Job the Quran impressive is not something through only by Muslims, who have an perceptiveness for the accumulation and who are encouraged with it; it has been labelled surprising by non-Muslims as healthy. In fact, still fill who emotion Muslimism rattling more bang ease called it awesome.
One statement which surprises non_muslims who are examining the accumulation very tight is that the Quran does not happen to them to be what they awaited. What they anticipate is that they hump an old volume which came cardinal centuries ago from the Arabian biome; and they look that the assemblage should examine something same that - an old production from the waste. And then they comprehend out that it does not resemble what they predicted at all. Additionally, one of the premier things that several people change is that because it is an old aggregation which comes from the wild, it should gossip almost the calif.. Well the Quran does tell some the desert - some of its imagery describes the desert, but it also talks about the sea - what its like to be in a storm on the sea.
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Saturday, March 23, 2013
For that justification, Muslims are required to submit their ability to God digit times a day by occurrence to God and act with him. Prayers are a effectuation through which a Muhammedan can sing to God regularly.
Praying has many benefits. One of the well-known reasons is that it allows somatogenetic utilise. All the prostrations that are performed in worship reckon apiece partition of the embody to advise in a factor pattern in which it receives instruct. Praying xlvii today a day equates to hear fin nowadays a day. All the requisite propose takes focalise which allows a embody to chisel the peculiar administer and modify unfaltering.
learning quran online
Praying has many benefits. One of the well-known reasons is that it allows somatogenetic utilise. All the prostrations that are performed in worship reckon apiece partition of the embody to advise in a factor pattern in which it receives instruct. Praying xlvii today a day equates to hear fin nowadays a day. All the requisite propose takes focalise which allows a embody to chisel the peculiar administer and modify unfaltering.
learning quran online
Posted by Fahim kamran mirza at 6:30 PM
Monday, January 21, 2013
Idea of Pakistan.
Before Partition, we asserted that the Muslims of the sub-continent had their distinct culture and way of life and needed a separate homeland where they could live and develop according to their own Ideology. The demand was conceded and Pakistan was established. The biggest Islamic State appeared on the map of the world.
But what thereafter? Pakistanis forgot completely that their State was created to give shape to their own Ideology. During the struggle for Pakistan our slogan of Islamic Ideology was not defined: It was not very necessary to do so then. After the establishment of Pakistan, it became absolutely essential that the slogan should be determined and defined categorically because otherwise even the first step towards achieving the objective of Pakistan could not he taken. But we ignored the objective, and sordid gains near at hand took the better of us.
We had a Constituent Assembly from the day Pakistan came into being. It was the duty of this body to define our Ideology, and then, on the basis of the definition, to formulate our Constitution. It did neither. Apparently the members of the Constituent Assembly were themselves not clear about the Ideology, and the pity of it is that they made no attempt, none whatsoever, to get together material which could help clarify their minds on the subject. May be it served their individual interests to drag on the constitution-making as long as they could.
Years rolled on, one after another, without producing a constitution. Every one talked of Islamic Ideology. We were engrossed in following alien ways bequeathed by the past. It took nine long years for the Constituent Assembly to give the country a constitution, a constitution of many compromises which adorned itself with the dignified name of "Islamic" but in fact had little to do with the fundamentals of Islam, except in their breach. The diseased constitution of 1956 met the fate it richly deserved and was abrogated in October 1958.
Meaning of Ideology.
The question before us is "What is Islamic Ideology"?
Ideology is, as you know, a philosophical term meaning the ‘Science of Ideas’. ‘Idea’ is again a subtle and very comprehensive term. It is unnecessary for our present purpose to go into the details of the term. Suffice it to say that ‘Idea’ means a basic concept, and that the basic concepts on which any ‘system’ is built constitutes its ‘Ideology’. Since Ideology pre-supposes the existence of a system, the question arises whether Islam is a ‘system’.
Mazhab and Deen.
Yes, Islam is a system. Islam is not a ‘religion’ in the ordinary sense of the word. Religion is the English equivalent for the Arabic word Mazhah, which does not occur even once in the whole of the Holy Quran. The Quran has, instead, used the word Addeen for Islam, which means a particular way of life.
The basic idea of Mazhah (religion) is that God, the god created by human imagination, is sitting somewhere away from the universe. He is like a king or a dictator. If someone incurs the king’s wrath, he is doomed and is subjected to all kinds of afflictions. The only way out is to humor the king by reciting his praises, flattering him, making offerings to him, seeking the intervention of those near about him, and so on. The moment the king is brought round, all the troubles vanish and are replaced by munificence, rich gifts, awards of honor, inclusion among the king’s trustworthies, and so on. Since the god created by man’s imagination is on the pattern of a king, the devotees of the god try to propitiate him by ‘means’ similar to those adopted for humoring a king. The ‘means’ so adopted are given the name of religious ceremonies or rituals.
According to this conception of God, man does not require to lead a gregarious or collective life. His relationship with his God is essentially an individual and private affair. In lonely seclusion he seeks through worship God’s forgiveness and bounties, and having done that, proceeds according to his sweet will, to engage in matters material and mundane. He is a religious person.
Religion in this sense came about at an early stage in human development when man was still ignorant of the "how and why" of the working of the universe or the threatening forces of nature lightning, clouds, floods, fire, disease, etc. and quite unable to hold his own against them. In that stage man trembled at the sight of everything more powerful than himself and in trying to appease it, made obeisance in complete surrender and submission.
As I have already said, religion is based on a conception of God which is the creation of man’s own imagination. There is another conception of God which has been vouchsafed to man through Revelation. According to the revealed conception, God is a Being who controls the entire universe and moves it on to its final destiny in accordance with certain inviolable laws. According to these laws, everything in the universe from its initial stage, grows, develops, and, in time, attains its full stature, like the seed which grows gradually into a huge tree. Man is no exception. There are God’s inviolable laws which govern man’s development also. According to the revealed conception of God and that conception of God alone can be true which He has given Himself the relationship between man and God comes about through the laws which He has designed for man’s development. To understand the Essence of God; and to know what He is, is beyond the scope of human intellect. What we can understand, however, are His laws which pertain to our development. The laws have been preserved in the Holy Quran. Those who follow them develop and go ahead: those who contravene them are deprived of growth like the seed which happens to be buried under hard soil.
Rule of Law.
A person living alone by himself needs no rules or regulations to guide his conduct. Rules become necessary when people live together. Far away from habitation in a jungle, it makes little difference whether one keeps to the right or to the left. In a city, however, it does make a difference because if the rule of the road is violated, untoward consequences follow forthwith. The revealed laws help mankind as a whole to live together amicably and peacefully. People living together, not as they please, but according to some law, become an organized society, bound together by a system or an order. The order, which the Holy Quran envisages, is termed Addeen, that is, a system for living collectively according to the revealed laws of Allah.
I may add here that the Quranic term for the principle according to which one should lead his life is Kalema qualified with the word tayyib. The meaning of tayyib generally is pleasant. but when used to qualify a tree, it refers to a tree which bears exquisitely fine fruit. Says the Holy Quran:
"Kalerna-e-tayvib is like a shajare tavvib, the roots of which hold the soil deep and firm, whose branches spread out in the sky high and wide and which bears fruit perpetually in conformity with God’s laws" (14/24).
Islamic Ideology, therefore, consists of never-changing principles or concepts of life capable of evolving, unhampered by the limitation of Time and Space, a universal social order for the good of humanity at large.
The comparison of Islamic Ideology with a tree has another noteworthy aspect. To ensure its growth, a seed should be healthy and capable of taking root, growing, blossoming and bearing fruit. Then, it is necessary that it should be taken care of in matters like preparation of soil, manuring, watering, supplying heat and light, protecting it against seasonal changes and ravages of insects and animals. The Holy Quran points to this aspect in its own inimitable way. It says that the healthy concept of life Ideology or kaIema-e-tayyiba revealed by God has the capacity to rise high towards Him, that is, it can attain the heights which He has destined for it. But it cannot rise high by itself: it is man’s co-operation which helps it rise. In Quranic parlance, Ideology makes up what we call Faith (Eemaan) and the means to give the Ideology a practical shape are termed A ‘maal-e-Saaleha. It follows, therefore, the Kalema-e-tayyiba or Ideology forms the objective of the Islamic Order and A‘maale Saaleha constitute the programme for attaining the objective. In the present context you can say that Ideology provides the ‘Objectives Resolution’ of an Islamic State, its ‘Constitution’ gives political form to the Resolution and its laws prescribe the programme for helping the people attain their destiny.
12. Two concepts of life Material concept.
There are two concepts of life. One is that man like other animals, is nothing but his physical body which lives according to the physical laws of nature and, after a time, according to the same laws, its mechanism ceases to function, bringing about its death with which the individual concerned comes to a final end. This is the mechanistic concept of life, and the social order which is based thereon aims at catering for the physical well-being of the people living within the State. The better the provision for the individual needs in abundance and with ease, the better the State.
This concept, in the view of the Holy Quran, degrades man to the animal level and is Kufr.
"And those who reject (the Quranic concept of life) avail of material things and eat and drink as do the animals, their abode is hell (whose fire reduces the dignity of man to ashes)" (47/12).
Quranic concept of life.
According to the other concept of life, man is something more than his physical body; he has, besides a physical body, a Personality or Self, which no one else in the animal world possesses. Human Personality is neither the outcome of material evolution nor is subject to physical laws. Every babe on birth gets Personality as a gift from God, whether born in a king’s palace or beggar’s hut, in the house of a Brahmin or an out-cast, or of Muslim or non-Muslim parents. The gift is, however, not in a developed form, but in a potential form with realizable possibilities. For the development of human Personality there are God-given laws, as there are laws for the growth of man’s body. If Personality develops according to its laws, it begins to manifest, within human limits what are, in their highest and limitless form, called Divine Attributes. A developed Personality does not disintegrate with the death of man’s body, but lives on and on through further evolutionary stages of life. The purpose of man’s life is the development of his Personality.
Gentlemen, you may be wondering that there is nothing new about what I have said. It is the same old story of ‘spiritual advancement’ narrated by sponsors of say Hinduism or Christianity. No, it is not the same thing; the two are entirely different. The sponsors of ‘spiritual advancement’ to whatever religion they may belong, believe:
that man’s body, nay the whole material world, is a hurdle in the way of spiritual advancement and must be cleared before any advance is possible;
that, for spiritual advancement man should discard the world, kill desires, hate and cast away material easements; and
that, therefore, it is essential that man should live individually, in seclusion, and, in order to get near God, should get away farther and farther from fellow-men.
Development of Personality.
The Holy Quran, on the other hand, says that for the development of human Personality man should:
gain control over the forces of the physical world and keep open his achievements, according to the laws of God, for the good and well-being of mankind at large;
should have all that is required to maintain life, since, without the egg-shell the embryo can never develop into a chicken; and
should lead a corporate life and establish a social order in which the physical needs of each and every individual shall be fully met and he shall have full opportunity and means for the development of his Personality.
A social order functioning in this manner becomes an Islamic State, which makes itself responsible. I repeat responsible, to see that every citizen is provided equitably with the basic needs of life as well as the means and opportunities for the development of his Personality.
State not an end in itself.
According to the Holy Quran, State is not an end in itself; it is a means to an end, the end being the development of man’s Personality, which it is impossible to achieve except in an independent country. Therefore, the justification for the establishment of an Islamic State, nay, for its very existence, is that it makes itself responsible for the development of every citizen, his Personality as well as his body. The State which fails to fulfil this responsibility cannot be called an Islamic State.
