Seven decades of the history of Nablus

The Nablus Independence Hotel The Independence Hotel is to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its founding in the Canaanite city of Nablus. It is still preserving its historical beauty and presence despite the boom in modern hotels in the city and across the occupied West Bank. At the entrance to Hittin Street, which links the neighborhoods of Nablus with its old town, the Independence Hotel, run by Mustafa Eran and his brothers, attracts foreign and local tourists, though modestly recently. Heritage According to Mustafa Eran, 64, the hotel was founded in 1948 when the Nakba (catastrophe) of the Palestinian people … Continue reading Seven decades of the history of Nablus

Arafat, the leader I knew

By Jamal Kanj November 4, 2017 Thirteen years ago, I published my first article in a major US newspaper, San Diego Union Tribune. It was unwittingly published on the same day news came out of Paris that Yasser Arafat had passed away. The article wasn’t meant to be a eulogy but to introduce Arafat and his cause to readers who rarely read a Palestinian view point in the Zionist controlled US media. The article was of the first time I had met Yasser Arafat in February of 1973. In the early morning hours of the previous night, I was jolted … Continue reading Arafat, the leader I knew

Palestinians stand alone in defending their land

Israeli wall along the West Bank which isolates the Palestinians and keep them confined in their own land By Ramona Wadi Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has relished the spotlight so far this year. In February, the PA launched the five-year National Policy Agenda which prioritised national unity and economic independence, among other plans. Meanwhile, Hamdallah was pushing for PA control over Gaza as the enclave succumbed to unprecedented humanitarian deprivation as a result of collective punishment inflicted by Israel and PA leader Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas’ relinquishing control over Gaza so far seems to be going according to Hamdallah’s plan. Last Wednesday … Continue reading Palestinians stand alone in defending their land


The use of independent reasoning, known as ijtihād, has always played a prominent role in the derivation of Islamic law. While it is often portrayed today as a practice that groups such as Muslim modernists and Salafis seek to “bring back”, ijtihād has continuously been employed as part of the Islamic intellectual tradition, with jurists throughout the centuries commenting on when and how it is to be used. In this excerpt from Molla Şemseddin Fenari’s (d. 1431) Fuṣūl al-Badāʼiʻ fī Uṣūl al-Sharāʼi, the early Ottoman jurist lays out the prerequisites one must attain before being qualified to exercise ijtihād in Islamic law. He includes this section near the … Continue reading PRE-REQUISITES FOR IJTIHAD – FROM MOLLA FENARI’S “USUL”


The study of Islamic law in the Ottoman Empire is a vibrant and dynamic field. After the Mongol invasions of the thirteenth century, the early Ottoman State was an important actor in the Muslim world, re-establishing Muslim sovereignty and intellectual life in Anatolia, the Levant, and Egypt, while simultaneously expanding Islam into a new frontier in the Balkans. It is partly for this reason that we see numerous structural innovations in the application of Islamic law in the Ottoman state. Unlike previous polities, the Ottomans established a clear hierarchy of religious schools (madrasas) with standardized curriculums that corresponded with a … Continue reading HANAFI LEGAL THEORY IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE: THE CASE OF THE CASH WAQF

The possibilities of challenging Netanyahu’s claims about L. America

Latin America is once again Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s diplomatic target, at a time when violence in the region fomented by US imperialism is once again rising to the fore. Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the UN Partition Plan, Netanyahu is planning to visit Mexico and Argentina before addressing the UN General Assembly next month. Israeli media is reflecting on the historical processes of the Partition Plan, when several Latin American and Caribbean countries voted in favour, giving approval for Israel’s intended colonisation of Palestine. Six countries abstained and Cuba voted against the resolution, with Cuban delegate to … Continue reading The possibilities of challenging Netanyahu’s claims about L. America

What is the PA doing for Jerusalem?

Israeli security forces hurt Palestinians protesters with plastic bullets, stun grenades and tear gas in Jerusalem on 25 July, 2017 By Ramona Wadi In a speech last Saturday evening, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas evoked narratives of belonging with regard to Jerusalem, departing from the collective Palestinian mobilisation against Israeli oppression over Al-Aqsa Mosque. His spurious words, ostensibly celebrating Palestinian resistance, portray a political faction which navigates between two extremes. As the rhetoric expands in nostalgia, the PA’s political power dwindles further. Belatedly, Abbas lauded Palestinian resistance at the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa, attempting to project the PA as an … Continue reading What is the PA doing for Jerusalem?