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Is the British weather anti-Islamic? Prayer times, the Ulama and application of the Shari'a

Ali, Muhammad Mansur ORCID: 2015. Is the British weather anti-Islamic? Prayer times, the Ulama and application of the Shari'a. Contemporary Islam 9 (2) , pp. 171-187. 10.1007/s11562-014-0318-7

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In the absence of clear-cut guidance from the primary sources of the shari‘a, how do Muslim scholars derive a workable religious praxis in changing circumstances and which authorities do they invoke in the process? This article explores possible answers to these questions by conducting a detailed analysis of a debate between two groups of Deobandi scholars in Britain over establishing the correct time for the commencement of morning (Fajr) and the onset of fasting for Ramadan. I argue that besides the primary sources, these Deobandi scholars invoke alternate forms of extra-scriptural authority such as the weight of precedence deriving from the akabir (elders) of the Deobandi tradition, as also their reliance on modern scientific knowledge. The article highlights the complex interplay of factors which determines the way that Muslims in Britain negotiate the practice of their religion in new socio-cultural milieu and the way they attempt to incorporate these changes within the parameters of an established religious discourse.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1872-0218
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Last Modified: 27 Oct 2022 08:57

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