Islamic Values

How Fatwa Appeals are submitted and Fatwas issued – a summary from a 7 century work on Fatwa

The following is a summary of the section Kayfiyyat al-Istiftā’ wal-Fatwa (How Fatwa Appeals are submitted and Fatwas issued) from Ibn Hamdān al-Hanbali’s (695h) Sifat al-Fatwa. 1. Mufti’s Response to Inquiries: The Mufti should clarify inquiries either orally or in writing. If translation is needed due to the inquirer’s language, it must be done reliably. …

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Cooking Rice, Not Engineering It: Al-Shatibi’s Guidance on relevance in Usul al-Fiqh Studies

Consider the process of teaching someone to cook rice. You wouldn’t initially throw them into a deep discussion about the variations among Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvin, right? That would be like tossing them into a whirlpool of confusion. Instead, the initial focus should be on the essentials: how to proportion the rice and water, when to adjust the heat to a simmer, and the signs of perfectly cooked rice. The intricate understanding of temperature scales is a knowledge layer that can be added later once the basic practicalities are mastered.

Along these lines, Abu Ishaq al-Shatibi, in the fourth introduction of Al-Muwafaqat, stated:

Does Islamic Law take a Position on Slave Reparations?

Princeton theological seminary recently announced that it would be awarding 27 million dollars in scholarships as reparation for its involvement in the history of slavery, although it – as an institution – was not involved in the slave trade itself. The PTSEM was founded in 1812. While it did not own slaves, it did benefit from the slave economy through investment.  By doing business with Southern banks and accepting donations from those who profited directly and indirectly from slavery. Its founding faculty and leaders used slave labor during their lifetime.

Solomon’s Horses: What are the legal and moral implications for creating Strong AI in Sharia?

Before we talk about the problem of creating Strong AI, let’s talk about how Islamic law categorizes rulings. While Yonatan  presents this as an issue of encouragement vs. prohibition, Islamic Law offers a few other choices. Laws falls under one of five categories: Obligatory, Encouraged, Unrestricted, Discouraged, and Forbidden. Creating strong AI may fall under any of these five.

Do You Owe Zakat on Your 401k?

You have a good job that provides a 401k, with a good amount of money in the account.

Do you owe zakat on your 401k?

You need a solid answer. There are thousands of dollars per year at stake, not to mention your duties as a Muslim.