What is Minority Fiqh? al-’Allamah Sh. Bin Bayyah


7 Comments

  1. Abul-Hussein says:

    AS

    Allamah Abdullah Bin Bayyah (h) vice president of the Union of Ulema said something really nice here. There are some points that need to be highlighted.

    In brief what he said is to the effect:

    Islam possesses an expansive tradition the question is how to work with this wide literature the Muslims inherited to deal with life today in a principled way in light of Maqasid ash Shar’iah, and Qawaid Fiqhiyyah.

    Fiqh of Minorities charts what is the least expected of the Muslim living as a numerical minority in situations of a problematic nature and situations of hardship. So this Fiqh follows, is subsumed under what we commonly understand as Fiqh it is not bi’dah nor brought into existence without principle or reference to the superstructure of Islamic Fiqh literature and the philosophy of Islamic law.

    This branch of Fiqh expands for the Muslim in situations of difficulties what is the minimum Shari’ expectation of him or her facilitating for the Muslim a course in a time of duress. He admits that what is brought to light in this work of fiqh or fiqhi course deals with matters or areas of action in which there is doubt.

    On the other hand, he who wants to shun doubt and take a firmer path beyond that of the minimum shar’ expectation then he or she is encouraged to that course and free to do so. He does not oblige anyone to Fiqh Of Minorities but looks to help the Muslims in the West to understand that as minorities they must live as community and not individuals.

    The path to building community must be gradual and aimed at strengthening the community’s existence and quality of life and must help them to live with others (non-Muslims). There are Islamic principles that ought govern the development of the existence of Muslims in the West.

    Comment:

    Despite the fact that I have deep affection for the Shaikh and consider myself a student of his from distance there are particular issues that I have come to disagree with him in and follow other opinions and the Shaikh himself (h) welcomes this. But overall, I have seen no one more concerned with the Muslims living in the West than he and this is in principle and not out of emotion that I say this. The amount of research and concern that he invests in clarifying a methodology for da’wah and community building in the West is something that we should be grateful for even if we disagree with him.

    One thing that I would like to add here is that the differences of Shaikh Bouti (h) with Fiqh of Minorities is not a point of great concern as Shaikh
    Abdullah Bin Bayyah (h) has said he is not asking people to follow this Fiqh nor does he oblige them (this is the spirit of Imam Malik (r)).

    Shaikh Ramadan Bouti (r) argues against Fiqh Of Minorities in his book Islam And The West. Unfortunately, (and this take nothing away from the Shaikh) the argument needs more depth and breadth. I would hope that he could address some issues.

    One Shaikh Bouti al Arfi Bi LLah (h) argues firstly from two points:
    1.) The term Fiqh of Minorities did not exist in our dictionaries and that there is no such thing as minorities and majorities in Islamic legal legal thought.
    2.) That the laws of Islam are applied in Dar al Islam.

    In the first case, the origination of minority and majority came from political science and sociology as a way to account for groups who are little in number and live as citizens or migrants in the “modern nation state” this state did not exist before but emerged in the last century after WW2.

    This is the reason it did not exist although. Ironically, we find that in the Arab world (Syria, Egypt, Saudia, etc.) that those Muslims who opt to live in these lands but originate from another nation have no direct right to citizenship or purchase of land etc. they live as second class citizens aliens in front of the law without the right to participate fully in society.

    Shaikh Bouti, does not speak from this reality that is that there is no Islamic State no court system except for maybe in Saudia and another few but very rare instances.

    Rather he speaks from a theoretical angle that does not speak to the political realities on the ground. He roots his argument in the idea of Dar al Islam and Dar al Kufr and that Shar’iah is only applied in the first and not latter.

    As the Ulema have said the separation of the world into Dar Islam and Dar al Kufr has no textual basis it was an observation of Imam Muhammad as Shaybani (r) he told the Khalifa of his time the world is divided into such upon being asked what was the state (condition) of the Muslims.

    We can easily say as the scholars of Ilm al Kalam say: The world in divided into two nations:

    1.) The Nation of dawah
    2.) The Nation that accepted the da’wah to Islam.
    And this makes more sense legally and technically in a world where there is no Islamic States capable of accepting and integrating millions of minorities from the West politically and economically and giving them citizenship.

    As it is now the Iraqis, Somalians and Palestinians are having a hard time trying to figure out where to go. There are 70,000 refugees that I know of barred from Egypt.

    These are questions I would like to refer to Shaikh Bouti (h) so we can contextualize what is going on to today with his position to Fiqh Of Minorities.

    Abul-Hussein
    Cairo, Egypt
    20 Rabi al Awaal 1429

  2. Haq says:

    Salaam
    Br Abul Hussein, with all due respect, why do you find the need to mention that you differ with Allama Bin Bayyah (H) on some issues? i mean why do you feel this is relevant?
    Salaam

  3. Abul-Hussein says:

    AS

    Haq, how are you doing? I hope well. The purpose of mentioning that on some issues I do not agree with Shaikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah (h) is to make a point that we have to have balance. There is a couple fatawaa that I do not agree with and follow other opinions upheld by other proofs. This is Deen and this Deen is built upon knowledge and not emotion. So despite my emotion I try to keep it in check via knowledge. There is no such thing as following a person in toto if we have knowledge that supports the truth maybe some where else or with someone else.

    Let us be balanced and learn to have respect and respectfully disagree and disagree based on learning and evidence this starts by following the Ulema. It is ok to disagree with the Ulema (h) but not on whim and not solely based on what “one thinks” without research or learning and verifying one’s stance with Ulema.

    I felt it was relevant to mention that I disagree on somethings because in a particular fatawa he gave I disagree with it that is all no more no less aiming for objectivity with respect.
    AS

  4. Sohaib Scotlandi says:

    Salaam,
    Rather, it seems the question should be, what is the problem with stating disagreement, when this is done in a respectful way that encourages us to think over the issues presented from more than one angle?

  5. Haq says:

    Salaam All
    Br Abul Hussein I hope your well. Please don’t take me the wrong way, I am all for scholarly intellectual discourse, and believe me, by the grace of Allah I am one of the very few students in the Islamic Institute I study trying to maintain a balance. I am also regularly at the receiving end of overly emotional people. So I know what you mean.

    From what you wrote, I understand why you mentioned the fact the you differ on some points with Sheikh Allamah Bin Bayyah, which is (correct me if I am wrong) that you want to clarify that although you look up to Sh Bin Bayyah a lot, you do not necessarily agree with everything he says, and no doubt your are not blameworthy of that, and from the Talks given by Sh Bin Bayyah, He himself encourages this healthy differences.

    Its just I was reading what you wrote late at night, I thought that it was not necessary to mention what you had hence asked for clarification. I apologise if I sounded defensive.

    Br Scotlandi, there is no problem with stating disagreement, its just i was thinking whether it was relevant to mention it here.

    Br Abu Hussein, Just like to mention I appreciate your posts very much and eagerly anticipate them on the translators website. So if I do pose questions it is only to learn and nothing aimed personally at you. The last thing I want is to become a cause for an unfriendly atmosphere.

    Peace…

  6. Abul-Hussein says:

    AS

    Ustadh Haq, I hope your well. I had no problem with what you said. It could have be read as a question written in a calm manner or as one that was a bit critical I read it in the former. The problem with the internet is a lack of emotion it is hard to see where the other person is coming from (No face, no voice, no body movements etc.). In any event, we are brothers akhi (Ikhwa).

    AS

    Abul-Hussein

  7. Haq says:

    Salaam
    By the way, whats happened to the translators web site?
    And a note to Br Suhaib; the “Contact Br Suhaib” link is not working.

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