Mohammad Khalid Mas’ud, during his presentation, acknowledges the wisdom of  organizers of the 20th AICIS for determining the three-dimensional approaches for studying Islam in the changing global context

Furthermore, the director-general of Islamic Research Institute at the International Islamic University of Islamabad proceeds that the choice of theme “Islam in a Changing Global Context: Rethinking Fiqh Reactualization and Public Policy”,  the month of Rabī‘ al-Awwāl, and the year 2021 for the commemoration of the 20th Annual International Conference signifies the shifting focus on the local context of nation-states, the dynamism of Islamic tradition, and the wave of globalization respectively.

Mas’ud argues that the concept of reactualization of fiqh has particular reference to Munawir Sjadzali (1925-2004), a prominent Indonesian intellectual and policymaker who had held significant government positions in Indonesia. He figures out that Sjadzali combined the Islamic historical perspective of change and continuity, the Western critique of globalism and globalization, and the focus on shifting the local context of nation-states to undertake the reactualization of Islamic legal tradition.

Mas’ud is relying on studies conducted by Indonesian scholars such as Zamakhsyari Dhofier (1992), Bahtiar Effendy (1995), Cipto Sembodo (2005), and Mujiburrahman (2020) who promoted Sjadzali’s idea of fiqh reactualization. He later redefines it within seven premises, arguing that Sjadzali’s concepts have been interacting with the classical and medieval traditions hence constantly aligning it with the three dimensions mentioned before. Mas’ud proceeds his argument elaborating on the debates of Islamic tradition in those eras as held by Al-Gazālī, Ibn Rushd, Ibn Khaldūn, and Al-Shāṭibī from the medieval period, then the incoming of Wahhābī movement in Arabian Peninsula, Fulani movement in Nigeria, Shah Waliullah in India, Nūr al-Dīn al-Ranirī in Indonesia in the modern period.

In the upcoming period, scholars such as Jalāl al-Dīn al-Afghānī, Muhammad Abduh, Muhammad Iqbal, Shibli Nu’aimi, Fazlur Rahman, and Wahidudin Khan continued developing new theology. The political situation in the Muslim world changed rapidly in favor of political Islam in 1979 post-Islamic revolution in Iran and Islamization of laws in Pakistan, Nigeria, Sudan, and Malaysia. Therefore, the same logic of law and theology in the context of change and continuity can be found in Sjadzali’s concept of fiqh reactualization and public policy nowadays.

To expand the discussion of fiqh reactualization and public policy, Mas’ud suggests several main issues which demand further analysis namely; 1) the unfinished division between sharī’a and siyāsa to determine the function and limitation of ruler’s doctrine; 2) the ambiguous idea of public policy that is authoritative, immutable, and limited to the governance of the Sultan and hardly recognize common public opinions; 3) The public and private law also do not recognize the role of society, even civil society, showed by the limitation of ijtihad practice and the reduction of its meaning only as sources to sanction taqlīd and madzhab; 4) Fatwa acted as a conservative public policy to respond the social change while no institution formed to study, assess, and lead public opinion on policy matters.

In short, the former Chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology of Pakistan declares that the reactualization approach is critical of both Western and traditional tradition of law and governance. This approach stresses the interactive local-global context, as introduced by Sjadzali, therefore, the lack of this perspective not only polarized Muslim societies, but also allowed the growth extremism that provided justification for conflict theories. Last, he would thank the organizing committee for allowing him to participate in an open and critical discussion on different opinions and consesus toward public objectives.

As an acknowledgement to this wonderful presentation, Mujiburrahman, the rector of UIN Antasari Banjarmasin and the moderator of keynote speech session, replies in admiration by quoting Muhammad Iqbal “The Prophet of Islam seems to stand between the ancient and the modern world. As far as the source of revelation is concerned, he belongs to the ancient world; as far as the spirit of his revelation is concerned, he belonged to the modern world.”

Convenor: Egi Tanadi Taufik

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