HE Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah, Chairman of UAE Fatwa Council and President of the Forum for Promoting Peace, is recognised by Muslim scholars worldwide as one of the greatest living authorities on the Islamic legal methodology known as Usul al-Fiqh (Principles of Jurisprudence). He is known for his scholarship drawing on scripture and traditional texts across all four major Sunni jurisprudence schools to address Muslim communities’ crucial contemporary concerns.
The Shaykh has developed theories of Islamic jurisprudence in non-Muslim societies, called the Jurisprudence of Minorities (fiqh al-aqalliyyat). The Shaykh is a long-standing member of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy and has worked, among other things, on Islamic finance, authoring several articles and books exploring Islamic position on many of its aspects. In recent years, Shaykh’s work focused on addressing some of the most pressing global issues, such as interfaith relationships, reconciliation, and peace.
In 2014, the Shaykh established the Forum for Promoting Peace in Abu Dhabi under the patronage of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates. The vision of the Forum was to address the crises facing global Islam from a framework of Islamic tradition and legal theory applied to local contexts. Over 1,000 of the world’s leading Islamic scholars and other leaders from various traditions attended the FFP’s launch.
In January 2016, the Shaykh convened the Marrakesh Declaration, as the culmination of an effort running since 2011 to address the issue of violence and oppression against minorities in Muslim majority countries. The Declaration applied traditional Islamic texts to affirm the Islamic principle of equal citizenship as prescribed by the Prophet. It was signed by scholars and politicians from across the Muslim world.