A few tweets about gender separation

The following is a combination (and decompression) of several tweets1 promoted by a current brouhaha about gender segregation.

In general, separation (and segregation) of the sexes is seen as a means towards an end and not an end in itself. Unfortunately, people tend to see it as a totally inflexible end in itself, while fiqh sees it as flexible within limits.

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Dear Mufti…

The “Dear Mufti…” tweets express some of the messages conveyed within many of the requests I received. Some of the original question were sincere and serious, others were trollish. While most of the questions presented here are caricatures of groups of questions, a few are close to verbatim.

“Dear Mufti, Declare riba halal so Allah declares war against you instead of me.”

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Seeking a coherent Islamic law

In order to be applicable to all contexts, the Shariʿah cannot be arbitrary or incoherent, nor can it be exhaustible or of limited lifetime. Rather, it must be systematic, consistent, and coherent. It must also be comprehensive and durable in order to provide guidance for humanity until the end of their earthly existence. The madhhabs, or schools of Islamic law, exhibit legal theories and bodies of law that, thus far, meet all of these qualities. These schools have demonstrated the ability to grow to address new cases and contexts without losing these qualities. Alternatives have yet to exhibit and sustain these qualities, leaving the madhhahbs as the best tool for approaching the Shariʿah.

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Antiprotips Collected

The #antiprotip series includes existing patterns or behavior that need to be avoided. If you find yourself inclining towards any of these things, please reconsider.

  • #antiprotip Harm to others is trumped by serious profits in pockets.
  • #antiprotip Take the quick road to mastery by declaring irrelevant all you don’t already know.
  • #antiprotip Want your subjects to do something they aren’t already? Declare it illegal.

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Protips Collected

The #protip series includes recommendations and reminders.

  • Train yourself to generate pro- & counter- scenarios—a major fiqh need is matching masa’il & ‘ilal to the contemporary context.
  • For every x, adjust x to suit Islam, not Islam to suit x.
  • Beware of sloppily switching topics while using a term: “sunnah” changes meaning in usul al-fiqh, mustalah al-hadith, and fiqh.

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