Call for Papers

                                                                                                                         On the theme of

                                                                                                 The Theory and Uses of Maqāid al-Sharīʿa

                                                                                                  Abstract submission deadline: February 19, 2021

The American Journal of Islam and Society would like to invite scholars and historians of Islamic law, legal theory, and practice, scholars of Islamic philosophy and ethics, and specialists in fields (economics, governance, family, etc.) where the notion of maqāid has been frequently deployed, to submit original research papers in any of the following areas:

  • Critical accounts of current and/or past scholarly conceptualizations of the notion of maqāid, including debates between advocates and critics.
  • Theory, critical evaluation, or re/constructive critique of maqāid in the conventional areas of Islamic fiqh as well as in novel areas such as public policy, political theory, economic theory, and family and gender norms.
  • How the maqāid discourse has been politicized by various states, elites, and movements for contradicting ends, and whether such politicization shifts the purpose-oriented and teleological basis of this discourse to result-oriented and self-serving, utilitarian reasoning.
  • How the maqāid discourse has contributed to framing reformist and feminist approaches to concerns about gender and sexual ethics in contemporary Islamic thought and Muslim societies.

In short, we invite scholars to evaluate fundamental theoretical, philosophical, and ethical questions about the maqāid discourse.

To elaborate, we invite studies that take into account the existing arguments from some established disciplinary perspective. We are not asking questions of the type: "How can the maqāid be deployed to solve x, y, and z"  but rather, "What are (or have been in the past) the stakes, risks, benefits, pay-offs, and aporias, of deploying the maqāid discourse in general, or in a particular field?"

In particular, we encourage scholars to ask challenging questions such as

  • What, if any, are the ruptures or discontinuities—with respect to the epistemology, nature, motives, resources —between premodern maqāid discourse (formative period fiqh, al-Ghazālī, Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn ʿAbd al-Salām, al-Shāṭibī) and more recent proposals of maqāid?
  • Historically, what has been the relationship between the maqāid, traditional uṣūl al-fiqh (in its various versions), and the body of positive law in various schools (fiqh)? And, normatively, what ought this relationship to be?
  • How may the maqāid discourse be brought into productive conversation with the classical and modern theological and philosophical discussions on ethics, legal systems, and political thought?
  • Why should or should not maqāid discourse s replace the traditional uṣūl al-fiqh discourse? Does the maqāid discourse make scripture and tradition redundant or relevant and reinvigorated?

Submission Procedures

Those interested should submit an abstract of 500 words to by February 19, 2021. Selected abstracts will receive a remuneration of $100 and an additional $500 upon final submission of a full paper (6000-10,000 words, notes included) if completed before JUNE 30, 2021.

In mid-May 2021 an online symposium will be convened where the selected papers will be presented and discussed. To be included in the symposium, the participants will be asked to submit either the full paper or a 1500-word written talk for circulation by three weeks prior to the symposium.

Full papers must be submitted by JUNE 30, 2021 to be eligible for the aforementioned award. All papers will be considered for publication in a special issue of the American Journal of Islam and Society. Please contact the editors for any questions.

Co-Editors, AJIS

Ovamir Anjum                                                             Shuruq Naguib

University of Toledo                                                      Lancaster University                                        


American Journal of Islam and Society (AJIS) hosted a virtual symposium based on the Call for Papers issued earlier this year on the topic of "Theory and Uses of Maqāṣid al-SharīʿaThe symposium was held on May 2 through May 5.

To see the schedule and watch the presentations, please click on "Read more" ------>

Read more