The Search for Qur'anic Laws: Insights from a Yemeni Qur'an Commentary


Fri, 02/12/2021 - 3:00pm to Wed, 05/25/2022 - 5:54am


Part of the Spring 2021 Middle Eastern and North African Studies Colloquium Series

Scott Lucas, Associate Professor, School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies, Roshan GIDP - Persian and Iranian Studies, University of Arizona

Scott Lucas

The legal verses of the Qur'an remain severely understudied in the field of Islamic Studies. The reasons for this situation are complex, but may derive in part from the ambiguity within the Islamic tradition over which Qur'anic verses are relevant to the articulation of Islamic law. Fortunately, several scholars affiliated with the Zaydi school of Islam in medieval Yemen wrote commentaries devoted exclusively to the legal passages of the Qur'an. The goal of this talk is to introduce the insights of one of these Yemeni-Zaydi scholars, Muhammad b. al-Hadi (d. 1320), found in his unpublished commentary, The Garden and the Pool. This talk will show how Ibn al-Hadi identified legal passages in the Qur'an and linked them to the vast discourse of Islamic law. It will also provide reflections upon the significance of Qur'anic laws for Muslims in the 21st century.


Scott Lucas is an associate professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Arizona. He has published articles and a book on Sunni hadith and law, as well as a two-volume translation of selections from al-Tabari's famous Qur'an commentary. Since 2016, Dr. Lucas has initiated multiple research projects on the Zaydi tradition of Islam in Yemen, based primarily on Arabic manuscripts. His research has been supported by an ACLS Fellowship and a membership in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

This event will be on Zoom. Please register here for the event: Registration for the event ends at 3PM on February 11th and directions for logging on will be emailed out the evening before the event. 

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