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Clarifying the Issue of Talfiq in Islamic Law – Dr H. A. Hellyer

In their personal lives, are Muslims required to perform taqlid [practice by way of imitation] of only one madhhab [school of law]? If not, when can they go out of the one that they have studied or practiced?

Different ulama [scholars] in different madhhabs [schools of law] have different considerations and principles in looking at this question. The below is a mainstream understanding within the madhhab of Imam al-Shafi’i.

(Out of the four extant schools for Sunni Muslims, the madhhab of Imam al-Shafi’i is the third that was founded. It is the school of nearly all Sunni Muslims in Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines), east Africa (Tanzania, Somalia, Kenya), Yemen and significant parts of the rest of the Arab world.)

It is important to note: this is a general comment on the issue of talfiq [mixing between different opinions in different schools of law] that applies to most lay (unspecialised in legal studies or awaam] Muslims. Considerations differ for muftis in giving fatwa; considerations might differ for those who are studying a madhhab to a more advanced level; those who receive specific instruction as part of their tarbiya [training] in a particular relationship with a teacher; and so on.

A Typical Shafi’i Viewpoint on Talfiq: Conditions

As noted above, the details around this issue may differ within a particular madhhab, or between madhhabs. A mainstream understanding in the Shafi’i school is as follows, nevertheless, may be understood as follows.

Generally, most individual Muslims may depart from their taqlid [practice by way of imitation] of the madhhab that one has studied or been taught if the following conditions are met:

Staying within the extant schools

  1. Such a departure entails following an alternative position that is transmitted reliably. Different scholars will have different positions on what ‘reliably’ means practically speaking – a precautionary view would be to limit it to well-known views within one of the four extant schools, though there are other viewpoints on this issue, which are available to the expert jurisprudent to evaluate. It is advisable that one learns that position from someone who is properly familiar and trained with it, rather than learning that position simply by picking up a book.

Impermissible and permissible talfiq

  1. That one is not guilty of impermissible talfiq, according to preferred precautionary opinion.Impermissible talfiq means that the end result of one’s combination of different opinions means that the final outcome is one that is not valid according to any of the madhhabs.By way of example: after performing wudu’ [ablutions] in a way that is only acceptable in Shafi’i and Hanafi schools, one bleeds (which breaks wudu’ in the Hanafi school), but considers his wudu’ intact based on the Shafi’i school (in which bleeding does not break wudu’). Later, he touches his wife and considers his wudu’ intact based on the Hanafi school (in which touching between spouses does not break wudu’). The end result being that his wudu is not valid according to both the Shafi’i and Hanafi schools respectively.
  2. There is a mainstream understanding, represented by the likes of Ibn Ziyad al-Yamani in the Shafi’i school,that talfiq is only problematic if it takes place in a single ritual (such as wudu’ mentioned above). It would mean one could do wudu’ according to one school, and salat (prayer) according to another, without considering this to be problematic talfiq in any way.

Having a need, and not treating religion like a play-thing

  1. Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, an authoritative scholar in the Shafi’i school, notes in his Tuhfah al-Muhtaj: “If al-mushaqqa [hardship] increases (as a result) of iltizam [being committed] to our madhhab, then there is no shame in withdrawing (from that) by taqlid to another school.” Imam al-Nawawi, one of the foremost authorities in the Shafi’i school, elaborates upon this further in his Minhaj al-Talibin, which Ibn Hajar’s work is a commentary on: “That which the proof necessitates is that a layman is not obligated to follow a specific madhhab.”
  2. However, Imam al-Nawawi immediately goes on to note: “Instead, he seeks a fatwa (religious ruling) from whoever he wishes, provided he does not chase after concessions (emphasis mine). Perhaps those who prevented him (from following other schools) did so because they were not convinced he would not chase after concessions.”
  3. There are three points to be kept in mind here. The first is that generally and ordinarily speaking, Imam al-Nawawi confirms that a layman who does not have a madhhab in the first place, is at liberty to seek and apply a fatwa via whatever legitimate jurist might tell him, as does Ibn Hajar. The guidelines mentioned here are more applicable to individuals who have consciously chosen a school to study and practice, at whatever level.
  4. The second thing, however, is that in so doing, a constant and exhaustive search of the most lenient positions in the various schools (what would be described as ‘tatabbu’ al-rukhas’) is hardly advisable in terms of safeguarding one’s religion.
  5. The third point Imam al-Nawawi makes hints at the reason behind the second. Seeking out the most lenient positions is the opposite of precaution and taking one’s religion seriously. In other words, it turns one’s religion into something of a plaything, and is dangerous for one’s spiritual development.
  6. To avoid treating one’s religion like a plaything, indeed, it is advisable to consciously try to find a hajja [need] of some sort in terms of going outside of one’s school – such an attempt will, insha’Allah, safeguard someone from the concern Imam al-Nawawi points out above about ‘chasing after concessions’.
  7. The scholars have differed on what constitutes a ‘need’, and there is thus some leeway in this regard – but one should consider it carefully. Avoiding undue hardship would be an example of a ‘hajja’, for example. Again, the point to consider here is simply this – is one ‘chasing after concessions’, and making that the basis of their practice? Or does one genuinely have a need? Or is someone simply asking the first most qualified person they came across to ask, rather than seeking out the most lenient opinion? These are questions to be asked of one’s self.
  8. This point is less about whether the going out of one’s school will be valid or not, and more about a far wider consideration – how seriously one takes their commitment to their religion. If one is constantly seeking out the easiest position from among the schools, then many scholars, such as the aforementioned Ibn Hajar al-Haytami,will speak of their concern that such a person may become spiritually corrupted.

