Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Rethinking Islamic Reform: Hamza Yusuf & Tariq Ramadan

A must-see for anyone interested in Islamic reform:

The Rethinking Islamic Reform conference, May 26, 2010, features two of the world's foremost Muslim intellectuals as they provide guidance in the ever polemical topic of reform in Islam.

Oxford University Islamic Society is honoured to have hosted Sheikh Hamza Yusuf Hanson (Zaytuna Institute, USA) and Professor Tariq Ramadan (Oxford University, UK) to participate at this ground-breaking conference.


Rethinking Islamic Reform: Hamza Yusuf & Tariq Ramadan from Rethinking Islamic ReformVimeo. on

Some of the points discussed:

Sheikh Hamza Yusuf
- A living Quran opposed to a Textualist or Intentionalist Quran
- Arnold Toynbee: How civilisations respond when confronted with challenges
- Reformation vs. Renovation
- The Islamic tradition is largely unread
- Much of the Quran and the hadeeth is what we call constitutional law
- Scholars were always aware of the ambigous nature of language
- Fatwa was known to be specific of time and place
- Muslims have always recognized diversity
- الثوابت و المتغيرات
- What can be reformed
- 19th century reforms
- Muslims are very wary of messing with the calibration of this religion
- Nothing taints the reputation with Muslims more than association with governments
- Shaykh Googles
- Origin of Osama bin Laden and Al Zawahery's fatwa to kill people and that which killed Anwar Al Sadat is a misprint of Ibn Taymeya's Mardin fatwa

Dr. Tariq Ramadan
- The starting point is that, though they differ, scholars were trying to be faithful
- Reform is not to adapt to the West, but it is a necessity
- Islam is not to be reformed, what needs reform is the mind, the understanding
- Islah/إصلاح in the Quran
- Some answers to old problems are not answers to new answers
- Knowing the psychological side of the fatwa, the environment
- We need to be engaged in transforming the world
- إصلاح النفس
- We are facing not only a crisis of authority, but also a crisis of methodology
- Reformation on major issues, not minor issues

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