Meet the Scholars - The Need for a Fiqh for Muslims Minorities in Western Communities & Maqasid Narrative: Developments so far
Mohammad Hashim Kamali
Professor Mohammad Hashim Kamali is founding CEO of the International Institute of sAdvanced Islamic Studies, Malaysia (2007—continuing), and a world renowned scholar in his field of specialisation. He served as Professor of Islamic Law and Jurisprudence at the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM, 1985–2004); and was Dean of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation (ISTAC, 2004–2006). Currently he is Senior Fellow at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia, a Senior Fellow of the Academy of Sciences of Afghanistan, and also Senior Fellow of the Royal Academy of Jordan. He serves on the International Advisory Board of thirteen academic journals published in Malaysia, USA, Canada, Kuwait, India, Australia and Pakistan. Professor Kamali has served as a member and sometime Chairman of the Constitution Review Commission of Afghanistan (2003); as a UN consultant on constitutional reforms in Afghanistan, the Maldives, and Iraq; and currently advises the UN on a new constitution for Somalia.
He graduated from Kabul University in Afghanistan with 1st Class Honours in Law and Political Science (1965), and served as Public Prosecutor with the Afghan Ministry of Justice for two years. He completed his LLM in Comparative Law, and Ph.D in Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, at the University of London (1969–1976); following which he was employed as a broadcasting support staff by the BBC in Reading, UK (1976–1979). Dr. Kamali was Assistant Professor at the Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University in Montreal (1979–84); and a Research Associate with the Canada Council for Social Science and Humanities (1984–1985). He has been a Visiting Professor at Capital University, Ohio (1991), as well as Visiting Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin, Germany (2000–2001).
Professor Kamali has given presentations at over 130 national and international conferences, published 20 books and over 120 academic articles. He is a member of the Global Expert Finder Network of the UN Alliance of Civilisations; Chairman of the CIMB Shariah Committee (Malaysia); and Chairman of Shariah Board, Stanlib Corporation (South Africa). He is an original signatory to, and active participant in, the ‘Common Word’ initiative between Muslims and Christians. He delivered the 20th ‘Prominent Scholars Lecture Series’ (Silsila Muhadarat Ulama’ al-Barizin) in 1996 at the Islamic Research and Training Institute in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and the Multaqa Sultan Ahmad Shah Lecture of 2002 in Kuantan.
Professor Kamali has featured frequently in print media, radio, TV and the internet. He published an Open Letter and a full page article in the newspaper Berliner Zeitung just before the Taliban blew up the Bamian Statues, and appeared on the Iranian Republic’s Television network just before the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. He has been featured on RTM Malaysia, Al-Jazeera, Afghanistan Ariana TV, TV Kuwait, Al Arabiya, and The Maldives TV. He was twice awarded IIUM’s ‘Isma‘il al-Faruqi Award for Academic Excellence’ in 1995 & 1997. His books Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, Freedom of Expression in Islam, A Textbook of Hadith Studies, and Shari‘ah Law: An Introduction are standard text books in English speaking Universities worldwide. Professor Kamali’s scholarly studies are translated into Bahasa Indonesia, Farsi, Pashto, Dari, Arabic, Bengali, and Turkish; and he is listed in a number of leading international Who’s Who.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is Chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, an independent, non-partisan and multi-national project that works with state and non-state actors to improve Muslim-West relations. In this capacity, he provides innovative solutions in those areas where conflict between Islamic and Western communities undermines local and global security. As Imam of Masjid al-Farah, a mosque twelve blocks from Ground Zero in New York City, Imam Feisal preaches a message of peace and understanding between people, regardless of creed, nationality, or political beliefs.
His father was Director and Imam of the Islamic Centers of New York and Washington D.C., and Rector of the International Islamic University in Malaysia. Born in Kuwait and educated in England, Egypt, and Malaysia, Imam Feisal holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Columbia University in New York, and a Master of Science in Plasma Physics from Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. He sits on the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Center of New York and serves as an advisor to the Interfaith Center of New York.
Under Imam Feisal’s leadership, the Cordoba Initiative’s programs craft strategic avenues for approaching divisive Muslim-West tensions. Among these programs, the Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow (MLT) empowers arid networks young, Muslim professionals from all over the world, the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equity (WISE) strengthens the role of Muslim women in global society, and the Shari’ah Index Project engages Islamic legal scholars in addressing the implications of contemporary Islamic governance. Imam Feisal founded the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA) in 1997 – the first Muslim organization committed to bringing American Muslims and non-Muslims together through programs in academia, policy, current affairs, and culture.
Imam Feisal facilitates action-oriented dialogues between individuals and groups capable of transforming dangerous paradigms within the complex intersection of Islamic and Western viewpoints. He maintains working relationships with offices in the U.S. Department of State, members of the U.S. Congress, and representatives of foreign governments. He is also involved in international delegations and consultative bodies, including his membership in the World Economic Forum Council of 100 Leaders (Islamic-West Dialogue).
Imam Feisal appears regularly at the Council on Foreign Relations, and in national and international media such as CNN and BBC. He is frequently interviewed by and quoted in leading print media. Among his books are Islam: A Search for Meaning; Islam: A Sacred Law (What every Muslim Should Know About the Shariah); and What’s Right With Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West, rated by the Christian Science Monitor among its five best books in 2004.
11:30am Arrival of Guests and Registration
12:00pm “Maqasid Scholarship: Developments So Far”, Prof. Mohammad Hashim Kamali
12:20pm “The Need For A Fiqh For Muslim Minorities In Western Communities”, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf
12:50pm Interactive Session
01:30pm Zuhur Prayer and End of Programme