Shari'a responsibility; conditions and conflicts
Call for papers
The 2nd AMI Contemporary fiqhi Issue workshop series
April 3rd-5th 2014, Al-Mahdi Institute Birmingham, U.K.
The dominant fiqhi reading of Sharīʿa perceives a system of orthopraxic precepts (aḥkām) in the knowledge of God that regulate every aspect of the lives of humankind. The all inclusive scope of this regulative system is held to include personal and interpersonal realms as well as Human-Divine relations. Central to the fuqahāís vision of this regulative system is a body of religious duties or responsibilities that apply to all who meet the inferred criteria for the endowment of such Sharīʿa responsibility. These conditions for Sharīʿa religious responsibility are listed to include considerations such as sanity, capacity, maturity and in some cases a prior acceptance of Islam- not withstanding the considerable intricacies of the debates in each case, generally speaking at least, those who do not meet the conditions are not deemed to bear Sharīʿa responsibilities.
The basis and implications of the various conditions for religious responsibility have been subject to debate and discussion throughout much of the history of the traditional Muslim scholarly discipline of fiqh. Yet due to a multitude of factors the current circumstances in which Muslims find themselves raise many new questions in this regard. For instance, developments in medicine and psychology have revealed the complexity, diversity and prevalence of mental health issues in societies offering a new prism of analysis to the traditional criteria of sanity. Modern notions of the inherent worth of autonomy and self determination resonate with the traditional conceptions of capacity as a criteria for religious responsibility, yet how such criteria may help negotiate challenges arising form fiqhi regulations apparently conflicting with the competing legal frameworks that Muslims find themselves in is still an open question. Prominent cases of such conflicts include situations where parents may assert the authority to marry off their daughters or where regulations require circumcision of male infant children. Whatís more the traditional notion of maturity , which has been identified as being as early as nine years in girls and thirteen years in boys, is itself highly contentious when viewed in light of the changing sociological and legal considerations which inform the basis for considerations of the boundaries between childhood and adulthood adopted in most other normative frameworks throughout the world.
This workshop aims to facilitate scholarship directly addressing the questions surrounding the conditions of Sharīʿa responsibility and we invite paper proposals dealing with any aspect of how these considerations impact the practice of fiqhi norms in the contemporary world.
We especially encourage papers engaging with the methodological questions involved in justifications for both traditional and alternative perspectives on the conditions for religious responsibility and the conflicts that may arise as a result. Also welcome are submissions which seek to employ relevant sociological, anthropological and/or historical approaches which address the fiqhi considerations for the conditions of religious responsibility and how these impact on the practice of the subsequent norms in the contemporary world.
Proposals for a single presenter should include the following:
➢ Contact information of presenter(s),
➢ Tentative title(s),
➢ Abstract(s) and selected bibliography (300 word minimum, 500 maximum per presenter).
Following the workshop, submitted papers will be peer reviewed for inclusion in an edited collection.
The deadline for submission of proposals is 1st January 2014. Successful applicants will be notified by 14th January 2014.
A limited number of travel bursaries are available but applicants are expected to first seek funding from their home institution.
Proposals and queries should be sent by e-mail to: Ali-reza Bhojani (firstname.lastname@example.org )
Prof. Ayatullah Seyed Mustafa Mohagegh Damad,
Shaykh Arif Abdul Hussain,
Prof. Seyed M. Ghari S. Fatemi,
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