Browse results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 67 items for :

  • Laws of the Middle East x
  • Upcoming Publications x
  • Just Published x
  • Access: Open Access x
  • Search level: All x
Clear All
Author:

Abstract

It is not self-evident to associate revolution with law. The disruption of political order that usually underlies revolutionary outbreaks is thought to affect legal rules so that they are no longer orienting actors. However, if law might be a source of constraints, ontologically it is more surely a discursive register tied to a state’s legitimacy. When the state’s control is at stake, as in a revolutionary situation, one can therefore understand that actors pay attention to the legal significance of their actions. The article will draw on this to analyze the Egyptian army’s arrival to power and Mubarak’s departure during the Revolution of 25 January 2011. By framing their acts as ruptures with constitutional legality (constitutional breakdowns), the article will suggest a richer and more nuanced narrative to the one commonly put forth by the literature. It will point to institutional strategies likely underpinning both actors’ decisions and show that the army’s initial intervention and Mubarak’s resignation might have been less definitive at the time. It will also suggest new ways to think about the relation between law and revolutionary politics. By drawing notably on an understanding of law as a system of meaning from which actors make sense of events and act on them, it will show that legal studies can shed light on revolutionary moments beyond the issue of revolutionary processes’ institutionalization.

Open Access
In: Middle East Law and Governance
Author:

Abstract

The Imami Shiʿa are usually treated as a community defined by belief. By analysing a letter attributed to the ninth Imami Imam, Muḥammad al-Jawād dated to the year of his death in 220/835, I show that the Imami Shiʿa were defined also by institutional structures that tied them to their Imam in his capacity as community leader. Details of transmission, form and content suggest that the letter may well be authentic, giving us a unique window onto the Imamic administration. The letter is a tax demand, encouraging payment of the khums levy upon the spoils of war and other items. My analysis suggests that the understanding of khums and ghanīma among Imamis at this time continued to be fluid, subject to the Imam’s adjustment, and that implementation influenced the elaboration of the law. Subsequently, hadith scholars and jurists were thus forced to interpret how such ad hoc, pragmatic acts fit into Islamic law, which is conceived as eternal and divine.

Open Access
In: Islamic Law and Society

Abstract

Despite the adoption of the mixed approach in the application of corporate governance (CG), largely based on the ‘comply or explain’ principle, the Kuwaiti corporate governance system still faces major limitations that have become particularly noticeable from the event of voluntary delisting by a slew of companies after the new Kuwaiti Code of Corporate Governance (KCCG) came into force in 2016. One apparent limitation is caused by the widespread culture of non-compliance, an observation supported by the Capital Market Authority Report on Voluntary Delisting from 2010 to 2016. Empirical analysis was conducted on a sample of 29 companies, all of which were delisted during application of the new KCCG of 2015 until April 2020. This voluntary delisting also indicates other salient limitations such as deficiencies in the CG legal framework, the asymmetrical concentration of share ownership in the hands of larger shareholders, and the passivity of shareholders in Kuwaiti-listed shareholding companies.

Open Access
In: Arab Law Quarterly

Abstract

Digital humanities has a venerable pedigree, stretching back to the middle of the twentieth century, but despite noteworthy pioneering contributions it has not become a mainstream practice in Islamic Studies. This essay applies humanities computing to the study of Islamic law. We analyze a representative corpus of works of Islamic substantive law (furūʿ al-fiqh) from the beginnings of Islamic legal jurisprudence to the early modern period (2nd/8th-13th/19th c.) using several computational tools and methods: text-reuse network analysis based on plain-text annotations and html tags, clustered frequency-based analysis, word clouds, and topic modeling. Applying machine-guided distant reading to Islamic legal texts over the longue-dureé, we study (1) the role of the Qurʾān, (2) patterns of normative qualifications (aḥkām), and (3) the distribution of topics in our corpus. In certain instances the analysis confirms claims made in the scholarly literature on Islamic law, in other instances it corrects such claims.

Open Access
In: Islamic Law and Society
Author:

Abstract

This essay examines qur’anic “exhortation” and “legal paraenesis” in light of pre-Islamic Arabic poetry and late antique biblical traditions. It analyzes the verb waʿaẓa and related forms in narrative and legal/legislative sections of suras that can be assigned to different chronological stages of the Qur’an’s textual genesis. Qur’anic exhortations initially occur in narratives about messengers sent to unbelieving peoples. The word mawʿiẓa then becomes part of the self-referential vocabulary of the Qur’an and is used to characterize the contents of Moses’ Tablets. This linguistic development anticipates a process of legal and regulatory actualization, specification, and exposition: in the Medinan period, legal discourse is framed with the verb waʿaẓa. The emerging Medinan legal paraenesis puts emphasis on social applicability, but it is neither parochial nor does it break with Meccan ethics. Instead, it connects the communication and implementation of laws, rulings, and commands to human volition in a specific social context.

Open Access
In: Islamic Law and Society
Author:

Abstract

This article explores how jurists articulated the distinction between free and enslaved Muslim women through sartorial norms in the formative and early post-formative periods of Islamic law. Drawing on works of fiqh (positive law), tafsīr (Qurʾān commentary) and ḥadīth (Prophetic and non-Prophetic reports), I posit that this distinction attests to the tensions between “proprietary” and “theocentric” sexual ethics, as noted by Hina Azam. Specifically, I track the variant transmissions of a widely-cited report featuring the Caliph ʿUmar (r. 13–23/634–44), and trace how jurists responded to the free-slave binary in their discussion of “modesty zones” (ʿawrāt) and veiling practices. Based on a detailed examination of fiqh sources to the early fifth Islamic century (with some attention to subsequent material), I argue that Islamic modesty norms are best understood in light of the proprietary/theocentric binary, and that the divergence between juristic expectations of free and enslaved women increased in the post-formative period.

Open Access
In: Islamic Law and Society
Author:

Abstract

In the seventeenth century, Ottoman jurists repeatedly tried to stop Muslims from stating that they “belonged to the religion of Abraham.” A century earlier, however, the expression had been a core part of the new confessional identity of the empire’s Muslims. This article explores how the phrase changed from an attestation of faith to a sign of heresy through a study of a short pamphlet by Minḳārīzāde Yaḥyā Efendi. Minḳārīzāde argued that the use of the phrase is not permissible and addressed his arguments not to learned scholars, but to the semi-educated. I argue that Minḳārīzāde’s pamphlet provides a glimpse into “vernacular legalism” in action in the Ottoman Empire, that is, how semi-educated audiences received and understood legal debates and subsequently turned law into a space of popular politics.

Open Access
In: Islamic Law and Society
Breaching the Bronze Wall deals with the idea that the words of honorable Muslims constitutes proof and that written documents and the words of non-Muslims are of inferior value. Thus, foreign merchants in cities such as Istanbul, Damascus or Alexandria could barely prove any claim, as neither their contracts nor their words were of any value if countered by Muslims. Francisco Apellániz explores how both groups labored to overcome the ‘biases against non-Muslims’ in Mamlūk Egypt’s and Syria’s courts and markets (14th-15th c.) and how the Ottoman conquest (1517) imposed a new, orthodox view on the problem. The book slips into the Middle Eastern archive and the Ottoman Dīvān, and scrutinizes sharīʿa’s intricacies and their handling by consuls, dragomans, qaḍīs and other legal actors.
In: Breaching the Bronze Wall: Franks at Mamluk and Ottoman Courts and Markets
In: Breaching the Bronze Wall: Franks at Mamluk and Ottoman Courts and Markets