Talk by Sheikh Jihad Hashim Brown - Cambridge - 2 March 2009 - 1 hr 34 mins 45 secs
Earlier this month, Cambridge benefited from the visit of Sheikh Jihad Hashim Brown, the well-known scholar and speaker, currently acting as Director of Research at the Tabah Foundation in Abu Dhabi. In this talk, he considers the ethical purposes of the shari'a (Islamic law) and how by connecting with its fundamental meanings and rich heritage we can act to help ourselves and those around us. As he reminds us at one point by relating a hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), 'God does not cease to assist His slave as long as His slave does not cease to assist his brother'. In a rich and thought-provoking talk - as you would expect from someone in regular contact with some of the wisest scholars of our time, such as Mufti 'Ali Juma'a and Sheikh 'Abd Allah b. Bayyah - the sheikh discusses how the dynamic and profound techniques of the shari'a can be used to address the problems of the modern world and bring it back into harmonious submission to the order of creation. It is well-known that the root meaning of shari'a is 'a path to water', a route back to the substance of life. The sheikh reminds us, however, of the necessity of uncovering this water of the Divine Guidance through istinbat (to open up or tap a source of water, as in digging a well). Only through active engagement with the tools of our tradition can we use them to address the questions around us today and thereby promote its fundamental aims for humanity.
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