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The institution of waqf, the Islamic charitable foundation, has been the topicof intensified research since 1970. Increasingly, its historical, economic, and social implications have been highlighted and explored. Legal aspects of waqf-the rules, procedures, and institutions that govern its establishment and operation have been relatively neglected, however.

In response to this situation the Islamic Legal Studies Program of Harvard Law School and Randi Deguilhem of the Institut de Recherches et d'Etudes sur le Monde Arabe et Musulman (IREMAM) in Aix-en-Provence are organizing a conference "The Law of Waqf." The conference will be held in three stages, organized chronologically, which capture three distinct eras of waqf up to modern times. The first stage "Origins to Ottoman-Era Maturity" will be held this coming May 2006 at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Subsequent stages are titled "Modern State Control and Nationalization" and "Contemporary Regeneration."

For the first stage, the organizers are soliciting presentations that give insight into the law that formed and transformed the institution of waqf from its genesis through 1800 C.E. Examples of subjects of interest include studies of court records, particular fatwas or state-issued legislation revealing waqf law and administration, the legal means used in official attempts to expropriate waqfs, key divergences among the schools as to waqf doctrines, modifications or innovations in waqf law in particular historical contexts, discussions concerning the legality of private waqfs, laws and legal practices as to Christian and Jewish waqfs, the legal construction of the nazir role, varieties of contracts for exploitation of waqf assets and for renewal of waqfs, etc.

The conference language will be English. Previously presented or published work will not be accepted. Abstracts of up to 400 words, clearly stating the legal dimension of the topic, should be e-mailed, either in the body of the e-mail or as an attachment, to ilsp@law.harvard.edu, with as subject heading "The Law of Waqf I". If sending an attachment, please avoid using uncommon fonts for transliteration, which may not be legible upon receipt. The e-mail should include the complete name, occupation, and work or university affiliation of the author. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is September 15, 2005. For more information, contact Peri Bearman at : pbearman@law.harvard.edu