Philosophical and intellectual consistency

  1. On an intellectual level, one can only perform talfiq if one genuinely considers the position one is now taking from that is different from the one that one was taking before, is a valid one and possibly the correct one.
  2. If one genuinely believes that the position one was taking previous is actually the stronger and correct position, then one cannot intellectually then form a honest intention when it comes to following a contrary position. As such, it makes the action of talfiq effectively very difficult. If one is convinced of such an assessment of a position, then one should act upon it, and shouldn’t abandon it.
  3. As a result of these considerations, it becomes intellectually more difficult for more advanced students in a particular school to engage in talfiq. It is not impossible, but this intellectual honesty that is linked to intention is what makes the ability to engage in talfiq more difficult, the more one is educated in a particular school.
  4. As such, many of our scholars, such as Imam al-Kurdi, indicated that this preferable and easier intellectually and consciously to follow a less reliable opinion in one’s own school than to follow another school. This is because that in such a scenario, one is still able to consider that the same usul [legal methodology] is at work, because both positions are underpinned by the same usul in the same madhhab. When one goes outside of a school, one is implicitly accepting that not only the position may be valid, but also the different usul may be as well.

As noted, this is the general set of guidelines. They alter according to the level of learning of a person; if one is giving fatwa, another set of considerations apply; the tarbiya [training] of a particular student by a teacher; and so forth. By way of an example: many scholars, for example, will insist that their students actively avoid taking dispensations, even when it is ordinarily permitted to do so, in order to train themselves in the spiritual path. This is not a general point that is necessarily applicable to all Muslims.

As an example of how this might alter altogether – and without claiming this is the standard, normal approach – Imam Abdul-Wahhab al-Sha’rani, a prominent Egyptian scholar (b. 891 Hijri) and Shadhuli Sufi, offered the view that the pious, who are the ‘strong’, would always pursue the ‘azima [stricter] opinion from among the schools. In his perspective, the Sufi, in his struggle against his lower self would choose the stricter opinions. This would be during a particular period of the Sufi’s sulūk [wayfaring or path] – and it would be a matter of intense ethical consideration, as opposed to the legal domain per se, in that it is not everyone who is supposed to follow such a way of practice. At another stage of sulūk – including at an advanced stage – considerations might be different.

Any student of knowledge seeking to know how to apply such understanding to their lives in any given circumstance is advised to seek counsel from a faqih [jurisprudent] they trust, and who is familiar with their circumstances. May God grant us all understanding, Ameen!


Ustādh Dr. Hisham A. Hellyer (Biography from ‘A Sublime Way: the Sufi Path of the Makkan Sages’) 

A noted scholar and author focusing on politics and religion, Dr Hisham A. Hellyer was born to an English father and to an Egyptian mother of Sudanese & Moroccan heritage and Ḥasanī & ʿAbbāsī lineage. He was raised between London, Cairo and Abu Dhabi, before receiving degrees in law and international political economy from the University of Sheffield, and a doctorate from the University of Warwick. He began researching Islamic law, theology and spirituality in his teens, keeping the company of and studying under a number of classically trained-scholars in the UK, Egypt, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and elsewhere. They include the likes of Shaykh Seraj Hendricks, the former head of the fatwa department of South Africa’s Muslim Judicial Council, and the khalifa of the Makkan polymath and sage, Sayyid Muhammad b. Alawi al-Maliki. Dr. Hellyer was appointed by Shaykh Seraj Hendricks as a Senior Scholar of the Zawiya Institute in Cape Town, South Africa.

