Fiqh al-Daʿwa: The Emerging Standardization of Islamic Proselytism

In: Die Welt des Islams
Author: Jamal Malik1
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Globalization has been made responsible for a variety of (re)invented traditions with a trend toward a new religious foundation in and of societies. With Islamic proselytism having gone global, it may resemble religious resistance to the status quo, when pious Muslims instigate homogenizing daʿwa activities and attempt to endow them with moral obligations and normative superstructure. The proliferation of standards and fledgling processes of ideological framing are traceable in what is called fiqh al-daʿwa, which includes general theorizing and ostensibly legal reasoning on daʿwa. In reality, it is more of a missionary ideology given weight by being clothed in Islamic legal terminology. This paper investigates the fiqh of daʿwa in its global setting, with an emphasis on its radical Islamist articulations. It does so by examining fiqh al-daʿwa’s legally, or rather ideologically and morally, charged treatises. In this way, the article reconstructs the genealogy of this rather new genre, as well as its social composition, its ideational grounding, and its normative potential. The condensed forms and derivatives of fiqh of daʿwa will be documented by means of certain rules, methods, and strategies of Islamist ideologues and organizations, particularly the post-Huḍaybī Muslim Brotherhood.

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