REFORM THROUGH TRADITION: AN ANALYSIS OF YUSUF AL-QARADWI’S APPROACH TO HALAL AND HARAM
Keywords:Ḥalāl, Ḥarām, Food, Islamic Jurisprudence, Reform, Tradition, Yūsuf al-Qaraḍāwī, Fazlur Rahman
The concept of permissibility (?al?l) and impermissibility (?ar?m) claims a central place in the Islamic ethos. Muslims are always conscious about the permissibility of whatever they commit or omit in their daily lives, be it in public or private spheres. The level of this consciousness is even higher when it comes to the matter of food. The bewildering range of edible materials and seemingly countless recipes in today’s food market present a formidable challenge for Muslim jurists (fuqah?) in dealing with the issue of permissibility. Among, Y?suf al-Qara??w? is one of the contemporary scholars who have addressed this issue in the context of today’s challenges. This paper discusses al-Qara??w?’s reformative approach to ?al?l and ?ar?m with especial reference to the matters related to food. The paper analyses how al-Qara??w? interprets the relevant Qur’anic verses and the Prophetic traditions (ah?d?th) and attempts to unearth the underlying juristic principles that he relies on for his particular opinions. Also, the paper compares his interpretive strategies with those of the classical jurists. Theoretically, the paper revisits al-Qara??w?’s approach and frames it with reference to Fazlur Rahman’s classification of different reform strategies in Islam. In this light, the article concludes that al-Qara??w?’s approach seems to be what Fazlur Rahman calls ‘reform through tradition.