Without Political Prerogative: Muslims as Minorities in <i>Fiqh</i>

H. A. Hellyer

in Muslims of Europe The ‘Other’ Europeans

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780748639472
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671342 | DOI:
Without Political Prerogative: Muslims as Minorities in Fiqh

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Muslims are defined as Muslims in their sacred law by saying the shahādah. Without this law, the Muslim's commitment and ability to practise Islam is incomplete and unbalanced. The idea of using fiqh (formulations of sacred law) to elaborate upon the position of Muslims living in the European Union (EU), or in individual European societies, may be a rather novel one in contemporary academic studies, but there appear to be several reasons for considering it, including the fact that the phenomenon of a large Muslim population in the EU is unfamiliar. This chapter focuses on Muslims as minorities in fiqh. It first examines sharī'ah and fiqh and then discusses the schools of law practised within the EU Muslim community, classical juristic discourse on Muslims without political sovereignty, and classical positions of some jurists on key issues. It also looks at hijrah as a principle, differing interpretations on the freedom of worship, the application of fiqh in non-Muslim lands, authority over Muslims living without sovereignty and the concept of wilāyat al-'ulamā, and post-medieval Muslim reformist movements.

Keywords: Muslims; Islam; fiqh; European Union; minorities; sharī'ah; schools of law; political sovereignty; hijrah; freedom of worship

Chapter.  6583 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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