FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials

Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 15 | 16 || 18 | 19 |   ...   | 31 |

«A thesis submitted to the University of Birmingham for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY Department of Theology and Religion School of Philosophy, ...»

-- [ Page 17 ] --

three dimensional ijtihād: Ijtihād at the religio-textual level, ijtihād at the sociocontextual level, and collaborative ijtihād of applied ethics (union of the first two processes of ijtihād). The structure of these three dimensions corresponds to the ‘parallel-collaborative’ approach that Ramadan appears to propose, where both groups of religious scholars and scientists must first work with their respective methods and skills within their respective areas of specialization, and then share their respective thoughts to reach a common understanding. This common understanding, then, must revolve around ‘common legal and practical studies in various areas of specialization aiming to determine ethical values, the scope and modalities of their application, and the stages of their implementation’ (Ramadan, 2009, p.144).

5.4 Discussion At a cursory glance, the models of reform promulgated by al-Qaradawi and Ramadan may seem too different to have any basis for comparison by virtue of their unique methodological approaches, and of the fact that they are portrayed as branching out to fulfill different objectives; al-Qaradawi’s adaptive approach is acutely focused on blending Islam into the European context, while Ramadan’s transformative approach is broadly centered on revolutionizing this context itself in accordance with “Islamic” (by which he also means “generically-shared”) principles. Although the transformative reform’s all-encompassing focus supposedly includes the wellbeing of the Muslim minorities, there is little explanation in Ramadan’s writings as to how it can help solve the particular Muslim issues that already fall under the purview of fiqh al-aqalliyyat - it is, thus, difficult to find clear and convincing evidence of overlap or contradiction

–  –  –

If both models of reform are able to exist in parallel, the argument that the adaptive reform suffers from an outpaced methodology and a submissive nature and is thus “functionally obsolete”, then, does not hold any water. However, when the two approaches are deconstructed to their underlying bases, it becomes obvious that they are based on similar operating fundamental principles, and that their differences are mainly down to rhetorical embellishment, with the exception of a few features that stand out as exclusive to their own respective thinking, as will be demonstrated in this section.

To begin with, both models of reform are similarly characterized by the need to elevate the worldly context to the same level as the Text, through the use of ijtihād, in the contemporary interpretation and application of Islamic law and ethics. There is no clear difference between al-Qaradawi’s method of subjecting the pertinence of classically-established rulings to contextual realities and Ramadan’s “radical” proposition to make the context a complementary source to the Revelation, although the latter may seem more likely to skirt beyond the confines of classical Muslim thinking due to it not being confined to fiqh issues. In addition, it can be argued that these two approaches are equally based on the principle of maqāṣid al-sharī’a; al-Qaradawi’s use of this concept is evident in his way of making the objective of “protection of religion” central to his approach to developing the most lenient solutions to the problems commonly faced by the Muslims, while Ramadan’s generous expansion of the list of “Sharia-derived” objectives beyond the classical five can be traced back to the need to promote the general concept of “wellbeing”. The only difference here lies in their methodological proclivities; al-Qaradawi seems content with keeping mostly to the original five objectives of Sharia in the context of fiqh al-aqalliyyat, while Ramadan

–  –  –


Reflecting on their methodological differences, it is clear that al-Qaradawi and Ramadan take different approaches to using ijtihād and its concomitant manifestations.

For al-Qaradawi, it seems that the notion of ḍarūra must serve as a conditional precursor to taysīr, which, then, precipitates a departure from the classical conventions of Sharia in order to find a lenient alternative to a problem through ijtihād and by resorting to the established principles of maqāṣid al-sharī’a and the lesser evil.

Additionally, there seems to be no clear formula on which the scholar bases his determination of issues as invoking the principle of necessity and requiring the application of ijtihād. His cautious approach of creating temporary fixes only where they are needed (in response to the questions asked by Muslim minorities) begs to convey the impression that the scholar holds the classical image of Islam as a standard against which the religiosity of European Muslims is compared or assessed, and to which they must try to conform as much as possible. Correspondingly, the adaptive approach appears to be envisioned as a provisional solution that is to be sustained presumably until Muslims have managed to normalize into a balance of religious and worldly commitments, or until the West has become a pro-Islamic environment that facilitates the translation of faith into practice; the latter dovetails with al-Qaradawi’s long-term vision of Islamizing the West, as discussed in Chapter 4. Here, it should be noted that al-Qaradawi is quoted as having said that ‘it is necessary for Muslims to discover religiously legitimate and pragmatic means of adapting to contemporary realities for the purpose of gradually reforming them according to salafist understandings of Islamic law’ (Wiedl, 2009, para. 32). Considering the suggestion that

–  –  –

bigger mission of Islamization, it can be argued that the adaptive reform is similar to the transformative approach in the sense that the former is also intent on ultimately revolutionizing the context, though with a different end goal (Islamization for alQaradawi as opposed to “religionization” for Ramadan).

