The International Society for Islamic Legal Studies (ISILS) was conceived in 2003, in Murcia, Spain, during the convening of the Fourth International Conference on Islamic Legal Studies (ILS). A group of participants came together to take steps to establish a more official body for the planning and organizing of the triennial conference that began as the Joseph Schacht Conference on Theory and Practice in Leiden and Amsterdam in the Netherlands, in 1994. Since that first conference, organized to attract submissions for the newly launched journal Islamic Law and Society, three more conferences had been organized by the same founding parents of the Leiden/Amsterdam conference, who were beginning to feel that they should not be monopolizing the choice of conference theme and location.

In May 2004, articles of organization were filed with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, effectively incorporating the International Society for Islamic Legal Studies. The statutory articles can be found in the Corporate Database (fill in the society’s name) at: www.sec.state.ma.us/cor/coridx.htm.

As of June 2012 the membership had grown to 83 members, from 47 at the time of the first Business Meeting in 2006. The next census-taking will be on the occasion of the fourth Business Meeting, convened at the Eighth ILS Conference in 2015.

The website was launched in December 2007. ISILS is deeply appreciative of those members who contributed funds in addition to membership dues to make the website possible.