A creative traditionalist: an analytical study of contemporary Islamic jurisprudence in Shaykh Abdulla Bin Bayyah’s thought

Aljifry, Khalid Bandr (2021). A creative traditionalist: an analytical study of contemporary Islamic jurisprudence in Shaykh Abdulla Bin Bayyah’s thought. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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My thesis examines Bin Bayyah’s thoughts on Islamic jurisprudence (uṣūl al-fiqh). Bin Bayyah is a leading contemporary traditional Muslim Sunni jurist. Throughout his intellectual output, Bin Bayyah has given special consideration to the discipline of uṣūl al-fiqh as the crucial tool for producing adequate contemporary religious verdicts (fatwa muʿāṣira). He emphasises that the failure to practice uṣūl al-fiqh properly is one of the main reasons for the failure to solve problems; they persist because unsound or inappropriate fatwas are applied to them. This thesis investigates Bin Bayyah’s perspective on the matter of uṣūl al-fiqh and its relation to the classical tradition to which Bin Bayyah adheres. The main question of the thesis is: how does Bin Bayyah approach and reform Islamic jurisprudence? And what has he contributed to modern Islamic law? To respond to this, the framework of this study is built upon three themes: the concept of renewing (tajdīd) uṣūl al-fiqh, the theory of maqāṣid al- sharīʿa (the objectives of the shariʿa), and the theory of fiqh al-wāqiʿ (the jurisprudence of reality). For the concept of renewing uṣūl al-fiqh, Bin Bayyah casts light on the complexity of the sacred text, which results fundamentally from the nature of the Arabic language. Such complexity is reflected in the diversity of legal interpretation within Islamic law. For the theory of maqāṣid al- sharīʿa, Bin Bayyah argues that this theory represents the rationality of the shariʿa and systemises the interactive relationship between the sacred text and the human intellect. He insists, however, that the implementation of maqāṣid al-shariʿa should be restricted by the principles of uṣūl al-fiqh. For the theory of fiqh al-wāqiʿ, Bin Bayyah emphasises the realistic orientation of the shariʿa, which demands that the present circumstances should be considered before any legal ruling is applied, to ensure that the outcome of applying a ruling is in accordance with the objectives of shariʿa. The thesis aims to explain to what extent the modern presentation of tradition in Bin Bayyah’s thought differs from the original classical tradition. The thesis argues that Bin Bayyah shows a sophisticated position that illustrates an adherence to tradition and simultaneously exemplifies a reformist, adaptive and pragmatic approach.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Theology and Religion
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/11179


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