JILIL Vol 13 Issue 1 2017 - Article 1

Shari’ah and the Role of Muslim Clergy in Australia
Jan A. Ali

Wherever Muslims live they are governed by shari’ah – generally accepted as Allah’s law. In Australia Muslims constitute a minority community and the application of shari’ah in Muslim everyday affairs is for Muslims a concerning issue. It is so because Australia is not only a non-Muslim country but also a modern secular nation-state and who formulates and reinforces the shari’ah remains an open question. In large part Muslim clergy in Australia have assumed the role in deliberating on the functionality of law. The clergy employing the principle of the governance play an important role in the unofficial application of shari’ah among Muslim minorities in Australia. This paper explores the question who formulates and reinforces the shari’ah in Australia. The paper posits that the clergy class in Australia is often disengaged from social networking and inter-community engagement rendering their status ambiguous and erosive. In such a climate the application of shari’ah becomes an individual responsibility and a private affair.

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