Muslim Diaspora Law

Khan L. Ali and M. Ramadan Hisham

in Contemporary Ijtihad

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780748641284
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653256 | DOI:
Muslim Diaspora Law

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This chapter discusses some of the general ideas on Muslim diaspora law, which deals with specific and unique issues facing Muslim diasporas, that is, Muslim populations permanently settled in non-Muslim states. Like any other part of the Islamic law, Muslim diaspora law must be compatible with the Basic Code, the Qur'an and the Sunnah. Because Muslim migrants face social, economic and political circumstances that Muslims living in the Islamic states do not, Muslim diaspora law dealing with worldy matters (muamalaat) may differ from the conventional norms of Islamic law. The difference of circumstance does not, however, compromise the basic principles of Islamic law. In general, Muslim diasporas are not exempt from the primary obligations of ibadaat, nor are they allowed to make changes in laws dealing with ibadaat. The fundamental principles of the Muslim life remain unchanged and apply to all Muslims regardless of where they live or work. The first section of this chapter discusses the Islamic emigration or hijra, which is closely tied to the institution of prophecy. In the Muslim world, Islamic emigration is undertaken in accordance with God's law and, regardless of the reasons underpinning the emigration of Muslims, Muslims are expected to remain true to the principles and laws of Islam. The second section discusses the general obligations of the Muslims in host countries. Among these are: the doctrine of necessity; and zakah and taxes. The third section discusses the Islamic way of life. Even when Muslims reside in non-Muslim countries, they are obliged to practice and preserve the Islamic way of life. In this section, ancestral cultures, the European urf and mixed-belief marriages are discussed and examined. The fourth section discusses two important sets of rules of Islamic law that have come to define the Islamic way of life in Western nations. These are the observations of eating halal and clean food, and the prohibition of receiving or paying riba on loans. The final section focuses on engaged citizenship and Islamaphobia.

Keywords: Muslim diaspora law; Muslim diasporas; ibadaat; hijra; doctrine of necessity; zakah; halal; riba; Islamaphobia

Chapter.  13301 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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