Search This Blog

Sunday, December 11, 2011

What kind of interpretation?

Muslims come in all shapes and sizes. I have met many with a 'liberal' outlook, many with extremely strict views, and many in between. It was while sitting yesterday in the mosque, that I began to wonder, which category do I belong to. Do I need to belong to a category? It got me thinking ...

Often, when I listen to a view point different than my own, I am tempted to dismiss it outright, to shrug it off by labeling it as 'too liberal' or 'too strict', but I fear that this attitude may be unwise, if it is not based on sound knowledge. The Quran admonishes those who do not think for themselves, who follow their elders or the ways of society without reflecting upon them, and who do not accept guidance from Allah when it comes to them. To me, that means that if I learn or hear something that does not match with my ideas, that bothers me, as possibly being to one extreme or the other, I need to gain adequate knowledge before I pass judgement on it. My feelings alone should not guide the way. I might be rejecting a concept simply because it is new to me, or because I personally find something difficult or unattractive.

The Quran guides us on this and every matter. Allah tells us to look beyond our likes and dislikes and search for wisdom and goodness. Allah knows well our human nature, that we might like something while it is harmful for us and we might dislike something that is good for us. So what to do?

Learn. Find knowledge from its source: The Quran and Hadith, bearing in mind that the Quran is far superior to the hadith. Since the hadith contain knowledge and guidance of our blessed Prophet Muhammad, we revere them, yet hadith are not infallible. If we cannot reconcile a hadith with the Quran, we must lay it aside and give preference to the Quran. While understanding the Quran, we must remember that one part of the Quran does not contradict another part. One portion of the Quran explains another and so forth. If we keep these basic rules in mind and humbly submit and pray to Allah, we are likely to find true guidance in every affair. We need not limit ourselves to a certain approach in all matters. It is best to keep our minds open, listen willingly to any logical argument and certainly be not the first to reject a matter simply based on our feelings.

Humble submission and prayer. May Allah the most Mighty and Wise, guide us on the paths that lead to Him. May we never turn away from guidance in any form. Ameen.

No comments:

Post a Comment