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This volume of Annotated Legal Documents on Islam in Europe covers Denmark and consists of an annotated collection of legal documents affecting the status of Islam and Muslims. The legal texts are published in the original Danish language while the annotations and supporting material are in English. By legal documents are meant the texts of legislation, including relevant secondary legislation, as well as significant court decisions. Each legal text is preceded by an introduction describing the historical, political and legal circumstances of its adoption, plus a short paragraph summarising its content. The focus of the collection is on the religious dimensions of being Muslim in Europe, i.e. on individuals' access to practise their religious obligations and on the ability to organise and manifest their religious life.
Breaching the Bronze Wall deals with the idea that the word of honorable Muslims constituted proof and with the concept that written documents and the word of non-Muslims were inferior. Foreign merchants in cities like 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 these ‘biases against non-Muslims’ in the courts and markets of Mamluk Egypt and Syria of the 14th and 15th centuries, and how the Ottoman conquest (1517) imposed a new, orthodox view on the problem. The book dives into the Middle Eastern archive and the Ottoman Dīvān, and scrutinizes the intricacies of sharia and the handling of these intracacies by consuls, dragomans, qaḍīs and other legal actors.
Author: Rudolph Peters
In Shariʿa, Justice and Legal Order: Egyptian and Islamic Law: Selected Essays Rudolph Peters discusses in 35 articles practice of both Shariʿa and state law. The principal themes are legal order and the actual application of law both in the judiciaries as well in cultural and political debates. Many of the topics deal with penal law. Although the majority of studies are situated in the Ottoman and, especially, Egyptian period, few of them are of another region or a more recent period, such as in Nigeria or, also, Egypt. The book’s historical studies are mainly based on archival judicial records and are definitively pioneering. Although the selected articles of this book are the fruit of more than forty years of research, most of them have constantly been cited.

The toleration of religious minorities is changing in the Netherlands. In this paper we analyze three recent developments in Dutch society that are important for understanding the way the Dutch regime of religious tolerance is adjusting to 21st century circumstances. The first one concerns the growing homogenization of Dutch society and the emergence of a secular and liberal majority. The second is the dominance in policy and public debate of a “Protestant” conception of what religion amounts to. The third development is the fragmentation of religion and its simultaneous combination into new networks and groups made possible by new information and communication technologies. These developments pose challenges to constitutional rights and principles. There are no simple solutions to these challenges, but the Dutch tradition of consociationalism, as a liberal tradition in its own right, may provide some valuable perspectives.

In: Journal of Law, Religion and State
Authors: Janosch Prinz and Enzo Rossi

In this paper, we put forward a realist account of the problem of accommodation of conflicting claims over sacred places. Our argument takes its cue from the empirical finding that modern, Western-style states necessarily mould religion into shapes that are compatible with state rule. At least in the context of modern states, there is no pre-political morality of religious freedom that states ought to follow when adjudicating claims over sacred spaces. Liberal normative theory on religious accommodation which starts from the assumption of a pre-political morality of religious freedom is therefore of limited value. As an alternative, we suggest that the question of contested sacred places should be settled with reference to the purposes of the state, at least as long as one is committed to the existence of modern states. If one finds the treatment of religion by the state unsatisfactory, our argument provides a pro tanto reason for seeking alternative forms of political organization.

In: Journal of Law, Religion and State

Abstract

Why did the famous North Indian modernist and founder of the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College in Aligarh, Sayyid Aḥmad Khān (d. 1315/1898), lash out against emulation (taqlīd) in Islamic law (fiqh)? The usual explanation is that he wanted to shift religious authority away from the religious scholars (ʿulamāʾ) toward ordinary Muslims. Countering this claim, I argue that his goal and that of his followers and associates at Aligarh was not primarily to ‘democratize’ Islamic knowledge by doing away with the traditional edifice of Islamic law in general and the four established Sunni legal schools in particular. Rather, Sayyid Aḥmad Khān and his associates attacked taqlīd because, in their view, it failed to yield reliable, certain knowledge (yaqīn). Drawing on Urdu writings, I demonstrate that these modernist thinkers did not engage with the inner logic of Islamic law but rather measured it according to higher, theological, and philosophical standards. In their quest for certainty, they were inspired both by a scientific worldview as well as colonial conceptions of law.

In: Islamic Law and Society

Abstract

This article examines a little-known treatise on the commemoration of ʿĀshūrāʾ (the martyrdom of al-Ḥusayn, the grandson of the Prophet Muḥammad) written by a scholar from the Ḥaḍramawt, ʿAbdallāh b. ʿUmar Bin Yaḥyā (d. 1265/1849). Entitled Risāla fī ibṭāl bidaʿ munkarāt (Treatise on Nullifying Reprehensible Innovations), the text was composed in response to the ʿĀshūrāʾ commemorative processions introduced by South Asian Muslims in early nineteenth century Malay-Indonesian Archipelago and witnessed by the author during his travel there (1832-1835). In this treatise, Ibn Yaḥyā de­­fines a lawful, regulated, and emotionally restrained way of commemorating al-Ḥusayn’s martyrdom while stressing the imperative of ʿAlid leadership of the umma. I then discuss the recent resurfacing of a redacted summary of the Risāla in Indonesia. I show that in the context of an increasingly intense Sunni-Shiʿi sectarian contestation that characterized contemporary Indonesia, the redacted version of this ʿAlid treatise circulates as an anti-Shiʿi text.

In: Islamic Law and Society

Abstract

This study examines different dimensions and permutations of invaluable judicial support to Islamic financial services and products and identifies specific areas where the judiciary has helped to shape the industry in line with the original value proposition of Islamic financial intermediation. While relying on qualitative legal methods with comparative case analysis from different jurisdictions, this study conducts cross-jurisdiction case analyses and identifies the role of judiciary in introducing sustainable practices. It concludes that the judicial function has played a significant role in ensuring justice and fairness through purposive interpretation of contracts, recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards and judgments, consistency and predictability of outcomes, legal risk mitigation, and facilitation of mediation and arbitral proceedings, thereby positively reshaping the future of Islamic financial services industry. Above all, the availability of binding judicial precedents, which is hitherto not common for Islamic law matters, is a welcome development in the Islamic financial services industry.

In: Arab Law Quarterly

Abstract

The judiciary has a very significant role to play in safeguarding the environment and promoting the right to a clean environment. This study focuses on the role of the judiciary in promoting the right to a clean environment, and, in this regard, will examine the Kuwaiti and Egyptian experience, as both legal systems are among the civil law practice. In addition, it is of importance to expand the study to a different legal practice, such as the common law system. Therefore, this research will also shed light on the role of the judiciary in the United States of America to establish a comparison between three different legal systems. In the course of this study, constitutional, administrative, and other legal provisions will be examined. In addition, significant cases of concern will be provided and discussed in a descriptive, analytical, and critical manner.

In: Arab Law Quarterly