Dr. Hellyer’s career has included positions at and affiliations with the Brookings Institution, Harvard University, the American University in Cairo, Cambridge Muslim College, and the Centre for Advanced Studies on Islam, Science and Civilisation (CASIS).He is a frequent commentator and columnist in various media in the United States, Europe and the Arab world, and is included in the annual global list of ‘The 500 Most Influential Muslims’ in the world (‘The Muslim 500’). Among his written works are ‘Muslims of Europe: the ‘Other’ Europeans’ (Edinburgh University Press), ‘A Revolution Undone: Egypt’s Road Beyond Revolt’ (Oxford University Press) and “The Islamic Tradition, Muslim Communities and the Human Rights Discourse” (editor)(Atlantic Council). Dr Hellyer works between London, Washington DC, and Cairo, where he continues to research, teach, and study. @hahellyer


 

Connecting to the Imams of Fiqh – Mufti Taha Karaan

* Courtesy of Bayt Muhammad Academy

In this video, Mufti Taha Karaan elucidates with eloquence and precision why Muslims should connect and find value in the various schools of Islamic juristic thought. Contrary to what many believe and assume, the schools of Islamic jurisprudence have always employed rational and intellectual tools in their respective methodologies when arriving at solutions for people and societies. As the world changes and progresses, new challenges will arise and confront people. It is in these circumstances that qualified and astute scholars will need to build on the legacy of the past in order to guide and provide new solutions for Muslims in the modern era.

* This video was recorded on Monday 22nd May 2017 at Masjid-e-Rizwan in Blackburn (UK) as part of Mutfi Taha Karaan’s Affinity lecture tour with Bayt Muhammad Academy. For the original youtube link please click here

 

10 Steps to Firm-Footedness in Seeking Knowledge of Fiqh

In this brief podcast, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani provides 10 genuinely useful tips on gaining and retaining a firm grasp of your knowledge of fiqh.

See also:

“From knowing nothing to becoming a student of knowledge”
Advice from Habib Ali Al-Jifri for Seekers of Knowledge
The Etiquette of Seeking Knowledge

Habib Umar’s Advice to the Seekers of Sacred Knowledge
Shaykh Áwwamah’s advice for Students of Sacred Knowledge
Importance of Intention in Seeking Knowledge

 

Forced to Sit without Tahiyat al Masjid

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat is asked about the sunna of tahiyat al masjid and whether it is best to sit down during the iqama or to stand.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I live in an area where there is only one mosque within walking distance and it is the local mosque affiliated to no organization or jamaat.

I have the same right over the mosque as they have, but when there is no time for tahiyat al masjid, I tend to stay standing until one or two minutes before the iqamah is given. Sometimes people will force me to sit down saying it is a sunna.

I want any unbiased islamic fatwa/hadith/Qur’anic interpretation from any faqih/mufti that will help me make wiser/less fitna-inducing decisions.

Jazak Allah khayr.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Sitting During the Iqama

It is better for you to sit. Firstly because it is disliked to remain standing whilst the Iqama is being given until the statement of “hayya ‘ala ’l-falah.” (Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar).

Getting On With People

Secondly, because the Messenger of Allah said, “The believer gets on [with people].” (Ahmad) Going against the regular practice of people causes friction, and a believer is someone who leaves a positive mark on people with a smile, a light joke, or an endearing gesture.

Doing something that rubs people the wrong way will make you a bullseye for a lot of glares and comments. This could leave you with an unpleasant feeling about the masjid and its people, or even put you off from going there.

It is best to overlook minor annoyances, or, even better, to deal with them with a sense of humor. We have all dealt with the uncles in the mosque who have a heart attack if someone walks in with their socks on, or if the Iqama is not called when the second hand reaches “12” on the clock – sometimes, even if the imam is not present!

