Books and Documents

Islamic Sharia Laws (08 Feb 2012 NewAgeIslam.Com)


  • Ziauddin Sardar, in an article titled "How to take Islam back to Reason" quotes the Prophet as saying: "An hour's study of nature is better than a year's prayer."
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 2/21/2012 12:15:42 AM

  • Dear br. Ghulam, I concur with the statement by the learned Prof Pervez. I myself combine zuhr and asr prayers and maghrib and isha on a daily basis. there is evidence in form of hadith that prophet did so for no particular reason to show it was acceptable. many shi'a muslims do this all the time of course AND FIND IT COMPLETELY ACCEPTABLE. he also told a man that if he couldn't wake up for farj prayers on time he should do it when he wakes up.
    By ADIS - 2/20/2012 9:33:41 PM

  • Dear Br. Yunus, beautifully put. couldn't agree more.
    By adis - 2/20/2012 9:28:22 PM

  • Regarding rituals Adis saheb says, "i guess a degree of mutibility without substantive change is possible for pragmatic reasons."

    Yunus saheb says, "these tenets do not appear to be subject to any rigidity or immutability."

    Remarking on the competitive pressures of modern life, and expressing concern for Muslims being backward in studies, careers and research, Prof. Pervez Hoodbhoy too has suggested that we should not be too rigid and literalistic regarding performance of rituals. Abbreviated and simplified forms of rituals may be more suitable for our times.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 2/20/2012 2:06:22 PM

  • Rituals and Taqwah are complementary to each other. Namaz (Salah)is just for the purity of body and a religious duty as well, but the real purity comes with the practice and sustenance of Taqwah in our life, so we ought to adhere to all the arkan of Iman (Faith) with full sincerety and Khushu wa Khuzu. If we wish to agree Allah Kareem, we must try to be a true Muslim by practicing our duties and leading our lives according to Sunnat-e-Rasool (pbuh).
    By Raihan Nezami - 2/20/2012 8:52:49 AM

  • @Adis/Muhiyuddin: My duly approved published exegetic work wraps up as follows with regard to the key Islamic spiritual rituals:

    i) Prayer (salah) is somewhat like the fragrance of a flower (the soul of Islam), and the dynamic forces of Islam its body. Without fragrance the body may not have any value in the court of God and without the body, it is a piece of fossil on the desert sand.”
    ii) Zakat: the Qur’an uses the word zakah for all kinds of humanitarian deeds. Thus all believers, rich and poor, can exercise zakah by showing mercy and extending emotional and psychological support to distressed humanity, by caring and nursing the sick and wounded, and other similar gestures, while the rich must also give the mandatory charity (institutionalized Zakat) as part of their zakah obligation.
    iii) Fasting: The fasting Muslims are normally extremely concerned about the finer aspects relating to their abstinence from food and drinks, and compliance with the timings for commencing or breaking the fast. They, however, ought to bear in mind that the Qur’an prescribes fasting as a means to acquiring taqwa (2:183, 2:187) or heedfulness (Ch. 8). Thus, those who keep fast must endeavor to comply with the whole range of Qur’anic precepts that go with taqwa to merit the highest spiritual blessing from their fast.5
    Ref. Essential Message of Islam, Amana Publications, USA 2009, p. 305, 310, 316.
    Furthemore, since a) salah, sawm and zakah are also prescribed for the followers of other Prophets, b) the Qur’anic verses on salah and zakah do not prescribe any strict regime, c) the verses on sawm offer concessions/ways of redemption in constraining circumstances, and d) there is no punishment clause for lapses – these tenets do not appear to be subject to any rigidity or immutability – though God knows best.

    By muhammad yunus - 2/20/2012 7:59:58 AM

  • rituals make each religious tradition unique and distinct of course. i guess a degree of mutibility without substantive change is possible for pragmatic reasons eg. number of sheep slaughtered during eid ul adha ( it can be one on behalf of all hajjis) , timing of namaz and fasting come to mind
    By adis - 2/20/2012 7:56:05 AM

  • I too think rituals have beauty and worth, but are they immutable?
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 2/19/2012 9:48:59 PM

  • I agree with you br. Ghulam. Rituals , however, are powerful religious symbols which if understood and observed properly always point to the deeper truth in them. the fact remains that many do not realise this deeper truth that you so eloquently stated in your comment. i dont think we should do away with the rituals. there can be beauty in them too.
    By adis - 2/19/2012 9:36:17 PM

  • Mr. Adis says, "Sunna 'ibadiyya is the embodiement and the extension of the 'ibadiyya element of the Qur'an and it is immutable ( namaz, hajj, sawn, janaza etc)."

    The purpose of all religions is to make us better human beings and make our societies better societies. How do undue emphasis of rituals and considering rituals to be immutable help in that overriding purpose?
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 2/19/2012 1:29:05 PM

  • Dear Adis, I am greatful that you read it and also made a positive remark about it. This is important as the article is quite sensitive and has rattled up the ahle hadith theological leadership in India.
    I take your point that the definition of Sunna in the article could be expanded to differentiate between the spiritual and the functional/universal tenets - but as you will appreciate the focus of the article is not on the Sunna but on the histeriography of the evolution of the Hadith, now regarded as an eternal component of Islam like the Qur’an, so as to relegate it into its historical slot and bring to the fore, the Qur’anic message (which constituted the Prophet's Sunna for the salaf) in its rightful place as a complete, universal, pluralistic and eternal font of guidance.

    By muhammad yunus - 2/19/2012 10:58:10 AM

  • Indeed, this is in many ways an important contribution.Hoewever, the author needs to refine his concept of sunna more clearly and systematically rather than just correctly stating that hadith are different from it. Muslims have always coupled Qur'an and Sunna together ( often expressed in the form kitab allah wa sunnatu nabiyihi). As I outlined in my articles eslewhere on this website, Sunna and Qur'an are two sides of the same coin in that Sunna. As such sunna consists of three parts , two of which are dynammic and one which is not . Sunna 'ibadiyya is the embodiement and the extension of the 'ibadiyya element of the Qur'an and it is immutable ( namaz, hajj, sawn, janaza etc). Other elements of sunna which refer to as sunna akhlaqiyya and sunna fiqhiya are dynamic in sense that they are based on maqasid and maslaha principles which are based on certain ethico-religious principles whose understandings change according to time and place. I will have more to say on this in my forthcoming articles to be publsihed here, in sha' Allah.
    By adis - 2/19/2012 3:46:40 AM

  • This is an important article. It puts the Hadiths in a proper perspective and emphasizes the need to make Quran's message the core of our madrasa teaching supplemented by standard curricula in arts and sciences.

    BTW, I take the Quranic exhortation to "follow the Prophet" to mean "believe in the suras that the Prophet brings you" rather than an upholding of the Hadiths or Sunna.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 2/9/2012 1:50:24 AM