Contrastingly, Ramadan’s attempt at stretching the classical boundaries of maqāṣid al-sharī’a shows that he does not consider ḍarūra as a precursor or taysīr as a motivation, which is reflective of his adherence to the principle of permissibility (everything is permissible except that which is forbidden). The fact that the scholar takes this flexibility further by interpreting the objectives of Sharia with sensitivity to not only the immediate needs of Muslim minorities, but also to those of the greater society speaks for the “radical” nature of his transformative approach. The scholar seems to rely more on logical thinking than the classical conventions of Muslim jurisprudence and has no hesitancy in making “deviations” in his transformative reform, as evidenced by his hypothetical approach to the case of abortion and the overturning of its classical prohibition discussed in Chapter 5.3.2. Nevertheless, this very flexibility begs questions more than provides answers, particularly with respect to its boundaries;

given the general nature of Ramadan’s understanding of “welfare” and “interests”, and his suggestion that text scholars and context scholars should handle contemporary problems equally, one may be lost speculating on the proper frame of reference in which the objectives of Sharia are defined. It would not seem far-fetched to imagine the problem of abortion (and the principles and rationales used in the production of its solution as proposed by Ramadan), for example, being analogized to other controversial issues in Islam (e.g., apostasy), leading to the scholar’s approach being questioned as to

–  –  –

welfare” could be used to overturn their prohibitions. The problem here, however, is, the fact that “wellbeing” can be defined rather differently in the Sharia and in secular ethics. It is noted that the Islamic concept of maqāṣid al-sharī’a, according to Ramadan and many other Muslim scholars, may legitimately be used to re-examine the contemporary suitability of certain Islamic rulings involving social matters through the higher objectives of Sharia; the tradition remains that issues of worship and explicit prohibitions should not be tampered with. Then, if the meaning of ‘wellbeing’ in secular ethics is interlaced with progressive self-liberation that disregards dogmatic, religious constraints, the question that may follow naturally is whether contemporary Muslim theologians would be willing to consider this concept as a legitimate guide for reexamining rulings that fall within the overlapping spheres of worship and social, such as female leadership in mixed-gender congregational worship. However, there do not seem to be (or rather have yet to be) any clear rules for where, when, how, and the extent to which the concept of “wellbeing” applies in this context, although it is considered legitimate enough in theory by Ramadan to overturn the prohibition against abortion.

Nonetheless, the scholar’s acknowledgment of the importance of grasping the essence of Islamic principles (as opposed to the specific historical Islamic models reflecting those principles) by extracting moral and ethical messages that often lay beneath the textual particularities of canonical injunctions can help pave the way for a multiperspective interpretation of this “essence” and a multi-ideological collaboration for the common good of the world.

The unconventional use of maqāṣid al-Sharī’a and the idea of allowing contextual settings to modify rulings established by classical Muslim scholars, as

–  –  –

the context the source of legislation as a pragmatic approach under the pretext that Sharia does not address all issues and legitimizing unlawful acts through the principles of ḍarūra, maqāṣid al-Sharī’a, and the like is assumed to have led to the violation of Sharia teachings (Khan, 2004). It is argued that the reformist tendency to impetuously associate the silence of Sharia on certain issues with the concept of permissibility overlooks the traditional belief that Islam remains silent in a few specific areas in order to avoid imposing burden and hardship on its believers (Khan, 2004); this argument is

based on the verse:

–  –  –


When al-Alwani, coiner of fiqh al-aqalliyyat, first passed a fatwa in the 90s allowing Western Muslims to participate in voting (an issue that is not touched on explicitly by the Qur’an and Sunna), many conservative-oriented scholars within the Muslim world began to express concerns about the validity of accepting secularism, condoning political division among the Muslim community, and establishing alliances with non-Muslims (Mas’ud, 2005). This led to the explicit dismissal of fiqh alaqalliyyat, with some labeling it as bid’a (innovation), a ‘plot to divide Islam’, a guarantee for the ‘thawing of the Islamic existence in the current of the deviating Western civilization’, and a leeway for specious concessions (Mas’ud, 2005, p. 63). In addition, the reformist thinking that underpins fiqh al-aqalliyyat is criticized as being ‘a

–  –  –

solution’ (Khan, 2004, p.2). Although it is often agreed that contextual differences may sometimes prompt change of Islamic rulings, this phenomenon is supposedly only applicable to laws that were originally based on ‘urf (custom) and ra’y (reasoning), not those that were based on the explicit teachings of the Qur’an and Sunna (Khan, 2004).

The point here seems to be that the Islamic Revelation should always have precedence over human laws and sciences in administering the affairs of the world.

Whether al-Qaradawi’s approach is wholly applicable to the afore-mentioned criticisms is difficult to determine. While it is true that the scholar tends to deviate from the Muslim conventions of jurisprudence, his fatwas do not appear to contradict any core beliefs and teachings in the Islamic tradition. For example, while he grants Western Muslims the ease of combining the sunset and evening prayers in the summer, he maintains that the five prayers remain obligatory, as opposed to calling on the Muslims to abandon the last prayer of the day altogether. Meanwhile, Ramadan (2009) responds to the criticism by claiming that there has always been emphasis in Islam on the reading of both the Text and the context for understanding religion and human affairs; it is generally believed that the Prophet, the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, and their leading disciples possessed a cohesive proficiency in various areas of knowledge and an ‘intimate’ understanding of the realities of their own contexts, which supposedly allowed them to confidently, creatively, and pragmatically ‘establish links [presumably between the complex conditions of human affairs and the written revelation], to devise adaptations, to “read” texts differently’ (Ramadan, 2009, p.79).

Furthermore, many modernist scholars now acknowledge that the importance of contextual approach to the interpretation of the Revelation had been accentuated long

–  –  –

closing of the gate of ijtihād (Ramadan, 2009). The Qur’an, for example, contains general principles relating to social codes and morality, which were then expounded by Prophet Muhammad in accordance with the contextual conditions of the 7th-century Arabia. His endorsement of his companions using their own judgment (ijtihād) when dealing with matters whose reference cannot be found in the Qur’an and Sunna is almost universally accepted as a proof that the tradition of using human judgment and reason is deeply-embedded within the Islamic tradition as opposed to being an exogenous element (albeit with diverging opinions concerning the limits and conditions of ijtihād). This tradition of using human judgment and reason would continue with the four jurists and scholars thereafter, whose elaboration of laws was inarguably influenced by the unique conditions of their particular context. The notional corollary here, then, is that God’s message across time has always remained the same, but the ways in which it is understood and implemented continue to evolve in accordance with socio-cultural changes.

Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 15 | 16 || 18 | 19 |   ...   | 31 |

Similar works:

«About the Author Michael Dillbeck is Professor of Psychology and Dean of the Graduate School at Maharishi International University. He received his B.A. summa cum laude from Benedictine College in 1972. He then went to Purdue University as a University Fellow, where he received his M.S. in 1973 and his Ph.D. in 1976 in psychology. Dr. Dillbeck has published widely on the theoretical foundations of Maharishi Vedic Psychology and empirical research testing its predictions on such variables as EEG...»

«THE JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY AND PSYCHOPATHOLOGY Vol. XVII. APRIL, 1937 No. 68 Oriuuatnal 1apers AN ENQUIRY INTO THE CAUSES OF MESCAL VISIONS BY C. R. MARSHALL, TUNBRIDGE WELLS INTRODUCTION MESCAL hallucinations have recently been investigated in the hope that their elucidation might help to unravel other hallucinatory phenomena. Zucker 1 administered mescaline to patients with hallucinations. From the protocols given many of the effects obtained (coloured lights, tapestry patterns, visions of...»