Relationship between individual and State.
The foregoing may lead one to conclude that in the Quranic Social Order responsibilities, one and all, devolve on the State, leaving little or nothing for the individual to do. Let us consider the point for a while. A glance at the history of man s social life is enough to show that from the very beginning the one problem which has baffled man has been that of the relationship between the State and the individual. Man has devised several social orders in which, when stress was laid on society or State, the individuality of the people went by the board, and when individuality received consideration, the State got disintegrated. The Holy Quran has given a social order in which both get stronger and firmer day by day, man’s individuality in integration and the State in cohesion and solidarity. The secret of Quranic Social Order lies in the unique relationship between the individual and the State which the Holy Quran has expounded. A few introductory remarks seem necessary to get a thorough grasp of the Quranic idea.
Obedience to God only.
The Holy Quran has declared in unequivocal terms that an individual, a society or a State has no right to claim obedience from any person, since obedience is due to God and God only. But we cannot see God nor have we ever heard His voice. How can then one obey Him? The answer is that obedience is not to God personally but to the laws He has revealed in the Quran. For securing obedience to law, however, it is necessary to have some properly constituted Enforcing Agency. The agency for enforcing God’s laws is the Islamic State and obedience to God means, in practice, obedience to the State which enforces His laws.
Fulfillment of God’s responsibilities.
But says God to the Islamic State since you take obedience from the people in My name, you should give them what I have promised to give, that is, fulfil the responsibilities which I have assumed in respect of mankind. If you fail to fulfil the responsibilities to people, you lose your right to their obedience. The two go together. Therefore, in the Quranic Social Order, the relationship between the individual and the State is a two-sided affair the individual obeys the laws of God through the Agency of the State and the State honors the promises God has made to man.
Contract between individual and State.
The relationship comes about through a mutual contract which the Holy Quran mentions in brief but very comprehensive terms. Says the Quran:
"Allah has bought horn the believers their lives and what they have of material things so that He may give them Jannah" (9/111).
The meaning of the verse is that the people entrust their lives and property to the State which undertakes to enforce the laws of God, and, in return, the State gives them Jannah. You know that there is a Jannah which is to come after a man’s death, but the Holy Quran uses the term Jannah also for the Social Order established here, on this earth, in which every individual is assured, and he is actually provided, all that is required for the development of his body and his Personality, and is free from want, anxiety and fear. According to the contract referred to above, therefore, the individual in offering obedience to the laws of God surrenders, without any compensation, his life and property to the Islamic State, and in return the State assumes full responsibility for providing him the basic necessities of physical life and all the means required for the development of his Personality. By this arrangement, the individual. even after surrendering his life and property to the State, preserves his Individuality or Self, nay helps it develop and gain in strength day by day, and on the other hand, the State gets established on firm and solid grounds. The laws of God through their observance by the individual as well as the State, ensure both the above objects.
Means of production.
It is obvious that the State will be unable to discharge its huge responsibilities unless the sources of sustenance and means of production are placed under its control. There is nothing startling about it. After the people surrender willfully their lives and all else to the State, the question of individuals owning anything ceases to exist. The means of production pass on quietly to the control of the State to enable it to fulfil its responsibilities of providing the people with the necessities of life and means for development of their Personality. But mind you, by this control over means of production the Islamic State does not become at par with a Communist State. There is a world of difference between the two. A Communistic State, or for the matter of that, any Secular State, has no inviolable principles to guide or control its activities. An Islamic State is, however, bound irrevocably by inviolable principles given by the Holy Quran.
There are, as stated above, laws governing the growth of the human body and laws for the development of his Personality. The Holy Quran calls the latter laws Kalemaat Uliah and says they are inviolable. Kalemaat is the plural of kalema, a term which, as already stated, the Quran uses for Ideology. Therefore, Kalemaat UIlah would mean the concepts of life which. taken together, make up Islamic Ideology and admit of no change. In the words of the Holy Quran:
"The Kaleima revealed by the Nourisher has been made complete in truth and justice. There is none who can change His concepts" (6 116).
In other words Islamic concepts of life (ideology) are complete as well as unchangeable. They constitute Inviolable Principles or Permanent Values and it is through observing them that the development and integration of human Personality comes about. Since the provision of the means of’ this development is the essential responsibility of the Islamic State, its entire activity will be guided throughout by the God-given Inviolable Principles or Permanent Values. Observance of Permanent Values results, in the life of an individual, in showing up, within human limits, Divine attributes. For instance, God is Aleem (all knowing) and Khabeer (fully informed). A developing Personality will imbibe these qualities as far as may be possible within human limits, and become Aleeni and Khabeer within the sphere of human activities. Similarly, in consonance with God’s attributes of Robubiyyat and Razzaqiyyat a developing Personality must cherish the feeling for helping others in their development and in giving them preference over itself. The criterion for judging whether a Personality is or is not developing, is the extent to which it manifests those attributes, limited of course to man’s restricted sphere.
State symbol of Divine Attributes.
Similarly when a State bases itself and its programme on Permanent Values it will manifest Divine Attributes much more prominently than an individual. The distinguishing feature of an Islamic State is that, within due limits, it brings out a manifestation of Divine attributes here, there and everywhere throughout its activities. It means that
the administration in an Islamic State is conducted on the basis of Permanent Values:
The State becomes a symbol of Divine Attributes guaranteeing fulfillment of God’s promises: and
that the individual is busy always striving hard to imbibe in himself through the Islamic Society, Divine attributes as best as he can.
There is little difficulty in determining whether a State is or is not Islamic, since the Holy Quran has dealt at great length with Permanent Values as well as Divine Attributes.
The final position in a nutshell is:
that Islamic Ideology is another name for Permanent Values or Inviolable Principles elaborated in the Holy Quran;
that an Islamic State is established for the sole purpose of introducing Permanent Values in life;
that the first and foremost duty of an Islamic State is to provide means for the growth and development of the human body as well as Personality; and
that a State is known to be Islamic from its being a symbol of Divine Attributes detailed in the holy Quran.
Let us now take up some of the Quranic Permanent Values.
Respect man as man.
Every human being, solely on account of his being a human being, deserves to he respected.
Says the Holy Quran:
"And verily we have made children of Adam deserving of respect" (17/70).
The verse makes no distinction between black and white, poor and opulent, believer and unbeliever, caste or creed, but is of general application embracing one and all of the human species.
What distinguishes man from other animals is the gift which every child gets at birth from God, namely human Personality, The respect is, in fact, due to human Personality, the basic characteristic of which is freedom and it is every soul’s freedom that has to be recognized and honored.
Humanity is one.
Says the Holy Quran:
"The whole of humanity is one entity" (2/213).
What militates against the oneness of mankind is its division into groups tribe, party, sect, nation on the men-made basis of distinctive interests as opposed to the general interest of all.
But it is the good of all which has the capacity to endure. In the words of the Holy Quran:
"That which benefits humanity as a whole, endures on this earth. (13/17).
To bring about universal brotherhood of man mere expressions of good-will, amity and tolerance won’t do; it requires a dynamic social order, built on the basis of Permanent Values to realize it. And the first and the foremost objective which the Quranic Social Order or an Islamic State has in view, is the interest of the entire humanity and moulding it into one in-divisible whole.
No individual shall enforce his will on another; all will obey voluntarily the revealed laws of Allah through the agency of an Islamic State which undertakes to enforce those laws.
Says the Holy Quran:
"No one whom Allah has given a code of law and authority to enforce the law and whom He has favored with Revelation. shall tell people ‘Obey me’ and not Allah, but will say that through obedience to the Book, which you read and study. You should help nourish one another." (3:78)
Free is he who hasn’t to toe another’s line but obeys, out of his own free will, laws of Allah and such of man-made laws as conform to those laws.
Man shall live a life of cooperation with fellow men and not a secluded life.
The Quranic injunction is
"Co-operate in what will add to life’s richness and help safeguard God’s laws, and co-operate not in slackening or going beyond those laws" (5/2).
Co-operation will, however, be in matters which help man’s development. Willing cooperation by one helps him integrate his Personality; working under duress disintegrates it. Unhealthy social order not only condones duress but encourages it by applying the lever of want. Islamic Social Order, on the other hand, makes itself responsible to see that no citizen is stranded by non-fulfillment of wants and is thereby exposed to duress.
The Holy Book says:
"Verily Allah ordains justice" (16/90).
Honoring of Rights is justice. Take what is your due and nothing more: give with full measure what is due to others: where there are more than one contestant, every one of them should get his due and nothing less. Justice gives confidence and security. Every citizen has a right to be provided with work, basic necessities of life and means of development of his Personality. Islamic Social Order assumes the three-fold responsibility and discharges it, as best as it can, with due regard to the inviolable principle of justice.
Restoring disturbed proportions.
The Quran ordains:
"Verily Allah ordains justice and restoration of disturbed proportions’ (16/90)
Ehsaan is derived from husn which is beauty or proportion. In nature there is beauty and proportion everywhere: so it behooves man that his own self as well as things round about him should not be lop-sided. Proportion might be disturbed here and there. Islamic Social Order cannot stand disturbance and tries to restore proportion without delay in accordance with the Inviolable Principle of Ehsaan. Old age, illness, accident, additions to family, etc., strain .the family income. Unless the deficiency is made good in time suffering must follow. By assuming the responsibility for supplying the basic needs of citizens an Islamic State is always prepared to make up the deficiency and to restore the disturbed equilibrium in the life of the family concerned. The reaction of the State is equally prompt if and when similar disturbances of proportion might occur in national affairs.
The Holy Quran says:
"And they determine their affairs by mutual consultation" (42:38).
That is, consultation at all levels, in petty affairs concerning individuals or in matters of national or international importance.
Islamic Social Order is essentially democratic with the rider that discussions shall always respect the Quranic fundamentals and never infringes them.
The Holy Quran concerns itself mainly with broad principles of life and very little with detailed instructions. The underlying plan is, as explained by the Holy Book itself, that Muslims in all ages and inhabiting different parts of the world, should be free, within the ambit of the Quranic fundamentals, to determine details to suit their particular circumstances.
Islamic State accepts Quranic principles as its basis and keeping them in view, frames by the method of consultation and discussion, whatever laws are needed to meet new situations as they develop from time to time in different ages and localities. Present day democratic legislatures are bound solely and wholly by the rule of the majority, which is liable to change with every change in the political atmosphere. Islamic legislatures, on the other hand, stand on the bed-rock of Inviolable Quranic Principles and from that firm pedestal set themselves whole-heartedly to the task of framing laws for serving the best interests of the people.
Pooling of surpluses.
Pooling of individual surpluses for the good of all is a Permanent Value. The Quranic injunction is:
"And keep open what is surplus to needs for us in the way of Allah" (2/195)
Infaaq is derived from nafq which means a tunnel or a covered passage with both ends open. Wealth comes in at one end, stays inside while it is being used to provide needs of the earner, but through the other end the surplus remains available for use for collective purposes.
Varying capacities for work result in bigger or smaller incomes, leaving deficiencies here and surpluses there. Man-made social orders feel unconcerned or helpless and leave the situation to seek its own adjustment. The result is misery for many and luxury for a few, the latter trying always to perpetuate and even enhance the disparity. Islamic Social Order, on the other hand, tackles the situation boldly and rationally, pools the surpluses and uses them to bring about social equilibrium.
Says the Holy Quran:
"You are a dynamic society drawn out for the good of mankind, you enforce the recognized (lawful) and prohibit the unrecognized (unlawful) and have faith in (the laws of) Allah - (3/109).
