REFORM ISLAM OR RE-ASSESS AND RE-EVALUATE SOURCE DOCUMENTS (HADITH, SHARIA) AND THEIR SUPPLEMENTARY ROLE IN ISLAM
One does not have to be a great philosopher or thinker to see that humanity has reached a very critical juncture in its existence, and how we navigate our way past this point in our existence, will ulrimately determine the very nature of our existence on this planet, or whether we even continue to exist and live the life we know, as civilized human beings.
Religion (or rather how it is understood and practiced), though not the only problem and challenge facing humanity today, is certainly a big one and Islam, given the tragic behaviour of some so-called Muslims and the terror and destruction they cause in that great and noble religion’s name, is a significant component of this global challenge that we face.
As a Muslim, I believe in the Divine origin of the Holy Qur’an and its complete preservation by the One who revealed it, and therefore, completely reject any notions that it (The Qur’an ) needs to be reformed.
However, I cannot hold the same about the Hadith and Sharia (As laid down by the four schools of thought), and I do think that Muslims have got to a stage where we need to re-examine and re-assess the numerous authenticated Hadith(s) and Sharia and establish, once and for all, their role as source materials in Islam.
There is no other way or option to tackle these senseless and irrational behaviours and violence perpetrated in the name of Islam, which always finds its justification in either one or the other.
It will not be an exergeration to point to Hadith and Sharia as the source of all problems and divergence in Islam today, which fuels conflict and violence amongst Muslims, with its many spillover effects on non-Muslims.
Brother Suntu is right to point out the existence of a variety of allegations, theories and conspiracies advanced for the state of affairs surrounding extremism that feeds off Islam today, but whatever we make of these, one thing that is inescapable is the fact that the problem is within and it needs to be addressed.
History has clearly shown.us that the people of pre-Islamic Arabia were so barbaric in their ways that some historians labelled them as the “human brutes”….So uncultured were they that they used to bury their own daughters alive and had no respect for their women.
Islam, through the Qur’an, condemned their barbaric ways, reformed them and prescribed a new way of living for them, uplifting the status of women, but not without a difficult struggle, even with the Prophet living amongst them and the miraculous Qur’an unfolding and taking shape before their own eyes.
But as the saying goes, a cobra can only be a cobra, no matter how many times it sheds its skin. These fraticidal Arabs, who would spill blood and.fight for generations for.the most frivolous things, knowing that the Qur’an is protected from their evil desires, found a way to relive their barbarity through the Hadith and have fabricates so many for that purpose.
I listened to, and somewhat agreed with, an.Islamic preacher, who stated that the greatest tragedy of Islamic scholarship today, is that it uninamously (except for a few) relies on the four schools of Shari’a as the sources of Islamic jurisprudence, Hanafi, Malik, Hanbali and Shafi’i.
His contention.was that these great scholars, though sincere in their efforts, relied on their understanding of the device laws within the Quranic Text to formulate their codes, but he observed that their understanding was influenced by the period in.which they lived and the cultures they grew up in.
He cited the punishment of death for.apostacy as an example and challenged anyone to show him.where the Qur’an punishes apostasy with death…He stated that this.punishment was influenced by the Judeo-Christian traditions at the time, which calls for the killing of apostates….. He mentioned or recited a few verses where people have accepted Islam at one point and then renowned it at another point, even whilst the Prophet ( SAW) was with them.
I don’t know.the Qur’an to say whether death for apostasy is in it or.not, but in.any case, the fact that the Qur’an states that there is no compulsion in religion should nullify any acts or actions that seek to impose religion on others or trap them within it.