D. Fairchild Ruggles’Tree of Pearls The Extraordinary Architectural Patronage of the 13th-Century Egyptian Slave-Queen Shajar al-Durr(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020) provides insight into the remarkable life of Shajar al-Durr, an enslaved child who went on to become the Sultan of Egypt in the 13th century. This biography places the rise and fall of the sultan-queen in the wider context of the cultural and architectural development of Cairo, examining a key period of transition from Ayyubid to Mamluk rule. This book concludes with a discussion of what we can know about the material impact of women of both high and lesser social rank in this period, and aims to reconsider gender, modes of power, and authority throughout history.
Islam at 250 Studies in Memory of G.H.A. Juynboll (Leiden : Brill, 2020), edited by Petra M. Sijpesteijn and Camilla Adang, is a collection of original articles on the state of Islamic sciences and Arabic culture in the early phases of their crystallization. It covers a wide range of intellectual activity in the first three centuries of Islam, such as the study of ḥadīth, the Qurʾān, Arabic language and literature, and history. Pointing to the importance of interdisciplinary approaches and signalling lacunae, their contributions seek to show how scholarship has advanced since Juynboll’s days.
Khaled Fahmy, has won the Social History Society (SHS) Book Prize for his recent monograph In the Quest of Justice: Islamic Law and Forensic Medicine in Modern Egypt (Oakland: University of California Press, 2018). This book aims to illustrate how shari’a was implemented historically, how criminal justice functioned, and how scientific-medical knowledges and practices were introduced into modern Egypt.
In “Prioritizing Fair Information Practice Principles Based on Islamic Privacy Law,” (Berkeley Journal of Middle Eastern & Islamic Law11, no. 2 (2020)), Ayesha Rasheed examines Islamic perspectives on privacy and its intersections with extant data privacy regimes. She notes that global privacy law is primarily based on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Fair Information Practice Principles. However, she argues that many nations, such as those with affinities to Islamic law or culture, have rich histories of discourse that speak directly to definitions of privacy interests and methods of privacy protections.