In many cases these people are the ones who gave their hard-earned money to build the masjid in the first place, and they are particular about how things are done. Give them a smile, make a joke about something, and walk away having shown good character, honoured the elderly, and done something to please Allah. A pleasant sentence is charity (Bukhari).

Following a Weaker Position to Avoid Friction

Sometimes, it is better to do something sub-optimal in fiqh if it means not causing friction – unless it means that something impermissible will be done. An example of this is what to after the prayer ends.

The position of the Ḥanafī school is to ask for forgiveness (astaghfirullah) three times, and then say a short sentence of duʿa or praise (Allahumma Anta ’s-Salam, wa minka ’s-salam…) before immediately getting up for the sunna prayers. To sit and say one’s devotional prayers and praises is slightly disliked. Even reciting Ayat al-Kursi is deemed too long a wait. (Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah).

However, in many mosques, the imam will sit and make a collective supplication after the prayer. Getting up at this point could cause offence§, so it is better to sit and do what everyone else does, and then get up for the sunna prayers.

The Point is Allah

Going to the masjid is about pleasing Allah. He should be focus of the entire endeavor. If a particular masjid resembles a concentration camp then it might be better to pray in another masjid, if possible, where you can focus on Allah.

May Allah make our hearts attached to the mosques and shade us with His shade on the day where there is no shade save His. Amin.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Good News For a Change

How about some good news for a change?

At SeekersHub Global, we want to take a moment to celebrate some of the good news Allah blessed us with in 2015. Watch the one-minute video below.

  • 400 million Spanish speakers can now learn about Islam in their language. SeekersHub Espanol went live in 2015. There are already hundreds of articles and answers about Islam in the Spanish language live on the site — with much more on the way.
  • Thousands of questions about Islam answered by qualified scholars. You wouldn’t believe how many questions we get on a daily basis. Alhamdulillah, we have an entire team of scholars dedicated to providing practical answers for people struggling with everything from Shafi’i fiqh to guiding their wayward parents.
  • Over $350,000 in Zakat funds distributed to scholars and students. The political instability in the Middle East has displaced a number of scholars. Your zakat contributions have helped them continue to spread sound, reliable Islamic knowledge and Prophetic guidance.
  • 1,000+ hours of instructional videos produced on every topic you can think of. Take a stroll through our YouTube channel and you’ll find an overwhelming volume of engaging multimedia content on virtually every topic.
  • 120 online classes delivered to 30,000+ students globally. Our Online Academy is powered by a team of 40 teachers, teaching assistants and staff members who work extremely hard to make sound knowledge from reliable scholars available anywhere, free of charge.

Let’s make some more good news in 2016…together.

We are very blessed to have people like yourself who support us at every step of the way in making this all possible.

We look forward to sharing more blessings with you in 2016 Insha’Allah.

 

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Wudu On A Mountain Top

After a long climb, the group stop by a mountain pool to make ablutions (wudu) and pray Asr, the daily afternoon prayer. What follows is an impromptu lesson from Shaykh Asim Yusuf on how the fiqh rulings on water, impurity and ablution work in practice.
Shaykh Asim Yusuf is a co-founder of the Path to Salvation Syllabus in the UK.
Shaykh Dr Asim Yusuf, who goes by the pen-name of Talib al-Habib, is a Consultant Psychiatrist with a special interest in Islamic Spirituality and Mental Health. He is acknowledged as an authority on Islamic Psychology and is regularly to deliver lectures and seminars on the subject. He serves on the advisory panel of the Centre for Islam and Medicine, as well as in an advisory capacity to a number of community initiatives and charities.

Resources on wudu for seekers:

AUDIO: The Ornamented Ladder into the Science of Logic

Al-AkhdariThe Ornamented Ladder into the Science of Logic (“Al-Sullam Al-Munawraq”) is a highly popular didactic poem by Imam ʻAbd al-Rahman al-Akhdari (1514 – 1546). Shaykh Ahmed Saad Al-Azhari, Founder and Director of the Ihsan Institute has made a full recording for students of knowledge who are striving to memorise this text.

The 144-line poem outlines the principles of Aristotelian logic and explains how logic could be used to support the Islamic creed (‘aqidah) and jurisprudence (fiqh). The work is studied across the Muslim world as a primer on logic and is often read in conjunction with al-Akhdari’s own prose commentary.

 

Resources for seekers:

Should I Keep Studying Fiqh With a Teacher Who Doesn’t Follow One Single School of Law?

