The Meaning of Maṣlaḥa, and Its Place in Sunni Political Thought

18.04.2018 19:00 - English

Mohammad Fadel , University of Toronto, will give the keynote lecture: "The Meaning of Maṣlaḥa, and Its Place in Sunni Political Thought"

What is God’s intention in creating the Sharīʿa? This theme has been discussed in Islamic law for centuries, and one important answer has been: To promote maṣlaḥa, public or individual welfare. Classical scholars and modern reformers have focused on this concept as a way both to explain the rules of law, and how to interpret them, either in light of basic concepts or of changing circumstances from one epoch to another. Can maṣlaḥa welfare e.g. be linked to ideas of “good governance” or “legitimate politics” (siyāsa sharʿīya)?

As part of the HERA-funded research project Understanding the Shari’a: Past Perfect, Imperfect present, professor Mohmmad Fadel will give a keynote public lecture in Bergen on how the concept of “welfare” has found its place in Sunni Islam.

Professor Fadel is a leading scholar in the field, but also an active discussant on reform in Islamic law. Among his best known works are “Is Historicism a Viable Strategy for Islamic Law Reform? The Case of ‘Never Shall a Folk Prosper Who Have Appointed a Woman to Rule Them” (2011), “Muslim Reformists, Female Citizenship and the Public Accommodation of Islam in Liberal Democracy” (2012) and “Islamic Law Reform: Between Reinterpretation and Democracy” (2017).

We expect his lecture to be of particular interest to those concerned with various methods of adaptation of Islamic thought and particularly legal thought to the contemporary world, on the basis of thoughts and concepts integral to the Islamic tradition.

This event is organised by Knut S. Vikør (UiB) and Eirik Hovden (UiB), as a part of the HERA-funded research project mentioned above.

Bergen Global is a joint initiative between the University of Bergen and Chr. Michelsen Institute that addresses global challenges.