Historical Primary Sources: The Governors and Judges of Egypt or Kitāb el ʿumarāʾ (el wulāh) wa Kitāb el quḍāh

In this historical text, Muḥammad b. Yūsuf al-Kindī reports that the Qaysī Arabs and Yamanī Arabs, two warring tribes, were prohibited from testifying against one another by the Egyptian judge Tawba b. Namir (115–120/733–738). Ahmed El Shamsy references this source to explore how the concern of bias due to enmity might also serve as sufficient … Continue reading Historical Primary Sources: The Governors and Judges of Egypt or Kitāb el ʿumarāʾ (el wulāh) wa Kitāb el quḍāh

Historical Primary Sources: A Petition to the Ottoman Sultan from Egypt, 1155 AH (1742-3)

In this post, Dr. James Baldwin examines a petition sent to the Ottoman Sultan from Egypt in 1155 AH (1742-3), concerning a dispute between a Muslim and a Christian in the town of Zifta. The Muslim petitioner attempts to enforce the regulation of the Pact of 'Umar that forbids non-Muslims from having houses taller than … Continue reading Historical Primary Sources: A Petition to the Ottoman Sultan from Egypt, 1155 AH (1742-3)

CASE COMMENT: Shamim Ara and the Divorce Politics of a Secular and Modern India

South Asia editor Jeff Redding argues that the "state vs. non-state character of talaq" is too often overlooked as a factor influencing the Indian Supreme Court's decision in the landmark case Shamim Ara v. State of U.P. (2002). While the decision's positive effect on Muslim women's welfare in India cannot be denied, the contemporary Indian state's concerns about presenting itself as a … Continue reading CASE COMMENT: Shamim Ara and the Divorce Politics of a Secular and Modern India

A Court by Any Other Name: State ‘Courts’ and Sharīʿa Councils

South Asia editor Jeff Redding compares the British sharīʿa courts debate to similar debates going on in India. He examines the semantic approach of the current debate, and questions whether this approach fully encompasses the issue. Controversies over non-state Islamic dispute resolution have flared around the globe in the last several years, in sites as diverse as Canada, India, and … Continue reading A Court by Any Other Name: State ‘Courts’ and Sharīʿa Councils

The Limits of State Religion and Non-Muslim Minorities: The Moroccan ‘Baha’i Affair’ of 1962

Amidst the tensions raised by Islamic constitutional states as they deal with non-Muslim minorities, worth considering is how Muslim-majority states have resolved the issue in the past. Morocco editor Ari Schriber considers the political ramifications of Islamic laws governing religious minorities in an episode that faced Morocco as it gained independence: Morocco's 1962 Baha'i Affair. Morocco's then-recent independence heralded a … Continue reading The Limits of State Religion and Non-Muslim Minorities: The Moroccan ‘Baha’i Affair’ of 1962