Weekend Scholarship Roundup

  • Ahmad Farah and Rasha Hattab discuss the intersections of arbitration and Islamic law in their article “The Application of Shari’ah: Finance Rules in International Commercial Arbitration”  (Utrecht Law Review 16, no.1 (2020)). The article raises the question of whether it would be feasible to find a suitable mechanism to urge arbitration tribunals to apply the rules of Islamic law as substantive law on the disputes brought by parties before them. After defining the general features of Islamic law, they examine the compatibility of contemporary arbitration practices with Islamic rulings, tracing the development of the applications of these rulings in cases of international commercial arbitration. The authors conclude that, despite the lack of a unified Islamic regulatory framework, the application of Islamic law to international commercial arbitration is both practical and recommended.
  • The Hidden Life of Textiles in the Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean (Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, 2020), edited by Nikolaos Vryzidis, collects papers presented at the “Textiles and Identity in the Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean: Paradigms of Contexts and Cross-Cultural Exchanges” conference organized by the British School at Athens in 2016, alongside some new contributions. This collection focuses on textiles and their functions in various Mediterranean contexts during the 10th to 19th centuries. The scope of the contributions encompasses archaeological, anthropological, and art historical perspectives on a great variety of subjects, such as textiles from the Byzantine Empire and the Medieval Islamic world, as well as the production and use of textiles in Italy, the Ottoman empire, Armenia, and Ethiopia.
  • In the article “The Islamic Liberation Reading List” (Los Angeles Review of Books, (2020)), Asad Dandia compiles a list of scholarship that pertains to concepts of liberation within the Islamic tradition. Dandia notes that these texts critically explore the role of the Islamic tradition in global struggles for freedom and justice, sorting the texts into categories ranging from “Qur’anic Discourses” to “Poetry and Music.” The “Law and Theology” category highlights the range of scholarship that spans history and geography, featuring works such as Khaled Abou El Fadl‘s Reasoning with God: Reclaiming Shari’ah in the Modern Age (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2014), Intisar Rabb‘s Doubt in Islamic Law: A History of Legal Maxims, Interpretation, and Islamic Criminal Law (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014), Ousmane Kane‘s Beyond Timbuktu: An Intellectual History of Muslim West Africa (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2016), and Islam and the Problem of Black Suffering (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009) by Sherman Jackson.
  • Sara Rose Sharp‘s article, titled “The Sale of a Rare, Gold-painted Qur’an at Christie’s Raises Questions of Provenance” (Hyperallergic, (2020)), discusses some scholarly critique surrounding the recent sale of a rare 15th century Timurid Qur’an on Ming Dynast gold-painted colored paper. Stephennie Mulder and Yael Rice critique the sale and Christie’s for the lack of in-depth interrogation on the sale of rare historical materials. They highlight the significance of preserving rare materials rather than commodifying them on the art market as well as note concerns about the lack of transparency surrounding the Qur’anic manuscript. Mulder and Rice conclude that transparency about the context in which an object is removed from its country of origin ensures that the purchase of said object is not in violation of the 1954 Hague Convention or the 1970 UNESCO Convention.

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