Speaker: Prof. Ahmed E. Souaiaia, University of Iowa

Title: The Form and Reform of Inheritance Law in Islamic Societies

About the speaker:

Prof. Souaiaia received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington, Seattle. He has been with the University of Iowa since 2003 with joint appointments in International Studies, Religious Studies, History, and College of Law. His teaching and primary research areas of interest include human rights, women and gender, and comparative law as well as Islamic law, economics, philosophy and (political) thought and institutions in modern and pre-modern Islamic societies. Prof. Souaiaia is the author of several books including Muslims and the Western Conception of Rights: Human Rights in Islamic Societies (2021), Anatomy of Dissent in Islamic Societies: Ibadism, Rebellion and Legitimacy (2013), and Contesting Justice: Women, Islam, Law, and Society (2008). He is also the founder and General Editor of the monograph series Routledge Studies in Islam and Human Rights.

About the topic:

Islamic inheritance law draws its power from its function and legal proof. It governs the transfer of wealth among relatives, and it is derived from the primary source of classical Islamic law—the Quran. Inheritance rights were a source of high stakes tension immediately after the death of the Prophet Muhammad (Fatima’s inheritance) and have continued to polarize societies in Muslim majority countries (the 2018 report by Committee on Individual Rights and Equality in Tunisia). This talk will frame the conversation about this important institution presenting an outline of the sources, interpretation, and application of inheritance law in Islamic societies since the formative period.

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