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Digital Islamic Law: Purpose and Prospects

  • Intisar A. Rabb (a1) and Sharon Tai (a1)

“Information wants to be free.” Although this sentiment dominates the current digital landscape, information about Islamic law and history often remains bound to its physical form and to the price of acquiring it. One should not have to travel to several countries or be associated with the handful of institutions with large collections in these fields to gain access to these sources (which can still be onerous once there). But this is precisely the case for those who aim to do serious, comparative, or otherwise broad-ranging work in Islamic law. For Islamic law, there is a persistent problem of access and ease of use.

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1 Miller, Matthew Thomas, Romanov, Maxim G., and Savant, Sarah Bowen, “Digitizing the Textual Heritage of the Pre-Modern Islamicate World: Principles and Plans,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 50 (2018): 103–9.

2 Benjamin Kiessling, Matthew Thomas Miller, Maxim Romanov, and Sarah Bowen Savant, “Important New Developments in Arabographic Optical Character Recognition (OCR),” al-ʿUsur al-Wusta, accessed 20 November 2017,

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International Journal of Middle East Studies
  • ISSN: 0020-7438
  • EISSN: 1471-6380
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-middle-east-studies
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