The existence among mankind of a people who will, subject to the Inviolable Principles of the Holy Quran, champion freedom of individual will, enforce respect for law, and stop unlawful activities with a stern hand, is one of the Inviolable Principles.
Brotherhood of the human race is a charming idea. But it cannot be achieved by verbal professions of high sounding slogans, in the name of tolerance and religious amity. The effective method for establishing universal brotherhood of man is that a social order should be created on the basis of universal principles, that it should adopt those principles in practical life and that it should then become a living nucleus for gathering people around and realizing the dream of oneness of humanity. This dynamic social nucleus will generate centrifugal forces out of freedom of will and its achievements. It will recognize no criterion for merit other than what an individual actually is.
I have cited before you, very briefly indeed, some of the permanent Values given by the Holy Quran. They should, I hope, help you form an idea of where and how far the Holy Book would take humanity in its evolutionary progress.
The considerations set forth before you lead to the following three-fold conclusion:
Islamic Ideology connotes the sum total of Permanent Values or Inviolable Principles which have been preserved in their complete and final form in the Holy Quran.
Islamic State is a state which adopts Quranic Permanent Values as its ideal.
Islamic Constitution is the document which proclaims the above ideal and details the plan according to which the edifice of the State will rise solid and firm on the basis of Quranic Inviolable Principles.
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Posted by Fahim kamran mirza at 12:18 PM
One of the marvels of the Quran is its style. When dealing with a subject, whether facts about the universe or the deep mysteries of the human brain, the language is simple, clear, eloquent, and highly focused. As a result of this highly focused way of expression, this comprehensive revealed book of nature and complete code of conduct is so small that if it is printed in fine English type, it will not spread over more than a few pages.
Here is an example of this highly focused way of expression: Prophet Mohammad (P) had been preaching the Quranic way of living to the people of Mecca for quite some time, and they had been vehemently opposing it. Finally one day the Prophet (P) told them that instead of having lengthy discussions he wanted to have a very brief word with them. The Meccans did not mind listening to a few words. When the Prophet (P) found them willing, he told them the word is very important and worthy of their full attention, but if it is inconvenient for everyone to pause, then one or two people at a time can stop and listen. When the people became psychologically attentive he told them that all he had to say was, "Be in the habit of reflecting." (34:46)
In these few words the Quran has brought to light many hidden facts of human life. The real significance and true import of these thought provoking words can only be appreciated by those people (nations) who are aware of the power and scope of human intellect and imagination. Suffice it to say that the Quran constantly exhorts Muslims to reason, think, reflect, and deliberate. It goes so far as to say, "the people who do not use these faculties are not human beings. They are living their lives on the animal level, even worse than that. These are the cursed people." (7:179)
THE IMPORTANCE OF THINKING
Just repetition or growth and development?
When the Quran says that those who do not utilize their mental faculties are living like animals, firstly it brings to light the power and importance of human intellect, and secondly, it gives insight into the history of creation and evolution. According to the Quran, as supported by modern scientific discoveries, life (not the life of an individual or a species) started with the creation of a single cell. This single cell, through evolutionary processes reached the human form. In this evolutionary journey of life there are two points worth noting:
Any species that shuns the struggle of life at a particular stage of its evolution remains at that stage and does not evolve any further. Goats can only reproduce other goats like itself. In other words, when a species stagnates at a particular stage of evolutionary life, its life ceases to be evolutionary and it becomes cyclic.
Every species that evolves into a higher form obtains more mental capability that it had in its previous form. When a species ceases to evolve, the growth in its power of thinking comes to a halt as well. When life evolved into human form, its mental capability was termed thought or imagination. The capability to reason and reflect is a human trait. Animals do not have this capability, this is why people who do not use their God given mental abilities are considered worse than animals—animals have not been given creative thought, they use instinct.
People with superficial knowledge usually reject the validity of the theory of evolution on the grounds that human beings did not evolve into a higher species. They ignore the fact that evolution no longer takes place in bodies or forms. The evolution of life into human form is the beginning of intellectual evolution and this evolution is still taking place. Consider from an intellectual point of view that the cave dwellers of hundreds of thousands of years ago and the moon conquering humans of today belong to the same species. When it comes to intelligence, today’s humans are definitely different than the cave dwellers of long ago.
The purpose of divine revelation is to activate and polish the human intellect and increase its field of activity. The Quran constantly appeals to reason and experiment. It says, "These people do not ponder and reflect on the Quran. It seems as if their minds have locked themselves up from the inside so that nothing can get into them." (47:24). According to the Quran, those people who readily believe in anything without first questioning or thinking over it are not Mumineen. While describing the traits of the Mumineen Allah says, "these are the people who do not accept without scrutiny and deliberation." (25"73) They accept His signs on the basis of knowledge and insight. As far as the vastness of the field of human thought and reflection is concerned, the Quran says, "Allah brings forward the clues and hints in such a fashion thereby enabling you to reflect on this life and the hereafter." (2:219)
By bestowing human beings with mental abilities, Allah distinguished them from animals, and by bringing the hereafter into the purview of thought, believes have been differentiated from the nonbelievers. Thus Ad-Deen (Islam) means the use of thought and reflection in both lives, in this world and in the hereafter.
As we have already seen, according to the theory of evolution, human intelligence is ever developing and increasing. Therefore, the level of mental abilities of the people of a particular period in history cannot be considered the benchmark. The above mentioned verses (47:24, 25:73, 2:219) describe Allah’s ordained way of living (Islam). Man made religion endorses quite the opposite view. It considers the intellectual achievements of a particular period in history as the benchmark and rules out any further progress and development. Such attitude brings human life down to the level of animals where the purpose of life is repetition and maintenance of the status quo. Following the footsteps of one’s forefathers as the purpose of life and allowing no change or development is called conformity (taqleed). The word Taqleed is derived from the word qaladah (collar). A collar is used to keep animals under control and to use them as desired. Pondering the meaning of the word conformity (taqleed) shows its effect on human beings. It discourages thought and reflection because first, it is not based upon reason and second, century old thoughts cannot stand the test of modern times. Instead of admitting its own fallibility and incompleteness, religion forbids the use of reason. By this deception religion insulates itself from all the ill effects of "disbelief" and "heresy." If someone challenges and criticizes such an attitude, the religious establishment incites the masses to condemn the heretics because their ancestor’s school of thought is being threatened. Conformity devoids the masses of thought and reason. When they are incited emotionally their fury erupts like a volcano. The worst thing in the world that can happen is when ignorance jumps into action and takes the law into its own hands. Religion can buy some time by using such tactics, but permanence is not its fortune. Religious minded nations always lag further behind nations that use their imagination. Modern nations keep progressing and gaining strength while "Islamic" nations stagnate and become weak to the point there they cannot defend themselves. With the passage of time they wither away and in the words of the Quran, "Neither heaven nor earth shed a tear over their demise." (44:29)*
Studying and exploring the Universe
As mentioned earlier, the Quran stressed reflection on both worlds, i.e., this world and the hereafter. This world means the outer physical universe. Allah states that "the heavenly bodies and earth have been brought under control for you (human beings) by Allah. There are signs for those who think and reflect." (45:13)
The universe is controlled by the laws of nature, which are permanent and unchangeable. These laws are made by Allah but can be discovered by human thought. By discovering the laws of nature, hidden forces can be brought under control and utilized for the benefit of humanity. With the ongoing development of human knowledge, there will be more and more opportunities for the conquest of nature.
When religion declares the intellectual achievements of a particular time in history as the last word, human knowledge freezes at that level and intellectual stagnation sets in. Whenever a scholar or scientist makes a new discovery based on modern thought and knowledge he is condemned to death by the religious establishment on the grounds of heresy. This happens simply because these new revelations are not in line with the thoughts of ancestors. European Christian history of 16th and 17th century is the history of conflict between religion and science. In that era scientists like Galileo and Copernicus were persecuted simply because they said that the earth was round and that it revolved around the sun. Finally western nations got tired of religious interference and emancipated themselves from its hold. As a result, today they are capable of reaching the moon. Their priests, even today, say the universe came into being on some specific date. Nobody pays attention to this kind of talk outside the four walls of the church.
DIVINE VALUES OF LIFE
Developed nations do not believe in the hereafter. In other words they do not believe in Allah’s law of requital. This means that these nations do not believe the spiritual side of life, which checks the excessive forces of the material side and thus maintains equilibrium. As a result, the more these nations progress in conquering the forces of nature, the more they turn the world into a living hell, all the while dragging the whole of humanity into it because of the clash of their mutual self-interests. According to Dr. Iqbal, the modern civilization is suffering from self-inflicted wounds. It has made tremendous strides in the fields of science and technology but cannot solve human problems.
The Quran has brought both this world and the hereafter into the scope of human thought. Thought, pertaining to this world, represents various branches of scientific knowledge. Western nations, free from religious constraints, are working hard to acquire more and more scientific knowledge. Acquiring scientific knowledge is prescribed as a duty for every Muslim in the sixth century. From among many Quranic verses on the subject, only one is being quoted here. It says, "Have you ever pondered the system that brings rain (the water cycle)? What are the laws governing the production of various crops, and flowers and fruits of different varieties and colors? Have you ever pondered the structure of mountains? These mountains look like unwieldy heaps of rock, but their different colors point towards an evolutionary system. Human beings, animals and cattle are of many different kinds and each species has its unique properties." (35:27-28) These two verses cover quite a few different fields of scientific knowledge. After this statement the verse continues, "The Book of nature is for everyone but only those who bow to the awe-inspiring grandeur of its laws, who think and reflect upon these in the light of knowledge and discernment. These are the people who are really entitled to be called ulema." In light of the above verses the word ulema can only be translated as scientist. When Islam was practiced as a way of life, only a scientist was called an aalim.
When the Quranic way of life was downgraded to a religion, research in various branches of knowledge came to a halt. Scientific knowledge became synonymous with blasphemy and heresy. Whatever concepts about the universe were prevalent at that time became the last word on the subject. Thinking or saying anything against or different from those concepts was deemed as apostasy. For example, according to religious beliefs man was made of clay. A rib was cleaved to create woman from him. These two individuals initiated the spread of the human race. The first man (Adam) was 60 yards tall. The sky was a lump of glass and stars were studded in it like jewelry. The sun slept under Allah’s throne every evening and angels brought it back up every morning. Hell is allowed to breathe only twice a year; when it breathes out, we get summer, when it breathes in, we get winter. The earth is flat and stationary. The tribes of Israel which were lost were borne in the form of mice, etc. etc. these are the saying of the ahadith in Bukhari. If anyone refuses to believe in even one of these sayings he or she is declared a kaafir by the religious establishment. The other nations of the world have progressed a lot, but because of intellectual inertia, we Muslims lag far behind and depend on these developed nations in every walk of life. The religious establishment not only opposes the acquiring of modern knowledge, it even does not allow one to benefit from scientific inventions. Use of the radio is undesirable. Watching t.v. is a sinful act, because it depicts human forms. Only the devil talks on the phone. Organ grafting is forbidden. When the astronauts landed on the moon our religious establishment refused to believe it on grounds that the moon’s surface is such that no man can set foot on it. The Prophet (P) pointed his finger and broke the moon into two halves. One half passed from under his right arm and the other passed under his left arm. In our society people who present such "theories" are called ulema (scientists). The difference between an Islamic scientist and a religious scientist is vast.
