In her fascinating new book The Politics of Islamic Law: Local Elites, Colonial Authority, and the Making of the Muslim State
(University of Chicago Press, 2017), Iza Hussin
, Lecturer of Politics at University of Cambridge examines the transformation of Islamic law in colonial Malay, Egypt, and India. Combining archival, institutional, and political history, this book charts in staggering detail the centralization of Islamic Law in the shadow of colonial power during and after its attempted marginalization in Muslim societies. Much of this book is focused on explaining this apparent paradox, and a task that it achieves with convincing clarity. By presenting a nuanced and complicated picture of the interaction of colonial power and the colonized elite, Hussin offers a narrative of the making and remaking of Islamic Law in modernity that will delight the intellectual palate of specialists and non-specialists alike.
SherAli Tareen is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His academic publications are available at https://fandm.academia.edu/SheraliTareen/. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listener feedback is most welcome.