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Contemporary Islamic Law

Contemporary Islamic Law by Prof. Jasser Auda

ISL405F Contemporary Islamic Law (elective)
MODULE TITLE: Contemporary Islamic Law
CREDITS: 24 hours + 6 student seminar hours
TAUGHT: Semester 1 YEAR 2019

This module aims to provide students with a comprehensive and objective-oriented (maqasidi) methodology (manhajiyyah) to contemporary Islamic law (fiqh). First, fiqh is defined as Islam’s ethical system in all aspects of life; going beyond the traditional chapters on the “acts of worship” (ibadaat) to include contemporary fiqh on issues related to medicine, economics, arts, politics, family, environment, international relations, etc. Then, Islam’s revealed knowledge, i.e. the Quran and Sunnah, takes a central position in the fiqhi methodology taught in this module, and the relationship between the Quran and the narrations of the Sunnah is explained in the context of the fundamental theories (usul) of reasoning (ijtihad). And after surveying the history of the traditional schools of fiqh since the era of the companions of the Prophet (s), the module covers and compares various contemporary schools and trends. A number of case studies are presented related to human rights (huquq al-insan), Islamic law for minorities (fiqh al-aqalliyat), family law (fiqh al-usrah), charity endowments (fiqh al-waqf), priorities in the Islamic law (fiqh al-awlawiyyat) and universal laws of God (fiqh al-sunan al-ilahiyyah).

Please download the full Course plan here

Mapping the Discipline of Theology

On Saturday, 9 September, the Higher Certificate in Islamic Studies male students, under the guidance of their Aqidah lecturer Shaykh Allie Khalfe. The seminar, Mapping the Discipline of Theology, was received extremely well, the enthralled audience asked many questions at the end of the session which was answered by Shaykh Khalfe.
Aqidah is an Islamic term meaning “creed” or “belief”. Any religious belief system, or creed, can be considered an example of aqidah. However this term has taken a significant technical usage in Muslim history and theology, denoting those matters over which Muslims hold conviction. Some topics covered was Theology connecting us to our natural disposition: Knowledge and Power, three major aspects of Tauhid: Lordship, Prophethood and the Sam’iyaat – those things we believe that cannot be rationally proved but are guided through revelation. Science of Tauhid, Rational and Irrational Proofs, Ruling and the Sacred Law, and that which is necessary, possible, and impossible for Allah.
A group poetry performance as well as a short play about the certainty of death was performed.
The play:
Almighty Allah (SWT) made Prophet Sulayman (as) King of a vast kingdom, which included His entire creation. The Jinn and men obeyed his will and even the birds adhered to his commands, to the extent of using their wings to provide shelter for him. He was also given many other powers such as being able to talk to animals and control the wind so that it could carry him wherever he wished to go. Prophet Sulayman (as) was blessed with an extraordinary power of perception and intelligence.

It is narrated that one day, a man entered the court of Prophet Sulayman (as), looked around at all the people and went out again. When the court adjourned, one of the people present approached Prophet Sulayman (as) and asked him whether he knew this strange man.

“The person you saw was the angel of death (Izrael)” replied Prophet Sulayman (as). The man was taken aback and looked worried.

“Why was he staring at me as though he wanted to take my soul?” he asked.

“What do you want me to do?” enquired Prophet Sulayman (as).

“O Sulayman!” exclaimed the man. “You have power over the wind. Command it to transport me to the land of Hind (India).”

As the man was a believer, Prophet Sulayman (as) agreed and granted his wish.

A few days later, Prophet Sulayman (as) saw the angel of death again. He asked him why he had been staring at the man so intently on that particular day.

“O Sulayman!” replied the angel of death. “Allah (SWT) commanded me to take the soul of that man on the soil of Hind. When I saw him sitting in your court, I could not understand how I could carry out Allah’s order. Nevertheless, as it was a divine command, I left for Hind and fortunately found the man there. I took his soul as Allah (SWT) had commanded.”

There is nothing more certain than death. It is a reality, which nobody can escape from. Allah (SWT), the Almighty says: “Wherever you may be, death shall overtake you, even if you were in fortified towers”. Noble Qur’an (4:78)”
The play was short yet powerful. The seminar was information-packed and inspirational, and had the audience enthralled from beginning to end.

Taj Akleker public speaking seminar period

Taj Akleker shares his public speaking gems with students during the seminar period on Mondays 7 and 14 August.
Public speaking is often the number one personal fear of people.
Know that it will never be perfect; your opinions will never be accepted by everyone.
Take criticism as a learning curve.

Must do:
When you arrive at the venue, after you have done your research etc, always arrive early. Get a sense of the place and audience. Visualise the crowd.
Spend five minutes before the speech, quietly, in a spiritual space, ask the Almighty to guide your speech.
Institution of auctioneering was self-taught. To be able to speak incredibly fast w
When you start your speech
Three words to always remember: “Prepare, prepare, prepare”

You’re a human being. If you’re a public speaker and you’re not nervous in the first two or three minutes, you are dead. 2 second pauses between phrases helps lower nervousness levels.
Always smile at the audience
Make good eye contact with as many people as possible
Deep breaths are needed.

