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The Book “The Response”
 

This book is the result of a lengthy collaboration between scholars of Egypt’s prestigious Al-Azhar University and Islamic Hotline or El-Hatef El-Islami organization. Put simply, far too simply, its aim is to contest the growing number of intolerant and/or simply mistaken legal opinions that often go unchallenged in Muslim communities today. Deeply rooted in the legal tradition of ikhtilaf writings, yet utilizing modern means of communication, The Response applies the wisdom of the classical jurists to the complex realities of the contemporary Muslim world.

What can the present work add to the overcrowded and, it seems, increasingly stagnant debate on “how to live as a Muslim in the modern world”? This book’s importance lies in refocusing our attention on the flexibility and coherence of the works of Sunni Islam’s traditional legal authorities, a point that, while eloquently made in
Professor Muhammad Ra’fat ‘Uthman’s introduction , informs the reasoning behind all the legal opinions (fatawa) contained here. Of course, the same kind of reasoning was exercised by the classical jurists, for whom “difference” (ikhtilaf) was perceived as a sign of God’s mercy (rahma).

Sadly, the jurists’ initial courage – their respect for difference, even for ambiguity – is now often forgotten, as the search for a single, monolithic reading to solve all problems regularly results in discussions breaking down into mere polemic. In troubled times, the authors invite Muslims to exercise compassion and common sense in their dealings with each other. The advice given is not to judge harshly someone who fails to live up to your standards, or who prefers a different path, or who is ignorant of the law in a particular instance... more

 

Dr. Richard Gauvain
Assistant Professor of Comparative Religions at the American University in Cairo, Egypt.

 



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The comments and responses in
The Response” have been prepared by a group of Al-Azhar scholars who shoulder the responsibility of correcting the errors that have been spread in the name of Islam and of clarifying the true and beautiful image of our religion
…more

 

Prepared by:
Qualified Professors & Scholars of
Al-Azhar University
Introduction:
Prof. Dr. M. Ra’fat Othman
Revised by:
Prof. Dr. Mahmoud Khayami
Prof. Dr. Anas Abu Shadi
Translated by:
Dr. Richard Gauvain
Total number of pages:
213
Available in 3 languages:
Arabic - English – Urdu