Islamic Law in the News Roundup

  • Sudan’s bishops celebrated Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s declaration officially forbidding the state from establishing a religion, which had been Islam prior to the declaration.
  • While some Muslims in Malaysia called for making it mandatory for women to wear the ḥijāb (or the tudung, as it is called in Malaysia), Maryam Lee, a prominent human rights activist in the country, argued that the decision should be left to women.
  • Despite victim-shaming and the taboo around it, many Iranian women took to social media in the recent weeks to recount their own experiences of sexual abuse, what commentators label Iran’s “#MeToo movement.”
  • Following Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s signing of an amendment to the existing law, Afghan women recently obtained the right to have their names included on their children’s birth certificates – a move that was partly enabled by Afghanistan’s female human rights activists who had come together around the campaign hashtag “#WhereIsMyName.”
  • Tasmiha Khan of the New York Times reported that for many women who observe the Islamic veil, gender-separate weddings are the norm and provide them with a setting where guests can feel free while also upholding tradition. 
  • The Supreme Court of India asked respondents to make their arguments in a case that involves a constitutional challenge to one of the many marriage laws of the nation, the Special Marriage Act, which petitioners argue violates the right to privacy by requiring  that soon-to-be-wed couples make their intentions to marry each other public no less than 30 days prior to the marriage.
  • In the United Kingdom, sharia councils, similar to other bodies adjudicating matters pertaining to marriage and divorce, have witnessed an increase in so-called “Covid divorces.”
  • A Data Bridge Market Research recently found that the ḥalāl market, which refers to the sale of goods certified as permissible under Islamic law, will reach 93.51 billion US dollars by 2026 – a testament to the ever growing demand for ḥalāl products.
  • Many Muslims and Jews expressed frustration at Poland’s proposal to ban animal slaughter – a country whose religious slaughter trade in the international market is worth billions.
  • In Nigeria, in a decision that sparked international outrage, a religious court sentenced a 10-year-old boy to 13 years in prison for the alleged crime of blaspheming the Prophet.
  • Many Islamic scholars took issue with the recent fatwā ( Islamic legal opinion) issued by the Grand Mufti of Palestine, Sheikh Muhammed Hussein, which forbade Emiratis from visiting the Al-Aqsa Mosque, as a political move in response to recent statements exchanged between Israel and the United Arab Emirates on normalizing relations. 
  • Islamic Finance continues its steady increase as a key player in the international financial market, and a recent survey showed that it is becoming increasingly adept at integrating digital solutions, paving the way for an equally steadily emerging field of finance – what experts call “Islamic FinTech.”
  • Experts reported that the global sukuk market, an Islamic finance market that deals in interest-free and therefore Islamic law-compliant bonds, is on the rise, with an approximate growth rate of 8% during 2014-2019.

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