Dr. Afifi al-Akiti
محمد عفيفي العکيتي
|Born||17 June 1976|
|Notable work(s)||Defending the Transgressed by Censuring the Reckless against the Killing of Civilians et al.|
|Alma mater||Queen's University Belfast (BA)|
Worcester College, Oxford (MSt, DPhil)
Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti (born 1976), also known as Shaykh Afifi, is the KFAS Fellow in Islamic Studies at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies. He is also the Islamic Centre Lecturer in Islamic Studies at the Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford, and is a Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford. He is the first Malay to be appointed to such a position in this university. Elsewhere, he is a visiting professor of Universiti Teknologi MARA in Malaysia. He has also received widespread media recognition across the globe.
Afifi al-Akiti is listed in The 500 Most Influential Muslims since 2010. In 2009, along with Professor Muhammad Abdel Haleem and the IIIT, Afifi al-Akiti was shortlisted for the Annual UK Muslim Awards, in one of its 15 coveted Awards for Excellence, the Allama Iqbal Award for Creativity in Islamic Thought. In 2011, Afifi al-Akiti was awarded the Darjah Paduka Mahkota Perak (PMP), the Malaysian equivalent to the British CBE. In 2012, he was the sole recipient of the Darjah Dato' Paduka Cura Si-Manja Kini (DPCM) in that year's Sultan of Perak Birthday Honours List, which carries the Malaysian title of Dato'.
Afifi al-Akiti, who comes from Malaysia, is trained as a theologian and philologist in both the Islamic and Western traditions: educated originally at the feet of the ulema of the Muslim world, he subsequently received a First Class degree in Scholastic philosophy and the History of science from the Queen's University Belfast, where he was awarded various scholarships to read for his Masters and Doctoral degrees at Oxford University. His areas of expertise are Islamic theology, philosophy and science.
Afifi al-Akiti completed his DPhil in Medieval Arabic Philosophy from Oxford University as a Clarendon Scholar in 2008. His thesis identifies and systematically considers for the first time a group of philosophical writings, called the Madnun corpus, attributed to Islam's greatest theologian, al-Ghazali (d. 505/1111). His discoveries are based on a survey of nearly 50 medieval Arabic manuscripts. Besides acquainting scholars with this remarkable new body of source material, his three-volume study also presents a critical edition of the most advanced and technical work of this corpus, the manual on metaphysics and natural philosophy called the Major Madnun.
Defending the Transgressed
On 23 July 2005, just days after the London bombings, Afifi al-Akiti wrote Defending the Transgressed by Censuring the Reckless against the Killing of Civilians (Arabic: Mudafi' al-Mazlum bi-Radd al-Muhamil 'ala Qital Man La Yuqatil), the foreword of which was described by Gibril Haddad as a "fatwa" or a "response by a qualified Muslim scholar against the killing of civilians". Furthermore:
Upon reading Shaykh Afifi's fatwa do not be surprised to find that you have probably never before seen such clarity of thought and expression together with breadth of knowledge of Islamic Law applied (by a non-native speaker) to define key Islamic concepts pertaining to the conduct of war and its jurisprudence, its arena and boundaries, suicide bombing, the reckless targeting of civilians, and more.
This work was first published freely available on the Internet. It was written in response to a statement issued by the radical group al-Muhajiroun, which refers to the 9/11 hijackers as the "Magnificent 19", and claims that while Muslims who live in the West are not allowed to wage war against the government, Muslims who live elsewhere do not face the same prohibition. In fact, the leader of al-Muhajiroun, Omar Bakri Muhammad, even argues that the British government had broken a supposed "covenant of security" with its Muslim citizens when it embarked on its anti-terror crackdown by introducing anti-terror legislation and indefinite detention of terror suspects. British Muslims therefore had every right to consider themselves at war with the government, he claims. Countering this argument, Afifi al-Akiti says that Omar Bakri has no authority to issue such a war directive as only a Muslim government could issue one. If a Muslim were to carry out such an attack, he would be a murderer and not a martyr or hero.
As a result of its huge online popularity, Defending the Transgressed was subsequently published as a book by Aqsa Press (Birmingham) and Warda Publications (Hellenthal, Germany) in September 2005. A year later the Defending the Transgressed appeared (as second edition) in The State We Are In  – a collection containing contributions on the same topic by other notable Muslim scholars, including the likes of Hamza Yusuf and Abdallah Bin Bayyah. Its third edition is published in 2009 as part of the Oxford Amnesty Lectures (OAL) 2006 series, War Against Terror.
- Introduction to Defending the Transgressed by Censuring the Reckless against the Killing of Civilians. Livingislam.org. Retrieved on 21 August 2011.
- fatwa.mell. (PDF) . Retrieved on 21 August 2011.
- "KFAS Fellow Appointed", OCIS News, no. 49 (Winter 2008), p. 2. Archived 11 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine. (PDF) . Retrieved on 21 August 2011.
- "Examinations and Boards: Appointment (Humanities Division)", Oxford University Gazette, vol. 139, no. 4876 (19 March 2009), p. 833.
- Safhras Khan, 'Pensyarah: Muslim perlu berfikiran global dan seimbang', Berita Harian Singapura (22 April 2009).
