Portals to the Future: Translations of Powers of Attorney

By Nurfadzilah Yahaya Powers of attorney form the basis of the second chapter of my book Fluid Jurisdictions: Colonial Law and Arabs in Southeast Asia (Cornell University Press, 2020). The digital collection of these documents produced by the Arab communities in the Straits Settlements (mostly Singapore) in the Koh Seow Chuan Collection in the National … Continue reading Portals to the Future: Translations of Powers of Attorney

Family Law as Colonial Specter of Shelter

By Nurfadzilah Yahaya My book  Fluid Jurisdictions: Colonial Law and Arabs in Southeast Asia (Cornell University Press, 2020) traces changing notions of family and clan across legal cultures in the realm of family law. Supposedly, Islamic law does not enter the secular sphere of politics during the colonial period. Yet, although dissipation of political power … Continue reading Family Law as Colonial Specter of Shelter

What does Equality Mean in the Colonies?

By Nurfadzilah Yahaya Two phenomena struck me as particularly incongruous while researching for my book Fluid Jurisdictions: Colonial Law and Arabs in Southeast and plagued me throughout the process of writing it. The first was “illegal occupations” (‘onwettige occupaties’) which referred to land occupied by populations who were not allowed to own the land according … Continue reading What does Equality Mean in the Colonies?

Ṭalāq in the Colonies – Constraints on Colonial Judiciary

By Nurfadzilah Yahaya In my book, Fluid Jurisdictions: Colonial Law and Arabs in Southeast Asia (Cornell University Press, 2020), I demonstrate how colonialism embodies a contradiction; in a sense, colonial authorities limited and restricted subjects’ lives, but their authority gave rise to a sense of possibility for some colonial subjects perceived to be elite.[1] The largest … Continue reading Ṭalāq in the Colonies – Constraints on Colonial Judiciary

Islamic Law in the News Roundup

Ahmadullah, a prominent Muslim cleric from Bangladesh, issued a fatwā stating that using the laughing emoji to mock people is forbidden under Islamic law. Muslim women in Kenya have lobbied the government to ensure that a woman is appointed to the top Kadhi court adjudicating Islamic law matters. A new Pew Research study found that … Continue reading Islamic Law in the News Roundup

Islamic Law, Assisted Reproductive Technologies, and Surrogacy

By Ayman Shabana In the Islamic legal tradition, family relationships are based on one of three main bonds: blood, marriage, and breastfeeding. One’s formal affiliation is determined primarily on the basis of the agnatic line of descent. Family relationships on the maternal side are important but most lineage-related regulations are based on one’s patrilineal descent. … Continue reading Islamic Law, Assisted Reproductive Technologies, and Surrogacy

Islamic Law of Paternity and DNA Evidence

By Ayman Shabana In the Islamic tradition, Islamic rules governing paternity are closely tied to a number of important legal concepts and procedures. Most importantly, paternity regulations have strong connections with marriage and the definition of a licit sexual relationship, mainly in light of the well-known Prophetic report which has established that link “the child … Continue reading Islamic Law of Paternity and DNA Evidence

Islamic Law, (Bio)ethics, and Ethical Gatekeeping of Science

By Ayman Shabana One of the important reasons why the use of the term “Islamic law” as the English counterpart for sharīʿa is problematic has to do with the conceptualization of the relationship between law and ethics in Islam. In the modern period, the term “law” is often understood as positive, secular, or man-made law, … Continue reading Islamic Law, (Bio)ethics, and Ethical Gatekeeping of Science