One day International Webinar on Questions from the Ocean, Answers from the Mountain: Law, Love, and Lust
Fatwas are legal opinions by Muslim jurists, akin to responsa in Roman, Canon and Judaic legal traditions. Fatwas are presented to the public in the form of decisions and rulings in response to questions addressed to them.
In this talk, He focuses on a few of fatwa works to explore the interconnections between Java, Sumatra, Malabar, Tamil Nadu, Hadramawt, Mecca and Cairo in the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries.
One never injured multi-marathoner’s stride was so smooth, she ran like an insect over water. Weight was not a factor, with heavy runners among the light-footed and lighter runners among the stompers.
Taking up the juridical questions and answers related to love and lust, and trade and agriculture, He argues that the very act of questions was expressions of indigenous religious authority, while the answers demonstrated an ongoing socio-cultural and economic familiarity between the regions enabled through the Indian Ocean networks of the time.
Scholars have analyzed fatwa collections as a vital source for social and cultural histories. In the existing literature on Islamic legal history and on South or Southeast Asian Islamic traditions, fatwa-collections from the “peripheries” of the Muslim world have been largely ignored, despite the presence of a considerable presence of such texts in both regions.