Jamal Malik (Erfurt) - „Fiqh al-da`wa or the juridification of Islamic mission in the context of globalization”


Globalization is made responsible for different sorts of (re)invented traditions: hyper-culture, pluralization, individualization. Probably this is right, but the matter of fact is that there is a marked trend towards a new religious foundation of societies. Some call this the deprivatisation of religion; others describe it as the return of the gods. Obviously, religion has become an important factor in politics and society. Law and proselytism seem to play a major role in negotiating this complex situation.

With Islamic proselytism (dawah) having gone global the invoking of empowerment has also pluralized, and religious authority disenchanted. It may look like religious resistance when piety-minded Muslims instigate homogenizing dawah activities and endowing them with legal superstructure. The entanglement of proliferation of law and the process of legal framing may be traced in what is called fiqh al-dawah, the legal reasoning on Islamic proselytism.

The paper will try to reconstruct the genealogy of this rather new genre, its social constructiveness, its ideational grounding and its normative potential. It is argued that though juridification of dawah is not yet complete, some of its aspirations and promises are visible in the context of the global reassertion of religion in the public sphere, its ability to compete with other systems in the secular market, and the grasping of hegemony and agency.

Professor Dr. Jamal Malik

Universität Erfurt

Curriculum Vitae

Jamal Malik holds the chair for Islamic Studies at the University of Erfurt since 1999. His areas of expertise are inter alia the social and cultural history of South Asia, pluralism of religions, as well as Muslim societies in Europe. After completing his studies on Islamic studies and political science at the University of Bonn, Jamal Malik obtained his doctorate degree – with a stipend from the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung – from the University of Heidelberg in 1989, subsequently habilitating at the University of Bamberg in 1994. After teaching obligations at the University of Bonn and employment at the University of Heidelberg, he completed several research stays in India and Pakistan. Jamal Malik then worked at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, as well as the Universities of Bamberg, Bonn, Ohio, Erfurt, Derby, New Delhi and Lahore. Further, Jamal Malik is founding member of the Annemarie Schimmel Forum in Bonn.

Since October 2012, Jamal Malik is fellow at the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities "Law as Culture".

Publications (selected)

  • Islam in South Asia – A Short History, Leiden: E.J. Brill 2008; Indian Edition: Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan Ltd. 2012.
  • Madrasas in South Asia. Teaching Terror? (Editor and co-author), London and New York: Routledge 2008.
  • Sufism in the West (Co-editor and co-author along with John Hinnells), London and New York: Routledge 2006.