If the introduction is executed correctly, people eagerly anticipate what comes next.
Create something special for the audience
Make a bold statement, capture the audience with something such as a current event, or a personal experience.
Watch your time. Make sure you are on time and make sure you stick to your time: If you have ten minutes – finish at 9.
Keep the audience captivated.
Move with technology – use Visual Aids.
Keep your eyes focused.
Always quote references.

Before your walk up the stage, make sure your attire is set correctly – button your jacket before you get on to the stage.
Look at the audience and smile a few seconds before you start speaking.
Speak slowly, gather your thoughts – you’ll make a far better opening statement and will get their attention. Speaking fast says that you are nervous.
Create a sense in the audience that you want to give – that you’re not a taker. “I have been waiting for this day for so long, I have been preparing for three weeks because I am so excited to meet you.

Turn your nervousness into excitement
Most important tip: Thank You. ALWAYS thank the audience profusely. When people clap for you, acknowledge it.


Edris Khamissa and Adv Vahed Public speaking workshop

The Dynamics of Public Speaking: An Islamic Perspective – the book launched by Edris Khamissa and Advocate Vahed was the premise of the workshop hosted at IPSA’s campus on Thursday, 10 August 2017. The duo took to the stage with gusto and spurred on the student body to do the same. They motivated, inspired, and cheered on each student in turn, their dynamism was infectious and the staff and students alike were encouraged to become better public speakers.

What made this workshop extraordinary was that it usually took place over a couple of days whereas it was presented to the students in just under four hours. Nevertheless, the knowledge they imparted was invaluable as the students were readying themselves to present public seminars as well as the Jumuáh talks across Cape Town.

Mr Khamissa started out intensely with, “If your life is not changed within 48 hours of a presentation, no change will be made. Information must lead to transformation.”
Mr Khamissa and Adv Vahed were chosen by the Department of Education as Ambassadors for the Read to Lead campaign. They presented the students with gifts of their book; Dynamics of Public Speaking.

They used the example of the Prophet (PBUH) and his Farewell Sermon as the perfect orator and the most perfect speech ever delivered.

IPSA Community Dialogue Forum: MMB

Sunday, 27 August, an emergency meeting was called by IPSA to create a dialogue around the Muslim Marriages Bill. The court case was once again being heard at the Western Cape High Court on Monday, 28 August 2017. Many Muslims in Cape Town remain uninformed of the case, Bill, and its consequences. Currently Muslim marriages are not recognized under South African law and thus are not governed by and therefore unprotected by its tenets.

Legacy of the Illustrious Imams Seminar

On Saturday, 26 August first year Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Studies students presented on the four Imams: Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Ahmad, Imam Malik, and Imam Shafi’i. This illuminating seminar gave insight into the lives of these great scholars and their seminal works.

The Fiqh of Marriage

The Fiqh of Marriage Seminar
The second year Bachelor of Arts students hosted a seminar on Saturday, 19 August 2017. The subject matter covered every aspect of matrimony, from the selection criteria of a spouse, to discussing the Muslim Marriages Bill the event was incredibly well presented and positively received. A mother of one of the students commented on the immense progress that her daughter has shown through her studies.

“Alhamdulillāh, today the IPSA 1st year BAIS students presented a seminar on the illustrious four Imāms, Imām Abū Hanīfa; Imām Mālik; Imām al-Shāfi’ī and Imām Ahmad ibn Hanbal, who are the founders of the four most widely known and followed schools of Islamic Jurisprudence.

After weeks of hard work, and dare I say a few tears due to nerves, they outdid themselves. Māshā Allāh. They made themselves, their parents and their asātidhah proud, especially since all of what they put together today was done by themselves, from the catering logistics, to the PowerPoint presentations to the items they presented.

The objective of the event, in my humble opinion, was attained, for the students to develop their organisational skills, their public speaking skills, their research skills, but most importantly for them to be exposed to and live up to their amānah (responsibility) to teach what they have learnt, for the Hadīth narrated by Uthmān ibn ‘Affān, as recorded in the Sahīh al-Bukhārī, is clear when it says that the best of you are those who learn the Qur’ān and teaches it to others (this refers not only to Qur’ān recitation but to all forms of Islamic knowledge).
Alhamdulillāh, may this be the first of many such opportunities for our students, may they always remain humble throughout their journey in seeking knowledge and beyond, may they remain guided, may their akhlāq (manners and character) be a testimony to their knowledge gained, and may they become good, just and well informed leaders of the future generation. Āmīn.”

Islam at the Cape Series – The life of Imām ‘Abdullah Hāron

Abdullah Haron was born on the 8th February 1924 in Newlands-Claremont, in the southern suburbs of Cape Town.
He was the youngest in a family of five, and still an infant when his mother, Asa Martin, passed away.
Since his father, Amarien, was not able to care for him, the latter’s childless sister, Maryam, reared him.
She supported him to pursue his studies until the time he got married to Galiema Sadan on the 15th of March in 1950.


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