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I really like my teacher who is a learned person who has studied in Al Azhar but in teaching Fiqh he sometimes mix the opinions of different schools. Should I continue to study with him even if he doesn’t follow one school?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Studying with a Teacher who does not follow a Single School of Law

It is better to stick with a teacher one trusts, even if this teacher does not necessarily follow a single school of thought in all legal issues. Normally, a layperson would simply do this, as they likely would not have the tools (or time) to adequately assess this teacher’s rationale for choosing an opinion.

Choosing Opinions from without one’s Chosen School

It is, generally speaking, permissible to prefer non-authoritative positions from within one’s own school, or valid positions based on sound scholarship from other schools.
A scholar might do so for any number of academic or personal reasons. He might feel, for example, that another opinion more closely accords to modern or situational circumstances; or that it is truer to the available evidence; or that another’s legal methodology on a certain matter is sounder. Alternatively, he might simply find it easier to implement.

Studying one School before Delving into Others

A student of knowledge would normally seek grounding in one school of thought before branching out into others. This prevents one from getting confused between schools and conflicting opinions, and allows one to reasonably ensure that their practice is logically sound and internally consistent. It is not uncommon, however, for a person to come across other opinions during one’s course of study, and it is not, generally speaking, blameworthy to follow them.

Shuaib Ally

The Fiqh (Law) of Peace – 12 Points Summarizing the Islamic Values Related to Peace Building by Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah

[Human Values]

Harmony and cohesion in a society are directly proportional to its adherence to share moral values. A society that does not adopt common values and turns away from a higher moral path becomes self-centered, and, as a result, experiences deterioration both internally and in relationship to others.

It may also adopt a negative value system based on an absence of individual limitations until society itself becomes absolutist, and people see themselves as absolute, so no restrictions apply to their behaviour not those set by scripture, not by consensus, not by general principles and axioms, and not even for the sake of the common good. Such a society can wage unlimited war, which is the very definition of fundamentalism, regardless of the belief system that drives the aggression.

The values of reason, justice, and moderation promote love and nourish humanity. It is our duty to revive the values of reconciliation and forgiveness and to commit ourselves to peace instead of conflict.

While some try to justify conflict in Islamic terms, these values are not Islamic. They are Western Hegelian values, for it was Hegel who believed that “Destruction is the basis for construction” and that society is based only on the struggle between slave and master. Destruction, which is an expression of ignorance and intolerance, has never been an Islamic value. Our tradition teaches us that trust and love are the basis for coexistence.

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) did not demolish the Ka’aba. He left it untouched so that he could rebuild it on the base laid by Abraham, Allah’s peace and blessings upon him, all while winning the favor of Quraysh. When the ‘Abbasid caliph wanted to demolish it and rebuild it on the location of Maqam Ibrahim (Abraham’s station), Imam Malik, may Allah have mercy on his soul, forbade him from doing so and said, “Do not let this House (of Allah) be a toy for princes.” In addition, neither the Prophet, Allah’s peace and blessings upon him, not any of his successors ever demolished any churches, synagogues, or fire temples, as Ibn al-Qayyim discusses.

When the pious caliph, ‘Umar ibn Abd al-‘Aziz, assumed the caliphate, the understanding of the Shari’ah was already in decline, yet he wrote to his governors, “Do not demolish any church, synagogue, or fire temple.” Demolition and destruction are not Islamic values; they are values that grew out of ignorance and intolerance.

The following Hadith can be applied to a solidary society:

“The example of the person abiding by Allah’s order and restrictions in comparison to those who violate them is like the example foe those persons who drew lots for their seats in a boat. Some of them got seats in the upper part, and the others in the lower. When the latter needed water, they had to go up to bring water (and that troubled the others), so they said, ‘Let us make a hole in our share of the ship (and get water) saving us from troubling those who are above us.’ So, if the people in the upper part left the others to do what they had suggested, all the people of the ship would be destroyed, but if they prevented them, both parties would be safe.”

Learning about differences leads to an open mind, as Al-Maqqari advised:

“Learn about differences in order to open your mind, for he who learns about the differences between scholars and of their knowledge and opinions will surely have an open mind.”

