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  1. Islamisation of Knowledge: Problems, Principles and Prospective click
  2. Islamic Thought in the Modern World click
  3. An Approach to Knowledge and Human Limitations click
  4. The Balance Sheet of Western Philosophy in this Century click
  5. Man between Two Laws: A Qur’anic Perspective in Understanding Self and Understanding the Other click


Humanitarian Intervention in International and Islamic Law PDF Print E-mail

Ermin Sinanovic

In this paper, I look into the moral foundation of humanitarian intervention in international law and its Islamic counterpart. My objective is to identify the traits shared by both sets of laws, and to see if the same or similar justification can be used across cultures to reach the same goal. In other words, one goal is to assess the claims that the basis upon which humanitarian intervention is justified has a universal appeal. Both international and Islamic law justify humanitarian intervention on moral grounds. International law bases its justification upon the human rights discourse. Islamic law provides enough bases for legitimizing humanitarian intervention, and Qur’anic verses, scholarly opinions, and Islamic principles provide a sound background for it. Paramount in this task is the concept of human dignity (karamah al-insan). We found no disagreement on this fundamental issue between the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and Islamic law. Human dignity, as understood in international human rights and its Islamic counterpart, thus could form the jus cogens of international law, a common human heritage upon which everybody can agree.

Authority, Continuity, and Change in Islamic Law PDF Print E-mail

Wael B. Hallaq, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. 269 pages.

This book traces the development of Islamic law from its earliest period to the full formative period, when the major madhahib were established, to show that institutionalizing Islamic law always involved a reasoned defense and calculative move. Hallaq asserts that such processes were not an innovation; rather, they were embedded in the structure of the original legal traditions that allowed for continual social change and the maintenance of order and stability in Islam’s social system. Throughout the ages, the Shari‘ah has been subjected to a dialectical milieu and change as dictated by varying social conditions. This further stimulated change to maintain the established order’s very essence, which was based on the logic of reasoning and calculation.

Revivalism or Reformation: The Reinterpretation of Islamic Law in Modern Times PDF Print E-mail

Liyakat Takim

Since the events of 9/11, there has been much debate in Muslim circles regarding the question of reformation. More specifically, among questions that have been posed are: how can a religion believed to be immutable and constant regulate and serve the needs of a changing community? How can a legal system formulated in the eighth and ninth centuries respond to the requirements of twenty-first century Muslims? Is there a need for reformation in Islam? If so, where should it begin and in which direction should it proceed? These are some of the most challenging questions facing contemporary scholars of Islam.1

The Coalition against the “War on Terror” in Light of International Politics, Law, and Protecting Human Welfare PDF Print E-mail

Kaleem Hussain

In the universal realms of international law, all the associated political, social, legal, and religious actors would seek to strive to live in a world where there is justice, peace, tolerance, enhancement of human welfare, and friendly relations between states.1 Unfortunately, these universal ideals are far from being achieved or adhered to in our contemporary international society. The horrific attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, which provided the catalyst for the global “war on terror” starting in Afghanistan, raises numerous questions in international law and the global political realm. In all of its forms, terrorism is a disease that breeds fear and leads to the devastation and destruction of human lives, societies, and nations. It is also a topic that many historians and legalists try to avoid, at times, due to its promiscuity and subversive nature.
Indonesian Islam: Social Change through Contemporary Fatawa PDF Print E-mail

M. B. Hooker, Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2003. 310 pages.

Detailed, extensive, and provocative, this book presents and assesses twentieth-century Indonesian fatawa (legal rulings) on a range of issues. Over the course of his well-documented discussion of decisions rendered by four main Indonesian fatwa-issuing bodies, Hooker highlights their methods of reasoning and the authorities they heed. He argues “that only the fatawa can tell us what Islam is on” the continuum of merging state and religious authorities in Indonesia at the beginning of the twenty-first century (p. ix). Confronting the question of secularism and revelation, as well as tensions between new and old authorities, Hooker posits the authority of God, revealed Islamic knowledge, and 1,400 years of intellectual tradition intertwined with colonial and postcolonial state authority in complex ways.

Islamic Law and the Challenge of Modernity PDF Print E-mail

Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and Barbara Freyer Stowasser, eds., Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, 2004. 264 pages.

This book includes eight articles on various aspects of Islamic law in the modern world, as well as an introduction by the two editors. The articles grew out of a symposium held at Georgetown University in 2001 under the title of “Arab Legal Systems in Transition.” Despite the book’s title, however, it deals exclusively with the Arab world. That said, the articles are generally very interesting and, in some cases, provocative. Wael Hallaq’s article is the most provocative, for he suggests that because the traditional socioeconomic infrastructure that supported the Shari`ah as a social institution in the pre-modern world has vanished in the face of the centralized state, the Shari`ah cannot be restored without revolutionary institutional changes in the Arab state that would, at a minimum, give religious scholars the institutional independence to formulate a legitimate vision of Islamic law.

Reconciling Rights and Obligations: An Examination of Shari`ah Penal Reform in Northern Nigeria PDF Print E-mail

Pernille Ironside

This article examines the debate concerning the recent reinstatement of Shari`ah law with respect to criminal matters in Northern Nigeria. The discussion explores the inherent challenges in reconciling the equally entrenched and passionate views of pro-Shari`ah supporters on their right to freedom of religion with those that question its application in terms of human rights norms and obligations, and its constitutional legality. The analysis concludes that Shari`ah laws can coexist with Nigeria’s common law system and remain relevant in the context of Islam, provided that its principles are adapted and modernized to comport with international standards for due process and are interpreted and applied consistently.

Freedom, Equality and Justice in Islam PDF Print E-mail

Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Cambridge, UK: Islamic Texts Society, 2002. 184 pages.

Modern Muslim thinkers who try to locate and construct constitutional tenets based on the Islamic tradition face various difficulties, for they have to address a segment of an audience that expects an exposition comparable to the West’s in terms of terminologies, institutions, and remedies, as well as to draw from the best practices of Islamic history and modern Muslim societies. It is always frustrating to learn that Islam’s constitutional history, despite its richness in individual constitutional tenets, loses some of its utility in modern Muslim societies due to systemic changes caused by globalization and pervasive international institutions, both of which have had far-reaching consequences on domestic sociopolitical settings. Given the contemporary nation-state’s overarching authority, one known guarantee of the people’s social, legal, or political rights is a constitutional framework under a credible rule of law system. Mohammad Hashim Kamali’s Freedom, Equality and Justice in Islam identifies the three themes in the title of his book as the fundamental bases upon which all other constitutional guarantees of human rights depend.
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