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Conference of the Islamic West

2012-10-24
October 24, 2012

THE BACKGROUND TO THE IDEA OF ORGANIZING A CONFERENCE OF THE ISLAMIC WEST

-    Muslims throughout the world have deep love for Islam but are devoid of adequate guidance. In particular, they have numberless groupings, tendencies, ideologies etc which are at variance with one another, but they have no unifying structure capable of guiding them under one independent leadership of knowledge and an equally independent leadership of political command
-    Traditionally, Muslims always strove to ensure that, wherever they lived, they could rely on an empowered leadership of knowledge and an empowered leadership of political command, which dynamically interacted with and thus underpinned one another. For the first time in Muslims’ history, that is no longer true
-    In the predominantly Muslim countries, Muslims live effectively under un-Islamic laws dictated by secular forces, and their scholars have no way of influencing political structures to which they are fully subservient
-    In the Western or Western-influenced countries, such as South Africa, the UK, the US and Canada, France and Holland, Australia and Argentina, there is no authoritative political voice which speaks for the Muslims having been modeled and steered by the people of knowledge
-    The time is thus ripe to convene a conference where devotees of the Sharī`ah put forward, through lectures and Q&A sessions, a blueprint of how to re-establish an authoritative, legitimized and unified body of scholars who are capable, across the madhāhib, to address all the relevant issues affecting Muslim society and guide its members both by instruction and by effective implementation of solutions
-    The re-establishment of such a body, politically independent from presently corrupt structures of power, will hopefully lead to the natural re-emergence of an authoritative, legitimized and unified body of political leaders at local and trans-national levels, chieftains who deserve the title of “people of binding and loosening” moving from the grassroots level up. The conference aims at designing such a model of restored Islamic authority, and will draw from the lesson of how, in the past, Muslim societies generally adhering to Ahl as-Sunnah had empowered leadership of knowledge and empowered leadership of political command
-    We accordingly set our resolve on gathering a number of influential scholars from the West or the Western-influenced modern world, to give effect to the basic idea behind the conference and its pioneering mission
-    We are of the firm belief that, worldwide, South Africa is ideally suited to play the role of a major catalyst in such revival, due to its freer political climate and wide-ranging network of Islamic expertise and infrastructure. However, the aim is to plant an inclusive tree throughout the expanse of the Islamic West, which has broadened its range exponentially in modern times yet retains a distinctive pure flavour all of its own
-    It is natural that a special, but not sectarian or excluding emphasis is placed at the conference on the madhhab which has been historically associated with the Islamic West throughout the centuries: The madhhab, revered by all and sundry, of the revered Imām of the Adobe of the Hijrah, Imām Mālik. Indeed, having a common focus assists in fostering greater unity of purpose and action, and in moving beyond the arena of academic debates into the arena of effective on-the-ground activities
-    The main themes of such perfumed madhhab, with its purposive approach to fiqh and life, will be explored at the conference, in a novel and unprecedented way in the west, and in close relation to the jurisprudence of concrete engagement with reality
-    Indeed, our beloved Prophet, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, has foretold the inescapable return of genuine Islam to its source-locality of al-Madīnah al-Munawwarah, and in a most authentic hadīth has given us advance knowledge of the fact that a group of his nation shall be victorious on the truth and by the truth, undaunted by the blame of blamers and the opposition of opponents, all the way to the Day of Rising, and he, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, has identified such blessed group with the Muslims of the Islamic West. We are part of them. That is our location, no doubt, and ours is therefore a dramatically crucial mission of preserving and restoring the legacy of effective and triumphant Islam
-    We intend to welcome Muslims wishing to attend from all over the world, and at the same time the proceedings of the conference shall be broadcast worldwide through live streaming  
-    The time has come for the new tribe of the Western Muslim to arise. We can no longer have old ethnic groups from traditional Muslim lands groping through their daily existence in the West as if they were still living back home, or the waves of indigenous Westerners who daily enter the Dīn of Allah lacking a homogenous identity of their own, just as we can no longer have the said two building blocks of Islamic life in the West failing to speak to one another through leaders in knowledge and coming together through leaders of command    
-    The establishment, as a result inter alia of the conference, of a genuine leadership of knowledge (drawing from our classical legacy and applying it to the unique set of circumstances we live under in this strange and disconcerting age), shall not be limited to the usual advisory functions, general guidance of fellow Muslims, teaching and issuing of legal opinions. It will be an unprecedented development as it is aimed at creating and activating a dispute-resolution procedure whereby Muslims in the West can have their matters ruled upon by the Law, whether they concern marriage or the interpretation of a will, custody of children or the lease of an apartment, a delictual damage to one’s property, a currency exchange or the legality of a sale of non-apparent goods via the Internet; with proper documenting, filing and publication of the resultant judgments
-    The understandable special focus on the madhhab of the Islamic West is coupled with the encouragement of similar steps being adopted for other madhāhib, and the inevitable next step of giving birth to an arch-structure whereby all the individual leadership structures, both of knowledge and command, across all madhāhib of Ahl as-Sunnah, are gathered as mutually interlacing units of re-activated and re-empowered Islam     

THE SPEAKERS
(Based on their confirmation to date as regards their participation)