We must navigate our differences without arrogance or abusive language, with an open mind and the intention of discovering truth rather than winning an argument. We can learn from the example set by Imam al-Shafi‘i, as described by Yunus al-Sadafi: “I have never seen anyone more reasonable than al-Shafi‘i. I debated with him once on a matter, and then we parted ways. He met me again, took my hand, and said, ‘Abu Musa, is it not right that we remain brothers even if we disagree?”

Imam al-Shafi‘i also said, “I have never debated people without praying to Allah to grant that the truth manifest in their hearts and on their tongues so that they may follow me if I am right and that I may follow them if they are right.”

Giving others the benefit of the doubt means assuming their best intentions, as did the Mother of Believers, Our Lady ‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, and Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, who said, “Abu Abd al-Rahman did not lie; perhaps he forgot or made a mistake.”

Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah have mercy on his soul, said, “No man more learned than Ishaq has crossed the bridge, and if we disagree, it is because people disagree.”

Distinguishing among the categories of prohibitions and obligations menas understanding that there are degrees of prohibition: what is prohibited may be haram (prohibited) or makruh (disliked). The same applies to obligations, as we explained earlier.

In summation, our Islamic values are as follows:

  1. Cooperation and solidarity: “You shall cooperate in matters of righteousness and piety; do not cooperate in matters that are sinful and evil” (Qur’an)
  2. Maintaining good relations: “And keep straight the relations between yourselves.”
  3. Brotherhood and mutual understanding: “O people, We created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may know one another. The best among you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous. Allah is Omniscient, Cognizant.” (Qur’an) These are the bases of relationships, and not the Hegelian argument that is based on constant struggle in what he described as the “master and slave” theory.
  4. Wisdom: “And whoever attains wisdom has attained a great bounty. Only those who possess intelligence will take heed.” (Qur’an)
  5. Righteousness: “Never shall We cause the reward of the righteous to perish.” (Qur’an)
  6. Justice: “Allah calls for justice, charity, and giving to relatives. And He forbids evil, vice, and transgression. He enlightens you, that you may take heed.”
  7. Mercy: “We have not sent you except as mercy from Us towards the whole world.” (Qur’an)
  8. Patience: “Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure.” (Qur’an)
  9. Tolerance: Being open-minded, assuming the best of others, and distinguishing between the various categories of prohibitions and obligations.
  10. Love: Love means loving Allah the Almighty, who is the source fo all blessings; loving His Prophet, Allah’s peace and blessings upon him, upon who He bestowed the blessings of mercy and generosity; and loving people and wishing the best for them, including those in tribulation. Ahadith states, “None of you is a true believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself,” and according to another narration, “… until he loves for people what he loves for himself.”
  11. Dialogue: Muslims established the etiquette of debate because without a culture of dialogue, individuals become selfish and narrow-minded, and society becomes fractured. A hadith also mentions this: “But if you see overwhelming stinginess, desires being followed, this world being preferred (to the Hereafter), every person with an opinion feeling proud of it, and you realized that you have no power to deal with it, then you have to mind your own business and leave the common folk to their own devices.”
  12. Moderation: This includes individual behavior, scientific moderation, and moderation between literal and whimsical interpretations of scripture. Moderation is a form of relativity and is integral to all ife in the universe, as described by al-Shatibi.

Excerpted from the “Framework Speech for the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies,” Abu Dhabi, 9–10 March, 2014 — In Pursuit of Peace: 2014 Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies
In March 2014 H.E. Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah founded this groundbreaking initiative as Chair and President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies. The forum addresses the critical humanitarian crisis within the vast framework of the Islamic tradition and legal theory.
In 2014 Over 250 of the world’s leading Islamic scholars from different persuasions, academics and thought leaders gathered to attend the opening of the Forum. The Forum is the first global gathering of scholars ever organized to form a unified front against the scourge of extremist ideologies, sectarianism, and terrorism that has afflicted the Muslim world for decades.
Since the opening of the Forum, delegations of experts, academics and scholars from the Forum have travelled to Africa to countries such as Senegal, Mauritania, and Morocco to engage with Governments, NGO’s and religious actors to gain insight on how to stop the increasing violence in Africa. These trips have resulted in the planning of two proposed reconciliation initiatives that will be held in April and June of 2015.
These events’ encourage a multi-disciplinary participation, in order to develop mechanisms and support required for peace and reconciliation in Central Africa Republic (C.A.R) and Nigeria.
The 2nd Annual gathering of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societieswill take place April 26th — 30th in Abu Dhabi