«355 366. YTTERVALLA, FRUSTUNA SN, DAGA HD.366. Yttervalla, Frustuna sn, Daga hd. I en källare S om boningshuset i den östra gården i Yttervalla by finnas två mindre stycken av en runsten inmurade i källartaket. Källaren är enligt uppgift av gårdens ägare (herr Alb. Andersson) byggd år 1877. Stenmaterialet var delvis fört från en gammal grund i Långlid, delvis hopsamlat i backarna N om byn. Möjligen finnas i v'ággoch takmurarna flera rester av den sönderslagna runstenen, ehuru nu...»

«Organisatorisk segmentering i de danske kommuner: Har Strukturreformen haft en effekt?Abstract: Dette paper behandler spørgsmålet om, hvilken betydning den danske Strukturreform anno 2007 har haft for den organisatoriske segmentering i de nydannede kommuner. Inspireret af henholdsvis historisk og rationel nyinstitutionalistisk teori opstilles to konkurrerende forventninger til Strukturreformens effekter. Først argumenteres der for, at Strukturreformen har givet kommunerne en unik mulighed...»

«The Five Organ Sonatas of Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924) Stephanie Burgoyne ARCCO Although much has been written about Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, it is still difficult to understand why, (apart from his Anglican Cathedral church music) so little of his large output of over 200 compositions has remained to be performed. Since it is a well-known fact that none of us experience musical selections quite the same, I ask the reader to keep in mind that the intention of this submission...»

«Armoedeaanpak Gemeente Leeuwarden De kunst van het rondkomen Voorwoord Armoede is een onrecht. Het terugdringen van armoede is een belangrijke ambitie van dit college. Een ambitie die vele domeinen en dus portefeuilles raakt. Diverse portefeuillehouders werken aan integraal beleid voor armoedebestrijding. Daarnaast betrekken we de komende jaren nieuwe organisaties bij onze armoedeaanpak. Dat is een belangrijk speerpunt voor de komende jaren. De keuzes die we voorstellen zorgen er voor dat we...»

«Copyright © The British Psychological Society Reproduction in any form (including the internet) is prohibited without prior permission from the Society 63 The British Psychological British Journal of Clinical Psychology (2006), 45, 63–82 Society q 2006 The British Psychological Society www.bpsjournals.co.uk There’s nothing more practical than a good theory: Integrating motivational interviewing and self-determination theory Maarten Vansteenkiste1* and Kennon M. Sheldon2 1 University of...»


«EDMUND GOSSE’S FATHER AND SON: RENEGOTIATING BIOGRAPHY THROUGH ILLUSTRATION KATHY REES Edmund Gosse (1849–1928) is known today for one classic text, Father and Son (1907), the account of his early life from 1849 to 1870 in his Plymouth Brethren home. It is a profile of mid-Victorian dissenter religion, where the recollections of the urbane narrator are periodically animated by the voice of the precocious but fragile child-focaliser. On publication the book was applauded for its...»

«Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Introductory Workshop Handout Dr Russell Harris, M.B.B.S, M.A.C. Psych. Med. Phone: 0425 782 055 website: www.actmindfully.com.au e-mail: russharris@actmindfully.com.au © Russ Harris 2007 This handout consists of: 1. Definitions of mindfulness (p1) 2. Brief notes on ACT (pp 2 -10) 3. Scripts for mindfulness exercises, and tips for creating your own (pp 11-16) 4. More mindfulness scripts that can also be client handouts (pp 17-18) 5. Client handouts (pp...»

«The Cob Builders Handbook You Can Hand-Sculpt Your Own Home Table Of Contents:  Acknowledgements and Warning INTRODUCTION What is cob? Why build with cob?DESIGNING YOUR HOME SWEET HOME! Things to do to get ready Think Small Think Rounded Make the Most of the Climate Design with passive solar access in mind Other things to think about when designing One Story or More? Noise Plan for Future Additions Now Designing the Entrance Buttresses Permits CHOOSING YOUR SITE Here's a list of some things...»

«Fools Die Mario Puzo Book I Chapter 1 “Listen to me. I will tell you the truth about a man’s life. I will tell you the truth about his love for women. That he never hates them. Already you think I’m on the wrong track. Stay with me. Really—I’m a master of magic. “Do you believe a man can truly love a woman and constantly betray her? Never mind physically, but betray her in his mind, in the very ‘poetry of his soul.’ Well, it’s not easy, but men do it all the time. “Do you...»

<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dissertation.xlibx.info - Dissertations, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.