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.
My position on the war on terror.
The west should understand that the problem facing the world today on the “War on terror and terrorism” has nothing to do with Islam. Islam had been in existence over 1300 years and it is practiced in all parts of the globe.
What they should know is that the groups they are fighting are not representatives of the religion of God. These only came to existence as a result of the political and economic conflicts in the world. ISIL/S came only after Iraq and Syria are destroyed. Alqaeda and Taliban came after the destruction of Afghanistan. Boko Haram after the Nigerian Government failed to administer its territories. Al Shabab after Somalia fell. The same is the case with the group in Mali. It came after the fall of Libya.
Now, is it not wise to work towards getting these countries back on their feet to be in control of their own destiny rather than further destroy them? If Islam was the bad religion and Muslims evil as they claim, the 1.6 billion Muslims would have brought the world to an end.
Airstrikes, bombs and invasion only destroy more innocent lives thus creating more enemies. Training and arming local fighters on the ground only creates more sufisticated and complex groups as none can account for them after they leave the training. A short working experience in a post war country would attest to this.
It needs to be understood that every single airstrike harms innocent victims whose helpless dependants by default become another new enemy.
The sooner the world understands this, the better for it’s citizens who are all victims of this and are longing to see their habitat free from mayhem and destruction.
A true Muslim
The pillars of Islam are founded on the Believe and total submission to the One God and belief in all his prophets; Daily prayers; Payment of Alms to poor and needy; Fasting the Month of Ramadan; and Hajj at least once in a lifetime.
It further enjoins Muslims to work hard to live on and consume only what is lawful while doing their best to be a blessing for all the inhabitants of the universe including nature and animals. To cement this, its emphasis is on the knowledge and fear of the all-seeing and all-knowing and reckoning creator who would judge, reward and punish on the day of judgement. It enjoins believers to strive for the reward of Paradise after death and avoid the torments of hellfire.
Being Muslim requires being constantly self-conscious and watchful over one’s own deeds, words and intentions for they are being recorded and being counted. This leads to internal self awareness which gives a sense of peace and tranquility to the soul thereby radiating in your relationship with all that you contact. It gives fulfillment and purpose to life as it helps you in seeing everything in this world as means to bring you to eternal Bliss.
In appreciating this grace, you are humbled that none are your self made and out of your own will but rather a favour from the benevolent lord on you. As you pray for guidance for all, you are mindful that your own guidance is not irrevocable by him as you can fall if not for his mercy. You instead pray and wish others well that all can live in unity, freedom and peace each day. Sincerely you wish all that this diversity in humans would bring all closer to proof man’s brotherhood in God’s kingdom.
While you strive for higher ranks in his dominion, your only goal is the pleasure of him in your daily activities including constantly being with him and being mindful of his set limits. This leaves you with no time and energy for hatred and evil in your thoughts and actions.
How then do you stand in front of your Lord at least 5 times a day telling him “Iyaaka na Abuudou wa Iyaaka Nasta Einu” (You alone we worship and You alone we seek for help), guide us on the straight path, the path of those thou has favoured); Qur’an Chapter 1. Yet your every other action defies that testimony??
An ideal Muslim avoids sin and misguidance in his deeds, words and intent as much as he avoids saitan and his prime nature of arrogance. He is neither unsubmissive nor is he evil in manner or nature. He is neither mischievous nor is he treacherous. He respects and cares about others as a single body cares about each other part when in pain. He is only occupied with two duties, first to please his creator and second to live a fruitful self reliant life. Both these are embedded in the foundation of knowledge, faith and submission as without them he becomes nothing but a wondering Shepherd lost in a wide desert with no hope for return.
This is an ideal Muslim not someone who carries a weapon and harm others in a blind ideology that only helps to misconstrue an otherwise path to true salvation for all.
I can’t agree with you more brother..You have beautifully summarised what a Muslim, who follows only Allah’s (SWT) Guidance, should be and look like…This is the essence of Allah’s revelation and guidance (SWT) to/for mankind..
The “war on terror”, the basis on which it was initiated (9/11 incident), and the various wars and conflict in the Middle East, and the manner in which it is executed, have all given rise to doubts and questions in many people’s minds, about the real motives for this endless conflict..
We certainly have reasons to doubt that the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, its rapid expansion and consolidation of territories acquired, its abundant financial and military resources, and the seeming inability of the world’s most powerful militaries to defeat it, is all down to their military ingenuity, sophistication and business acumen..