PREPARATION FOR THE HEREAFTER: PROGRAM FOR THE FUTURE
This inactivity in the field of studying and exploring the world around us and failure to take advantage of the bounties of nature makes our life poor, miserable, and meaningless. Lack of thought and preparation for the life in the hereafter makes us losers in both worlds.
To prepare us for the hereafter, the Quran makes mandatory the establishment of a social structure based upon divine values. The characteristics of these values and principles are as follows:
Like the laws of nature these values are not the creation of the human mind, they are made by Allah.
These values, like the laws of nature, are permanent and unchangeable.
Laws of nature can be discovered by human thought and experiment, but these values and principles are provided to humans by Allah through His prophets an revelations. These values in their final, complete, and unchangeable form can only be found in the Quran. Human thought and reflection with the passage of time, is testament to the truthfulness of these values and principles.
The laws of nature and the revealed values both work in the same manner. The laws of nature, like lasting principles, are firm and unchangeable. Human ingenuity, in the light of these laws, derives new theories, makes new revelations, and goes on making inventions of different kinds. Likewise, in a society that is established upon divine revelations, the revealed values and principles provide unchangeable boundaries. The society, within this framework draws up operational details as demanded by the needs of the permanent values. The operational details provide the society with up to date mechanisms to implement the revealed values, and are regularly updated in accordance with the changing times and the development of human thought. These values and principles are themselves are not subject to change. The operational or administrative details, in religious terminology, are called the Code of Religious Law (Shariat). The method through which deletion and addition, modification and reform, continues is called the exercise of judgement or innovation (ijtihad). This means to innovate through intellectual exertion, i.e., the use of thought and reflection, which the Quran so avidly supports.
CHANGE OF DIRECTION
As long as Islam retained its pristine form, i.e., a system of life based on divine values, the system functioned in the manner mentioned above. There was rule of human thought within the framework of divine values. Afterwards when the Muslims lost the thread of reality, Islam was degraded to a religion. The substance of Deen gave way to token beliefs and lifeless rituals. The ummah was shackled by tradition. At this juncture two things happened:
Intellectual activities came to an end. Human thought among Muslims froze at the level of the time period when Islam was changed into a religion.
With this change, ijtihad became undesirable. The shariat which was enacted to fulfill the needs of that particular time, was declared permanent and immutable. This religious code of law is also known as fiqh. This change of direction as a whole took place during the period of the Abbassid monarchy. The imprint of this dictatorship on the laws of the land was inevitable.
Today the Muslim nations, when it comes to progress in the material world as well as in the world of values, stand exactly at the same spot as they did during the Abbassid period and this status quo is the result of self imposed intellectual paralysis. There is no curiosity, no motivation, no thought and reflection, no research, and no pondering. Laws and principles, customs and traditions, and the tenets of the Abbassid period have become the standard of judgement between things Islamic and non-Islamic. Anything different or modern is labeled non-Islamic. Living within the framework of God-given laws, principles and guidelines is not the Islamic way of life anymore. On the contrary, blindly following the customs and traditions and man-made laws of the Abbassid monarchial period is thought to be the "real Islam".
The code of law enacted during that period is called fiqh and the system is called the fiqhi school of thought. The original meaning of the words tafaqquh-fid-deen was the understanding of the right program in the Quran. And this understanding meant that the entire purpose of the Quranic message to man should be kept in view. Thus the word fiqh, taken from that expression, which is now called Islamic jurisprudence, had an original meaning quite distinct from what is now attached to it.
The fiqh was compiled by human beings. No matter how venerable and reputable those individuals were, they were still humans. Only Allah’s laws have the characteristic of being eternal and unchangeable (6:116). Giving the same status to man-made laws is to equate them with the laws of Allah, and this is tantamount to shirk. One of the fundamentals of the Quran is that it does not assign sovereignty to any individual or group; sovereignty rests with Allah alone. The Quran states this fact unequivocally when it declares, "No human being, even if Allah blessed him with the code of law, administrative powers, and the office of prophethood, has the right to command the people to follow him and not to follow Allah. He can only tell them to follow the Book which they can read, reflect upon and to become the party of Allah." (3:79)
There is a practical flaw as well in making man made laws perpetual and unchangeable. The laws enacted a thousand years ago might have been good enough to fulfill and satisfy the needs of that time, but in no way can those laws serve the purpose and achieve the objectives of a time period of a thousand years. They cannot fit into changed environments. This is common regarding human lawmaking. A law is drafted very carefully, legislators discuss it thoroughly two or three times, amendments are made, legal experts scrutinize it point by point, and after going through this painstaking process, while it is being printed there arises the need for some new amendments. This is the state of affairs of human lawmaking today. And this kind of painstaking care in law making was not available a thousand years ago. We can get some devotional comfort by making the laws of a bygone era permanent and unchangeable. But we cannot get any practical help from them in dealing with the problems and needs of the daily life of today.
In the early days, dissent with fiqh was not objectionable. According to Dr. Iqbal’s research from the first to the fourth century, not less than 19 schools of law and legal opinion appeared in Islam. Some of these schools of thought, like Hanafite, Hambilite, Shafiite, etc. etc. still exist. At a later stage the school of thought of our forefathers was given the status of deen itself, and any innovation through thought and reflection (ijtihad) became sinful. At that point in time each sect sanctified its own school of thought and in order to preserve and safeguard it, any deviation from it was made an un-Islamic act.
An interesting and very important question arises at this point. When nobody denies the fact that all the makers of these fiqhi laws were human beings, why do the laws made by them get such a sacred status? They did so because the Muslim masses were at that time (and still are) being made to believe that these laws were not the creation of these jurists but rather were based upon the sayings of the prophet Muhammad (P). any dissent from or objection to these laws became synonymous with the rejection of the prophet’s sayings and traditions (ahadith), and such an act is tantamount to blasphemy. By attributing these laws to the prophet Muhammad (P), any discussion of them is pushed out of the domain of thought and reflection and becomes a matter of feeling and emotion, and when this happens, the sanctity attached to it puts it beyond any criticism, thereby creating an explosive situation.
THE MYTH OF NON BELIEF IN THE PROPHET’S (P) SAYINGS
It was explained above how the fiqh has been sanctified and put beyond any criticism. As a result the moment someone questions or objects to these laws, which in reality were exacted by the jurists, it is publicized widely that such person does not believe in the sayings and traditions of prophet Muhammad (P). One can easily imagine to what extent such publicity can inflame the public’s emotions. This is the technique being practiced so successfully to keep the fiqhi laws above any criticism.
This is an extremely delicate situation. With utmost regard for the feelings of the above-mentioned persons, I will try to explain and bring to light the truth regarding the supposed inkaar-e-hadith and inkaar-e-sunnah. Does this purported rejection really amount to the rejection of hadith and sunnah, or is it the rejection of something else? Let us examine this question carefully. I would like to mention at this point that I am only addressing those people who prefer thought and reflection to emotions.
First of all it is important to express my Iman on the subject: as far as I am concerned, anyone who doesn’t believe in the truthfulness of the Prophet’s (P) sayings or deeds cannot be considered a Muslim. The reason is that the words and deeds of the Prophet (P) constitute the very model which has been designated by Allah as the "best role model" (uswah-I-hasanai) for Muslims to follow. Rejection of this model amounts to the rejection of the prophethood itself as well as the commands of Allah. That is why Allah Himself has safeguarded that model (uawah) by preserving it in the Quran itself.
Having said this, a question arises: if the inkar-e-hadith and sunnah, which draws religious verdicts of blasphemy and heresy, is not the real issue (since both agree that it is incumbent on Muslims to follow the Prophet’s (P) model), then what is the point of contention? To deal with this question we have to know the proper position of hadith and sunnah.
Nobody can deny the facts that:
The Prophet (P) neither compiled a collection of his sayings nor put his seal of approval on a collection gathered by someone else. The only thing left by him for the ummah was the Quran.
The first four caliphs did not compile a collection of the sayings of the Prophet (P).
Approximately 200 years after the death of the prophet, some individuals by their own initiative, started collecting sayings that people attributed to the Prophet (P). There are six individuals whose collections are called "sihah sitah" by the Sunni Muslims. Shia’s have their own collections. Incidentally, all the collectors of these ahadith were Iranian—none of them was Arab. Amongst these venerable individuals, I will be specifically talking about only Imam Bukhari. What I say about him is also applicable to the others.
Imam Bukhari has written that the total number of sayings he verbally heard from people was 600,000. The people who narrated these sayings to Imam Bukhari were not contemporaries of the Prophet, because there was a 200 year lapse between them. None of these narrators claim that he personally heard the Prophet say such and such thing. What narrators actually did was hear a particular saying from one person who in turn heard it from another person, who heard it from yet another person, and in this way the chain is ultimately linked to the Prophet.
Suppose a witness testifies in a court of law that he himself did not see the actual crime, but that he is just recounting whatever he heard from another person. The court would throw out his testimony. This is because facts (and not hearsay) constitute acceptable testimony. Then how can the hearsay of several narrators spread over 200 years become reliable testimony?
However, besides this long chain of narrators (isnad) the sayings of the prophet have not been passed on verbatim. The first narrator passed on in his own words whatever he understood from the statement of the prophet. Every narrator in turn passed on his own summary of the account given by the previous narrator. In this way the process was repeated several times and the sayings of the prophet became available to Imam Bukhari.
To illustrate the effect of this oral passage, lets create a scenario. Suppose you are in a room. You whisper something to a friend sitting next to you. Then he whispers the same sentence as well as he can remember to the next person. This process goes on until the last person in the room whispers it back to you. You would be surprised how your statement can be completely altered and twisted. This is just one example of how meanings change in a single sitting. Just imagine what would have happened to the meaning of a statement by the time it reached a collector of hadith 200 years later. This is the process by which 600,000 statements of the Prophet (P) reached Imam Bukhari. He selected approximately 6000 of those and rejected all the others. If repetitions are not counted then we have close to 3000 ahadith. Imam Bukhari, not being a contemporary of the prophet, obviously could not get all these ahadith certified by the prophet. Bukhari included all those ahadith in his collection which in his opinion were acceptable and rejected all those which he thought were not genuine, his personal thoughts and opinions being the standard of judgement for the acceptability of a hadith. Case in point: there is a difference of opinion between Iman Abu Hanifah on whether iman can increase or decrease. Because of this difference, Imam Abu Hanifah is not reliable or trustworthy according to Bukhari. Furthermore, since Abu Hanifah was a resident of Koofa, all the people who resided in Koofa were unreliable as well. Iraq, being the country in which Koofa is located, fell into the same category. Imam Bukhari declared that if Iraqis narrate 100 ahadith, 99 of them should be rejected outright and the remaining one should be viewed with suspicion. Similarly, Imam Abu Zer’ah and Imam Abu Hatim questioned the credibility of Imam Bukhari. Bukhari and Muslim are considered to be the two most authentic collections of hadith, and yet Imam Muslim used to taunt Bukhari about his trustworthiness.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS AND THE SELECTION OF AHADITH
Mr. Abdus Samad Sarim wrote an article about the biography of Imam Bukhari in the June 1981 issue of a New Delhi magazine. He writes:
Imam Bukhari invested his wealth, which he inherited from his father, in various sleeping partnerships. He lived on the proceeds from his investments and spent all his time in collecting the ahadith.
He used to make 500 dirhams a month by trading in slaves.
Evidently, while making selections from the ahadith he probably selected those that declared proceeds from sleeping partnerships and the slave trade as lawful. This is not restricted to these two circumstances; he selected only those ahadith which were in accordance with his personal thoughts and beliefs. The point is that Bukhari all the other collectors included only those ahadith in their collections which in their opinion were authentic and genuine.
