On Islamic vegetarianism

From my Intensive Animal Farming: Wrongs & Responsibilities paper: Completely eliminating the consumption of animal products is neither a viable or desirable option for Muslims, since animal sacrifice is involved in several religious rites and occasions. Additionally, moderate consumption of meat is a Prophetic norm (Sunnah). So one really cannot make a case that the Sacred … Read more…

Comment: “A new lab-grown meat startup may have overcome a key barrier to making meat without slaughter”

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

It is hoped that lab-grown meat will help reduce the significant animal abuse and environmental damage that are inherent to our meat addiction. Lab-grown meat will need to solve several fiqh challenges before Muslims consider it lawful for consumption (halal). One of those challenges is that the source cells need to be grown without using … Read more…

That old cliché: Abridgment and commentary are proof that fiqh stagnated

I’m always a baffled whenever people repeat the claim that abridgment [ikhtisar] and commentary [sharh] are proof that Islamic law stagnated. The reason I am baffled is that my experience reading of Shafii legal material compels me to arrive at the opposite conclusion, namely: that lots and lots of changes are going on. Three quick … Read more…

Comment: “Uzbek Imam Warns Fantasizing About Strangers During Sex Leads To Gay Babies”

Since my last blog post was about the damage of poorly-research and poorly argued fatawas and another blog post touched the topic of fantasizing about sex with someone other than one’s spouse, I figured I should comment on a report from RadioFreeEurope: …fantasizing about someone other than your spouse during sex can lead to a woman giving … Read more…

How poorly-researched, poorly-argued fiqh opinions are so damaging

The issue of crypto assets has been a real eye-opener for me because it gives me insight on how much poorly-researched and poorly-reasoned fatwas1)I have nothing but respect and appreciation for well-researched, well-reasoned legal opinions that totally disagree with me. contribute towards negatives views of Islamic scholarship. When a common Muslim individual reads a scholar’s … Read more…

Shallow responses to even shallower claims that Bitcoin and crypto assets aren’t real

“Bitcoin and crypto assets aren’t real because they’re just information.” If so, what about the majority of your paycheck that never gets converted into paper notes? And what about books present in one’s mind before they are expressed through spoken or written words? “Yeah, but someone can always withdraw those as paper money or print them … Read more…

Transmitting messages orally vs through the blockchain

Here’s an obvious yet still interesting difference between transmitting a message orally versus via blockchain: When a message is transmitted orally, each subsequent repeat does nothing to increase our confidence that the original message has not been corrupted while increasing the likelihood of transmission errors. This is in contrast to transmitting that same message via … Read more…