“Fiqh for Minorities” is an important subject and a much needed contribution to an area of fiqh that has become essential for the well being and development of Muslim communities living in non- Muslim lands.”
Previous attempts to deal with the many serious issues facing these communities failed to take into consideration the views and contributions of Muslim social scientists who live in the West, speak its languages and have a comprehensive understanding of its social, political, religious and economic systems. As a result, many of the recommendations and fatwas that came to be issued were inadequate and in some cases complicated the issues under consideration. Dr. Alalwani’s recommendation that existing fiqh councils should work closely with associations of Muslim social scientists and involve these scientists on an equal footing with Shari’ah scholars, not simply as cosmetic additions, is an essential step towards building a stronger and valid basis for the much needed perspective on fiqh.
The author stresses that the problems of Muslim minorities can only be tackled with a fresh juristic vision based on the principles, objectives and higher values of the Quran in conjunction with the ultimate aims and intents (maqasid) of the Shariah. In essence Dr. Al-Alwani’s paper is a call for Muslim minorities to have a sense of themselves as citizens and develop a positive, confident view of their place and value in society, moving away from notions of immigrant status and governed by a humanistic vision focusing on the betterment of society.
About the Author
Taha Jabir Al-Alwani is a graduate of Al-Azhar University, Cairo. He is President of The Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences (GSISS), USA; President of The Fiqh Council of North America; Member of the OIC Islamic Fiqh Academy; and former President of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), USA. He is also the author of numerous works including: Usul al Fiqh al Islami: Source Methodology in Islamic Jurisprudence ; The Ethics of Disagreement in Islam ; Ijtihad ; and The Qur an and the Sunnah: The Time-Space Factor .
Title: Towards A Fiqh For Minorities: Some Basic Reflections
Author: Taha Jabir Alalwani
Editor: Shiraz Khan
Publisher: International Institute of Islamic Thought
Length: 45 pages
Pub. Date: January 1, 2010