Dr. Mohamed Keshavjee’s book, “Islam, Sharia and Alternative Dispute Resolution” examines both Sunni and Shi‘a applications of Islamic law, demonstrating how political, cultural and other factors have influenced the practice of fiqh and shari‘a in the West. Exploring in particular the modern development of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), the author shows that this process can revitalise some of the essential principles that underlie Muslim teachings and jurisprudence, delivering not only formal remedies but also perceived justice, even to non-Muslims.

In an interview carried out by The Institute of Ismaili Studies, Dr. Mohamed Keshavjee explains Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in more detail including its role in the legal system of most countries, the meaning and impact of shari‘a, and the various approaches to mediation. The interview concludes with the author’s comments on the contribution his books makes on the subject of ADR. Continue reading


DOWNLOAD PDF or READ KADIVAR’S CHAPTER, Revisiting Women’s Rights in Islam: ‘Egalitarian Justice in Lieu of Deserts-Based Justice’  in Gender and Equality in Muslim Family Law (I.B. TAURIS, May 28, 2013, Edited by: Lena Larsen, Ziba Mir-Hosseini, Christian Moe, Kari Vogt) below: 

In traditional Islamic thought women’s rights have been defined on the basis of a ‘deserts-based’ notion of justice (al-ʿadāla al-istiqāqiyya), by which individuals are entitled to justice according to their status, abilities and potential. This notion of justice leads to proportional equality, which recognises rights for individuals in proportion to their ‘deserts’. In modern times this notion of justice has encountered enormous problems. Can we reread the Qurʾan and the Traditions in the light of an egalitarian notion of justice that is premised on fundamental equality between men and women? Continue reading


BritishMuslimConvertUniversityofCambridgeUKConverts have the potential to be a powerful and transformative influence on both the heritage Muslim community and wider British society – Yasir Suleiman

A ground-breaking report examining the experiences of nearly 50 British women of all ages, ethnicities, backgrounds and faiths (or no faith) – who have all converted to Islam – was launched in London yesterday by the University of Cambridge.

The report, produced by the University’s Centre of Islamic Studies (CIS), in association with the New Muslims Project, Markfield, is a fascinating dissection of the conversion experience of women in Britain in the 21st Century.

The first forum of its kind held in the UK, the study concludes with a series of recommendations for the convert, heritage Muslim, and wider British communities. The 129-page report also outlines the social, emotional and sometimes economic costs of conversion, and the context and reasons for women converting to Islam in a society with pervasive negative stereotypes about the faith. Continue reading


The continuing violence in Mali highlights one of the vital challenges facing humanity: the perpetual wars over property acquisition, corporation creeds—the Curse of Jefferson and its radical adversaries from the religious extremists. Both are a clear hindrance to the human potential to break away from perpetual war, and live up to the goodness in all humanity—the spirit of Timbuktu. Challenging the ethical roots of these institutionalized creeds and religious violence is crucial if the current culture of human ‘expendability’ is to be reversed, and the art of life and peace is to be cherished and cultivated. Continue reading

by JULIE POUCHER HARBIN for ISLAMiCommentary and TIRN on DECEMBER 14, 2012: 

Ellen McLarney is Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of Arabic Literature and Culture, Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, Duke University. Her new book Writing Revival: Women in Egypt’s Islamic Awakening (under contract with Princeton University Press) analyzes Islamist women’s writings in Egypt, gender ideologies in the Islamic revival, and feminist ideologies in Islamic thought. She is currently on sabbatical at the National Humanities Center in Durham, NC. 

On Friday, ahead of Egypt’s December 15 and 22 national referendum on it’s new draft constitution, she spoke to me about what the document, if passed, could mean for women. 

“The Egyptian draft constitution calls for equal rights for men and women in a number of different places. This will be the first time in Egyptian history that the constitution asserts women’s unmitigated equality with men.

Under the secular governments of Gamal Abd al-Nasser and Anwar Sadat, in contrast, the constitutions (of 1956 and 1971) suggested that women and men’s equality was limited by, or somehow at odds with, the Sharia.

The new draft constitution continues prior constitutions’ language of balancing women’s duties in the family with her work outside the home, but without the caveat about the Sharia limiting this equality in the domain of the family. The fact that the family will continue to be legislated by religious law, though, ensures that there will still be certain legal inequalities in this area, such as in divorce. Continue reading