Governance According to Islamic Principles
Taught by Dr. Ashraf Muneeb
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) was both (1) a prophet who taught us how to love and worship Allah Most High; and (2) also a head of a state, who protected his umma from foreign aggression and established the rule of law that brought domestic security that they needed to freely worship Allah Most High and to prosper in all aspects of their daily lives.
The fuqaha preserved this latter role of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) under the heading of al-siyasa al-shar`iyya, which means, "governance according to Islamic principles". The chapters that fall under this heading are normally placed at the end of traditional books of sacred law and include topics such as the hadd punishments, the laws of war and peace, the protection of non-Muslim minorities, the laws of taxation, the laws of the appointment of the head of state, and the laws related to rebellion against the head of state.
All of these topics are now controversial. They are used in media to spread Islamophobia and to portray Muslims as harsh, cruel, and intolerant. These are all misrepresentations. In order to understand why they are misrepresentations, we need to study what exactly al-siyasa al-shar`iyya is and what its proper application might look like.
Dr. Ashraf will explain the details of al-siyasa al-shari`yya, but in a way that highlights the higher purposes (maqasid) that lie behind these laws. Students will learn that, in matters related to governance, the higher purposes are often more important than the legal details. A misunderstanding of these higher purposes will always lead to a misapplication of the legal details and a misapplication of al-siyasa al-shar`iyya. Understanding these higher purposes will also contextualize the legal details and help students understand how what they hear in media is a distortion of what is found in traditional books of Sacred Law.
This course is using the classical manual of Hanafi sacred law, Kanz al-Daqa'iq. The differences between the four schools in al-siyasa al-shar`iyya, however are slight, and they all agree on the high-level principles and purposes that lie behind the laws. Students of any school--Hanafi, Shafi'i, Maliki, or Hanbali--will therefore benefit from this course.
This course is taught in Arabic, and runs for ten weeks each term