Islamic Jurisprudence

Transformational Teaching: Prophet Muhammad as a Teacher and Murabbī (Part 2)

By: Dr. Zainab Alwani How does the Qur’an describe and analyze this experience? What are the main issues that it emphasizes? How does it examine the people’s attitude toward this slander? Does it provide guidance and strategies for dealing with similar problems? According to the Qur’an, what is the problem? Why is it important to …

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Transformational Teaching: Prophet Muhammad as a Teacher and Murabbī

By: Dr. Zainab Alwani This article analyzes the transformative role of Prophet Muhammad as a murabbī.  Dr. Alwani1 applies a hermeneutic reading the divine text as a structural unity, a concept known as al-waḥda al-binā’iyya li-l-Qur’ān. After defining the concept of murabbī, she suggests that a holistic reading of the Qur’an can help us rebuild our concepts from within …

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The Qur’an: The Arbiter of Diverse Interpretations

By: Dr. Zainab Alwani The question of Qur’anic interpretation is at the heart of any juristic interpretation.  Some of the questions are ones that have been debated among scholars throughout Islamic history. Other questions, however, are a product of the unique circumstances that face the Muslim-American community in the twenty-first century. Who possesses the authority to interpret the …

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A Methodology for Understanding the Qurʾān in the Modern Day

By: Dr. Zainab Alwani This paper is concerned with the Qurʾānic methodology of Al-waḥda al-bināʾiyya li-l-Qurʾān and its impact in the arena of religious sciences and beyond. I provide a concise overview of the classical and contemporary debates concerning the genealogy of this method, including examples and a brief analysis of the works of a …

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With A’isha In Mind: Reading Surat Al-Nur Through The Quran’s Structural Unity

By: Dr. Zainab Alwani While a multiplicity of interpretations is a consistent historical feature in Qur’anic scholarship, the intratextual method (tafsir al-Qur’an bi-l-Qur’an) has been accepted as a central method of interpretation. Building upon this method, this chapter explores and furthers the methodology of Al-wahda al-bina’iyya li-l-Qur’an (the Qur’an’s structural unity) and argues that reading …

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Shafii Qawaid Fiqhiyya: ‘Al-‘Ada Muhakkama’ (Fourth/Tenth to Tenth/Sixteenth Century)

By: Noha Adel Bakr ” Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafii” (d. 204/820) was one of the most influential theoreticians of Islamic law during his time and remains so to the present day. As a student, then critic, of the two leading legal minds of his time, namely, Muhammad al-Shaybani and Malik ibn Anas, al-Shafii”presented a middle …

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Āda and ‘Urf in Hanafi and Shafii” Fiqh

By: Noha Adel Bakr ” In this chapter, I have briefly traced the position of custom, or ‘Urf, in the Islamic legal tradition from it’s inception through the mid-seventh/ thirteenth century. Throughout this period, the use of custom went through two important stages of legal development. The first stage was the absorption of pre-Islamic customs …

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An Introduction to the Study of Al-Qawaid Al-Fiqhiyya

By: Noha Adel Bakr ” The earliest phase of jurisprudential development in the Islamic context is characterized by a shift in focus from the Qurʾān to the sunna of the Prophet Muhammad as the preeminent source of guidance in legal matters facing the Muslim community. This shift mirrors and anticipates a similar shift in the …

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