”The Status of Non-Muslims in Sharīʿa” AMI’s 4th Annual Contemporary Fiqhi Issues Workshop

AMI hosted its 4th Annual Contemporary Fiqhi Issues workshop on ‘The Status of Non-Muslims in Sharīʿa’ between 2nd – 3rd June 2016. Bringing together a host of international scholars and specialists, the workshop was a unique platform to facilitate scholarship directly addressing questions surrounding the status of non-Muslims in Sharī ͑a. The workshop sought to explore fiqhī or juristic justifications and challenges to such positions and emerging alternatives. As in previous gatherings such fiqhī debate was situated alongside contributions dealing with broader theological, legal, historical, anthropological and sociological approaches that enriched a multidisciplinary understanding of contemporary visions for the status of non-Muslims in Sharīʿa.

The workshop addressed issues relating to the apparent tensions that have arisen in the understanding and practice of fiqh in the context of challenges from international law, extremist trans-national and terrorist organisations, domestic legal frameworks and the private practice of Muslims living in an increasingly interconnected and globalized world. From private issues related to permissibility of marriage with non-Muslims or eating non-Muslim prepared food, to societal or state imposed regulations pertaining to transactions, capital punishments, compensations, and political rights and duties, we find that the legal edicts of mainstream Muslim jurists demonstrate widespread distinctions/discriminations between Muslims and Non-Muslims. The impact of such distinctions/discriminations not only affects non-Muslims residing in pre-dominantly Muslim societies but also affect Muslims who reside in minority contexts.

The workshop benefited by the attendance of international research specialists from various educational institutes from around the UK and the globe, students and faculty of the Al-Mahdi Institute and other Institutions alike, as well as interested members of the public.

The participants who presented their findings at the workshop were; (click title for bio and abstract)

Dr Richard McCallum (Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies, Oxford) Protecting dhimmīs: British Christian Responses to the Status of Non-Muslims in Sharīʿa

Professor Abdulaziz Sachedina (George Mason University) The Qur’an and Other Religions: Pluralism and Diversity

Dr Ramon Harvey (Cambridge Muslim College) Peace and Just War through the Qur’anic Lens: A Reading

Professor Ayatollah Sayyid Muhaqiq Damad (Shahid Beheshti University) In Critique of Religious Self-Superiority

Shaykh Sohail Hanif (University of Oxford) The Battle for Hearts: Reconciling Hearts with Zakat

Dr Ali Fanaei (Al-Mahdi Institute) Religious Identity: From premodern to modern World

Professor Oliver Scharbrodt (University of Chester) “A minority within a minority”? – Creating Shia Spaces in Britain

Professor Robert Gleave (University of Exeter) Zoroastrians under the Shari’a

Shaykh Arif Abdul Hussain (Al-Mahdi Institute) The Status of the Other in the Shari‘a and the permissibility of meat slaughtered by non-Muslim

Professor Aron Zysow (Independent Scholar) The Disqualification of Non-Muslims as Witnesses in Islamic Law

Sayyid Hossein al-Qazwini (Islamic Seminary of Karbala) The Permissibility of Marrying a Christian or Jewish Female according to Imami Jurisprudence              

Shaykh Mushtaq Al-Khaqaani (Imam al-Jawad Foundation for Thought and Culture) Shedding Light on Essential Human Purity

Professor S M Ghari Fatemi (Al-Mahdi Institute & Shahid Beheshti University) More freedom for the others! The Fiqhi Dār oriented world order v. the modern Westphalian one

To view more photos from the workshop click here