Electronic Contract
: A Study of its Application in the light of Islamic Law with Particular Reference to Saudi Arabia Case

  • Abdulrahman Alzaagy

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Since the emergence of electronic commerce, a massive development and a considerable increase of business has occurred in every aspect of business life. In particular, the adoption of the World Wide Web (the Internet) in conducting commercial activities has played a significant role in the development of commercial and economic sectors in many parts of the world. The notable expansion of electronic market activities has given rise to many legal issues; one of which is the explosion of online contracting or the ‘electronic contract’. Electronic contract forms the basis of electronic commerce.

The ability to enter into contracts with remote parties via electronic forms of communication or through computerised electronic systems, within very short time frames, has transformed the way business is transacted today. Due to the nature of electronic contract, with its unique features and qualities, questions arise regarding the capability and appropriateness of existing commercial rules.

In Saudi Arabia, Islamic law is applicable to every aspect of life including business. Since the early phase of Islam, comprehensive efforts have been made to regulate the Islamic commercial sector. However, with regards to electronic commerce insufficient attention has been given to examine the application of Islamic law in electronic contract.

There is a dire need for legal clarification and the development of an appropriate legal environment in order for electronic commerce to fully develop and encourage business confidence in the use of electronic contract. This work studies the validity of forming electronic contracts in light of existing Islamic laws of contract. This study argues that although the general principles of Islamic contract are flexible enough to accommodate electronic contract, there are some existing approaches in the law that effectively close the door to its application. In turn, this presents legal uncertainty to the law applicable to electronic contract. This thesis focuses on the main conditions of valid contracts, the Islamic concept of ‘meeting place’, the time and the place of the contract, and the validity of electronic contract data as evidence in court.
Date of Award12 Nov 2009
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorDavid Poyton (Supervisor) & Uta Kohl (Supervisor)

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