SHARIAsource and the Need for Islamic Digital Humanities: A Response to “A Political History of Digital Humanities” in the LA Review of Books Editor-in-chief Intisar Rabb brings SHARIAsource and the study of Islamic law into the greater discussion of technology and the humanities. She responds to recent arguments made against digital humanities. In a recent article in the LA Review of Books, Daniel Allington and his colleagues suggest that digital platforms may distract from text-based analyses. But those very platforms may remind readers of the difficulties some fields, such as Islamic law, face in accessing these very texts. Scholars and researchers of Islamic law still face a dire need for greater accessibility, and the “digital humanities” projects that aim to give it – like SHARIAsource and Brown University’s Digital Islamic Humanities project – assuage these difficulties by bringing together experts, making way for more comparative research, and helping to facilitate qualitative and quantitative research results. Read more. Image credit:


Intellectual Property for Islamic Law? Deriving Similar Patent Regimes from John Locke and the Qurʾān When it comes to new technology and Islamic law, it turns out that the principles of Western intellectual property law are quite similar to Islamic property and contract law, according to Turkey editor Gizem Orbey. On her analysis, the latter permits the same applications as the former. Consider John Locke’s considerations on property in his Second Treatise on Government. They compare closely to the Qurʾān’s proclamation that, although all property belongs to God in its natural state, people may create ownership by making something useful through labor. Because a patent or license can be considered a contract between a state operating as an individual and the inventor, copyright and ownership laws would, she argues, be in line with the Islamic law of property. Read more. Image credit: SlideShare


New Trends in Regulating Risk in Islamic Finance Innovation occurs as well in ways less tangible than what is traditionally defined as ‘technology,’ as UAE editor Paul Lee‘s piece on Islamic finance suggests. Lee details how U.S. and U.K. courts have attempted to marry Western and Islamic finance without compromising the principle of fair competition. Unlike patents or licenses, however, financial contracts must prioritize uncertain results, acknowledged by Islamic legal systems as ghararand Western court systems’ approaches to regulation. Partly due to this uncertainty, and different strategies in accounting for it, an optimal compromise between Islamic and Western finance remains to be created. As of yet, such regulatory inventions occur on an ad hoc basis. Read more. Image credit: Blog: Brave Organization Never Dies


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