Copyright in Islamic Law is the first work in English to discuss systematically the ideas of intellectual property and copyright from an Islamic perspective. In so doing, the author, Dr Mohamed Ahdash, adopts the discipline of usul al-fiqh (principles of Islamic jurisprudence) to see if key terms associated with one’s legal rights—such as the right to ownership (milkiyya), wealth (mal) and utility (manfa’a)—can be applied to copyright. Dr Ahdash then seeks evidence for copyright in the primary sources of Islamic law—the Qur’an and the Hadith—before looking at how the secondary sources of analogy (qiyas), public interest (maslaha), custom (‘urf) and legal maxims (qawa’id fiqhiyya) can be applied to copyright. The result of this study is a framework wherein the concept of copyright is defined and understood according to Shari’a law. This gives a consistent approach from which specific legal rulings can be derived. Copyright in Islamic Law is both a ground-breaking study in Shari’a law and a valuable contribution to the ongoing debates on copyright in general.
Dr Mohamed Ali Ahdash is a lawyer and an expert in Islamic law.