THE EXAMINERS AND APRAISERS OF HADITH REPORTERS
Later on some scholars of hadith thought of checking on the credibility and trustworthiness of the isnad (chain of narrators). It was a good idea. But what means and resources did they have at their disposal to ascertain the credibility of reporters who died 150 to 200 years ago? Obviously they based their opinion on whatever sketchy information was available to them. Here again their opinion became the standard for testing reliability. In this regard Maulana Maududi says,
"The individuals who investigated the reliability of hadith reporters, they too were human beings with all the human weaknesses. It is questionable that a reporter considered to be reliable by these investigators was in fact reliable. To check the memory, credibility and accuracy in reporting of each and every reporter is a very, very difficult task."
Yet another aspect of hadith collecting was scrutinized by doctors of hadith literature. They tried to verify whether the reporter of a particular hadith and the narrator were contemporaries or not. If they were, had they met each other? And if they had, did the reporter get a particular hadith from the same narrator or some someone else? Maududi expresses his opinion as follows:
"Such investigative work cannot be considered to be totally accurate. It is reliable in the sense that it can be helpful in researching the traditions of the Holy Prophet (P) and the lifestyle of his companions. But it would be wrong to put our total trust in it."
The doctors of hadith classified them into various categories based upon their own opinion of the trustworthiness of the reporter. One category is called sahih (accurate), another dhaif (weak), and another is hussan. The six sunni collections of hadith are called sahih, although Bukhari is considered to be the most sahih.
The term sahih gives an impression that these ahadith are most accurate and authentic. But this is not the fact. These ahadith are called sahih because the hadith scholars used the term. Nobody can say with certainty that these are the sayings of our Prophet (P). That is why the words au kama qala rasoolullah are added at the end of every single hadith, and this means, "the Prophet said this or something similar to this".
POSITION OF HADITH
In light of these explanations it becomes clear that the way these ahadith were collected, scrutinized, and compiled, not even a single hadith can be definitely and positively considered to be the saying of the Prophet. At the most it can be said that this is a statement attributed to the Prophet.
In the words of Maulana Maududi, "the fact is, any hadith which is attributed to the Prophet can be questioned for accuracy and reliability. You (the hadith devotees) are bound to accept every saying of the prophet which is duly certified by the reporters. But this is not the criterion for us. A certificate in no way is the litmus test for the authenticity if a hadith."
In another place he says,
"The sayings of the prophet and the sayings we find in the books of ahadith are not necessarily one and the same. The ahadith, because of the authority of the reporters cannot be equal in status to the verses of the Quran. The Quranic verses, beyond any doubt, are Allah’s revelations. On the contrary, in the case of the sayings, the attribution of any word or deed to the prophet is always in doubt."
Incidentally, Maulana Maududi and I have similar views. It is ironic that nobody labels Maududi as munkar-I-hadith, but my views are denounced and publicized wide and far. It is surprising that even Maududi himself and his jamat-e-islami are part and parcel of this groundless propaganda.
ANOTHER, BUT OPPOSITE VIEW
The correct position of hadith has been explained above. But there are people with different opinions:
"After due investigation and verification the place and status of hadith is exactly the same as that of the whole Quran itself. As a matter of fact the rejection of hadith has the same effect on Iman and faith as the rejection of the Quran…Refusal to believe in such ahadith, which meet the verification standards and are deemed to be genuine by the scholars of sunnah, is tantamount to profanity and synonymous with expulsion from the ummah. The ummah is in agreement on the accuracy of Imam Bukhari’s and Muslim’s collections. The accuracy of these ahadith is absolute." (Jamat-e-islami)
If any person who refuses to believe in even a single hadith from these two collections, he/she becomes a non-believer and loses membership in the Muslim ummah. For example, one of the hadith we are required to believe is from Bukhari, "When the angel of death came to seize the soul of Moses (P), Moses slapped the angel so hard that he went back to Allah." If you refuse to believe in the accuracy of this particular hadith, then according to the above-mentioned rule, you are no longer in the fold of Islam.
THE REAL MEANING OF INKAR-E-HADITH
When an individual refuses to acknowledge the authenticity of a hadith what is he actually refusing? As I have mentioned earlier, Imam Bukhari collected about 600,000 ahadith and approved only 3000 for his book, which in his opinion were accurate and reliable. When a person says that a certain hadith is unacceptable to him, then he is only refusing one thing: he is refusing to accept Imam Bukhari’s opinion or verdict regarding that hadith. He is not refusing to accept the truthfulness of the prophet, nor is he rejecting hadith and sunnah as such. All he is doing is having a difference of opinion with Imam Bukhari on some particular hadith. And a valid ground for rejecting anything whether it be a hadith or practice or tradition or custom is if it is against the Quran, which is undeniably the only book which contains Allah’s word. He is not prepared to accept Imam Bukhari’s verdict as the end all and be all because if the hadith is against the teachings of the Quran, the Prophet (P) could never have said or done it in the first place. Therefore, inkar-e-hadith is not the refusal to believe in the words of the Prophet (P), but rather it is the refusal to blindly accept Imam Bukhari’s opinions and verdicts. Therefore, how can someone become a non-believer just because he does not agree with Bukhari? Last time I checked this was not a requirement of iman. Allah never made us duty-bound to blindly accept the verdicts rendered by the hadith reporters and collectors. Allah never stipulated that you can only be a Muslim if you believe in the accuracy and soundness of Imam Bukhari’s opinion. Such an attitude is hero worship with a heavy dose of emotionalism. To have Iman in the infallibility of any human being is neither demanded in the Quran nor is a requirement of common sense. However, the ummah is consuming itself in exactly this emotionalism. The moment someone differs in opinion with Imam Bukhari he/she is labeled an apostate, and this commotion is being created and sustained by the religious establishment to the detriment of the Muslim nation.
CONTRADICTIONS IN FIQH
It has been explained earlier how the fiqhi laws were enacted and codified. These laws are said to be based upon hadith. When the hadith were declared everlasting the fiqhi laws got the same status automatically and turned into a very rigid code, creating lasting divisions in the ummah.
One of the proofs that the Quran is the word of Allah is that there are no contradictions in it (4:82). This is not the case for ahadith. Mutually contradictory ahadith can be found in any single collection of hadith. When there are many differences and contradictions in the ahadith themselves, then what of the fiqhi laws which are based on hadith? These contradictions are responsible for the existence of so many mutually quarrelling sects within the ummah. Ahadith provide the basis for the conflicting laws. Allama Mohammad Aslam Jairajpuri gives an example:
"The contradictions in the traditions were not limited to different geological regions, there used to be contradictory traditions in the same locality. A case in point is the statement of Abdul Waris bin Saeed. He said, upon his arrival in Mecca, that he found some distinguished Iraqi jurists in town to perform Hajj. I met Imam Abu Hanifah, Ibn-e-Abi-Laila, and Ibn-e-Shbermah. I asked them all the same question: in a sale, is it permissible for the seller to impose any conditions? The first reply was that both the sale and imposition of any conditions is forbidden. The second jurist replied that the sale is permissible but imposing conditions is not. The final jurist said that both are permissible. I was surprised that these three jurists came from the same place yet held such different opinions. I went back to the jurists and told them about the difference. They each quoted a hadith in support of their own view.
The differences and contradictions in the traditions are not totally responsible for this divisiveness in the ummah, religious individualism has to be blamed as well. If central authority (the government) had kept religious lawmaking under its own jurisdiction, the entire ummah would have had a single fiqha and been saved from sectarian divisions brought about by personal fiqhas. The same should have been done regarding the ahadith, and because of this centralism the ahadith would not have been in such a state of affairs as well. As long as the Quranic State existed, neither were ahadith collected or compiled nor were various personal fiqhas made and enforced. All of the disintegration was the result of the absence of central authority."
Anyway we were trying to point out that the divergent nature of the fiqhi laws is due to the contradictions in the ahadith on which these laws were based. Putting aside the religious debate among various sects in the past, let us have a look at the verdicts handed down by the Pakistani Federal Religious Court. In these verdicts, all the discussion and arguments and counterarguments revolve around the position of hadith, the contradictions in ahadith, and variance of ahadith from the Quran. The outcome of these deliberations is that the government appointed religious courts hand down their verdict and the same government that appointed these courts lodges an appeal against that verdict. The judgement of the Federal Religious Court is based on fiqh and ahadith and the grounds of appeal against the same judgement are based on fiqh and ahadith as well.
THOUGHTS OF DR. IQBAL
A thinking mind paused and reflected upon this pressing problem and came up with a solution according to his own Quranic insight. Dr. Iqbal, in his sixth lecture of the book Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, discussed the problem in detail and presented the solution to this problem. The most important issue was lawmaking. In this connection he presented his arguments in these words,
"Turning now to the groundwork of legal principles in the Quran, it is perfectly clear that far from leaving no scope for human thought and legislative activity the breadth of these principles virtually acts as an awakener of human thought…The teaching of the Quran that life is a process of progressive creation necessitates that each generation, guided but unhampered by the world of its predecessors, should be permitted to solve its own problems."
Incidentally Dr. Iqbal delivered these lectures in 1928 when his thoughts had matured. Recently I came across an article written by him when he was still (let us say) a student. This article was published in October 1904 of the magazine Makhzan. This illustrates how a thinking mind even in very early stages moves in the right direction. He says,
"The immense changes in life have brought about such conditions where the opinions of the past (ancient) jurists badly needs a revision. It is not my intent to suggest that because of some inherent weaknesses the religious principles can no longer fulfill the needs of the present civilization. My point is the past jurists from time to time made rules based on the broad principles of the Quran and hadith. Those rules were suitable and practicable in those particular periods of time, but are unable to satisfy the needs and demands of the present time. Just like, at present, there is a need of modern language and terminology to explain the religious principles, similarly there is a need for a jurist of high caliber for the latest interpretation of Islamic law. On the strength of his intellectual capabilities and power of his imagination, this great jurist should be able to rewrite and compile the Islamic law based on religious fundamentals in a modern fashion; with the sheer strength of his imagination, interpret the principles on such broad bases so as to satisfy the demands of modern times."
THE CONCEPT OF PAKISTAN
For rewriting the fiqh, Dr. Iqbal presented the concept of Pakistan in such a concise but precise manner that these few words serve as a guide for the intelligentsia. He said, with the creation of Pakistan, "Islam would rid itself of the foreign influences brought by the Arab imperialism." He beautifully explained Islam’s past history and future in just a few words. A newly created Islamic state (Pakistan) will have to enact its own laws and thus Islamic law will be rewritten to fulfill the needs of the modern time while simultaneously ridding itself of the laws made under unIslamic influences. Dr. Iqbal did not live long after presenting this idea. He died before the creation of Pakistan.
Shortly after the creation of Pakistan, the elements who opposed the very concept it came to the forefront by intrigue and changed the course of events. The ugly imprint of Arab imperialism which was to be shed from the shining surface of Islam was now being made part of the body itself with the help of the theocracy. Traditions and fiqh principles and decrees which were slowly coming to an end with the passage of time are now being granted a new lease on life. No one knows how long these new shackles, which are being put on the Quran and human intellect, will keep crippling the nation. There is no doubt that such a state of affairs cannot last forever, but time is the critical factor. To what extent Islam will be twisted during this period is beyond imagination.
