words by November 18, 2022, using the online submissions portal. Once accepted, soon thereafter, the deadline for the submission of full drafts is February 1, 2023, after which we will go through a process of peer review, a final decision on acceptance, and editing and publication. This special issue of the Journal of Islamic Law is edited by Dilyara Agisheva (dagisheva@law.harvard.edu), Research Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Program in Islamic Law, and will be published in Spring/Summer 2023. For further questions, please contact us at pil@law.harvard.edu.


We accept scholarship submission to the  Journal in Islamic Law for new scholarship in Islamic law, as well as for its dynamic Forum designed to feature scholarly responses, debates, or new developments in Islamic law scholarship or at the intersection of Islamic law and data science. Submissions, unless otherwise noted for Special Issues, may take many forms, including: Articles, Essays, Case Briefs, Student Notes, Book Reviews, and Data Science Reviews.

Articles & Essays

Articles present sustained works of original research on some aspect of Islamic or comparative law; essays are usually narrower in scope. While the line between them is not rigid, we recommend that article submissions have fewer than 25,000 words, including footnotes; and essay submissions have fewer than 8,000 words, including footnotes.

Case Briefs

Case Briefs present the basic facts of a recent cases related to Islamic law in Muslim-majority or Muslim-minority countries. Submissions should have fewer than 1,500 words, including footnotes. 

Student Notes

Notes are student-written works typically available to Harvard students. Notes submissions should have fewer than 8,000 words, including footnotes.

Book Reviews

Book reviews of books published within the last two years will be accepted (published 2019 - 2020). Book review submissions should have fewer than 1,500 words, including footnotes.

Data Science Articles, Essays, or Reviews

Data science articles or essays present on data science and digital humanities projects that work at the intersections of data science methods and Islamic law, including legal history. Articles or essays should have 10,000 - 25,000 words, including footnotes. 

Data science reviews assess and/or critically analyze new data science and digital humanities tools, including databases and other relevant data portals, that work at the intersections of data science methods and Islamic law, including legal history. Submissions should have fewer than 1,500 words, including footnotes.

Symposia / Forum

Submissions for thematic symposia on recent developments featured on the Forum are by invitation only. 

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.