mman – The Politics and Society Institute hosted a discussion on Oct. 20 on the book, “Sharia and the Social Sciences: Towards Overcoming the Separation,” by Dr. Sari Hanafi, at the headquarters of the Archives Library in Amman. The discussion session was moderated by Dr. Mohammed Abu Ruman.
Author Hanafi, an associate professor of sociology at the American University of Beirut, spoke about his book, which centers around the inability to reduce religion to jurisprudence. This is because jurisprudence requires an understanding of morality, but to understand jurisprudence also requires scientific tools that have evolved and continue to evolve in the study of humanities and social sciences in particular.
The book is a summary of field research conducted over 5 years to study sharia colleges in some Arab countries in the Levant and Morocco, as well as Malaysia, where the author studied the components of these colleges in terms of their curricula, methods of teaching sharia sciences and their relationship with other scientific fields. The book concludes that the way out of the opposites between sharia sciences and social sciences will only be by combining them through dual educational attainment — even if minimal — between training in Sharia and training in the social sciences, to try to build a dual mentality with an open view of Islamic and social studies.
This book therefore targets specialists in the legal and social fields, with the observations it presents that concerns them together. The combination of the two provides a platform for future cross-disciplinary dialogue.
Speakers included Dr. Muhammad Al-Sharifin, a professor of Sharia at Al AlBayt University, as well as Dr. Fathi Malkawi, the regional director at the Higher Institute of Islamic Thought.