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Simon Mabon

Amidst violent contestation across the Middle East leaving regimes facing – or fearing – popular protests, the regulation of political life became increasingly important. Across the past century, the development of political projects has been driven by regime efforts to maintain power, constructing regime-society relations in such a way to ensure their survival. As a consequence, security is not given; rather, it reflects the concerns of elites and embeds their concerns within society, using a range of domestic, regional and geopolitical strategies to meet their needs. These strategies play on a range of different fears and currents to locate regime interests within broader concerns. A key part of such efforts involves the cultivation and suppression of particular identities, often resulting in contestation and uncertainty within and between states. Drawing on the ideas of Giorgio Agamben, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, the article argues that the regulation of sect-based identities – and difference – has been a key part of governance strategies in divided societies across the Middle East, albeit varying across time and space.

Ahmad Mohammed al-Darbas and Mohammed Ebrahem al-Wasmi

Abstract

This article intends to present the significance of mortgage financing in emerging markets and explain how mortgage financing affects positively the economies of emerging countries. It will also show the legal foundations of the real-estate mortgage law and the prerequisites for a successful mortgage financing system. This article intends to define the main challenges that some consider a hindrance to the development of the mortgage market in the Arabian Gulf countries. From this perspective, a brief comparative analysis of mortgage financing will focus on varying laws and regulations that apply to real-estate mortgages in the Gulf region. Implications for the development of the mortgage market in Arabian Gulf countries will be based on challenges in the mortgage market.

Heba Sewilam

Abstract

The post-colonialist academic discourse blames colonialism for the marginalisation of Sharī‘a in the legal systems of Sunnī Muslim-majority countries. However, an analysis of some juristic debates around the Sunnī doctrinal theories of uṣūl al-fiqh and maqāṣid al-sharīʿa exposes few of the theories’ internal problems accounting for the marginalisation. In uṣūl al-fiqh, disputes regarding ijmāʿ and qiyās virtually bring their effectiveness as legal doctrines for positive law legislation to a halt. With regard to maqāṣid al-sharīʿa, an Ašʿarī adherence to a literal reading of the text reduces its potential to produce new Sharī‘a-compliant laws. Such problems render uṣūl al-fiqh and maqāṣid al-sharīʿa ineffective instruments for regulating accelerated legal changes demanded by fast-paced societal and scientific developments and deem the application of Sharīʿa in Sunnī Muslim-majority countries a task neither possible nor even recommended.

Mohammad Nsour

Abstract

This article provides an analysis of outward foreign direct investment (FDI) trends from Turkey in light of the UAE’s interests. The key objective is to present a concise picture of Turkish FDI and of the opportunities within selected sectors in the UAE. Pursuant to this analysis, the article enumerates various challenges the UAE legal system poses to foreign investment. It then offers recommendations for how the UAE can mitigate these challenges without compromising its legal and economic regimes.

Haider Ala Hamoudi

Reyadh Mohamed Seyadi

Abstract

One significant feature of arbitration that distinguishes it from litigation in national courts, is the parties’ freedom to select the arbitrator or members of the arbitral tribunal familiar with the kind of dispute that might arise or already has arisen. In 2012, a new arbitration law was issued in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) inspired by the texts of the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration. In all its provisions it included the requirement not to violate Sharīʿah law (Islamic legal tradition). However, according to this law, the sole arbitrator or presiding arbitrator must hold a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or Sharīʿah law degree. This provision is mandatory, and the parties cannot agree otherwise. This article seeks to provide some thoughts on this restriction through an analysis of arbitrator qualifications under Sharīʿah law in order to provide a better understanding of the position adopted by the KSA Arbitration Law.

Emad Abdel Rahim Dahiyat

Abstract

Although e-commerce is growing at a dramatic rate, there are still areas of concern that need to be addressed adequately by the legislation in order to promote trust in e-commerce and remove any barriers to its full development. This paper thus explores the existing legislation in UAE to determine whether or not this legislation gives due attention to consumer protection in an online environment. Furthermore, this paper briefly addresses the issue of what the law ought to be in order to enhance legal certainty as well as maintain the credibility of the Internet as a market place for consumers.

Joel Blecher

Abstract

Amidst the politics of the Mamluk-era spice route, why did the standard-bearers of Islamic law routinely oppose the sultanate’s imposition of an alms-tax on merchandise (zakāt al-tijāra), despite the abundance of support for such a tax within the classical tradition of Islamic law? Rather than contending – as some modern scholars have – that prominent jurists developed loopholes that circumvented the original intent of the law to protect the wealthy and the ruling class, I argue that it was precisely the jurists’ careful defense of exemptions and exclusions that allowed them to define the essence of zakāt against forms of taxation they considered unlawful. By narrowing the scope of zakāt, jurists attempted to achieve a moral aim that went beyond the ritual purification of wealth: a limit on the sultanate’s otherwise arbitrary power to tax Muslims as it wished. In doing so, they alleviated some of the tax burden for spice merchants and camel herders alike.

Justin Jones

Abstract

Over the last four years, India has become the centre for a major experiment in the implementation of a so-called ‘gender-just Islam’ by Islamic feminist organisations: the formation of a non-official, female-led sharī‘ah court network, within which women serve as qāẓīs (religious judges) to adjudicate disputes within Muslim families. Pre­senting themselves as counterweights to more patriarchal legal bodies, including both the official judiciary and unofficial dispute resolution forums, these sharī‘ah ‘adālats employ both state-centred and community-focused strategies to assist Muslim women experiencing marital or family-related strife. Based on interviews with female qāẓīs and associated documentary sources, I examine how the women who run these courts adjudicate family conflicts according to what they understand as both the Qur’an’s ethical teachings, and its stipulations regarding the proper methods of dispute resolution. I also argue that these all-female sharī‘ah ‘adālats reflect a shift of focus away from court litigation and legislative intervention, and towards non-state, arbitration-focused practices, as the most fruitful means to protect the needs of Muslim women in contemporary India.

Mahmoud M. Dodeen

Abstract

This study explores Islamic law’s position towards the compensation of natural and juridical persons for moral damage within the scope of contractual liability in view of divergent and unclear legal and judicial opinions in Arab countries. One line of argument makes a distinction in the approach to tort and contractual liability. As a result, courts have been influenced by these opinions. In contrast, other jurists have not taken great pains to reach a different discretion in search of the truth. To enrich this study, to ensure a sound interpretation of the true situation, and in an attempt to draw a closer link between the positions of Islamic law and Latin law, the study provides a comparison between the civil codes of three Arab countries: Palestine, Jordan and Qatar.