Islamic Papers is the flagship publications website of the Terebessy Foundation. The Foundation is a corporation dedicated to promoting peaceful co-existence between the adherents of different faiths. You may wish to fund the following themes. Research will be published on Islamic Papers.
- How did people’s understanding of Islam become affected by unwarranted accretions? The proliferation of weak and fabricated traditions are just two issues. The reduced role of reason made it harder to evaluate accretions that presented themselves as “traditions.” It is therefore required to restore to the intellect (reason) the rank it once enjoyed.
- What is the relationship between the Qur’an and earlier revelations? It appears that the Qur’an does not warrant the excessively adversarial attitude towards the recipients of earlier revelations. What does the Qur’an itself teach on this issue? Highlighting the commonalities between faiths may contribute to more peaceful relations between people of different faiths.
- What is the relationship between the Qur’an and the sunna? There is confusion regarding this. The relationship between the two has to be articulated in a way that does not compromise the preeminence of the Qur’an. It is posited that the Qur’an is the first root of the sharia. Simultaneously, it is argued that the Qur’an is to be read in the “light” of traditions.
- What is the relationship between reason and revelation? This relationship has to be addressed. There is a misconception that the two are mutually exclusive. This needs to be overcome.
- What factors explain the decline of the Islamic civilization? They include taqlid, the closure of the doors to ijtihad and others. Identifying the practice of faith with ritual, while marginalising ethics may have played a part. Is an excessive preoccupation with form (appearances) at the expense of substance, as for example in Islamic finance, a factor? It is revealing that justice was excluded from the five purposes of the law as they were articulated at first.
- We are told that the compilers of traditions expended great efforts to select reliable traditions. Yet the meaning (matn) of traditions merited hardly as much attention as the reliability of narrators (isnad). As a result, a few traditions appear to be at variance with the Qur’an, if not also with other traditions, regarding key topics, particularly apostasy and adultery. How to resolve this anomaly?
- Sadd dhara’i as a Machiavellian “the ends justify the means.” The principle of “blocking the means” appears to endorse the view that “the end justifies the means.” This is problematic.
- The reversal of the rank of the Qur’an and tradition raises troubling concerns for tawhid. This reversal is evident not just the theory of abrogation of the Qur’an by tradition, but also in the view that the Qur’an is best understood in “light” of tradition.
- What explains the emergence of fanaticism among Muslims? Is the belittling of reason and rationality among conservative circles, a factor? For it appears that fanatics expect blind following without questions.
- Is the disparagement of reason in harmony with respecting the dignity of people? Or does a violation of the dignity of people take place when they are asked to accept a view without reflection?
- What are the factors that explain the emergence of political Islam? Is there a relationship between the tradition on apostasy and the rise of political Islam? Is this tradition endorsed by the teaching of the Qur’an, specifically the dictum that “there is no compulsion in religion”?
- Problems in jurisprudence require attention, for problematic assumptions appear to be at variance with the teaching of the Qur’an, with the result that a skewed picture of the teaching of the Qur’an has emerged. Among these is the assumption, contradicted by the Qur’an itself, that the Qur’an contains “unclear” passages.
- An alternative theme.
Donors may select which research topic they wish to support. There are three options:
- A Viewpoint (1,600 words, may or may not include references)
- Time for completion: within 30 days after payment of funds
- Cost: RM 8,000.00
- A research paper (8000 words, with references)
- Time for completion: within 90 days after payment of funds
- Cost: RM 32,000.00
- A book (40,000 words, with references)
- Time for completion: within 1 year after payment of funds
- Cost: RM 120,000.00
A few themes may be sufficiently addressed in a paper. All work will be published on Islamic Papers as well as alternative platforms, e.g. Research Gate, Academia, etc. All publication will take place under open access. For additional information, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terebessy Foundation, Toronto, Canada
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