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On British IslamReligion, Law, and Everyday Practice in Shari'a Councils$
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John R. Bowen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691158549

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691158549.001.0001

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Sufi Encompassments

Sufi Encompassments

(p.143) Chapter 9 Sufi Encompassments
On British Islam

John R. Bowen

Princeton University Press

This chapter assesses what happens when one constructs a shariʻa council within an explicitly and visibly Sufi world. In the Hijaz community, the current leader and sheikh, Faiz ul-Aqtab Siddiqi, dispenses advice and blessings to Muslims living in Britain and, sometimes, abroad. He is also a barrister and has sought to include the mediation activities of his Muslim Arbitration Tribunal (MAT) within the community. If the London ISC scholars seek to base their legitimacy on correct following of jurisprudence and adherence to explicit procedural rules, MAT is based on Sufi sanctity. Here, shariʻa, understood in the broader sense of God's plans for Muslims, is invoked in much less court-like ways. Because the specific difference of Hijaz regards the multiple activities of its sheikh, and because Hijaz is indeed so different from the other cases, the chapter begins with a broader account of legitimacy and practices in the institution.

Keywords:   shariʻa council, Sufi, Hijaz community, sheikh, Faiz ul-Aqtab Siddiqi, Muslim Arbitration Tribunal, Sufi sanctity

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