Lecture 1

  • The meaning and purpose of religion
  •  Some approaches to the origin of religion
  • Mythology as origin of Religion
  • Anthropological and sociological approach
  • The role of culture and civilization in shaping the “local Religion”
  • Religion as “Law” and problems posed by this approach
  • Religion as “ultimate Guidance”

Lecture 2

  • Relationship between ‘Society’ and ‘Religion’ (elaboration)
  • The impact of society on religion and vice versa
  • Different societies need different interpretation of religion, which may provide solution to its problems.
  • Religions need dynamism symmetrical to the dynamism of society
  • The “interpretation” is always human, therefore, it is both changeable and challengeable
  • Basis of interpretation: words or need of the society

Lecture 3

  • Religions need dynamism symmetrical to the dynamism of society
  • “static principles” of religion and its “outer movement”
  • Interpretation of religious texts and its problems
  • Interpretation of religious texts:
    • textual context
    • historical context
    • cultural context
    • Social context
    • Political context

In this lecture some verses of Qur’an will be taken as case studies.

Lecture 4

                Verses of Qur’an as case studies regarding relationship with non-Muslims, rights of women, women outside home, inheritance individual, and collective liberty of people, some punishments etc. Liberation of text from conventional understanding in order to address Current National and International requirements.

Lecture 5

                Hukum (the religious position on a matter) will change according to change in “time, place and circumstances”.

Lecture 6

                Importance of ‘al-Urf’ (العرف والعادۃ )  (the custom) and ‘tradition’, and their applications. The validity of ‘custom and tradition’ for the concept of “liberty”. The concepts of al-Urf and al-‘Adah and their relation with Objectives of Shari’ah. Do not harm others and do not be harmed by others. لا ضرر ولا ضرار    its wide application.

Lecture 7

                The hardship attracts the comfort, and when a matter becomes very difficult it attracts the wide space. المشقۃ تجلب التیسییر و إذا ضاق الأمر اتسع الضرورات تبیح المحظورات The necessities make “lawful” what is “unlawful”.

Lecture 8

                Removing the harmful and attracting what is good for the people درء المفاسد و جلب المنفعۃ و رفع الحرج۔ and the application of these principles in liberty. In this lecture, the liberty of opting for a religion or a set of beliefs other than Islam will be discussed in detail. The concept of apostasy and its punishment, as suggested by Muslim Jurists will also be dealt with in detail. 

Lecture 9

                In this lecture, I will discuss the scope of Economic Liberty, both for men and women, according to the teaching of Islam, including in the days of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Lecture 10

                The concept of political liberty and freedom in Islam for both males and females. It includes right of participation in politics, casting vote in elections, candidature for legislature assemblies, leading a political party, becoming head of the state or head of the government etc.  

Lecture 11

                This talk will consist over Islamic point of view on Civil Liberties, building houses, owning properties, sale, and purchase of common goods, choosing cloths, dresses, and garments, cooking, marriage arrangements, and household, birth rituals, etc.

Lecture 12

                Summary of the previous lectures:

  • A paradigm of liberty embedded in Principles of Jurisprudence and Legal Maxims (al-Qwaed al-Fiqhiyyah
  • Some conclusions I have reached upon regarding “Islam and Liberty”

Islam & Liberty Network

Islam and Liberty Network (L) Foundation is legally organised as a non-profit Labuan foundation registered in Malaysia and is governed by an international board of directors, all of whom except for the part-time CEO give their time freely. Founded in 2011 in Istanbul, it is a platform for researchers, academics, and public intellectuals to explore and promote a Muslim case for religious, economic and political freedom by disseminating knowledge and developing human resources. We are funded by like-minded foundations and individuals.