Seminar by Dr. Bin Bayyah in Tunisia discusses the fiqh of reality

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Seminar by Dr. Bin Bayyah in Tunisia discusses the fiqh of reality


In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Tunis, 7th of Muharram year 1434 of Hijra, 21st November 2012

On the sidelines of a visit by renowned scholar Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah to Tunisia and participation at the conference on citizenship and minorities, the IUMS branch in Tunisia organized a seminar for acclaimed sheikh who serves as the Deputy President of the International Union for Muslim Scholars. The seminar entitled "the jurisprudence of reality” was held at the Zaytuna University and was attended by Dr. Nour Al-Deen Al-Khadimi, Tunisian Minister of Religious Affairs, Dr. Abdel-Majeed Al-Najjar, head of the IUMS branch in Tunisia, Dr. Mohamed Al-Shitiwi, Director of the Higher Institute of Religious Studies, in addition to a representative of the "Voice of the Zaytouniya Students” club that co-organized the seminar with the IUMS.

The seminar started around 4pm with a welcome word addressed to Dr. Abdullah bin Bayyah, the accompanying delegation, and all those present at the hall that abounded with audience that outnumbered the seats so that some of whom had to follow while standing.

Word by Dr. Abdullah bin Bayyah

At the beginning, Dr. Abdullah bin Bayyah spoke about Tunisia, its history and contribution to the spread of Islam in the Islamic Maghreb region. As he pointed out, Tunisia has resumed its role today as its will has been liberated after a long time in chains.

Sheikh Bin Bayyah mentioned that enthusiasm for reform was always good and required as long as it followed religious regulations and stressed that understanding the reality in which we live was the first step to hit the true target and achieve the essence of texts and rulings. In this regard, he quoted Ibn Al-Qayyim who affirmed that a scholar of jurisprudence must be well aware of two branches of fiqh or jurisprudence: the fiqh of obligation and the fiqh of reality. Sheikh Bin Bayyah referred to that fact that reality can not be grasped except through five means or five weighing scales: the scale sensitivity, the scale of language, the scale of reason, the scale of tradition, the scale of nature.

Moreover, Professor Bin Bayyah clarified that the reality of life and societies is a complex one that generates rulings that govern and reform this reality. It is a reality that always proposes a new situation where we are compelled to apply the essence or focus of [religious] texts. Yet the task of achieving that focus is not left for the ordinary public, as the sheikh mentioned, but is the job of the body in charge, the body to which people are loyal because it’s the only body aware of the scale of benefit or harm entailed. The sheikh spoke about two stages or levels for Sharia. The first is the level of belief and it’s a fixed one. The second is the level of applying rulings which necessarily goes through three malleable stages: interpretation, justification and application. The stage of application must also include a weighing of the best interest and how far the purposes or maqasid of texts are achieved.

At the end of the seminar, Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah made quick references and calls to the Tunisian people not to be hasty in their revolution and to work on the completion of what they revolted for. He stated that this aim would only be met through two characteristics: obedience and balance.