A very enlightening lecture titled ‘Beyond the Canon: Everyday Sharia Practice and Politics in India’ was organized by the Department of Sociology, University of Hyderabad. The talk was held on 20th March 2018 (Tuesday) around 2.30 p.m. at the department lecture hall. The talk was delivered by Prof. Neshat Quaiser who was till recently a faculty member in the Department of Sociology, Jamia Millia Islamia, a Central University, New Delhi.

Prof. Quaiser made an attempt to explore the critical issues surrounding Muslim Personal Law based on Shari’a law (the body of Islamic law) as practiced by Muslims (adhering overwhelmingly to Hanafi school of fiqh-jurisprudence) in contemporary India against the backdrop of state’s constitutional legal edifice.

He further elaborated on two concepts; Taqleed, which is an Islamic terminology meaning the conformity of one person to the teaching of another and Ijtihad, which refers to independent reasoning to finding a solution to a legal issue, in context of Shari’a.

Prof Neshat also touched upon the issue of Faskh-e-Nikah in the Shari’a law which means the dissolution of an Islamic marriage and khula, which is a procedure through which a woman can divorce her husband in Islam while discussing the three important cases from different parts of the country.

He spoke on the status of Muslims in India, rights of women under Shari’a, Muslim Laws and also presented his argument on the demand of a Uniform Civil Code in the contemporary era.

The lecture was followed by a discussion amongst the speaker, faculty members and students from the university present at the venue.

About the speaker: Professor Dr. Neshat Quaiser was till recently a faculty member in the Department of Sociology, Jamia Millia Islamia, Central University, Delhi. His research interests include historical sociology of Muslims, Islam and communalism in Indian sub-continent; historical sociology-social history of South Asian medicine with reference to encounter and exchange between Unani/indigenous and western systems of medical practices and public sphere during colonial/post-colonial India; Religion, Nationalism and Peasant Politics in Indian subcontinent; Colonialism and colonial politics; Post-colonial law and legal theory; media and cultural studies; critical theory.

Monika Tiwari and Swati Pant
MA Communication