Fatwā concerning the legality, based on their interpretation of Islamic law, of fulfilling the Friday prayer (Jumuʿa) at home, instead of at a mosque (masjid) or public prayer venue. The answer provided by the Mufti of Australia and The Australian Fatwa Council, dated 18 March 2020, is that their interpretation of Islamic law permits for a Muslim, in the event of a pandemic that threatens one’s life, such as COVID-19, which is spread through close social interaction, to not have to attend the daily congregational prayers and Friday prayer.
Ibn Ḥārith al-Khushanī recorded the following case as a ḥikāya, an anonymous report: A Christian appeared before the judge Aslam b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz, petitioning to be executed. The anecdote offers insight into the historical role of judges during a period of religious dissent in the Umayyad Caliphate, while the author's narrative voice demonstrates past judicial approaches to rationality, humor, and violent penalization.
This text is part of Maribel Fierro, The Judges of al-Andalus, forthcoming.
In September 2019, a Multan Sessions Court (state trial court) issued its decision in State v. Muhammad Waseem et. al, a high-profile honor killing case in Pakistan. The case involved the killing of Qandeel Baloch, a controversial social media star, who was found strangled to death in her home on July 16, 2016. In a witness statement on the day of the occurrence, the deceased’s parents accused their son (Muhammad Waseem) for killing their daughter. Waseem was arrested and, shortly thereafter, admitted to murdering his sister “in the name of Gairat” during interrogation. The next day, Waseem repeated the confession in front of a Judicial Magistrate in a recorded statement. In December 2018, the State instituted a criminal case against Waseem and five other defendants for the offenses of qatl-i-amd (intentional homicide) and “abetment” of qatl-i-amd. At the onset of trial, Waseem retracted his judicial confession and the victim’s parents waived their right of qisas (retribution) against him. After evaluating the facts, circumstances, and evidence admitted at trial, the court held that the prosecution had proved “beyond shadow of reasonable doubt” that Waseem strangled his sister to death and that this was a case of honor killing. Despite a waiver of qisas (pardoning of the accused) by the deceased’s legal heirs, the court sentenced Waseem to life imprisonment as ta’zir (discretionary punishment). The other defendants were acquitted for lack of sufficient circumstantial evidence against them.