Without knowledge action is useless, and knowledge without action is futile.
Research is the core of KARAMAH’s work, and serves as the bridge between thought and action in the struggle for justice. KARAMAH’s authentic, yet innovative research in Islamic jurisprudence is the source of the knowledge base essential to the promotion of the rights of Muslim women, and human rights for all, in an Islamic context. However, an understanding of Islamic jurisprudence alone is not enough to build networks of Muslim women and men around the world who support this mission. In order to become agents of change, future leaders also need knowledge and skills that will allow them to navigate sensitive issues and cogently present their thoughts. For this reason, KARAMAH also produces, collects, and disseminates research on leadership and conflict resolution.
KARAMAH’s Jurist Network – a network of over 400 scholars from around the world who contribute scholarly works on a variety of topics to our scholarship database, is vital to the success of many of KARAMAH’s endeavors. With their guidance and scholarly contributions, KARAMAH communicates knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence, leadership, and conflict resolution to the public at large by way of our educational programming and Law and Leadership Summer Program (LLSP).
Islamic Constitutionalism and the Concept of Democracy
Azizah al-Hibri, Esq.
Recent developments in the Arab World, especially those surrounding the Gulf War, prompted demands for the introduction of democratic changes to systems of government in that region. These demands spurred a broad-based debate among Muslims concerned about the correct Islamic point of view on the subject. This article contributes to the debate by analyzing Islamic constitutionalism’s position on democratic governance.
“The term ‘pluralism’ is used very frequently these days, and like many words so freely and often employed it tends to become a cliché, which is why I have attempted in this article to divide and discuss pluralism into several varieties. This approach also implies that discussing pluralism as a composite whole, or discussing only one aspect of it in isolation from its other applications, tends to invite ambiguity.”
“Compared to other themes of Islamic constitutional law, the subject of fundamental rights and liberties has received little attention in the works of the early ulema. When we look, for example, at Kitab al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyyah of Abul Hasan al-Mawardi (d. 450 A.H) or Al-Siyasah al-Shar’iyyah of Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 A.H) we find that they address subjects such as the rights of state over the citizen, powers of the state executive and judicial branches, taxation, crimes and punishment, jihad, and hisbah (i.e. commanding good and forbidding evil) but references to the rights of the citizen are scanty and incidental.”