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A Few Basics

June 20, 2012

 

As time has passed and people have lost touch with the teachings, values and morals of Islām, together with constant scrutiny and objections aimed at its divine teachings, people have begun holding different viewpoints and opinions on core Islamic teachings.

 

Jihād, corporal punishment and Ḥijāb are just a some which many people, Muslims and Non-Muslims alike, raise objections on and harbour negative thoughts towards. Some label them oppression, others call it backward, and some deny their very existence in the Sharī‘ah.

Every individual leads his life governed by some form of guidelines or another, be it in the form of a religion, family traditions and customs, political protocols, or basic human values. No person is at liberty to do what he pleases, where he pleases and how he pleases, and it is down to the individual as to how many, or what guidelines he chooses to follow for himself. No human is ‘free’ or enjoys total freedom; there will always be something that restricts him in some way or form, be it a foreign element or something that he himself chooses.

 

When a person accepts Islām, he chooses for himself that his life be governed by its teachings; hence he opts to follow them out of his own free will. Anyone doing or following anyone or any law willingly cannot pick and choose what he wishes to follow and reject. Such a person is worthy of punishment, according to whichever system he follows. For example, a person living in a country where there is a ban on drugs is not permitted to consume drugs, no matter how strong the desire within him is to do so, or how unfit, backward or oppressive this law seems to him. If he goes along with his ideology that drugs should be legalised and starts consuming them, he will be breaking the law, therefore become deserving of punishment, regardless of his opinion on the matter. There is no escaping this law, unless he leaves the country and takes up residence elsewhere. Even then, there is no guarantee as to whether all the laws of that country will conform to his mind-set or ideology.

 

Islamic teachings are divine, fashioned by The Creator – who is flawless - himself, therefore free from any possible flaw. Who can know the creation better than The Creator Himself? The teachings of Islam are therefore fully compatible and compliment human life. Whether the wisdom behind each and every teaching is clearly understood or not, it can only be the best for mankind. This is the belief every believer should have. And put simply, if he rejects any manifest teaching and order, he leaves the fold of Islām, whether he knows it or not.

 

‘It is not open for a believing man or a believing woman, once Allāh and His messenger have decided a thing, that they should have a choice about their matter; and whoever disobeys Allāh and His messenger, he indeed gets off the track, falling into an open error.’ (33:36)[1]

 

As evident from the verse above, no believer has a choice to reject any command of Allāh and His Prophet ﷺ, because they are the highest authority. Their decree is final, and the truth. To doubt the authenticity of the Qur’ān is also disbelief, because an integral part of Islamic belief is accepting the Qur’ān as being unchanged since its revelation. If a person was to doubt the authenticity of the Qur’ān, he would not have a foundation upon which to build his Islam, because it would be founded upon doubt itself. Therefore, his belief would not be belief in reality, because he will always entertain the possibility that he could be wrong, and hence would still be searching for the truth. In doing so, he would be refuting many manifest verses of the Qur’ān, thereby clearly and undoubtedly leaving the fold of Islām.

 

Another fundamental source of Islam is the aḥādīth; the sayings and traditions of the Prophet of Allāh, Muḥammad ﷺ. Allāh says in the Qur’ān:

 

“…And whatever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatever he forbids you from, abstain (from it). And fear Allāh, indeed Allāh is severe in punishment.” (59:7)[2]

 

There are numerous verses in the Qur’ān that cannot be understood without referring to the aḥādīth of the Messenger ﷺ. A great example is Ṣalāh. The order to establish Ṣalāh has been given time and time again throughout the Qur’ān. However, there is no mention of how many times it is obligatory during the day; the number of units, nor even the method of prayer. All these details appear in the aḥādīth. Yes, the aḥādīth vary in authenticity, but that is an issue to be addressed by the qualified scholars. The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Let it not be so that I find any of you, carelessly saying with regards to any command of mine, “I do not recognise it; whatever I find in the book of Allāh (the Qur’ān) I follow.”’ (Abū Dāwūd, At-Tirmidhī and Ibn Mājah)[3]

 

How manifest and clear is this statement! There are many fellow Muslims who openly claim as such, or lay this claim through their actions. It is indeed a sorrowful state. How true this statement rings today! Having been recorded centuries ago, what greater evidence of the truthfulness of the aḥādīth can there be?

 

Hence, we need to recognise the truthfulness of our religion, accept it, follow it to the best of our ability, and not allow ourselves to be shaken by the hurricanes of doubt that pass our way. May Allāh grant us all the ability, Āmīn.

 

 

[1] وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ وَمَنْ يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُبِينًا (الأحزاب: ٣٦)

[2] وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانْتَهُوا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ (الحشر: ٧)

[3] حدثنا أحمد بن محمد بن حنبل وعبد الله بن محمد النفيلي قالا حدثنا سفيان عن أبي النضر عن عبيد الله بن أبي رافع عن أبيه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال  لا ألفين أحدكم متكئا على أريكته يأتيه الأمر من أمري مما أمرت به أو نهيت عنه فيقول لا ندري ما وجدنا في كتاب الله اتبعناه (رواه أبو داؤد)

حدثنا قتيبة حدثنا سفيان بن عيينة عن محمد بن المنكدر وسالم أبي النضر عن عبيد الله بن أبي رافع عن أبي رافع وغيره رفعه قال لا ألفين أحدكم متكئا على أريكته يأتيه أمر مما أمرت به أو نهيت عنه فيقول لا أدري ما وجدنا في كتاب الله اتبعناه (رواه الترمذي)

حدثنا نصر بن علي الجهضمي حدثنا سفيان بن عيينة في بيته أنا سألته عن سالم أبي النضر ثم مر في الحديث قال أو زيد بن أسلم عن عبيد الله بن أبي رافع عن أبيه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال لا ألفين أحدكم متكئا على أريكته يأتيه الأمر مما أمرت به أو نهيت عنه فيقول لا أدري ما وجدنا في كتاب الله اتبعناه (رواه ابن ماجه)

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