Ibn Taymiyya on Reason and Revelation, Carl Sharif El-Tobgui offers the first comprehensive study of Ibn Taymiyya’s ten-volume magnum opus,
Darʾ taʿāruḍ al-ʿaql wa-l-naql. In his colossal riposte to the Muslim philosophers and rationalist theologians, the towering Ḥanbalī polymath rejects the call to prioritize reason over revelation in cases of alleged conflict, interrogating instead the very conception of rationality that classical Muslims had inherited from the Greeks. In its place, he endeavors to articulate a reconstituted “pure reason” that is both truly universal and in full harmony with authentic revelation. Based on a line-by-line reading of the entire
Darʾ taʿāruḍ, El-Tobgui’s study carefully elucidates the “philosophy of Ibn Taymiyya” as it emerges from the multifaceted ontological, epistemological, and linguistic reforms that Ibn Taymiyya carries out in this pivotal work.
This paper examines modern juristic discussions on the concept of custom in light of the proceedings of the fifth session of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy, which was held in 1988. It shows the extent to which these discussions not only address the role of custom in the derivation of Islamic law and its place in the Islamic legal tradition, but also reflect the impact of modern positive legislations on modern conceptualizations of Sharīʿa and how it has been constructed in the wake of the modern legal reform movement. In particular, the framing of custom in some civil codes as an independent legal source marked a significant development and created tension between Sharīʿa and modern legal codes. This perceived tension has, in turn, inspired efforts to reaffirm the primacy of Sharīʿa and demands for its implementation. While these discussions demonstrate how Muslim scholars situate Sharīʿa within national legal structures, they also show the role of juristic councils, such as the International Islamic Fiqh Academy, in the development of a transnational juristic discourse that transcends the boundaries of the nation state.
This article discusses the debate on gender-equal inheritance in Tunisia. In it, Maeve Cooke’s conception of authoritarian versus non-authoritarian practical reasoning is applied to see whether binaries, like religious versus secular, are existent in the public debate on equal inheritance in Tunisia. The mapping of the debate shows the existence of three sets of arguments: jurisprudential/textual, sociological, and legal. Proponents of equal inheritance base their arguments primarily on legal, then sociological, then textual grounds, whereas law opponents base their arguments on textual, then legal, then sociological grounds. The weakness of the sociological arguments of law opponents is evident when stating that a gendered division of labor within the family still exists without providing statistics or empirical evidence to back up that claim. Through shared categories and grounds, the discussions in Tunisia share a common language in the public sphere, allowing for the reduction of authoritarian tendencies and longstanding polarization through public deliberation.
After World War II the United Nations developed new international law constructs in cooperation with the majority of the world’s nations, which were mainly based on a Western hermeneutic of rights. This international humanistic project provided new anthropological constructs which were seen as compatible or non-compatible, by Muslims or non-Muslims, with Islam. When analyzing these discussions on Islam and human rights discourse into a typology they can provide insights where compatibility and non-compatibility lies, and where possible reinterpretation is needed. Within the typology, two forms of discourses can be discerned: Islamic human rights discourse as the internal Muslim discourse on human rights and the external ‘Islam and human rights’ discourse which emerged together with the modern human rights regimes. By analyzing the different elements of what constitutes Islam and human rights discourse we can derive new understandings and strategies in how to engage a modern Islamic human rights discourse and constitute an Islamic science of human rights (ʿilm al-ḥuqūq) which provides a hermeneutics of continuity between Islam and modern human rights and overcomes both apologetics and othering.