Adding to this doubt and suspicion is the training, arming and funding of groups, comprising mainly of foreign fighters, into Syria to wage a war of aggression against the internationally recognised government of Basar-Al-Assad, in total contravention of International Law and disregard for Syrian (and Iraqi ) sovereignty..
The naked antagonism against Russia, who are most definitely fighting the terrorist, at the invitation of the Syrian Government, further raises some serious doubts about the motives for the West’s aggravation of the Syrian conflict…It can certainly no longer be viewed as a fight for democracy for the Syrian people, because the bulk of the fighters are not even Syrians and are most certainly not Democrats at all…
I agree with you guys about the description of true Muslim in the Quran , however that true Muslim Is also bound to make sins because he or she is not perfect . Today apart from terrorism of which majority are carried out by Muslims by killing their fellow Muslims and non Muslims , the most undemocratic societies where the rights of human beings are not respected , brutal and dictatorial regimes are all Muslim dominated societies or countries. The question now is ” why such societies lack basic human rights , rule of law , respect for human dignity compare to other societies where Muslims are not dominance population ? Why is it Muslims even prefers to migrate to those non Muslims countries where there is better human rights , respect for human dignity and the rule of law ? Is that not a double standard or hypocrisy since you believe that you should live your life as described in the Quran but none of such beautiful description ever existed in Muslims communities or societies ? Is it not fair to assume by non-Muslims that such societies lack respect of human rights , compassion, human dignify ? I think mr Sanneh’s article asked fundamental question which Muslims should re-exam , re-assess or evaluate themselves especially Hadith which are not the words of God but sayings or actions did by the prophet which might be true or not .
Today most oppressive societies are Muslims dominated societies . Example in The Gambia , some people care to live their lives according to the description of a true Muslims while the rest are pretending and are obsessed with religion they never understand . This is evidence by corruption , not speaking the truth to the power or each other, not caring for each other .,majority of those carrying out atrocities in our society are Muslims . What is wrong with these people , can’t they follow or understand the true Muslim you described above . This behaviors are the same as terrorists but the terrorists are operating on large scale destructive path in a single actions .
Hiding / living in western countries where you have better human rights , rule of law , respect for human dignity , religious freedom and democracy and the same time claiming to defend Muslims societies or countries where they are killing themselves and others is really disturbing . Majority of Gambians prefers to live in those non-Muslims countries where they are provided with good , respectful living conditions compared to Muslims countries where there is minimal or none of such conditions . It is time for Muslims to evaluate themselves .
Bax , I think you really have problem of sympathizing with wrong people . How can you claimed to say that Basar Al-Assad’s government is internationally recognized . Don’t you know about his human rights abuses , corruption , political oppression just like our own dictator is doing in our country . You need to understand what is dictatorship and its consequences on the population. If people go by your yardstick then we can also claimed that Gambia is not a dictatorship. Does that makes any sense to you ? I understand you don’t like American foreign policy but war on terror has no boundaries. Russia and USA are fighting proxy war in Syria which you need to understand . It is clear stupidity for Russia to involved at the invitation of Syrian dictator , at the end of the day , Syria will be completely destroy and USA and it’s allies will have upper hand . Now that the French , the British have all started Ariel campaign , I hope they destroy Isis militarily as well as taken out current government by political means . Assad needs to step down and they call for general election.
As for refugee situation , I think they should send them to Saudi or Arab countries so that they can worship their God because it’s the birth place of Islam as well as they have similar cultures. I think UK/ USA immigration policy should focus on helping Africans settle in their countries more than Arab or middle eastern countries because studies have shown that African immigrants are less likely to commit crime or terrorism than Arabs or other immigrants . In terms of graduates , Africans has highest immigrants graduation rate among all immigrants in USA according to recent studies .
Palestine issues is the number one influences of terrorism before which leads to current international terrorism . Muslims must understand that Palestine issue is not about Islam but the sad thing is majority believe that it’s about Islam . Even the poor Muslims in Africa who has no connection with Palestine political issue with Israel ,believe that their problem has to do with Islam and they are sympathetic to them . I careless about Arab political problems because I know my focus should be on our own African/ black problems we have in our countries . Though I do not support any killings of innocent civilians in any country .
War makes a good business too. Money flows.