News and Announcement

Professor Asad speaks at Heidelberg

Monday, February 03, 2014

On 03 February 2014, Syed Imad-ud-Din Asad [LL.M. (Harvard); Founder and Director, Center for Law and Policy; Founding Director and Associate Professor, UMT School of Law and Policy] was invited to give a talk, titled "Islamic Law in Pakistan," to graduate students at Faculty of Law, Heidelberg University, Germany.

Professor Asad started by giving an overview of the talk to the audience. He informed them that he would keep his comments, remarks, and explanations simple, as most of the participants had no prior knowledge of Islamic law. He also emphasized that the participants should feel free to raise questions and disagree with his views.

In order for the participants to have a better understanding of the significance of Islamic law in Pakistani legal system, Professor Asad began by describing the concept of revelation, the primary source of Islamic law. He defined its two forms, i.e., the Quran and the Sunnah, and explained their inter se status. He then moved to Ijtehad and discussed its significance as a method for the development of Islamic law.

After shedding light on the nature and scope of Islamic law, Professor Asad elaborated on the history of Muslims in the Indian subcontinent. He analyzed the various reasons for the decline of Muslim rule in India and its eventual take over by the British. He then focused on the Muslim political movement that emerged in the form of All India Muslim League in 1906. He explained the role played by Iqbal and Jinnah and whether they wanted an ideological state or a secular state. In order to establish their positions regarding Islam, Professor Asad relied on their speeches and writings. Professor Asad was clear that both Iqbal and Jinnah envisaged a modern Islamic state.

Professor Asad then moved on to describe how Islam has influenced the legal system in Pakistan. He discussed the significance of Islam in the constitution and the various laws that deal with criminal, civil, family, and financial matters.

Throughout the talk, the participants raised different questions pertaining to rights of non-Muslims, lack of political equality between Muslims and non-Muslims, justice system, death penalty, foreign relations, terrorism, and other problems confronting the country. In fact, seeing the interest of the audience, the organizers extended the hour-long event by another hour.

 Professor Asad speaks at Heidelberg University, Germany  Professor Asad speaks at Heidelberg University, Germany 

 Professor Asad speaks at Heidelberg University, Germany  Professor Asad speaks at Heidelberg University, Germany 

 Professor Asad speaks at Heidelberg University, Germany 

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