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Culturalising the Abject: Islam, Law and Moral Panic in the West

Muslim immigrant communities are in crisis in the secular West confronting the conditionality of their citizenship, even in the second generation. After the enormous growth in migration and settlement of Muslims in Australia, Western Europe and North America over the past 20 years and the emergence of second-generation communities, Islam is increasingly viewed as culturally incompatible and, post September 11, Muslims immigrants seen as a potential political threat to national security. The impact of international jihadist terrorism has been to entrench the view that for Muslims, even in the second generation, religion and politics remain irredeemably intertwined and that Islam stands in opposition to secular modernity.: Moreover the terrorist incidents carried out by immigrants in the West such as the murder of Theo Van Gogh in Holland for a film considered blasphemous to Islam, the bombing of Spanish commuter trains in Madrid by Moroccan born migrants and the London commuter train bombings by second generation Pakistani Britons have helped create the impression that Islam is now a de-territorialised ideology and at war with the West. 

Presentation on the Discipline of Law & Islamic Juriprudence

The recommendations are:

  1. Scholars should continue to study Islamic law to understand its nature and scope and to enquire into the applicability of Islamic law in modern era.
  2. Education system is to be reviewed to incorporate in to the curriculum Islamic values and norms suited for the present day needs of the society.
  3. Educating the Muslim society on their rights and obligations should be promoted. It should be encouraged through a campaign of awareness in electronic and print media.
  4. A lot of research and development activities in such areas as judiciary, finance, political thought, administration etc should be carried out. 
  5. All universities and institutes of higher learning should include teachings of Islam, in general, and Islamic law and jurisprudence, in particular, in the syllabus of the Faculty of Law.
  6. Diploma and some short courses on Islamic Law and Jurisprudence can be introduced in universities and recognized research organizations. Some of these courses can be conducted for the Judges, lawyers, law teachers and other faculties.
  7. Subjects of Islamic law, taught in Islamic educational institutes like Alia and Qawmi Madrasha and Islamic Centers, should be reviewed and all modern researches and books in this regard should be taught in the Madrasha.
  8. The government may constitute an Islamic Law Commission to review the existing laws in the light of Islam and amend those as soon as possible.
  9. Muslim community needs many more scholars having expertise in the nusus (the texts) of the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah as well as the waqaa (context) to meet the challenges of our time and those of the coming phases. Ijtihad should be made applicable in the practical and modern issues. If individual efforts of Ijtihad fail to meet the needs of ummah, then collective Ijtihad should be made where several scholars from various disciplines will take part with a view to reaching a good, authentic and successful result.
  10. Human rights should be fully ensured in all respects in the light of Qur’an and Sunnah.
  11. In framing any law the objectives of Islamic Shariah should be taken into consideration.
  12. In the context of Bangladesh an Islamic Fiqh Academy may be established to cater to the needs of various contemporary issues.  

Notes on Ibn Hazm's Rejection of Analogy (Qiyas) in Matters of Religous Law

Ibn Hazm (994-1064) was no doubt one of the most outstanding intellectual figures of Muslim Spain in particular and of the whole Muslim world in general. Though it is beyond the purpose and scope of this paper to give a complete profile of the man and his place in the intellectual history of Islam, it remains necessary to make some introductory remarks that would help in understanding the topic under discussion?

In Ibn Hazm’s scholarly preparation the second stage was characterized to be a juridic-theological preparation to which he fully devoted himself following his political failure; the year 1031 is usually proposed to be the turning point in this new orientation of Ibn Hazm’s intellectual life. It was during this second stage that he wrote profusely on a variety of subjects and distinguished himself as a master dialectician and polemicist. His major works on religious matters such as Fisal, Ihkam, and Muhalla were the products of this period; in them as well as in many other treatises, Ibn Hazm discusses his religious ideas and doctrine and enthusiastically refutes his adversaries. “ As a master dialectician he insisted on proofs (barahin), whether arrived at on the basis of the holy texts (nusus), or through logical demonstration, or both.” His use and reliance on analysis of textual material and information was perhaps the most clear feature of Ibn Hazm’s polemics; this method was always in  conformity with his Zahirite doctrine; and was largely employed in his disputation with Jews, Christians, or his co-religionist opponents.

Islamization of “Muhammadan Law” in India

One of the bounties bestowed on Muslims by Allah (SWT) is the Shari’ah: the Divine guidance and code of conduct, necessary to achieve success in this world and the world hereafter. For the colonists who subjugated Muslim lands it appeared necessary therefore to first deprive Muslims of their source of sustenance and symbol of identity. The first target of their attack was the Shari’ah; every aspect of which was ridiculed, belittled or truncated. It is difficult to improve upon Isma’il Raji al Faruqi‘s graphic description of this onslaught. He who wrote:

  • By the colonialists directly, or by their native stooges, everything Islamic fell under attack. The integrity of the Qur’anic text, the genuineness of the Prophet (SAAS), the veracity of his Sunnah,
    the perfection of the Shariah the glories of Muslim achievements in culture and civilization - none of them was spared. The purpose was to inject doubt in the Muslim’s confidence in himself . . .
    to subvert his Islamic personality . . . lacking the spiritual stamina necessary for resistance . . . the Muslim was turned into something neither Islamic nor Western, a cultural monstrosity of modem
    times?

The Importance of Ilm al Khilaf to North America

Ilm al Khilaf  a science which deals with the Islamically sound arguments used by Muslim jurists (fuqaha) to reach their various legal opinions. As such, it can also be known as comparative Islamic law. Historically, the various madhahib of Islam shared and benefitted from this science, and there is no reason why we also cannot benefit from it.

We know that there were differences of opinion and practice even during the time of the Prophet Muhammad, for his Companions did not view everything the same way. This state of affairs naturally continued after the Prophet’s death. The suhuf ascribed to some of the Companions and the information given in the relevant biographical literature were studied for details. The fiqh-related issues debated by the Companions increased in number and complexity during the time of the Successors (Tabi’un),w hen the development of Islamic jurisprudence was just getting started.

The Problem of Bias: An Epistemological Approach and Call for Ijtihad

The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) is pleased to sponsor this important seminar, as its topic and objectives, the nature of the issues to be raised, and the points of view represented by the scholarly participants and their papers are of vital concern to the Islamic world. Through its participation, the institute has opened a new chapter for academic activity and intellectual jihad, particularly in Arabic and Islamic cultural circles.

As the institute joins the Union of Egyptian Engineers (UEE) in this pioneering intellectual effott, it seeks to articulate its third objective as regards the reform of the methodology of Islamic thought: the Islamization of knowledge in order to build a new Islamic cultural order and lead the ummah to the most beneficial ways of overcoming its backwardness.

Freedom of Expression in Islam: An Analysis of Fitnah

This article develops the concept of fitnah and its bearing on freedom of expression. It puts together information from the unconsolidated source materials of the Shari'ah in a manner reflecting the interest and style of a modern student of comparative law. It also develops the theme that modern interpretations of seditious speech and conduct have done much to restrict the scope and substance of the freedom of expression. The Shari’ah tends to advocate the opposite, as it confines the scope of restrictions to measures necessary to repel an imminent danger to normal order in society. The individual's freedom to investigate facts and ideas and to formulate and express an opinion are integral to Islam's approach to the dignity of the individual and the quest for ascertaining the truth.

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