Anthropomorphic Depictions of God: The Concept of God in Judaic, Christian and Islamic Traditions Representing the Unrepresentable Zulfiqar Ali Shah
OP20: Maqasid Al-Shariah, Ijtihad and Civilisational Renewal Mohammad Hashim Kamali
This study examines issues of anthropomorphism in the three Abrahamic Faiths, as viewed through the texts of the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and the Qur’an.The author addresses the Judeo-Christian worldview and how each has chosen to framework its encounter with God, critiquing the inclusion of corporeality. Shah also examines Islam’s heavily anti-anthropomorphic stance as well as Islamic theological discourse on TawhÏd and the Ninety-Nine Names of God and what these have meant in relation to Muslim understanding of God and His attributes.
This paper develops the idea of a maqasid-based framework for ijtihad and civilisational renewal (tajdid hadari), a broad and engaging prospect that also involves a review and reappraisal of the methodology of Islamic jurisprudence relating to both the maqasid and ijtihad. The author argues that this would enable Muslims to widen the scope and horizon of the maqasid or objectives of Islamic law from their currently legalistic leanings towards the wider perspective of civilisational renaissance. The nexus that needs to be developed between the maqasid and ijtihad also needs to be supported by a credible methodology, as this paper attempts.