The International Center for Law and Religion Studies was pleased to honor renowned jurist and scholar Dr. Tahir Mahmood, Honorable Member, Eighteenth Law Commission of India, with the Distinguished Service Award at the opening session of the Seventeenth Annual International Law and Religion Symposium on 3 October 2010 in Provo, Utah. The award is given to outstanding proponents of the cause of freedom of religion or belief worldwide, and the Center is deeply honored that Dr. Mahmood, who has inaugurated, attended, and presided over many international conferences and seminars all over the world, was able to travel to Provo to accept this honor. Dr. Mahmood is well-known in India and abroad for his expertise in religion and the law, human rights, and civil liberties. A globally noted authority on Islamic Law, Legal Systems of the Arab World, and Hindu Law, he was the first Muslim to be named to the Law Commission of India, an executive advisory body established by order of the Government of India to work for legal reform, and for which he has served as the only permanent member of the Eighteenth Commission, succeed on 1 September 2010 by the Nineteenth Commission.
Among his many other honors, in March 2010 Professor Mahmood received the 7th prestigious “Shah Waliullah Award” from the Institute for Objective Studies, for outstanding contribution in the field of Islamic law. The chosen field for the award was “Islamic Law in Comparative Perspective.”
Professor Mahmood has been Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi; Chairman, National Commission for Minorities; Member, National Human Rights Commission; and Jurist-Member, Ranganath Misra Commission. He has written and edited more than two dozen books and 500 research papers. His academic work is widely acclaimed and has been cited by the Supreme Court of India and many State High Courts in more than 50 judgments besides being prescribed by many Indian and foreign universities for higher legal studies. He has delivered numerous lectures at internationally renowned Universities. As an expert on family laws, he has advised the International Commission of Jurists and many foreign governments. He is associated in different capacities with a number of notable Indian and foreign academic, legal, and human rights organizations, including the International Society on Family Law, Paris; the Vienna Christian-Islamic Round Table; the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies, based in Milan; the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs, Jeddah; and the Committee for Drafting the Model Constitution for Islamic Countries, Kuala Lumpur. He is also the academic founder of many law schools in India including the Amity Institute of Advanced Legal Studies of which he is the Honorary Chairman.
The International Center of Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University was indeed pleased to bestow upon Dr. Tahir Mahmood its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award for Religious Freedom.