Zubair Abbasi completed his doctorate from the Faculty of Law, Oxford University. The focus of his doctoral thesis was on the transplantation of English legal system in colonial India and the interaction between Islamic law (Fiqh) and English law in this process. He conducted a case study of the developments in Islamic waqf law under the British legal system by analysing the jurisprudence developed in the judgments of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and various Indian High Courts. His research revealed the crucial role played by Muslim lawyers, judges, ‘ulama’, and politicians in the formation of Anglo-Muhammadan Law (later called Muslim Personal Law). It showed how they simultaneously negotiated and collaborated with, and resisted the colonial administrators in the making and operation of the new Indian legal system.
Dr Abbasi is currently exploring the legal process of the ‘judicial Islamisation’ of laws in Pakistan in the historical context of the convergence of the principles of Islamic law and English law in colonial India. He is also examining the relationship between Sharia and the modern state in the larger context of the scholarship that explores the relationship between different legal systems and their impact on economic and political development of a country.
Dr Abbasi is interested in comparative commercial and organisational law and its impact on economic and political developments in the developing world, especially in South Asia and the Middle East. He holds an LL.M Corporate Governance, Manchester University and LL.B (Hons)Sharia & Law, International Islamic University Islamabad. He practiced as a commercial and corporate lawyer in Islamabad for several years before joining academia. Dr Abbasi has published in the areas of corporate legal theory, classical Islamic law, Indian legal history, law and finance, and law and development.
At LUMS, Dr Abbasi teaches Islamic Jurisprudence, Muslim Personal Law and an elective course on Comparative Corporate Law and Governance.
Abbasi, Muhammad Zubair, Sharia and State Law: Relevance of Islamic Legal History for the Application of Muslim Family Law in the West, Journal of Law, Religion and State, 2(3) 2015, 124-38.
Abbasi, Muhammad Zubair, Islamic Law and Social Change: An Insight into the Making of Anglo-Muhammadan Law, (Oxford) Journal of Islamic Studies, 3 (25) 2014, 263-297.
Abbasi, Muhammad Zubair, Colonial State and Muslim Institutions: History of Regulatory Framework for Awqaf (Religious Endowments) in British India in Brown, Rajeswary Ampalavanar and Pierce, Justin, Charities in the Non-Western World: The Development and Regulation of Indigenous and Islamic Charities (2013 Routledge) 310-32.
Abbasi, Muhammad Zubair, The Classical Islamic Law of Waqf: A Concise Introduction, Arab Law Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 2, 2012, 121-53.
Abbasi, Muhammad Zubair, Legal Analysis of Agency Theory: An Inquiry into the Nature of Corporation, International Journal of Law and Management, Vol. 51, No. 6, 2009, 401-420.
Abbasi, Muhammad Zubair, Legal Person and Determination of the Legal Personality of a Government Department, Journal of Pakistan Law Digest, September 2006, 97.
Book review: Muhammad Zubair Abbasi (2010) “The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World”, International Journal of Law and Management, Vol. 52: 4, 332–335.
Book Review: Muhammad Zubair Abbasi (2012) “Muslim Endowments and Society in British India”, Journal of Law and Social Policy, (Vol. 1, No. I) January 2012, Islamabad, 87-89.
Conferences and Seminars
Annual Workshop of the Institute for Global Law & Policy held at Harvard Law School between June 1 - 4, 2015
Presented a paper: ‘Co-existence of Sharia and the Modern Sate: A Historical Perspective from South Asia’.
Conference on Gender and the Colonial held at SOAS Centre for Gender Studies, University of London between May 12 to 14, 2015
Presented a paper: ‘Living within the limits prescribed by Allah: Post-colonial Judiciary and Women’s Right to Divorce under Islamic Law in Pakistan’.
Workshop ‘Islamic Family Law: How Change is advocated’ held at the Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts on 12-13 February 2015
Presented a paper: ‘Judicial Ijtihad as a Tool for Legal Reform: Extending Women’s Right to Divorce under Islamic Law in Pakistan’.
