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This book examines the development of a contemporary internal Muslim debate on the production of a new form of Islamic jurisprudence, Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat, i.e. jurisprudence of Muslim minorities. The objective of this fiqh is to strike a balance between Muslim's religious commitments and their civic identity as citizens in Western liberal states.
Three key trends are identified in this debate: the puritan literalist trend, the traditionalist trend and the renewal trend. The literalists argue that Muslim minorities should disassociate themselves from non-Muslims and confine their loyalty to their fellow Muslims. The traditionalists maintain that Muslim minorities can live in non-Muslim lands but via exceptional rules and conditional fatwas. The renewal trend asserts the need for a new category of jurisprudence with a new methodological framework that normalizes and empowers Muslim minority life in non-Muslim society. The study delineates these trends in detail and investigates their background, development and current conditions with special focus on the renewal trend and the discourse of Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat. The study investigates the thought of the pioneers of this discourse, sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Dr. Taha Jabir al-'Alwani, and explains the connection between their discourse on Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat and the discourse of legal reform of Muslim tradition in modern times. The study also presents a case study of how this discourse re-examined notions of world dichotomy to Dar al-Islam and Dar al-a arb, loyalty and citizenship.