Fiqh and Inter-Religious Dialogue

Title : Fiqh and Inter-Religious Dialogue: Case Studies of the Establishment of Dialogist Fiqh in Ma’had Ali Salafiyah Syafi’iyah Sukorejo Situbondo
Author : Imam Malik (CRCS, 2005)
Keywords : Fiqh, dialogue, Religion
Dialogue is a primary necessity in a multi-cultural society like Indonesia. As important for multi cultural society as the dialogue itself is exploring an appropriate method toward dialogue. The thesis is motivated by the aforementioned interest. It illustrates that the Indonesian Moslem perspective emphasizes fiqh which makes it necessary that a dialogical approach is conducted in the same perspective, namely fiqh. The case study of the Ma’had Salafiyah Syafi’iyah Sukorejo Situbondo examines and evaluates the establishment of a fiqh dialogis (dialogical fiqh). The major emphasis of this thesis is on the of the Ma’had Aly as a center for the establishment of fiqh dialogis and fiqh dialogis itself as a new phenomenon in the discourse of inter-religious dialogue.

In the discourse about inter-religious dialogue in Indonesia, both Islamic scholars and Islamic institutions have established several methods of inter-religious dialogue. None of these approaches, however, were established on the basis of fiqh; rather, they were methodologically grounded in theological or mystical perspectives. Even though these approaches make positive contributions, their lack of the perspective of fiqh renders them less appropriate for Indonesian Moslem society which is religiously oriented towards fiqh. The Ma’had Aly Salafiyah Syafi’iyah Sukorejo Situbondo as the center of fiqh studies has been training its students to develop a new idea of dialogue by applying fiqh as the main theoretical underpinning of inter-religious dialogue. Using qualitative research methods and combining these for the analytical process with the theoretical approaches to inter-religious dialogue as proposed by Leonard Swiddler as well as with Sahal Mahfudz’ theory of fiqh kontextual (contextual fiqh), this thesis answers questions surrounding fiqh as an alternative method in the development of inter-religious dialogue and Ma’had ‘Aly as its agent.

This research shows that Ma’had Aly is successfully creating a new product of fiqh, the so-called fiqh dialogis (dialogical fiqh) employing three strategies: revitalization of ushul al-fiqh, presenting alternative and competing texts, as well as broadening the area of takwil. Through this process Ma’had Aly has produced a new fiqh that not only creates the possibility for a dialogue between text and context but also gives space to the “others.” These efforts have resulted in a new, comprehensive and responsible fiqh both in social and methodological perspectives.

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