International Fiqh Conference on Current Issues in Muslim Personal Laws: Between Sharia and State Legislation held at International Islamic University Islamabad on 13-15 May 2014
Presented a paper: ‘Relevance of Islamic Legal History in the Debate on the Application Muslim Family Law in the West’.
Property in South Asia: History, Law and Politics held at the University of Pennsylvania Law School on 18-19 April 2014
Presented a paper ‘Non-legislating State: Islamic Law and Modern State in the Discourse on Judicial Islamisation of Property Laws in Pakistan’.
Institutions and their Discontents: Rethinking Economic Development in South Asia held at Cambridge University on 17-18 March 2014
Presented a paper ‘Law and Economic Efficiency: English Private Property Law and Muslim Family Endowments (awqaf) in British India’.
The Shari’a Project: A UK-Netherlands Network of Scholars of Islamic Law Fourth Workshopon February 6 and 7, 2014 held at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter with guest scholar, Professor Wael Hallaq from Columbia University
Presented a paper, 'Co-existence of Sharia and the Modern State: A Historical Perspective from South Asia'.
Oxford Legal History Forum, Faculty of Law, Oxford University, Tuesday 19 November 2013
Presented a paper under the title: ‘Sharia under the English Legal System: Awqaf (Endowments) in the Making of Anglo-Muhammadan Law’.
Property Law Discussion Group Faculty of Law, Oxford University, Thursday 31st October 2013
Presented a paper under the title: ‘Islamic Family Settlements and the English Rule against Perpetuities’.
Conference ‘Exploring New Directions in the Islamic Legal Tradition: Human Rights and Legal Reform in the 21st Century’ held at Law School Brunel University, 18 June 2013
Presented a paper under the title: ‘Judicial Ijtihad: Contribution of the English Legal System in the Development of Islamic law’.
Annual Meeting of the Economic History Conference held at York University, 5-7 April 2013
Presented a paper under the title: ‘The Genesis of Business Corporations: A Comparative Historical Analysis’.
Annual Meeting of the Economic History Conference held at Oxford University, 30 March-1 April 2012
Presented a paper under the title: ‘Different Patterns of the Development of Business Organisations in the Middle East and Europe: An Analysis of Diversity from Legal Perspective’.
Islamic Research Institute, International Islamic University Islamabad, 10 and 14 January 2012
Presented two papers on Classical Islamic Law of Waqf; and Developments in Waqf Law in British India.
International Conference on “Philanthropy, the State and Globalisation” held at the University of Hong Kong, 6-8 December 2012
Contributed a paper: ‘Colonial State and Muslim Institutions: History of Regulatory Framework for Awqaf (Religious Endowments) in British India’.
International Graduate Legal Research Conference held at King’s College London, 7-8 April 2011
Presented a paper under the title: ‘Legal Analysis of Agency Theory: An Inquiry into the Nature of Corporation’.
PhD Law Conference held at Queen Mary, London on 7 June 2011
Presented a paper under the title: ‘What caused the Rise of Business Corporations? An analysis inspired by the Middle Eastern Experience’.
‘Rights, Morality, and the Law’ Conference held at Birmingham University, 21 September 2010
Presented a paper under the title: ‘Making Sense of the Pure Theory of Law in the Real World: A Perspective from Pakistan’.
Harvard Law School Institute for Global Law & Policy (IGL&P) held Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Doha between January 2 and 12, 2015
Presented a paper: ‘Islamic Law and Modern State in the Discourse on Judicial Islamisation of Property Laws in Pakistan’
European Historical Economics Society Summer School held at Carlos III University Madrid, Spain during June 27–30, 2012
Contributed a paper: ‘The Genesis of Business Corporations: A Comparative Historical Analysis’
Residential training course for postgraduate students held at Chancellors, University of Manchester during 28 November– 1 December 2012
Contributed a paper: ‘Law and Economic Efficiency: English Private Property Law and Muslim Family Endowments (awqÄf) in British India’.
PhD course on ‘Ideologies, Ideas and Values during the Industrial Revolution’ held at Gothenburg University, Sweden during 4-9 September 2011
Contributed a paper under the title: ‘Why Did Corporations Develop in Europe and not in the Middle East?’