Fatwâ : its role in Sharî'ah and contemporary society with South African case studies

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. A.R.I. Doi; Prof. J.F.J. van Rensburg en_US
dc.contributor.author Mitha, Nasim
dc.date.accessioned 2012-09-12T10:27:09Z
dc.date.available 2012-09-12T10:27:09Z
dc.date.issued 2012-09-12
dc.date.submitted 1991
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/7643
dc.description M.A. en_US
dc.description.abstract Shari `ah the Islamic "legal system" has been studied and depicted in many ways. Schacht writes, "Islamic law is the epitome of thought, the most typical manifestation of the Islamic way of life, the core and kernel of Islam itself." Shari'ah can be described as "law" or as a "legal system" in as far as it provides for the ordering of society. Laws however, do not state what 'is' but what rational human beings 'ought' or 'ought not' to do - 'norms' (from the Latin norma meaning yardstick or rule). Thus laws change and differ with the differing 'norms' or yardsticks of society. The Shari'ah differs from the various -legal systems in that it provides a means of governance wherever it is correctly applied without changing in its essential fundamentals. This sound ordering of society that it provides, prevails over the Muslim community which consists of a vast multiplicity of diverse nations and cultures. The question that confounds scholars is how did a single body of law based on divine revelation, the Qur'an and Sunnah, deal with social contingencies and how does it remain relevant and effective in the twentieth century? The answer, to a large extent, lies in fatwd. These are non-binding opinionated legal rulings derived by an astute scholar of Islam, i.e. a mufti. Muffiyiin have received very little attention in both contemporary Islamic and Western scholarship, since their practice is far less institutionalised when compared to a judge in a Western court of law. The role of the jurisconsult is unfamiliar to the Western mind and inadequately presented by Muslim scholars. The rulings of a judge in a Shari'ah court are called aq chya. Fatawa and aqcfiya are similar in that the principles applied in deriving the Shari 'ah law in both instances are the same. They differ essentially in that aqchya are legally binding and are executed by the state whilst fatciwa are not. This study examines the role played by faavci as the catalyst of iftihdd and the facilitator that infuses dynamism in the SharVah. Its role from the time of the Prophet and the righteously guided caliphs is established as a rebuttal to the assertion that Islamic legal rules were only established from the time of the Umayyads — the second century of Islam. The study then moves on to its role in contemporary society and the futyci on gelatin issued by the various fatwei issuing bodies of South Africa demonstrates its articulation in a localised sense. My conclusions establish the dynamic nature of the Shari'ah as a dual natured "legal system" with interacting fixed and flexible conceptual spheres of the law and the pivotal role played by faidwa in enabling it to cope with social change. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Islamic law en_US
dc.subject Islamic law - History en_US
dc.subject Islamic law - Interpretation and construction en_US
dc.subject Islamic law - Interpretation and construction - History en_US
dc.subject Fatwas en_US
dc.subject Fatwas - History en_US
dc.subject Muftis (Muslim officials) en_US
dc.title Fatwâ : its role in Sharî'ah and contemporary society with South African case studies en_US
dc.type Mini-Dissertation en_US

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