International Science Index

The Classical Islamic Laws of Apostasy in the Present Context

The main purpose of this essay is to examine whether or not the earthly punishments in regards to apostates that are often found in classical Islamic sources are applicable in the present context. The paper indeed addresses how Muslims should understand the question of apostasy in the contemporary context. To do so, the paper first argues that an accurate understanding of the way the Quranic verses and prophetic hadiths deal with the concept of apostasy could help us rethink and re-examine the classical Islamic laws on apostasy in the present context. In addition, building on Abdolkarim Soroush’s theory of contraction and expansion of religious knowledge, this article argues that approaches to apostasy in the present context can move away from what prescribed by classical Islamic laws. Finally, it argues that instances of persecution of apostates in the early days of Islam during the Medinan period of Muhammad’s prophetic mission should be interpreted in their own socio-historical context. Rereading these reports within our modern context supports the mutability of the traditional corporal punishments of apostasy.

The Role of Contextual Ontologies in Enterprise Modeling
Information sharing and exchange, rather than information processing, is what characterizes information technology in the 21st century. Ontologies, as shared common understanding, gain increasing attention, as they appear as the most promising solution to enable information sharing both at a semantic level and in a machine-processable way. Domain Ontology-based modeling has been exploited to provide shareability and information exchange among diversified, heterogeneous applications of enterprises. Contextual ontologies are “an explicit specification of contextual conceptualization". That is: ontology is characterized by concepts that have multiple representations and they may exist in several contexts. Hence, contextual ontologies are a set of concepts and relationships, which are seen from different perspectives. Contextualization is to allow for ontologies to be partitioned according to their contexts. The need for contextual ontologies in enterprise modeling has become crucial due to the nature of today's competitive market. Information resources in enterprise is distributed and diversified and is in need to be shared and communicated locally through the intranet and globally though the internet. This paper discusses the roles that ontologies play in an enterprise modeling, and how ontologies assist in building a conceptual model in order to provide communicative and interoperable information systems. The issue of enterprise modeling based on contextual domain ontology is also investigated, and a framework is proposed for an enterprise model that consists of various applications.
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