The central objective of the junior research group for the next years will be the search for answers to the question, if and to what extent justice is addressed as a normative theory for societal order in Islam. The term justice will thereby be analysed regarding aspects of legal theory, theology and empiricism.
The tendency to take for granted the practice of Ijtihad, and hence the process of norm transition in the broadest sense, has generally speaking become prevalent in Islamic legal thought, at least formally. Herein questions about the relationship between the idea of justice and the evolvement of legal thought are discussed.
On the other hand the controversy over God's justice and the question of whether it can be judged based on human benchmarks has led to major theological arguments within Islam. The discussion about justice as an attribute of God and as a significant feature of the Islamic worldview will herein be analysed.
A further field of research focuses on the empirical aspect and poses the question of how Muslims, for instance in Germany, think about justice, and accordingly define it, and how they judge the given legal and sociopolitical circumstances in respect of their perceptions of justice.
Dissertation project (Philipp Farid Suleiman)
Topic: Ibn Taymiyya's (d. 728/1328) teaching on the attributes of God - an analysis and a historical contextualization of his notions.
The dissertation project aims at the exposition and analysis of Ibn Taymiyya's methods in dealing with the divine attributes transmitted in the revelatory sources. This shall include, inter alia, an examination of the relation between his views and the theological positions represented in the Hanbalite school. It shall be also determined, if and to what extent positions of preceding (including non-Hanbalite) scholars implicitly or explicitly had some influences on Ibn Taymiyya's understanding of the attributes of God, and accordingly his strategy of reasoning. Among other things, the analysis of his perspectives shall reply to the question of whether Ibn Taymiyya's theological positions can be considered to be anthropomorphic, and how it should be understood in this context that some features like 'just' can be attributed to God as well as to man.