Collective Ijtihad: Regulating Fatwa in Postnormal Times - IIIT

Collective Ijtihad: Regulating Fatwa in Postnormal Times

Author: Hossam Sabry Othman

Paperback: 978-1-64205-877-2

Hardback: 978-1-64205-876-5

eBook: 978-1-64205-878-9

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Collective Ijtihad: Regulating Fatwa in Postnormal Times THE CONTEMPORARY postnormal world is posing for Muslims ever strange ethical, financial, and medical dilemmas for which modern jurists are expected to provide a suitable theological response. Yet even with an encyclopedic knowledge of Islamic law, the task facing them is daunting. In the real world this level of complexity has led to chaos in fatwa issuance with many scholars voicing concern at the direction to which things are moving and calling for the process to be regulated. This book critiques fatwa issuance in the modern context and calls for application of a synthesized approach using the mechanism of collective ijtihad to formulate rulings and overcome current weaknesses. It carefully examines central juristic concepts and puts forward consultative ijtihad as a viable alternative to the controversial classical ijma’ approach which may be difficult to realize in the contemporary world. The author argues that fatwas become questionable when jurists, out of their depth, fail to grasp concepts which only engagement with specialists can fully elucidate, or give way to top down financial and/or political pressure from the executives of institutions employing them. Matters are compounded by the face of fatwas having undergone a radical transformation in modern times with online programs and social media often a go-to source for Muslims. The author exposes the world of modern fatwa pronouncements – packaged, supplied and broadcast in a matter of minutes, under a mentality of one-fatwa-fits-all. In a bid for much needed reform he calls for a reassessment of current institutional practices contending that Muslim societies need not be vulnerable to the demands of a media driven, technocratic age, with rapid shifts in ethical norms, but that, in the interests of a healthy functioning society, issue fatwas cognizant of the wider modern context, specialist knowledge, as well as the cultural diversity that exists in the common Ummatic identity. Hossam Sabry Othman He is a faculty member at Al-Azhar University in Egypt, College of Languages and Translation, Department of Islamic Studies. His main research interests include Islamic legal theory, contemporary Fiqh issues, and Western Quranic Studies. He has a long history of translating academic papers and books from English to Arabic and vice versa. His Arabic translation of François Déroche’s Qurans of the Umayyads: A First Overview was recently published. He also co-translated The Oxford Handbook of Qur’anic Studies, which will be published soon.

Paperback : 978-1-64205-877-2 / Price: $20.95 Hardback : 978-1-64205-876-5/ Price: $30.95 eBook : 978-1-64205-878-9 / Open Access Size : 6x9 inches Pages : 272 Year of Publication: 2024

April 4, 2024