Islamic Law, Truth, Ethics: Fatwa and Jurisprudence of the Revolution
- Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East
- Duke University Press
- Volume 38, Number 1, May 2018
- pp. 107-121
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This article is devoted to the study of questions of knowledge, law, and ethics in Islamic context. Starting with a discussion of assumptions about Islamic ethical practices in recent anthropological and historical works on the fatwa, it explores procedures of truth seeking and modes of reasoning in legal opinions authored by Islamic scholars, notably Yusuf al-Qaradawi, at the time of the Egyptian Revolution (2011). This text analyzes also the relationship between interiority and exteriority in ethical practices enabled by these legal options and exemplified by the assessment of the ruler’s faith. It studies the extent to which the very revolutionary gesture informs Islamic scholars’ own legal and ethical practice and enlightens anew the relationship between the inner and the outer as well as between the self and others. Finally, it explores the articulation between Islamic law and revolution in the Egyptian context and the ways in which the former’s authoritativeness and ethical performativity is reenacted, in contradistinction to Western liberal revolutions instituting a new legal order declaring its rupture with the past law and indifferent to the individual’s morality.