Registration Now Open for the 12th Annual Fiqhi Workshop on ‘Language and Meaning in Islamic Legal Theory’

AMI’s Department of Islamic Legal Studies is delighted to open registration for its 12th annual Contemporary Fiqhi Issues workshop on ‘Language and Meaning in Islamic Legal Theory.’ The workshop will be held over two days from Thursday, 4th July to Friday, 5th July 2024.

About the Workshop

AMI’s 12th Fiqhī Workshop will, for the first time, turn its focus to explore the meta-jurisprudential issue of ‘language and meaning’ discussed in the discourse of Islamic legal theory (uṣūl al-fiqh) and its impact on jurisprudence (fiqh). The workshop aims to bring together scholars knowledgeable in Islamic legal theory, hermeneutics, and the philosophy of language to explore nuanced aspects of language and meaning discussed in Islamic legal theory.

Muslims legal theorists unanimously agree that knowledge of Sharia regulations (aḥkām al-sharīʿa) is primarily justified through the scriptural sources of the Quran and hadith corpora. Consequently, a large portion of the discourse of Islamic legal theory has historically been devoted to the study of language and meaning (mabāḥith al-alfāẓ). Muslim jurists have devised numerous hermeneutical methods/principles to identify, understand, and interpret the apparent linguistic (ẓāhir) indication of scripture, and thereby deducing new, or justify pre-existing, jurisprudential knowledge of Sharia. For example, typical issues discussed in the Uṣūlī study of language and meaning include:

  • The relationship between words and meaning.
  • The usage of language as literal (ḥaqīqī) and metaphorical (majāzī).
  • The nature and indication of linguistic forms and structures such commands and prohibitions (awāmir wa nawāhī), general and specific statements (ʿāmm wa khāṣṣ), absolute and restricted statements (muṭlaq wa muqayyad), clear and ambiguous statements (mubayyan wa mujmal), and explicit and implicit statements (manṭūq wa mafhūm).

The Muslim hermeneutic understanding of the complex interplay between language and meaning and the richness of debates and implications therein is not comprehensively presented in the English language. The workshop will therefore fill a gap in current literature in the field of language and meaning in Islamic legal theory.

Workshop Programme 

The full workshop programme and speakers’ abstracts and bios can be viewed below.


Click here to register to attend the workshop at Al-Mahdi Institute.

Tickets cost £35 per day or £60 for both days. Tickets include lunch and dinner for the chosen day(s). Students can also benefit from a 20% discount on tickets at checkout.