Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The Fiqh of Muslim Minorities

Bismillah walhamdulillah wassaltu wassalamu 'ala Rasoolillah


There is an All-Knowing All Merciful Lord of the Universe who created human beings on earth although He knew that they will spill blood (Quran 2:30). He placed them therein in order to be His khalifa and should they fufill this, then they would be fulfilling the purpose of their creation - to worship Him alone. In return, Allah sent prophets and messengers (16:36) in order to remind mankind, time and again, about their purpose on this earth.

Maqaasid as Shariah (Objectives of Islamic Law)

The prophets and messengers on the other hand have other secondary missions as well. They also brought laws so that the worship of Allah alone is established and sustained. The Ulama (scholars) of Islam have deduced a number reasons why the Shariah was brought by the prophets. The objectives of Shari'ah are the preservation of:

1. Religion
2. Life
3. Lineage
4. Intellect and Property

The Madhahib (sing. Madhhab) evolved inside Muslim Civilization

The Shari'ah is like a blueprint, if you will, from which all the laws, rules and ordinances can be derived. The Shari'ah is immutable yet its application might differ from place or time. Just like the prophets' laws differ in some aspects because they existed in different places and time, the application of Shari'ah of Prophet Muhammad in different parts of Muslim lands might also differ from place and time. This application of Shari'ah can be called Fiqh and as we all know, the Muslim Ummah have different 'Fiqhs' throughout the history of Islam.

But we are living in a time so different from the time when the Madhaahib evolved. Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam Ash-Shafi'ee, Imam Ahmad, Imam Awzai, Sufyan Ath Thawri and many more lived and passed judgment on Islamic issues while there were living under the protectorate of Islamic 'country' where the Muslims are the overwhelming majority. Therefore, it goes without saying that not all of the issues of contemporary Muslims who are living as minorities are given light inside the books of Madhhabs.

There are many causes why there exist Muslim minorities around the world today. This includes the disintegration of the last Caliphate (Ottoman) whereby sections of Muslim areas were occupied and turned into what is now called a 'country'. Further, there were also the case of the Muslims in the Philippines where relatively small sultanates were incorporated into a country. Lastly, immigration in search of greener pastures also causes sizable Muslim minorities such as in the US and other European countries.

The Fiqh of Muslim Minorities

Muslims as minorities face many challenges in their endeavor to be worshipers of Allah. The issues of hijab, beard, Mosques and Minarets, separatism and rebellion, Islamic education, polygamy, confronting Islamophobia, Halal, election and participation in the political process and many more fall into these challenges.

This is a call

This is a call to all who were endowed with the responsibility of guiding the orphans of this Ummah, the Muslim minorities, first and foremest the Ulama from amongst them to

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