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Cases of Islamic History

Session Chair: Jamal Malik | Friday, August 28, 9-11 a.m. | Venue

Abdulla Galadari

The Appointed Time: Unraveling the Concept of “Waqt” in Muslim Prayer and Ḥajj

In Islam, the notion of time (waqt) is important, where Ibn ‘Arabī also discusses the concept of time in his works. There are specific times for prayers and pilgrimage, as there are also sacred months. From the root of time, “waqt,” comes the term “mīqāt,” which is the location where a pilgrim enters the state of sacredness (iḥrām). According to Muslim tradition, there are five times (mawāqīt) for prayers and there are five locations (mawāqīt) established for pilgrims. The Qur’an uses the root term “waqt” and its morphological permutation (mīqāt) in various passages, including the concept of the Day of Resurrection, which is sometimes called the Hour. It is argued that Islamic tradition attempts to symbolize in the rituals of prayers and pilgrimage the Qur’anic concept of time “waqt” and its relation to the Day of Resurrection. It shows how the Qur’an attempts to interpret these rituals.

Ismail Acar

Journey of Jihad from Classical to Modern Era

Nowadays, when the term jihad is heard, first come to the mind of an ordinary people is fighting, war, and even violence. Is this the case for the doctrine of jihad in Islam? Does it mean only fighting fiercely for religious purposes? What do the Qur’an and Prophetic narratives say about the subject? Does the doctrine of jihad always same through Islamic history in all circumstances? Or is there a shift from teaching of the sacred texts because of external affects? Our aim is to find answers these questions via examining classical and modern texts on jihad. From the Prophet’s war up until the World War I, Muslim leaders have not used the term “jihad” to refer theirs wars in general. Rules of war and fighting could be derived from the sacred texts without referring to verses and narratives related to jihad.

Sofiane Bouhdiba

Islam Facing Polygamy: The Cases of Turkey and Tunisia

One of the specificities of Islam is to allow believers to marry with four wives simultaneously. Today, all Muslim nations permit to their citizens to do so, but two countries: Turkey and Tunisia. In fact, both Turkish and Tunisian legislations forbid polygamy. This socio-demographic study tries to examine the specific situation of these two Muslim countries concerning polygamy. Why were Ataturk and Bourguiba the only Muslim leaders to forbid polygamy in the constitution? How did their people accept such a principle, which are against Islamic laws and traditions? To what extent did polygamy help controlling fertility and demographic growth in Turkey and Tunisia? What can we learn from these experiences? What was the reaction of the local religious communities? Is there a significant change since the Jasmine revolution and the access to power of religious parties, like Ennahdha? These are some of the questions to which I will try to find answers in the study. The research is organized into three sections. The first one reminds the circumstances in which polygamy has been forbidden in Turkey and Tunisia. The second part discusses the way this decision was accepted by the Turkish and Tunisian societies, and its demographic benefits. The last part of the paper examines to what extent there is today a rising popular request of the “come back” of polygamy in these two Muslim countries, especially after the Arab spring.


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