Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam
inauthenticity of the Hadith, there is another problem with the way Salafi
movements have understood it. The Hadith claims that the first three
generations of Muslims were the best ever Muslims, which might mean that there
were the most pious, but it does not state that they have discussed and covered
all aspects of Islam or that their understanding of certain Islamic practices
were supposed to be eternal. None of this is even hinted at in the Hadith, yet
this is how Salafi groups use the concept of Salaf. They take what the first
generations have said and done as the first and last word on everything. While
they accept that Islam is a religion for all times, they fail to realize that
this must mean that while its principles do not change, the way those
principles are applied are bound to change with time, place, and
Muslim world is
yet to liberate itself from the stranglehold of outdated dogmas, which have
nothing to do with the real teachings and the true spirit of Islam. Muslim scholars
and intellectuals must develop the spirit of free enquiry in finding the
answers to challenges of modernity while remaining faithful to Islam’s eternal
principles enunciated in the Holy Quran. Religious extremism and sectarianism
which are tearing apart the Muslim world must be abandoned. This is unlikely to
happen unless the Muslim governments give the pride of place to education and
encourage freedom of expression and moderation in their programmes, which is
not the case at present.....
One of the most pressing issues in the eyes of the early Muslims was the protection of Qur’an’s sanctity. Numerous times throughout the Qur’an and sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him), the Muslims are reminded that the Jews and Christians corrupted their texts over time, which now cannot be taken as authentic. As a result, early Muslims developed an isnad system for ensuring that the Qur’an and Hadith would not be subject to change by human error, either intentional or unintentional....
Islamic law is supposed to be dynamic, so as to retain its relevance to the needs of changing circumstances. In this regard, Ijtihad (independent reasoning) assumes primary significance, absent when traditional views hold sway. For the exercise of Ijtihad, it is imperative to face issues head-on by initiating the process of wider debate by scholars. To sweep them under the carpet with an ostrich-like attitude will get us nowhere....
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Hirsi Ali’s proposed reformation of Islam, on the other hand, is completely the opposite: it demands a gleaning of the Islamic scripture, itself. Not only that, it asks Muslims to abandon the very core of their faith: the Prophet Hood of Muhammad (PBUH) and the divinity of the Quran. That is like asking Christians to denounce their claim that Jesus Christ was the son of God....
M N Buch
Unfortunately the extreme Sunni sect of the Wahabis has steadfastly opposed Ijtehad, which is why under Wahabi’s influence the fundamentals of Islam have been converted into Islamic fundamentalism. Today it is this form of bigotry which has given Islam an extremely cruel face and set it in opposition to the rest of the world. One can only appeal to Muslim savants, religious leaders and those who are true believers to come out in the open and restore the fundamentals of Islam so that fundamentalism disappears....
Islam stands for love and affection, peace and amity, moderation and enlightenment. However, the shenanigans of the fraternity’s extremist strands have given handle to the compulsive detractors of our religion to depict it as a creed of violence and bloodletting....
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam
A thousand years have passed following this unanimous decision of the Ulema but yet the practice of Takfeer or declaring others Kafirs has still not stopped. This un-Islamic practice of Takfeer still continues among Muslims....
The Madressa Mix: Beneath the Surface
Syed Ali Shah, Manzoor Chandio and Ali Arqam
Mosques have always been described as community organisations, designed and built to involve the neighbourhood in the management of its affairs. Many Madressahs in Karachi arrived as mosques too, run and administered by mosque committees. Mosques located in commercial and business localities have a great advantage: traders and businessmen readily contribute to the income of the mosques and its Peshimam. Rent received from shops constructed along their boundary walls and other space leased out makes the mosque financially stable, and thereby, makes it easier to turn the mosque into a Madressah....
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Preciosa S. Soliven
Ijtihad is the application of reason and reinterpretation to the message of the Quran. It allows every Muslim to reconsider the message of the Quran for the changed circumstances of the 21st century.“What was true for the 9th century Mecca and Medina may not be the best interpretation of Allah’s message today....
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam
Shah Waliullah tried to strike a balance between the orthodoxy in Islam introduced by Ibn Taimiya and the Islamic heterodoxy championed by Sufis. He believed that Islam had two vital aspects. Its exoteric side was concerned with the protection of the public good but its esoteric aspect involved the purification of the heart through virtuous deeds......
The call for an "Islamic reformation" is ringing out across the world in response to the rise of Jihadi militant groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram, asking "Where is the Muslim Luther"? In the many opinion pieces and outright prescriptions gracing the pages of magazines, newspapers and blogs, one hears a clear message of "reform or die!" Given the menace posed by Muslim militant groups, this is neither surprising nor unreasonable....
These animals are not Muslims' valuable possessions or part of their wealth. So sacrificing animals does not mean sacrificing their valuable possession. So it turns into a mechanical rite rather than a spiritual practice. One wants to sacrifice Rs 20, 000 this year, so he goes to the cattle market and buys an animal worth that amount and then slays him on Eidul Adha. So what he sacrifices is his money and not an animal he loved.
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam
Islam is based on three foundations: the Quran, the Prophet’s practice or Sunnah, and Ijtihad. These three sources can be explained in other words as ideology, application and reapplication respectively....
Maulana points to the neglected issues like caste-based discrimination among the Indian Muslims as a consequence of “erroneous interpretations of the concept and rules of kufu or social parity that relate to marriage”. This, he notes, has made a complete mockery of Islam’s preaching on social equality and brotherhood. He refers to the sectarian rivalry “that has completely destroyed the unity of Muslim society”....
According to Holy Quran, any kind of deviation from the right of humanness is injustice. It includes all acts of injustice to others as well as all acts of impropriety (indecency and immodesty) corruption, perversion, and immorality....
Lessons on Saladin and chapters of the story of Gen. Uqba Ibn Nafi were among the first to be removed from Arabic-language classes, for addressing historical Islamic figures, causing much controversy. Some Quranic and religious provisions were also removed from the Islamic curriculum....
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
The Quran is a message for all mankind (12:104, 38:87, 68:52,81:27etc) and not just for the followers of Muhammad (pbuh), from the Lord of all the worlds (1:2, 2:131, 6:45, 7:61, 7:67, 7:104, 10:37, 32:2, 56:80, 69:43)and not simply the Lord of the Muslims alone. ...
Unfortunately however, both the Muslims and the non-Muslims treat the Quran as a book meant only for the followers of Muhammad (pbuh) and Allah as the Lord of only the Muslims.
This division of jihad came to be interpreted in Islam as meaning that the outer and less important physical struggle for Islam was over and had given way to the more important inner, moral struggle. The tragedy is that all terrorist organisations are dishonestly concealing this very significant Hadith from their followers....
Islamists view Sharia as the sole legitimate source of politics and government; consequently, they believe that Sharia must be enforced around the world by a powerful and expansive Islamic State….
In seven years, 2022, Islam will mark the 1,400-year
anniversary of Muhammad’s flight from Medina to Mecca. Before we reach that
seminal date, let Muslim voices from around the globe band together to remove
radical Islam and its practitioners from our faith....