At the moment the only thing we can say is that whenever the Quran and human thought will be free of these shackles, the first task worth completing for the ummah will be to critically examine the traditions, Prophet’s biography, history and Quranic exegesis, and fiqh in the light of Quranic teachings. All the material which is in accordance with the Quran should be accepted, and that which is against the teachings of the Quran should be discarded. Then within the framework of the Quranic laws, principles, and guidelines, the ummah should by mutual consultation, reconstruct the shariah according to the needs and demands of modern time. Only at such a time will the state truly be called an Islamic state and its laws the laws of shariah. Such a task can only be performed by a great revolutionary who, in the words of Dr. Iqbal, approaches the problem in the spirit of Omar (R), "the first critical and independent mind in Islam who, at the last moments of the Prophet (P), had the moral courage to utter these remarkable words, ‘The Book of God is sufficient for us.’"
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Posted by Fahim kamran mirza at 12:14 PM
Wherever he be, man likes to act as he pleases and have full freedom of action. Were he by himself, he could do so with equanimity. In society, however, individual freedom has to be circumscribed to avoid conflict with the freedom of action of others. Individuals have, therefore, to abide by certain voluntarily accepted restrictions, the formulation of which pertains to the sphere of legislative action.
Two questions arise at once, namely,
Who should formulate these restrictions ? and
Whether the restrictions once formulated will apply for all time to come, or they will be susceptible to change from age to age?
The first question falls within the domain of
"Constitution making" and is outside the scope of the present discussion. We are here concerned with the second question of law-making in a Constitutional State.
The foremost essential which a people must determine and define in law-making is the concept of life. As is the concept of life of a people so will be its law. Broadly speaking. two concepts of life, which have come down to us through history, are prevalent today, and have a direct bearing on the point under discussion.
One concept sees man only as a physical body, endowed somehow with consciousness, living according to certain chemico-physico-biological laws and then dying under the operation of these very laws. With his physical death man, like other animals, ceases to exist. This concept is known as the materialistic concept of life. Laws or rules of conduct framed under this concept of life are based on expediency and admit of no permanent or unchangeable values. Changes, abrogation’s, or amendments in the laws are also governed exclusively by expediency. Governmental machinery set up by people subscribing to the materialistic concept of life is called the "Secular" form of government, whether its pattern is democratic or dictatorial.
There is another concept of life which is propounded by the Holy Quran. Man, according to the Quranic concept, is a combination of a physical body, which is changing, changeable and liable to death, and a Personality which does not change, but develops and is capable of self-integration and becoming immortal. The aim of life, according to the Holy Quran, is the development of Personality. Human Personality is not static but is potentially capable of developing and expanding. Its development can, however, take place only in a social order called the Islamic State. The Islamic State provides the ways and means for the proper development and progress both of Body and Personality. Since man is according to this concept of life, an integrated composition of permanence and change, laws governing the social order wherein his development takes place, should also be a combination of permanence and change. This point has been elaborated beautifully by Iqbal in his sixth lecture in the series on the Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam. He says:
"The ultimate spiritual basis of all life, as conceived by Islam, is eternal and reveals itself in variety and change. A society based on such a conception of Reality must reconcile, in its life, the categories of permanence and change. It must possess eternal principles to regulate its collective life; for the eternal gives us a foothold in the world of perpetual change. But eternal principles when they are understood to exclude all possibilities of change, which, according to the Quran, is one of the greatest "signs" of God, tend to immobilise what is essentially mobile in its nature".
Man has been endowed with "Intellect" which gives him superiority to other animals. Human intellect functions, however, within the limits of Time and Space and is, consequently, capable of handling only that aspect of man's life which is subject to "change", i.e. the physical aspect of human life. It cannot peep over the boundaries of "change" into the supra-physical, or the realm of "permanence' to which human Personality belongs. In that realm, things reveal themselves to human intellect (to Messengers of God) and are not discovered by it. Revelation is Divine, and Divine Guidance alone provides permanent values or unalterable fundamental principles, otherwise known as "Divine Precepts," or the "way or Practice or Allah". Law or rules devised by human intellect need change with the change in time and space; but permanent values admit of no such change. In the words of the Holy Quran, "There is no changing in the Words of Allah" (10/64) and "you will find no change in the way of Allah" (33/62)
Body and Personality cannot, however, be divided into two mutually exclusive compartments, nor also can the laws pertaining to the realms of permanence and change. A combination of permanence and change. A combination of "permanence and change" can be achieved if in framing laws, human intellect keeps itself within the boundaries of eternal values revealed by God. The laws so framed will be applicable to man as a whole and satisfy the requirement of both Personality and the physical body of man.
THE PRINCIPLE OF DIVINE GUIDANCE.
Man has been the recipient of the Divine Guidance ever since he began living a corporate life. In earliest stages the guidance concerned itself not only with permanent values but also with matters which could be determined by human intellect alone. For instance, about Noah the Holy Quran says. "Then we guided him, saying: Make the ship under our supervision and Guidance". (23/27). This shows that in the age when Noah lived man depended on Revelation for learning processes like those of boat-making. As human intellect began to grow in maturity, the need for the Divine Guidance in respect of the changeable details diminished. The divine Guidance in its final and complete form has now been preserved for all time to come in the Holy Quran. It has been made clear that henceforth the subsidiary laws will be devised by men by mutual consultation among themselves in the light of the given permanent values. Rasoolullah (PBUH) was directed, "to consult the people in the conduct of affairs" (3/159) and after him the believers were also to determine their affairs by mutual consultation (42/38)
This brings out clearly the co-mingling of permanence with change in life and stresses the need for rules of conduct providing both for its permanent aspect as well as for its changeable subsidiary aspect. The basic problem in the matter of legislation in an Islamic State is the demarcation of the sphere of permanent provisions as distinct from the sphere of provisions liable to change according to changes in requirements. Before stating the Quranic position as I understand it, I feel I should explain briefly the views which various schools of thought in Pakistan hold.
One view is that all the laws that an Islamic State requires are already laid down in the corpus of Islamic "Fiqh" which is permanent and unalterable. It is, therefore, unnecessary to embark upon fresh legislation. When ever a fresh situation arises, all that the State has to do is to ascertain from the "Ulema-e-Fiqh" the conclusions already reached on the point at issue and then to enforce it. A representative of this school of thought offered this very view before the Punjab Disturbances Enquiry Commission, whose report (P.211) on the point reads as follow:-
"Since Islam is a perfect religion containing laws, express or derivable by Ijma or Ijtihad, governing the whole field of human activity, there is in it no sanction for what may, in the modern sense, be called legislation. Questioned on this point, Maulana Abul Hasanat, President, Jami'at- ul-Ulema-i-Pakistan, says:-
Q. Is the institution of legislature as distinguished from the institution of a person or body of persons entrusted with the interpretation of law, an integral part of an Islamic State?
A. No. Our law is complete and merely requires interpretation by those who are experts in it. According to my belief, no question can arise the law relating to which cannot be discovered from the Quran or the Hadith.
Q. Who were Sahib-ul-hall-i-wal-aqd? Who were Sahib-ul-hall-i-wal-aqd?
A. They were the distinguished Ulema of the time. These persons attained their status by reason of the knowledge of the law. They were not in any way analogous or similar to the legislature in modern democracy. They were the distinguished Ulema of the time. These persons attained their status by reason of the knowledge of the law. They were not in any way analogous or similar to the legislature in modern democracy.
"The same view was expressed by Amir-i-Shari'at, Sayyed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari, in one of his speeches reported in the ‘Azad’ of 22nd April, 1947, in the course of which he said that our din is complete and perfect and that it amounts to Kufr to make more laws".
This view is, however, not shared by all those who belong to the "Fiqh" school of thought, and an exponent has characterised it as "soulless religiosity" whereby "the Islamic jurisprudence has been reduced to a fossilised mass of 'Shastras'. For centuries the door of Ijtihad has been securely shut, with the result that Islam, instead of being a live movement, has been relegated to the limbo of a movement in ancient history only".
In regard to Ijtihad, his criticism is that "however erudite a mujtahid may be, he cannot transcend the time-spatial limitations, nor can he have the breadth of vision encompassing the broad canvas of all time and experience. Therefore, his Ijtihad cannot hold good for all ages and circumstances" (Abul Ala Maudoodi).
Iqbal has also commented at length in his sixth Lecture already referred to, on the view that "Fiqh" is unchangeable. Says he: "The theoretical possibility of this degree of Ijtihad is admitted by the Sunnis, but in practice it has always been denied ever since the establishment of the schools, inasmuch as the idea of complete Ijtihad is hedged round by conditions which are well-high impossible of realisation in a single individual. Such an attitude seems exceedingly strange in a system of law based mainly on the ground work provided by the Quran which embodies an essentially dynamic outlook on life". He goes on to say: "Turning now to the ground work of legal principles in the Quran, it is perfectly clear that far from leaving no scope for human thought and legislative activity the intensive breadth of these principles virtually acts as an awakened of human thought. Our early doctors of law taking their clue mainly from this ground work evolved a number of legal systems: and the student of Muhammadan history knows very well that nearly half the triumphs of Islam as a social and political power were due to the legal acuteness of these doctors. `Next to the Roman', says Von Kremer, `there is no other nation besides the Arabs which could call its own a system of law so carefully worked out'. But with all their comprehensiveness, these systems are after all individual interpretations, and as such cannot claim any finality. I know the Ulema of Islam claim finality for the popular schools of Muhammadan Law, though they never found it possible to deny the theoretical possibility of a complete Ijtihad. I have tried to explain the causes which in my opinion, determined this attitude of the Ulema: But since things have changed and the world of Islam is today confronted and affected by new forces set free by the extraordinary development of human thought in all its directions, I see no reason why this attitude should be maintained any longer. Did the founders of our schools ever claim finality for their reasoning and interpretations? Never. The claim of the present generation of Muslim liberals to reinterpret the foundational legal principles, in the light of their own experience and altered conditions of modern life is, in my opinion, perfectly justified. The teaching of the Quran that life is a process of progressive creation necessitates that each generation, guided but unhampered by the work of its predecessors, should be permitted to solve its own problems".
As against "Ahl-e-Fiqh", there is another school of thought, commonly called the Traditionalists (Ahl-el-Hadith). They maintain that it is not "Fiqh" but the sayings of Rasoolullah (PBUH) which should be enforced as they are, since they contain fundamental and unchangeable law. The school holds that "after due scrutiny Hadith occupies the same position and authority as the Holy Quran does, and a denial of Hadith would affect one's faith and honesty in the same manner as the denial of the Holy Quran itself will do. Notwithstanding differences in interpretation, the Holy Quran is the Word of Allah and an undisputed authority in Shara (Law). Likewise, Hadith, even though it is open to scrutiny, is Revelation from Allah and, next to the Holy Quran, of like authority in religion". (Muhammad Ism’ail Al-Salafi).
The above excerpt acknowledges that the authority ascribed to Hadith is secondary to that of the Holy Quran, but what follows will show that the acceptances of the postulate is in principle only, since in practical application of the principle and in making deductions therefrom, it is held: in our view Hadith is revealed and whatever it says was conveyed to Rasoolullah (PBUH) in the same way as was the Holy Quran......the angel Gabriel came with the Holy Quran as well as the Sunnah and conveyed Sunnah to Rasoolullah(PBUH) in the manner he conveyed to him the Holy Quran. We do not approve of discrimination in Revelations and hold both the Holy Quran and Sunnah as concurrent authority" (Ibid).
