Minority Fiqh and Aqida

Podcasts: Minority Fiqh and Aqida with Mufti Taha Karaan

Mufti Taha Karaan lectures on Minority Fiqh and Citizenship, and gives a two-part synoptic presentation of Islamic aqida based on a classic text.

Mufti Taha Karaan is a Shafi‘i scholar born in Cape Town, South Africa, to a family renowned in both its maternal and paternal lineage for Islamic scholarship. His father, the late Mufti Yusuf Karaan, may Allah have mercy on his soul, was one of the most distinguished Islamic scholars in the Cape.

Mufti Taha completed his Qur’anic memorization in one year at the Waterfall Islamic Institute, the oldest Islamic seminary in South Africa. During his stay, he assisted in the editing of the Qur’anic prints that the Institute has become famous for the world over. After finishing four years of the ‘alim course in two years, he journeyed to the Indian sub-continent and Dar al Uloom Deoband, graduating from there in 1991 with the highest of distinctions, as did his father, in a class of over 700 students. He then travelled to the Middle East and completed a two-year graduate diploma at the Higher Institute for Islamic Studies in Cairo, Egypt.

Mufti Taha is the recipient of numerous chains of transmission (ijazaat), from well-respected scholars in India, Pakistan, South Africa, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, among others, in numerous fields of the Islamic sciences.

Currently, Mufti Taha is the Mufti of the Muslim Judicial Council. He is a sought-after speaker at Islamic symposia and conferences but attends them sparingly, preferring to spend most of his time at the Islamic seminary, Dar al Uloom al Arabiyyah al Islamiyyah, that he founded in 1996. The educational thrust of the seminary reflects Mufti Taha’s own pioneering vision and commitment to squarely interface with the challenges of the modern age through the twin objectives of preservation and progress.

In his teaching, writing and legal verdicts (fatawa), Mufti Taha regularly addresses contemporary issues such as the challenges of post-modernity, feminism, Islamic economics and finance, the old and new Orientalisms, and fiqh issues affecting Diaspora Muslim communities.

His students describe him as divinely-gifted with encyclopedic knowledge; possessed of a near photographic memory; an insatiable bibliophile within the Islamic sciences and without; a teacher that never ceases to inspire; endowed with an elegant calligraphic hand and a penchant for poetry; thoroughly unassuming, pleasant, brilliant and tender-hearted.

Muslim Minorities and the Fiqh of Citizenship in the Modern World

How do Muslim minority communities in various parts of the world create meaningful spaces and environments to flourish as religious communities, and as beneficial members of their societies? The intersection between religious identity and citizenship is a nuanced and complex topic for many Muslims living in Non Muslims countries.

In this lecture, Mufti Taha Karaan provides an insightful overview of how Muslim minority communities engaged with the geo political realities of their times in order to consolidate their presence and growth in various locations around the world. By analyzing and discussing the critical topics of migration, citizenship and the preservation of faith, in a coherent historical chronology and context, Mufti Taha Karaan proffers a refreshing and inspirational approach of understanding the Fiqh of Citizenship and Minorities in contemporary times.

The Muslim community of South Africa, specifically Cape Town, has a rich and dynamic history which spans more than 300 years. Mufti Taha Karaan proposes that Muslim minority communities around the world should scrupulously analyse how the Muslims of the Cape preserved their faith when confronted with the various challenges of slavery, colonialism and apartheid, and how they succeeded in developing into a vibrant, confident and socially contributing community within South African society.

Link to podcast:
Muslim Minorities and the Fiqh of Citizenship in the Modern World.

A Synopsis of the Science of Aqida based on the text of Al Hawi al Qudsi of Al Qadhi Jamaluddin Ahmed ibn Mahmud Al Qabisi Al Ghaznawi Al Halabi

Since the enlightenment period, belief in God and organized religion has come under significant attack. The unremitting question regarding the compatibility of revelation and reason continues to plague us in current times. Atheism as a “belief” system or worldview is on the rise, and many individuals feel obfuscated and confused amidst the high levels of intellectual skepticism.

How should Muslims face and immunized themselves from these ideological challenges? How did our luminous scholars of the past respond to the various intellectual and doctrinal quagmires of their age so that they were able to preserve sound belief in the integrals of Islam?

In this lecture, Mufti Taha Karaan succinctly articulates a systematic overview of the various components that contribute to the Islamic science of belief (Aqida) and dialectical theology (Kalam). By contextualizing the various challenges that historically confronted Islamic doctrine, he provides a lucid methodology in comprehending the integral epistemic avenues that contribute to correct belief in Islam.

Link to podcasts:
A Synopsis of the Science of Aqeedah, part 1.
A Synopsis of the Science of Aqeedah, part 2.