- Anak Melayu Pertama Menjadi Pensyarah di Universiti Oxford (lepasan dari sistem Pondok). YouTube (27 May 2011). Retrieved on 21 August 2011.
- Utusan Malaysia (3 July 2010)
- Buletin Berita Rtm. Youtube.com. Retrieved on 21 August 2011.
- The 500 Most Influential Muslims 2010, ed. Joseph Lumbard and Arif Ali Nayed, p. 102. (PDF) . Retrieved on 21 August 2011.
- King, Wan Azizah join top Muslim influence list (Malaysian Insider) Archived 17 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Themalaysianinsider.com (14 November 2010). Retrieved on 21 August 2011.
- Muslim berpengaruh: Senarai Malaysia naik, Nik Aziz bukan lagi 50 teratas Utusan Malaysia (14 November 2010) Archived 1 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Utusan-malaysia-online.com (14 November 2010). Retrieved on 21 August 2011.
- The Muslim 500 2011
- The Muslim News, no. 238 (27 February 2009) Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Muslimnews.co.uk (27 February 2009). Retrieved on 21 August 2011.
- "Sultan of Perak 83rd Birthday Honours List". Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- Blueprint, October 2011, p. 4 Archived 26 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine. (PDF) .
- "Sultan of Perak 84th Birthday Honours List". Archived from the original on 12 November 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- Raja Zarith Sofiah Heads Perak Honours List
- OCIS Fellows' Profiles, Dr Afifi al-Akiti Archived 12 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Oxcis.ac.uk. Retrieved on 21 August 2011.
- DPhil Abstract of M. Afifi al-Akiti, The Madnun of al-Ghazali: A Critical Edition of the Unpublished Major Madnun with Discussion of His Restricted, Philosophical Corpus. (PDF) . Retrieved on 21 August 2011.
- Dissertations on al-Ghazali. Ghazali.org (22 December 2008). Retrieved on 21 August 2011.
- Defending the Transgressed (Birmingham: Aqsa Press, 2005), 7.
- Defending the Transgressed. Livingislam.org. Retrieved on 21 August 2011.
- News Statesman, 5 November 2009. Newstatesman.com. Retrieved on 21 August 2011.
- fatwa.mell. (PDF). Retrieved on 21 August 2011.
- Terror links of the Tottenham Ayatollah. July 24, 2005 Archived 24 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- Defending the Transgressed (Birmingham: Aqsa Press, 2005), 19.
- Aftab Malik (ed.), The State We Are In: Identity, Terror and the Law of Jihad (Bristol: Amal Press, 2006).
- Chris Miller (ed.), War on Terror: The Oxford Amnesty Lectures Archived 19 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Us.macmillan.com (4 December 2009). Retrieved on 21 August 2011.
- A.H. Wentzel, Verbot von Angriffen. (PDF) . Retrieved on 21 August 2011.
- M. Hanel, Fatwa gegen Angriffe auf Zivilisten – orthodoxer sunnitischer Standpunkt. (PDF) . Retrieved on 21 August 2011.
- Profesor Rhamanicus, Contra la Matanza de Civiles: Defensa de las Víctimas Agredidas Por la Censura de los Temerarios. Legalidadguerra.blogspot.com. Retrieved on 21 August 2011.
- Fetva kundër veprimeve kamikaze Archived 26 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Erasmusi.org. Retrieved on 21 August 2011.
- "Slutordet i fatwan: Försvar av brottsoffren genom att fördöma de hänsynslösa mot dödandet av civila". Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
- "PMP 2011". pingat.perak.gov.my. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
- "DPCM 2012". pingat.perak.gov.my. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
- "DPMS 2015". awards.selangor.gov.my. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
- Texts by Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti
- Dr Afifi al-Akiti Faculty of Theology Staff Profile
- Dr Afifi al-Akiti Academia.edu Page
- OCIS Fellows' Profiles
- Anak Melayu Pertama Menjadi Pensyarah di Universiti Oxford
- Dr. Afifi al-Akiti @ Sudut Pandang Astro Awani
- The Hidden Treasure of Imam al-Ghazali
- Scholars and activists offer some wise words to the YMAG[permanent dead link]
- Buletin Utama TV3 – Bersama Dr. Afifi Al-Akiti
- New Statesman – Suicide Bombers
- Scholar Urges Ulama To Be Equipped With Other Knowledge
- Ulama Perlu Lengkapi Diri Dengan Pengetahun Lain, Kata Cendekiawan Oxford
- Penseur malaisien: Oulémas musulmans doivent apprendre les nouvelles sciences
- Muslim perlu hidupkan semula semangat penyelidikan (Berita Harian)
- Watch This Face: Dr Afifi al-Akiti (Emel, issue no. 62, Nov 2009)
- New Statesman – Suicide attacks are un-Islamic
- Syed Jaafar, Muhammad Afifi dilantik ahli majlis MAAIAMP (Utusan Malaysia)
- King, Wan Azizah join top Muslim influence list (Malaysian Insider)
- Muslim berpengaruh: Senarai Malaysia naik, Nik Aziz bukan lagi 50 teratas (Utusan Malaysia, 14 November 2010)
- Understand each other to prevent conflict (Brunei Times)