In regard to the two anthologies of Hadith, namely Bukhari and Muslim, the school holds that:-
"By consensus of opinion, Muslims acknowledge that the agreed Ahadith in the two anthologies are valid and that their veracity is absolute". (Ibid).
This view also is not shared by all those who consider Hadith as the basis of Shari’at Law, as would appear from the following comment:-
"Ahadith have come down through a chain of narrators, one person passing the information verbally to another. In its very nature the process can at best be viewed as conveying probability and not certainty. It is unthinkable that Allah would leave believers in the matter of faith in a position in which they should determine their course of action on the basis of material passed on by word of mouth". (Maudoodi)
He goes on to say:-
"The material may be useful as a help in ascertaining the practice of Rasoolullah(PBUH) and the doings of his Companions (God may be pleased with them) but it is not a thing which could claim complete reliance".
Further on he says:-
"The claim that the text of all the Ahadith in Bukhari should be accepted as correct without critical appreciation is untenable".
"Regarding Mandatory Laws, the Holy Quran generally mentions the basic principles only and in most matters leaves out the details. Rasoolullah (PBUH) applied the Quranic Laws to the practical affairs of life and provided the requisite details both by word and deed. Some of these details are too definite to admit of fresh interpretation and they must be accepted as they are, as for instance the commands pertaining to worship (Ibadat). There are other details the principles underlying which help in making further deductions, e.g. Civil Laws of the time of Rasoolullah (PBUH)".
In accordance with the above excerpt, the doctrine propounded by the Traditionalist school of thought concedes to the present generation the right to determine subsidiary Civil Laws by Ijtihad in accordance with the principles deducible from the Civil Laws promulgated by Rasoolullah (PBUH).
To quote their own words:-
"It is an incontrovertible truth that for the observance of his directions the law-giver has, with infinite wisdom and knowledge, laid down mostly such conditions as would achieve the purpose in view in all times, all places and all circumstances. In spite of this there are numerous details in which changed circumstances demand corresponding changes. It is not necessary that conditions in every age and country should be what they were in Arabia and the Muslim world during the time of Rasoolullah(PBUH) and his Companions. Therefore, the enforcement, in all ages and in all situations, of the particular forms of observance of Islamic injunctions exactly as they were at their inception, that is, without modification, will be a sort of conventionalism which is completely alien to the spirit of Islam. It will be incorrect, therefore to follow strictly the very words of the original text without weighing them in the present context, much less their deductions or inferences. The rational method of tackling a problem is that one should keep before the mind's eye the aim of the law-giver and affect changes to accord with changes in circumstances with due regard to his practice and the principles of his jurisprudence (Ibid).
The position advocated in the preceding extract is not an innovation. Imam Abu Hanifa and Shah Waliullah Muhaddith of Delhi held the same view. In the words of Iqbal:-
"For our present purposes, however, we must distinguish traditions of a purely legal import from those which are of a non legal character. With regard to the former, there arises a very important question as to how far they embody the pre-Islamic usage’s of Arabia which were in some cases left intact, and in others modified by the Prophet(PBUH). It is difficult to make this discovery, for our early writers do not always refer to pre-Islamic usage’s. Nor is it possible to discover that the usage’s, left intact by express or tacit approval of the Prophet (PBUH), were intended to be universal in their application. Shah Wali Ullah has a very illuminating discussion on the point. I reproduce here the substance of his view. The prophetic method of teaching, according to Shah Wali Ullah, is that, generally speaking, the law revealed by a prophet takes especial notice of the habits, ways, and peculiarities of the people to whom he is specifically sent. The prophet who aims at all-embracing principles, however, can neither reveal different principles for different peoples, nor leaves them to work out their own rules of conduct. His method is to train one particular people, and to use them as a nucleus for the building up of a universal Shari'at. In doing so he accentuates the principles underlying the social life of all mankind, and applies them to concrete cases in the light of the specific habits of the people immediately before him. The Shari'at values (Ahkam) resulting from this application (e.g. rules relating to penalties for crimes) are in a sense specific to that people; and since their observance is not an end in itself they cannot be strictly enforced in the case of future generations. It was perhaps in view of this that Abu Hanifa, who had a keen insight into the universal character of Islam, made practically no use of these traditions. The fact that he introduced the principle of Istihsan, i.e. juristic preference, which necessitates a careful study of actual conditions in legal thinking, throws further light on the motives which determined his attitude towards this source of Muhammadan Law. It is said that Abu Hanifa made no use of traditions because there were no regular collections in his days. In the first place, it is not true to say that there were no collections in his days, as the collections of Abdul Malik and Zuhri were made no less than thirty years before the death of Abu Hanifa. But even if we suppose that these collections never reached him, or that they did not contain traditions of a legal import, Abu Hanifa, like Malik and Ahmed Ibn-e-Hambal after him, could have easily made his own collection if he had deemed such a thing necessary. On the whole, then, the attitude of Abu Hanifa towards the traditions of a purely legal import is to my mind perfectly sound; and if modern Liberalism considers it safer not to make any indiscriminate use of them as a source of law, it will be only following one of the greatest exponents of Muhammadan Law in Sunni Islam".
The foregoing will shoe that while there is a school of thought in Pakistan which holds that whatever has come down to us in the name of Fiqh or the Traditions, is unalterable and should be enforced as such, there is another school of thought also which considers that for meeting the requirements of the present time, we can formulate our own laws in the light of the permanent and the unalterable principles given by the Quran.
This view is supported abundantly by the Holy Quran. The Quranic arguments may be summarised below:-
1. In Islam obedience is essentially and basically due only to the Laws of Allah as embodied in the Holy Quran. "Shall I (Rasoolullah, PBUH) look for a judge other than Allah. He who has revealed to you a book defining things clearly"? (6/115).
2. He who does not adjudicate in accordance with the Holy Quran is not a Muslim (5/44).
3. Obedience to Divine Laws is not a thing belonging to the individual plane in the sense that one might, of his own, consult the Holy Quran, interpret it for himself and act according to his individual interpretation. The obedience has to be disciplined and ordered under an organised system (called State in the present day terminology) controlled by a central authority, the first central authority having been Allah's Rasool. Obedience to the central authority is obedience to Allah. Says the Holy Quran: "One who obeys the Rasool obeys Allah" (4/80), the Rasool adjudging everything according to the Holy Book (5/48).
4. Barring a few exceptions, the Holy Quran enunciates generally fundamental principles without touching subsidiary law. About these principles or the basic provisions, the Holy Quran says: "The Kalema (basic principle) revealed by the Nourisher has been made complete in truth and justice. There is none who can change His principles (6/116).
5. The reason for leaving out subsidiary laws from the Holy Quran has been explained thus: "Ask not for things which if revealed would inconvenience you, and if you ask for them while the Quran is being revealed, they will be disclosed to you....Before you a people (the Israelites) did ask for them and then disbelieved (and defied) them". (5/101-2). In elucidation of the above verses, a Hadith is cited which says: "Allah has placed on you certain obligations, do not violate them. Some things have been forbidden, do not go near them. Some limitations have been imposed, do not transgress them. Some things have been left unspoken of without being overlooked, do not probe into them".
6. The question as to how details, which have deliberately been left undetermined in the Holy Quran, will be formulated in the light of the Quranic principles, is answered by the direction given in the Holy Quran to Rasoolullah (PBUH) to "consult them (the believers) in the affairs (of the Society)" (3/158).
There are numerous instances recorded in Traditions showing how Rasoolullah (PBUH) consulted his Companions in the day-today affairs. This process of consultation was not confined to any particular sphere but covered all matters in which details were not given in the Holy Quran. For instance the Holy Quran mentions the "Call for Salaat-ul-jum'a" (62/9), but does not prescribe the manner for making the call. The way this was decided upon has been recorded in Mishkat, as follows, in the chapter on Azaan:-
"Abdulleh b. Zaid b. Abd Rabb states that when Rasoolullah (PBUH) gave the orders for blowing the conch for calling the faithful to Sal’at I saw a man in a dream who had a conch in his hand. In my dream I enquired from this man whether he would sell the conch. He asked me what I would do with the conch. I answered that we would use it for calling people to Sal’at. He said, may I not tell you something which is even better? On my replying in the affirmative, he asked me to repeat Allah-o-Akbar, Allah-o-Akbar etc. and likewise he taught me Takbir. With the dawning of the morn I hastened to Rasoolullah (PBUH) and narrated my dream. Rasoolullah (PBUH) said, `Verily this dream is true and indicative of Divine'. There upon he ordered me to stand along-side Bilal and repeat to him what I had been told in my dream so that he (Bilal) may make the call(Azaan) since he is `loud-throated'. I did as commanded and Bilal called the Azaan. Abdullah further states that when Umar b. Khattab heard the Azaan at his place, he hurried out, dragging his covering, and said to Rasoolullah I swear by Him who has sent you with Truth, that I also have seen a dream similar to that of Abdullah'. Rasoolullah thereupon said, ` All praise is for Allah'. (Abu Dawud, Darmi, Ibn-e-Maja).
7. While he lived, Rasoolullah determined subsidiary laws in consultation with the Ummat. The question is as to what was to be done after his demise. The Holy Quran answers the question by saying, "Muhammad is but a Rasool. there have been several Rasool before him. Will you turn back on your heels if he dies or is slain?" (3/143). It follows that the process of framing laws within the frame-work of the Quranic principles was not to discontinue after the death of Rasoolullah but was to go on as before. Therefore, after his demise, the first thing the Companions did was to elect a Successor so that he could carry on the process of determining subsidiary laws and enforcing Divine Principles as did Rasoolullah himself. "One who obeys the Rasool obeys Allah" now took the form of "One who obeys the Rasool's successor obeys Allah". Rasoolullah himself is reported to have said: "You have to follow my practice and the practice of my mature and rightly guided Successors", (Mishkat chapter on adherence to Book and Sunnah). The Holy Quran directed Rasoolullah to "consult the believers in determining the affairs of the people" (3/158); it guided his successors by saying "and they determine their affairs by mutual consultation" (42/38). "Mutual consultation" within the ambit of the eternal and inviolable Laws given in the Holy Quran is the "way of the believers" (4/115) which should never be given up.
8. There is material available in the record of traditions of Rasoolullah and the doings of his Companions to show how subsidiary laws were formulated under the Khilafat-e-Rashida. The procedure followed was:
a) Where subsidiary law had not already been framed it was formulated by mutual consultation. For example no punishment was prescribed for drunkenness in the time of Rasoolullah. Hazrat Abu Bakr prescribed for it forty stripes, which Hazrat Umar later increased to eighty.
b) If a subsidiary law once enacted needed no amendment or change it was retained intact, just as any constitutional government would continue to enforce the laws of its predecessors until the need for a change arose.
c) Subsidiary enactment’s, which needed amendment in consequence of a change in circumstances, were duly modified. Since they were not prescribed initially by Revelation, it was not necessary that they should undergo changes through Revelation. Here are a few instances:
i) Rasoolullah had fixed the amount of ransom for prisoners of war at one Deenar per head. Hazrat Umar fixed different amounts for different parts of the State.
ii) Rasoolullah (PBUH) did not prescribe rates of Zak’at for different varieties of produce of land. Hazrat Umar did so.
iii) For Taleef-i-Quloob, Rasoolullah used to give financial assistance from the State Exchequer. Hazrat Umar discontinued the practice.
iv) Rasoolullah distributed among the fighters the land acquired in certain conquered areas. Hazrat Umar abrogated this system.
v) Rasoolullah allowed maintenance allowance at uniform rate. Hazrat Abu Bakr continued the practice. But Hazrat Umar re-fixed the rates in proportion to the services rendered by recipients.
vi) Rasoolullah did not realise Zak’at on tradable horses and the produce of the sea. Hazrat Umar did it.
vii) Hazrat Umar decided that the scheduled punishment for offences should be made light for belligerents and that the punishment of manusection for theft should not be inflicted on the famine-stricken.
