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The Status of Non-Muslims in Sharīʿa

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;

PresenterTitle of PaperView Abstract
Dr Richard McCallum
Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies, Oxford
Protecting dhimmīs: British Christian Responses to the Status of Non-Muslims in SharīʿaClick here
Professor Abdulaziz Sachedina
George Mason University
The Qur’an and Other Religions: Pluralism and DiversityClick here
Dr Ramon Harvey
Cambridge Muslim College
Peace and Just War through the Qur’anic Lens: A ReadingClick here
Professor Ayatollah Mohaghegh Damad
Shahid Beheshti University
In Critique of Religious Self-SuperiorityClick here
Shaykh Sohail Hanif
University of Oxford
The Battle for Hearts: Reconciling Hearts with ZakatClick here
Dr Ali Fanaei
Al-Mahdi Institute
Religious Identity: From premodern to modern WorldClick here
Professor Oliver Scharbrodt
University of Chester
A minority within a minority?  Creating Shia Spaces in BritainClick here
Professor Robert Gleave
University of Exeter
Zoroastrians under the Shari’aClick here
Shaykh Arif Abdul Hussain
Al-Mahdi Institute
The Status of the Other in the Shari‘a and the permissibility of meat slaughtered by non-MuslimClick here
Professor Aron Zysow
Independent Scholar
The Disqualification of Non-Muslims as Witnesses in Islamic LawClick here
Sayyid Hossein al-Qazwini
Islamic Seminary of Karbala
The Permissibility of Marrying a Christian or Jewish Female according to Imami JurisprudenceClick here
Shaykh Mushtaq Al-Khaqaani
Imam al-Jawad Foundation for Thought and Culture
Shedding Light on Essential Human PurityClick here
Professor Seyed M. Ghari Fatemi
Al-Mahdi Institute/ ShahidBeheshti University
More Freedom for the Others! The Fiqhi Dār Oriented World Order verses the Modern Westphalian neClick here