Hassan, “Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat: History, Development, and Progress”

This September, Palgrave Macmillan will publish Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat: History, Development, and Progress by Georgetown University’s Said Fares Hassan. The book is part of a series on Islamic Theology, Law, and History. The publisher’s description follows.

How can Muslims strike a balance between religious commitments and their civic identity as citizens in Western liberal states? Hassan examines the development of a contemporary internal Muslim debate on the production of a new form of Islamic jurisprudence, Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat, or the jurisprudence of Muslim minorities. Three key trends are identified in this debate: the puritan literalist trend, the traditionalist trend and the renewal trend. The literalists argue that Muslim minorities should disassociate themselves from non-Muslims and confine their loyalty to their fellow Muslims. The traditionalists maintain that Muslim minorities can live in non-Muslim lands but via exceptional rules and conditional fatwas. The renewal trend asserts the need for a new category of jurisprudence with a new methodological framework that normalizes and empowers Muslim minority life in non-Muslim society. The study delineates these trends in detail and investigates their background, development and current conditions with special focus on the renewal trend and the discourse of Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat.

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