Instances of this kind can be multiplied if those measures are taken into account which Hazrat Umar introduced initially. Their number, according to historians, ranges between forty and fifty. This number, however, is not the issue. The real issue is that the rightly guided Successors of Rasoolullah accepted and worked according to the principle that the decisions taken during the time of Rasoolullah could be modified, if the changed circumstances so demanded. They extended the principle to the decisions taken among themselves, and a Successor felt no hesitation in amending the decisions of his predecessor.
IMAM ABU HANIFA
The verses of the Holy Quran coupled with the evidence provided by traditions and history, reproduced above, support fully the view that it is the fundamental law of the holy Quran which is unchangeable. In the case of subsidiary laws formulated under it, the Islamic state constituted on the pattern of that of Rasoolullah, can affect changes to suit its current requirements. In the excerpt from his Lectures noted above, Iqbal has pointedly mentioned Imam Abu Hanifa and Shah Waliullah, Muhaddith of Delhi, who also supported the above view. In volume 13, page 390, of his book on history, Khatib Baghdadi states on the strength of Yusuf b. Isbat that Abu Hanifa used to say that "had I been a contemporary of Rasoolullah, I am sanguine that he would have adopted many of my views, since Din (Allah's way of Life) is, after all, but another name for good and sound reasoning". The historian goes on to say that Abu Awana stated that "One day I was sitting by Abu Hanifa when the Sultan's messenger called on him and said that his master would like to know how the case of a man who has stolen a honey-comb should be adjudged. Abu Hanifa replied promptly `if the value of the honey-comb be ten dirhams sever his hand'. After the messenger had departed I said to Abu Hanifa: "Are you not afraid of Allah? It has been reported to me by Yahya b. Said through Muhammad b. Haban and Rafi b. Khudaij, that Rasoolullah had said that for the theft of trifles like fruit and flowers, there can be no manusection. Hasten to help the man lest his hand be severed". Abu Hanifa reiterated calmly that "the view then taken has since lost its force". The thief suffered manusection.
SHAH WALI ULLAH
This incident illustrates the position of Imam-e-Azam. In his book Hujat-ullah-il-Baligha, chapter on types of Revealed Knowledge, Shah Waliullah has quoted a saying of Rasoolullah: "I am a human being. What I tell you about DIN adopt it; when I express my personal opinion, then, I am but a human being". Shah Waliullah says that the matters to which Rasoolullah referred were those unconnected with the propagation of the revealed message, and adds that akin to this type of "matters" were those subsidiary directions which, though related to the Quranic principles, conformed directly to the conditions then prevailing and ceased to operate as and when those conditions changed. The Ummat was not bound to observe them as permanent injunctions. In the same category are included those decisions of Rasoolullah regarding home and social economics, politics, etc., which were couched in general terms and omitted to specify practical details.
In elucidating Shah Sahib's view, Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi, who is acknowledged as an authority on Waliullah, wrote as follows:-
"It should be understood that the enforcement of the basic law is preceded by the formulation of introductory subsidiary laws bearing directly on the prevailing conditions of the people concerned.
The basic law is unchangeable but introductory laws change with the change in attending circumstances. The introductory laws which Rasoolullah and his three immediate Successors formulated in consultation with the Central Council of advisers , are termed "Sunnah". The system whereby decisions were reached by consultation broke down, however, after Hazrat Othman. The "Sunnah" embraces, according to the Hanafi School of thought, the practice of both Rasoolullah and his rightly guided Successors, a view to which we also subscribe. But the practice of "Sunnah," which the current terminology will call Bye-Laws, must follow the Holy Quran. The basic law, is unchangeable; bye-laws change with the changing circumstances. The old bye-laws undergo changes to suit present requirements and new ones have to be deduced to satisfy fresh developments. This process is called Fiqh". (Al Furqan, Waliullah Number, page 264).
Discussing the Traditionalist and the Fiqh schools of thought, Iqbal observes in his Lectures on the Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, (page 169): "But contrary to the spirit of his own school the modern Hanafi legist has eternalised the interpretations of the founder or his immediate followers much in the same way as the early critics of Abu Hanifa eternalised the decisions given on concrete cases".
My own position in this respect is that I subscribe to the views of the school of Imam Azam, Shah Waliullah, Maulana Sindhi and Iqbal, since their views are in accordance with the principles of Law-making in an Islamic State as enunciated by the Holy Quran.
Those who subscribe to views other than these are bound naturally to oppose these views. Iqbal anticipated this opposition and observed, on page 156 of his Lectures:
"And I have no doubt that a deeper study of the enormous legal literature of Islam is sure to rid the modern critic of the superficial opinion that the Law of Islam is stationary and incapable of development. Unfortunately, the conservative Muslim public of this country is not yet quite ready for a critical discussion of "Fiqh" which, if undertaken is likely to displease most people, and raise sectarian controversies; yet I venture to offer a few remarks on the point before us".
The opposition from the orthodox section is understandable. But the tragic part of it is that a difference of opinion is allowed to generate violence in expression and to condemn the opponent as an apostate. Even Imam-e-Azam was not spared. In Vol. XIII of his book on history Khatib Baghdadi gives following details:-
"Imam Malik b. Anas says that the peril of Abu Hanifa to the 'Ummah' is no less than that of Satan (Iblees) both with regard to his doctrine of revocability of divorce and the rejection of Ahadith. Abd-al-Rahman b. Mahdi says that the peril of Abu-Hanifa is more dangerous than the peril of Dajjal. Salman b. Hassan Halbi says that he has often heard Imam Auzai complain that Abu Hanifa has destroyed one by one all the wings of Islam. Fazari relates that both Sufian and Auzai say that a more inauspicious person than Abu Hanifa was never born in Islam. Imam Shafi calls him the worst among the despicable. Abu Ubaid says I was once sitting in the Jami Mosque of Rusafa with Aswad b. Salam. In discussing something I mentioned the view of Abu Hanifa. Aswad reprimanded me severely for mentioning even the name of Abu-Hanifa in the mosque and for this lapse on my part he was so annoyed with me that he never spoke to me thereafter till his death'".
Similar intolerance in opposing views continues unfortunately to plague our society to this day.
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE NOW?
Let us return to our main theme. Historically, the position during Khilafat-Rashida was that whenever a change in circumstances needed a change in subsidiary laws the change was affected by mutual consultation. Had the institution of Khilafat on the pattern set by Rasoolullah continued, the process of legislation evolved by it would have continued to develop normally, making the law of Shari’at a happy blending of permanence and change. It is a pity that the processes came to a halt and with it ended the critical attitude with which subsidiary laws used to be formulated. It is true that for a time the various schools of Fiqh carried on the process, but theirs was an effort on the individual plane which very soon became rigid and fossilised. We need not go into the historical why and wherefore of the change, which Iqbal has already discussed at length in his Lectures. The all important question confronting us now is that since the Khilafat on the pattern of Rasoolullah has long ceased to exist, what lines an Islamic State should follow for legislation. The answer is fairly clear. Revive Khilafat on Rasoolullah's pattern and adopt the system which he and his associates had established. But, is such a revival possible? Some say, No, since personalities like Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar are no longer available to do the job. This No is cry of frustration and is based on a serious misconception. If the cry were listened to, it would be tantamount to admitting that the Holy Quran offered a code of life for a particular period of history only. This would be preposterous. The Holy Book has been preserved so as to provide mankind with a code for practical living from age to age and from place to place. On the basis of the Quranic principles an organisation (Islamic State) was set up once. A similar organisation can be set up again now. The way to do it is this: The State should first take firm decision that it shall remodel the society on the basis of the inviolable principles preserved in the Holy Quran. Then it should take stock of the literature dealing with Islamic laws with a view to (a) adopting, in its original form, what would with due regard to the Quranic Principles, meet present requirements; (b) amending what needs a change; and (c) formulating new provisions to satisfy fresh situations, the whole thing being processed with the help of the representatives of the Ummat by mutual consultation. This is how an organisation based on the Quranic Fundamentals can be brought into being. But a change - over from the present to an ideal Islamic State cannot be brought about overnight. The organisation will, by stages, proceed towards its ultimate goal by the normal process of evolution, ridding itself of initial short comings at every step. This is the Sabil-ul-Momineen, the way of the Believers, which the Holy Quran has stressed. An important point to note is that until an Islamic State has been established, the Ummat should continue its present course without any change, since the right to introduce changes belongs to the social order (the Islamic State) and not to individuals whatever their mental development may be.
The foregoing explains the broad principles and the basic way for the exercise of legislative effort in an Islamic State, the way to which Iqbal referred in his Lectures. He indicated the way in 1928, but the question had already swayed his imagination so much that in a letter written long before he said: "My conviction is that whoever undertakes a critical appreciation of modern jurisprudence in the light of the Quran and establishes the inviolability of its principles, will be the arch revivalist (Mujadid) in Islam, and the greatest benefactor of humanity....It is a pity that the contemporary doctors of Islamic jurisprudence should be either completely ignorant of modern trends or else be steeped in rack orthodoxy.......It seems to me that Islam is, as it were, being tested at the moment on the touchstone of Time, a situation which perhaps never before arose in the history of Islam". (Iqbalnama-volume I, page,50).
Referring to what had happened in Turkey, Iqbal said in his Lectures (on page 154): "The question which confronts him (the Turk) to-day, and which is likely to confront other Muslim countries in the near future, is whether the law of Islam is capable of evolution, a question which will require great intellectual effort, and is sure to be answered in the affirmative; provided the world of Islam approaches it in the spirit of Omar, the first critical and independent mind in Islam who, at the last moments of the Prophet , had the moral courage to utter these remarkable words; "The Book of God is sufficient for us". He concludes his Lectures with these words (pages 170):-
"In view of the basic idea of Islam that there can be no further revelation binding on man we ought to be spiritually one of the most emancipated peoples on earth. Early Muslims emerging out of the spiritual slavery of pre-Islamic Asia were not in a position to realise the true significance of this basic idea. Let the Muslim of to-day appreciate his position, reconstruct his social life in the light of ultimate principles, and evolve, out of the hitherto partially revealed purpose of Islam, that spiritual democracy which is the ultimate aim of Islam".
If the Islamic world succeeds in re-establishing the Universal Democracy of Islam by recasting Islamic jurisprudence on the basis of the Quranic Fundamentals, the leadership of the world of political thought will be theirs. If, however, they fail in the discharge of this delicate but vital duty, the other nations will regard their failure as the failure of Islam and on the evidence of that failure would declare that Islam was successful only in a particular period of history but that thereafter it exhausted its dynamism and is no longer capable of keeping pace with the growing needs of the times. It should then be extremely painful for them to be adjudged guilty at the bar of humanity of a crime of such immense magnitude and severity.
It will follow from what has been said above that within the circumscribed limits of the permanent fundamental principles of the Holy Quran, the Islamic society is free to formulate its subsidiary laws in accordance with the need of times. While the subsidiary laws will be susceptible to change in accordance with the changing needs of times, the Quranic fundamentals shall remain unchangeable. This happy blending of permanence and change will enable the Millat to attain its ultimate destiny in life.
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Posted by Fahim kamran mirza at 12:12 PM