•    Shaykh Salāh ad-Dīn al-Mistāwī: Born on 13/12/1952 in Tunis. A graduate of the original and pure Zaytūnah University in Tunis (Faculty of Islamic Jurisprudence and the Sources of Islamic Jurisprudence), he is a researcher at a university in Marseille (France), a professor in Islamic education and thinking as well as a professor of Islamic Jurisprudence and the Sources of Islamic Jurisprudence at the newly re-opened Zaytūnah University in Tunis, the Administrative Head of Qur’ānic Affairs at the Tunisian Supreme Ministry, the chief adviser to the Secretary of the Supreme Islamic Council in Tunisia, a member of both the Academy for the establishment of closer ties between different madhāhib and the World Council for Islamic da`wah in Tripoli (Libya), an expert at Unesco’s Paris offices, the former editor-in-chief of the Jawhar al-Islam magazine, a regular Friday prayer orator, and so on. He runs a website at www.mestaoui.com

•    Mufti Abu Layth carried out preliminary Arabic and Islamic studies as a teenager in the UK before going to Damascus, Syria, where he studied the Islamic essentials for a year. He then completed Hifdh (memorization of the Qur'an) along with 'tafsir' (exegesis) at the Jami'a Muhammadiyah institute in Islamabad, Pakistan, in one year. Mufti Abu Layth then returned to Syria to recite the entire Qur'an to Shaykh AbdulHaadi al-Tabbaa', and gained an ijazah & 'sanad'/chain of transmission going back to the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-sallam). He then enrolled for a Dars-e-Nizami/Aalim course at the renowned Jami'a Binnoria in Karachi, Pakistan, where he graduated with honours in a number of Islamic sciences ranging from Tafsir (exegesis) to Usool (hermenuetics), from Comparative Fiqh (jurisprudence) to Adab (Arabic literature), from Nahw (Arabic grammar) to Aqeedah (theology). He also gained an Isnaad in the major books of hadith. Thereafter he also completed an additional 2 years Ifta’/Mufti course at the same institute, where he further specialized in Fiqh across various madhāhib, Maliki, Hanafi etc. and was trained to give Fatwa's (verdicts) on Islamic issues relating to jurisprudence under the supervision of Mufti Abdullah Shoukat (key student of Mufti Taqi Usmani) for Hanafi Fiqh and Mufti Saalim Al-Tunisi for Maliki Fiqh. Since his return to the UK, he has qualified as a school teacher, completed a Masters in Education, and is currently completing his degree in Psychology. A number of his lectures are available on Youtube. Mufti Abu Layth teaches the Muwatta in Birmingham, UK, runs online courses, and his current areas of research are Fiqh, Hadith and the Islamic history of Andalusia. He is thus best equipped to lead the participants of the conference through a historical tour of Islamic life in the past and in the present, among born Muslims or converts from Western lands.

•    Shaykh Tarik Bengarai Abou Nour. A well-known and respected scholar from Morocco, he is the initiator of the first French website on traditional jurisprudence from the Islamic West (www.doctrine-malikite.fr), and is a member of the Independent Islamic Financing Committee in Europe

•    Sheykh Nejmeddine Khalfallah al-Madani. The grandson of Shaykh Muhammad al-Munawwar al-Madanī, one of the brightest African stars in both classical fiqh (he was a contemporary and colleague of the revered mufassir Shaykh at-Tāhir b. ‘Āshūr) and uncontaminated Islamic Sufism (he was one of the foremost disciples of Shaykh Ahmad al-‘Alāwī, whose biography A Muslim Saint of the Twentieth Century by Martin Lings is appreciated by all and sundry), he is a lecturer in France, a scholar well-versed in Islamic Law and the problems affecting Muslims in the West, and the current muqaddim of the Madaniyyah Tarīqah founded by his illustrious grandfather, which he de fact heads from the UK to Argentina. He is presently setting up the first Centre of classical Islamic Sciences in Paris. The relevant website is www.madaniyya.com

THE PROGRAM

•    Dates of the conference: 22 and 23 December 2012
•    Soiree of dhikr with Qur’ānic recitation and singing of the Burdah for all lovers of Allah regardless of their jurisprudential madhhab or tarīqah affiliation within Ahl as-Sunnah

Lectures

•    Shaykh Salāh ad-Dīn al-Mistāwī. “Islam in the West - Issues and prospects”
•    Shaykh Nejmeddine Khalfallah al-Madani. “Shaykh at-Tāhir b. ‘Āshūr theory of the objectives of the Sharī`ah and its present-day application as a guide to the Muslims”
•    Mufti Abu Layth. “The merits and development of the Mālikī school throughout the centuries
•    Shaykh Tarik Bengarai Abou Nour. “The role of the Mālikī school in reinforcing a balanced and holistic Islamic identity: The example of France”
•    Ahmad ‘Alī al-‘Adanī: “The establishment of the new tribal clan of Western Muslims, and the restoration of a sound interaction between leadership of knowledge and leadership of command. The way forward”

Other sub-topics to be dealt with:

•    The concept of maslahah mursalah, and the theory of the five primary objectives of the Law;
•    The dual principle of blocking the means to evil and opening the paths to beneficence
•    The pivotal notion of iqtidā’ = The legislative and behavioural dimension of the Madinans’ actions and addressing the issue of giving effect to people’s customs in the Islamic West against the backdrop of several co-existing ethnic and cultural groups
•    Brief excursus through the characteristic features, the legislative foundations, the chief exponents and the main texts of the madhhab










 



Recent Comments
hoosein suliman - December 17, 2012 21:56 PM
u alaikum where is the conference venue
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