SUMMARY:Topics in Islamic Ritual Law
The ?ib?d?t (Islamic rituals), as many classical and modern scholars would argue, date back to the time of the Prophet Mu?ammad. Indeed, a broad outline of the ?ib?d?t is found in the Qur??n and many of the earliest Islamic sources , though the details of ritual practices at that time remain hard to verify. Concerning these details, when Muslim scholars later tried to justify their conception of how one practices Islam, they cited evidence of the norms and practices from the time of the Prophet whose provenance few questioned. The problematic nature of this approach has been well-established in our field. However, there remains a need for the study of the role of cultural practices in the formation and development of the ?ib?d?t. To what extent is the performance of prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, alms, and ritual purity in the 6th/13th century reminiscent of ritual practices in the 2nd/8th century, or even the 1st/7th century? What changes-in the lands in which Islam originated and into which it expanded--influenced the development of the Islamic religion, and how are these changes reflected in the scholarly and literary material from the early and middle-periods This panel will address these issues from a variety of perspectives.
The presentations for this panel focus on certain aspects of the iibddtt by employing philological, anthropological, and literary approaches. Issues addressed will be the menstrual regulations pertaining to women and their impact on configurations of gender and womanhood; , the impact of how Islam views the ritual purity of women and the prescription of stoning for adultery; how practical matters of footwear impacts legal rulings concerning ablutions; and finally how the manner in which Islamic scholars employ the terminology of the iibddtt squares with its usage pre-Islamic Arab and related Semitic languages. Each of these presentations seeks to place certain aspects of Islamic ritual law within a defined cultural context. Each seeks to expand our knowledge of a tradition that often depicts itself as self-sufficient and self-evident by examining later developments in relation to early evidence. Furthermore, a wide array of evidence is consulted, ranging from inscriptions, to the Qur?nn, to aadtth collections and fiqh manuals of the AAbbssid era and later, and finally modern critical theory taken from an assortment of disciplines.