Navigation Rights in Islamic Tradition and Modern International Law
Navigation Rights in Islamic Tradition and Modern International Law
Nehaluddin Ahmad
Norulaziemah Zulkiffle
Abstract: The contribution of Islamic law to the development of international law of the sea is significant, encompassing various legal matters pertaining to ships’ physical and legal importance. Islamic legal principles, including the Qur’an, Sunnah, and Islamic legal methodologies, guarantee the safety, protection, and unrestricted mobility of individuals both on land and in maritime settings regardless of their religious affiliation. This article examines whether the essential concepts of premodern international law related to the legal standing of territorial waters and the high seas had their roots in the Mediterranean region. The article further investigates the principles of the territorial sea and its security foundations, particularly the legal implications of piracy as discussed in Islamic law. The article finds that clear regulations and legal principles concerning the law of the sea were established during Islamic military expansions along the Mediterranean’s southern, eastern, and western coasts. It concludes that the principles of the freedom of the high seas laid down in Article 87 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) are aligned with the principles of Islamic law.

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