AARON SPEVACK, VISITING FELLOW, PROGRAM IN ISLAMIC LAW (PIL), HARVARD LAW SCHOOL
LUNCH TALK :: “ISLAMIC FINANCE AND TALFIQ: PIECING TOGETHER A NEW ECONOMY”
Feb 26 | 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM | Austin 102
Although pre-modern scholars often prohibited talfiq--the combining of disparate opinions from a multitude of legal schools in order to produce a new action previously deemed impermissible--this very practice has proved indispensable in the contemporary phenomenon known as Islamic Finance. Among the striking accomplishments of Islamic Finance is the uniting of traditionalists, modernists, and fundamentalists (broadly conceived) around a set of rulings and methods that in other domains of practice--such as worship--would be far more controversial. This talk will focus on how talfiq and similar methods were wielded by scholars who, through a mix of realism and idealism carved out a niche for a prescriptive model of economic activity that functioned within rather than outside the broader domain of the global economy. Presumably with no fully functioning example of an "Islamic Economy" to descriptively indicate proper economic principles and rulings, the scholars of Islamic Finance prescribed instead a new set of rules which, though rooted in pre- modern "jurist's law", created a patchwork of new rulings and pieced together a new Islamic economy. Lunch will be provided. RSVP to PIL@law.harvard.edu.