AMI Holds Inaugural Quranic Conference: Regulative Verses of the Qur’ān (āyāt al-aḥkām)

Al-Mahdi Institute held a two-day international academic conference, marking a new chapter in the Institute’s commitment to promoting research and scholarship in various Islamic disciplines. This event was the first in a series of conferences devoted to examining aspects of the Quran. Internationally acclaimed scholars presented 19 papers in three main panels: historical reception, philosophical debates, and thematic contributions.

The historical context for the development of the genre of ayāt al-aḥkām across different schools of thought was set by the first four papers. Devin J. Stewart’s assessment of the earliest manifestations of this genre was followed by Nora K. Schmid’s exploration of Ibadi contributions. Robert Gleave and S. M. Ghari Seyed Fatemi then examined Akhbārī and Uṣūlī contributions, highlighting the Imāmī approach to the Quran as a legal source. These papers laid the foundation for subsequent panels on philosophical approaches and thematic issues.

The philosophical panel featured seven papers, including Hamid Vahid’s proposal for understanding obligatory faith in the Quran and Salwa El-Awa’s Relevance Theory-based approach to linguistic ambiguity. M. Ashraf Adeel discussed arguments for conditional variability of hadd punishments, while Mahmoud Morvarid presented a Decision-Theoretic Approach to the Ḥujjiyya of regulative verses. Gholamreza Aavani explored the universality of Quranic divine commands, and Oliver Leaman examined the relationship between ayat al-ahkam and maqasid al-shariʿa.

Finally, Shaykh Arif Abdul Hussain analysed regulative verses from an existential perspective.

The thematic contributions panel began with Abla Hasan’s critical study of the elite male addressee myth and its implications for regulative verses. Karen Bauer examined households, patronage, and social structuring of Qur’anic law, while Muhammad Zubair Abbasi explored inheritance rights of childless widows under Shia personal law in Pakistan. Holger Zellentin discussed Biblical Law, the Decree of the Apostles, and the Qur’an, followed by Nicolai Sinai’s analysis of divine law in Quranic moral theology. Etin Anwar considered environmental ethics in Qur’anic regulatory verses, and Sarra Tlili examined the Quran and killing for food.

The panel concluded with Imranali Panjwani’s reflection on the obligatory nature of Ṣalāt al-Layl and Sūrat al-Muzammil as a case study.

The inaugural Quranic conference showcased diverse perspectives on regulative verses of the Quran, highlighting the importance of promoting shared academic spaces for scholars to present and debate research. Al-Mahdi Institute, in collaboration with AMI Press, plans to publish an edited volume of the conference papers in March 2024.





Presenter Title of Paper View Abstract
Dr Imranali Panjwani (Anglia Ruskin University) Metaphysical and jurisprudential implications of the discussion surrounding the obligatory nature of Ṣalāt al-Layl: Sūrat al-Muzammil as a case Click here
Dr Mahmoud Morvarid (Institute of Research in Fundamental Science) A Decision-Theoretic Approach to the Ḥujjiyya
of the Regulative Verses
Click here
Prof. Holger Zellentin (University of Tübingen) Biblical Law, the Decree of the Apostles, and the
Click here
Prof. Robert Gleave (University of Exeter) The Irrelevance of “Quranic meaning”:
Akhbārī Shīʿī interpretive techniques and the
legal verses of the Qur’an
Click here
Shaykh Arif (Al-Mahdi Institute) An Analysis of Ayāt al-aḥkām (regulative verses)
from an Existential Perspective
Click here
Prof. Etin Anwar (Hobart and William Smith Colleges) The Quranic regulatory verses in environmental
Click here
Prof. Hamid Vahid (Institute of Research in Fundamental Science) Making Sense of Obligatory Faith in the Quran Click here
Prof. Oliver Leaman (University of Kentucky) Ayāt al-aḥkām and maqasid al-shari`a:
understanding the relationship
Click here
Dr Abla Hasan (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) The myth of the elite male addressee and its
implications for regulative verses
Click here
Prof. M. Ashraf Adeel (Kutztown University of Pennsylvania) Arguments for Conditional Variability of Hadd
Click here
Prof. Devin J. Stewart
(Emory University)
Notes on the Early History of the Genre of
Aḥkām al-Quran
Click here
Dr Salwa El-Awa (Swansea University) Intentional Linguistic Ambiguity and
Interpretation of Aḥkām al-Qur’ān: A Relevance
Theory-based Approach
Click here
Prof. Nicolai Sinai (University of Oxford) The Place of Divine Law in the Quran’s Moral
Click here
Prof. S. M. Ghari Seyed Fatimi (Al-Mahdi Institute and Shahid Beheshti University) The Imāmī Reception of āyāt al-aḥkām Click here
Dr Nora K. Schmid (Hamburg University and University of Oxford) Āyāt al-aḥkām in early Ibadi thought Click here
Dr Karen Bauer (The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London) Towards a New Understanding of the Shīʿī Doctrine of Tawhīd: A Burrellian Reading of Ṭabāṭabāʾī’s Concept of Monotheism Click here
Dr Muhammad Zubair Abbasi (Bradford University) The Quran as the Source of Rights:
Inheritance Rights of Childless Widows under
Shia Personal Law in Pakistan
Click here
Prof. Gholamreza Aavani (Al-Mahdi Institute & Academy of Sciences of Islamic
Republic of Iran)
The Universality of the Quranic Divine
Commands versus the Casuistic Interpretation
of the Regulative Verses
Click here
Dr Sarra Tlili (University of Florida) The Quran and Killing for Food: When Moral
Intuition Faces Complex Realities
Click here