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 Final Statement of Oman Conference on "Fiqh of Living"

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Obedient Angel

Join date : 2011-04-30
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PostSubject: Final Statement of Oman Conference on "Fiqh of Living"   Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:09 am

The Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs of Oman wrapped up its annual conference on Developing Jurisprudence Sciences on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 in Muscat, Oman.

Featuring more than 60 papers, this year's conference, the 12th edition, was held to discuss the theme of “Fiqh of Living".

Concluding four days of discussions on such aspects as coexistence in Islamic legislative discourse, approaches of fiqhi schools towards living with the other, international agreements, state and citizenship, and relations between Muslim and non-Muslims, the conference's final statement listed the following 22 recommendations:

1. The Fiqh of Living implies self-reconciliation; dialogue and coexistence with the other on the basis of Mutual respect; ensuring security, rights and freedoms for each and every human being within the framework of the [Islamic] regulation.

This juristic function is of paramount importance. Fiqh, indeed, is the bridge between Muslims and the others; it delineates the pure characteristics of Islam and gives a clear image of the global nature of Islam.

Fiqh encompasses all aspects of the human life: it regulates human relations in a way that promotes dignified life, affection, knowing each other and freedoms for all regardless of faiths or ways of life.

2. Islam demands balanced co-existence and reciprocal tolerance without going to extremes. Islam establishes the sanctity of each human being regardless of gender, color, or religion.

Besides, Islam calls for adhering to ethical values that constitute the bases for interaction with the other. Knowing one another, tolerance, and living with each other should underlie relationships between all human beings

3. Knowing and living with each other are concepts that stem from the Maqasid (Objectives) of Shari`ah and are clearly mentioned in the Qur'an:

{And We have made for you therein (the earth) means of living} (Al-Hijr 15:20)

Such concepts are the foundations of the Muslim and human community. Safeguarding them according to the Shari`ah Objectives is pursued by the Shari`ah and supported by many textual proofs.

4. Achieving justice, national stability and human values is reached only through knowing and living with each other which, in turn, yields great fruits as far as the human welfare is concerned. Promoting dialogue and its ethics is necessary to achieve such goals.

5. Diversity of cultures, faiths and doctrines have marked Muslim societies throughout history. We should continue protecting it as it presents a clear evidence of tolerance shown by Islam and Muslims

Islam and Coexistence in Oman Fiqh Conference
6. There is a pressing need to creative thoughts, concepts and theories to face the current dilemma of global civilization and the implications of violence hitting the world. The crisis facing the humanity in this regard applies to Muslims too in their relations to the world and to each other.

7. Muslim schools of thoughts used to view the world as one entity that is legally divided into two spheres, namely, the Abode of Islam and the Abode of War. Such division was not based on specific Shari`ah texts but rather was dictated by the prevailing circumstances.

Accordingly, more divisions, such as the Abode of Treaty and the Abode of Peace, were created later in response to the changing conditions

Thus, The texts regulating the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims need to be reconsidered and understood in a way that conform with the universal Objectives of Islam and the current geographic and historic realities.

Some contemporary scholars attempted to revisit the two-abode perception of the world concluding that they are the Abode of Acceptance (of Islam) and the Abode of Invitation (to Islam). According to them, the other labels were political ones that reflected the relations between Muslim states and the others.

8. The Symposium recommends researching the contribution of Fiqh to certain rules of modern International Law. Such research will, undoubtedly, reveal the precedence of fiqh in establishing rules recognized, long centuries later, by the International Law.

Muslims are justified to feel proud of such contribution of the Fiqh to humanity and of the Fiqh's anticipation of many cases and circumstances. Yet, Muslim jurists need to revisit concepts underlying outdated legal opinions.

9. Greater attention needs to be paid to studying such contribution of Fiqh to the rules of the International Law, especially in areas related to the Fiqh of Coexistence, such as diplomatic immunity, international relations, dialogue of civilizations and mutual exchange in fields of knowledge and science.

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10. It is necessary to move from theory to practice, working diligently to activate organizations that represent Islam and Muslims in Western countries and international entities.

11. It is recommended to publish a booklet that explains the juristic rulings and morals related to travel in a simplified manner and in different languages to be distributed to passengers in airports and similar outlets.

12. International economic agreements make it a necessity to reformulate the juristic theories related to international relations, sovereignty and governance and other areas of Shari`ah-oriented policies in light of the international developments and the juristic efforts of contemporary scholars.

13. The concept of citizenship and the principles of coexistence with the other need to be deepened through issuing documents that set the guidelines, frameworks, and ideas that lead to the achievement of coexistence among different doctrines and cultures in the light of the Shari`ah rules.

14. Attention is to be paid to the Fiqh of Expatriatism, that is, the standards and ethics of Muslims' dealing with others in their travel to and settlement in other countries and societies. The world is not merely a set of countries, rather a global community founded on mutual recognition and coexistence of different cultures is emerging.

Our jurists, therefore, should deliberate such issues as part of this new Fiqh of Living.

15. Customized juristic guidelines to be set for Muslim communities living in other countries, with emphasis on Muslim's right to dignified treatment entitled by their citizenship, and to protection against departing or displacement.

16. The Fiqh of citizenship and the guidelines of dealing with others to be revived through religious preaching, social guidance and awareness activities. This goes in conformity with Allah's commands: {and speak kindly to mankind} (Al-Baqarah 2:83) and {do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best} (Al-`Ankbut 29:46)

Religious personnel need to receive proper training as well.

17. Special care to be given to the Omani fiqh heritage in future conventions of the symposium. The Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs is to work on preparing a group of Omani researchers and scholars by sponsoring researches and dissertations.

The conference featured scholars from different parts of the World
Besides, the recently launched website of the symposium is to take on the task of activating and promulgating the symposium concepts and findings and conducting in-depth Islamic studies and research.

18. It is important to instill the Quran's principles, the faith values and the Patriotic love, and to seek knowledge of the Divine Law of peoples' checking each other.

Being aware of all the above ensures the rights of the others through well-established Islamic vision that is also open to new views of the world and its relationships.

19. Care should be given to juristic studies tackling the topics of international relations, sciences development, and the evolution of Muslims' perception of others.

The historic experience of the Ummah as well as its present reality provides an ample room for research to young scholars who can take advantage of the symposium website as a useful tool in their research.

20. More serious scholarly studies are needed to tackle the Fiqh of Living. Such studies should have a realistic vision that is based on the fundamentals of Shari`ah, which heed the objectives of Shari`ah and the consequences of rules.

This symposium comes as the opening of a series of future symposia handling the same theme and similar ones leading, consequently, to the deepening of open-minded visions.

Besides, continuous communication with Fiqh entities to be maintained, keeping them updated (of the symposium proceedings and findings) and deliberating with them (on relevant issues)

21. A fiqh encyclopedia entitled "We and the Other" is to be compiled. It is to bring together all related literature of all fiqhi schools. In this work, rulings and legal opinions are to be connected with the present emergent issues and with the initiatives of contemporary jurists. A committee of specialists and jurists is to take care of preparing and compiling this work.

22. A scholarly Committee is to be assigned with compiling an encyclopedia that studies the foundations and regulations of the Ibadi fiqh related to the areas of coexistence and the other's rights.

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Final Statement of Oman Conference on "Fiqh of Living"
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