Ijmāʿ Jurisprudence Undergoing a ‘Chemical Reaction’ in Egypt?

Dawood Adesola Hamzah,


Abstract


As sovereignty underscores governance in human society, Hakimiyyah serves as a platform to argue that Islam is both state and religion. Theoretically, ijmāʿ has been the most potent factor in defining the meaning of the other uṣūl and thus in formulating the doctrine and practice of the Muslim community. It is a part of traditional authority but, over the ages, its validity had been a subject of theoretical and empirical discussion, suggesting perhaps, a possible ‘chemical reaction’ of Islamic jurisprudence. Islamic law was “jurists’ and people’s law” in that its content was determined by the jurist-scholars, accepted and observed by the people. It was also State law in that it had a mechanism of being enforced by the state. The neglect of application of the law by the state with tacit approval of scholars with consensus of the people and stiff resistance against the dissenting voices are giving rise to emergence of radical groups. Egypt has a track record in the development of Islamic law. Its people also have played significant role in the struggle for its application. What followed the Arab Spring in Egypt has served as a re-enactment of the aged-long struggle against colonialism, and certainly, a serious challenge not only to the concept of ijmāʿ, but also to the modern concept of democracy. This paper intends to explore the relevance of the principles of ijmāʿ and democracy in the political and religious metamorphosis of Egypt by applying an interpretive methodology to examine various stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities within relevant theoretical framework.


Keywords


Ḥākimiyyah, ijmāʿ, democracy, political crisis in Egypt, dramatis personae.

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