Located at the intersection of four regions, the Middle East, East Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia, Afghanistan is a country whose legal history is sure to be diverse and exciting at the confluence of multiple legal currents. In the book Afghanistan Rising: Islamic Law and Statecraft between the Ottoman and British Empires, Faiz Ahmed shows how Afghanistan could be regarded as a pivot for Islamic intellectual currents from the late nineteenth century onward, especially between the Ottoman Empire and South Asia. Afghanistan Rising makes us aware of our own assumptions of the study of Islamic law that has been artificially carved out during the rise of area studies, including Islamic studies. Ahmed provides a good paradigm for a legal history of a country that was attentive to foreign influences without being overwhelmed by them. While pan-Islamism is often portrayed as a defensive ideology that developed in the closing decades of the nineteenth century in reaction to high colonialism, the plotting of Afghanistan's juridical Pan-Islam in Ahmed's book is a robust and powerful maneuver out of this well-trodden path, as the country escaped being “landlocked” mainly by cultivating regional connections in law.

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