Does Sharī͑a (Islamic) Law Need Saving?

Mohamed Arafa, Shahzad Bashir, Nader El-Bizri, Nauman Faizi, Lena Salaymeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using Shahzad Bashir’s open-access publication A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures as a baseline, this symposium debates whether and how intellectual history can be done otherwise. Mohamed ‘Arafa follows Bashir’s invitation to explore the potential of open-ended historiographies when he thinks about the viability of a flexible method to interpret Sharī͑a. Nader El-Bizri interrogates whether the assemblage of personal experiential accounts offered by Bashir can be framed within the discourse of intellectual history at all. Nauman Faizi reads Bashir’s approach as a radical attempt to open up hermeneutical possibilities. Lena Salaymeh suggests that modern aesthetics can contribute to neo-colonial distortions of the Islamic tradition, rather than offering alternatives to positivist historiography. Bashir proposes in his response that academics adopt generosity as an analytical gesture in their academic writing, a generosity that would enable different ways of being human in the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-108
Number of pages40
JournalJournal of World Philosophies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • historiographies
  • intellectual history of the Islamicate world
  • life-worlds
  • material culture
  • nominalistic approach


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