Sudanese scientists develop new composite fabric

Growing demand for smart materials
regulation for new cameras needed
Selma Awa discussing her findings

Professor Selma Awa has been working in the field of material science for over 20 years and her teams latest innovation is set to shake things up in the world of smart materials. Recently there has been growing demand for smart composites that can be incorporated into fabrics to meet consumers demands for new, lightweight and adaptive clothing. With the work done by Selma Awa, people around the Ummah will soon be able to experience a dramatic change in the way they dress themselves every day.

Graphene nanoscaffolds under an electronmicroscope 

While working on a graphene transistor for the repair of damaged nerves one of Professor Awa’s students discovered that the material could be blended into wool, allowing traditionally tailored clothing to take on new and exciting electrical properties. One of the most notable of these is production of clothing that is impervious to new model cameras which, as many people are aware, can take pictures through clothes. While hyperspectral cameras have

Hyperspectral camera approved for use in the Khilafa

been available for a number of years, It’s only been in more recent times that they’ve made it onto the consumer market. Advertised for photography and imaging specialists, these cameras are able to detect and capture electromagnetic radiation beyond what is typically seen in the light range. While the resulting photographs can present unique and highly detailed images, an unexpected result was the ability to filter these images and see through traditional clothing materials such as cotton, wool or leather.

The state initially sought to ban access to these cameras but demand from research and technology industries let to the implementation of a highly regulated importation procedure instead. As a result, companies and individuals were able to purchase and access these cameras as long as they abided  by the laws and protocols that were put in place to protect the public from unwanted harassment and exposure.

Souha Tufa chaired the CIS emergency team when tasked with incorporating the hijab in a post-vision world. 

The introduction of these cameras however raised a number of difficult theological challenges for the fuqaha within the Ministry of Religious Affairs. For instance, is the hijab of men and women still important if they can be seen through this camera. Furthermore, should individuals be held accountable for criminal acts that commit in private but that may be caught on camera. It took over 9 months for the fuqaha to debate and study these issues before coming to an agreed stance which they published through the Council of Islamic Scholars (CIS). In brief, their findings were:

  1. While the hijab for men and women requires them to hide parts of their body while in public, the act of hiding or concealing is less important
    than their intention to follow the ruling. For instance, a man who damages his pants such that his awrah is exposed is still treated as one with hijab because his intenti
    on was to cover his awrah, during the course of his actions he did cover his awrah and it was only by accident that his awrah was exposed.
    Consequently, despite the presence of these cameras and the fact that men and women could technically now be seen without hijab, they are still obliged to wear and fulfill the obligations because the intention is what is important not the result.
  2. With regards to criminal acts that are performed in private, as long as these acts are not being publicized or promoted then the opinion is that the individuals should not undergo investigation. A formal warning should be issued that their crimes were detected but as the Sharia requires individuals to have access to privacy and not be spied upon the state should not intrude on the private lives of individuals.

Soufa Taha was responsible for heading the CIS taskforce and says advances in science can be slow, new technology often helps us understand why the deen is perfect rather than create any significant points of friction:

Many people often worry that technology and science will make Islam obsolete. Such ideas couldn’t be further from the truth. The world we live in now compared to the time of the Prophet (saw) is unrecognizable and yet Islam thrives. Back then it took people months to move between cities. Now it takes us hours to travel to the moon. Back then people made careers out of herding sheep. Now we create food in factories. Despite all these dramatic changes the deen hasn’t changed. This religion is perfect and is reflected by the fact that no matter how many new technologies and scientific discoveries come along, the religion remains exactly the same as how it was back so many centuries ago.

Selma Awa continues to guide her team as they try to create new materials for future applications.

These issues may be a thing of the past however as new composite materials are made which render these new cameras useless. Furthermore, numerous other innovations are also now available such as the ability to have temperature controlled clothing, clothing that can collect and aggregate the temperature and humidity from different body regions, clothing that could be used during sport to measure energy expenditure, movement or location among a huge range of other exciting endeavors

The new composite material clothing line is expected to be seen on sale by December. Have your say on our facebook and twitter pages .

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