|أحمد محمد لبن Ahmad.M.Lbn|
مؤسس ومدير المنتدى
عدد المساهمات : 27322
العمر : 67
|موضوع: The Universality of Islam and Its Timelessness الخميس 20 يوليو 2017, 5:35 am|| |
The Universality of Islam and Its Timelessness
The Prophet Muhammad is the final messenger and it is inconceivable knowing the mercy of the merciful that He would leave humans without any form of clear guidance. In other words, what He gave this final message must be suitable to guide mankind after him. In fact, the Prophet himself made this very same point in essence when he said, “I have left with you two things that if you cling to them you will never be misguided after me: The Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger.”
In addition to the fact that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the final prophet, Allah has also said, “This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion” (5:3). Allah has also declared that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the prophet for all of mankind: “Say [O Muhammad], ‘O Mankind, indeed I am the Messenger of Allah to you all” (7:158).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also said, “I have been given five aspects that were not given to any prophet before me... [One of which is] every prophet was sent only to his people while I have been sent to all of mankind.” Thus, the religion is completed and perfected and there is no need for any alteration or change. The message has come and shall suffice until the Day of Judgment. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sent for all peoples has already come.
This implies that the Prophet’s teaching and his Sunnah are valid and obligatory upon all of mankind. That is, his example and teaching was not simply for the people of Arabia at his time. Instead, it is just as valid and just as important for each and every Muslim today, whether he be in New York or Malaysia.
Someone may logically ask: How is it that this Law is able to fulfill the needs for all of humankind until the Day of Judgment? The answer has to do with the beauty of the Law. When one studies the law promulgated by the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) one finds that it has the needed elements of flexibility that allow it to be just as practicable today as it was during the time of the Prophet.
in reality, the nature of humans actually do not change over time. Therefore, worship, which is the foundation of a human's character, does not need to change. These laws are fixed until the Day of Judgment.
there are some harmful matters that humans must avoid. These have also been explicitly and permanently forbidden. Beyond that, humans need only some detailed laws and many general principles that allow them to guide their lives in all times and places. This is exactly what Islamic Law provides for them.
In essence, those issues that need be fixed and permanent are made such by the Islamic Law. Those that need to be flexible so that different peoples at different times may apply them differently are left flexible in the Islamic Law. Hence, it is a Divinely guided way of life that is suitable and practical for all humans until the Day of Judgment. For example, in business dealings, interest is prohibited forever.
In addition to that, general guidelines are given. However, the guidance is such that when new forms of business dealings are developed, as in modern times, one can determine which are acceptable according to Islamic guidelines and which are not. Thus, Islamic Law has been proven to be feasible for over 1400 years and, according to Islamic beliefs, will continue to be feasible until the Day of Judgment.
This means that the guidance is complete. It is all that the Muslims need for happiness in this world and in the Hereafter. It cannot be improved upon. It is, therefore, in no need of additions, alterations or deletions. For this obvious reason, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) gave very strong warnings about innovations and heresies. Such things are not needed at all and they will simply take away from the beauty and perfection of Islam.
Thus, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The worst actions are the invented ones. And every innovation is a going astray.” He also said, “And every going astray is in the hell fire.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also said, “Whoever introduces anything into this affair of ours that does not belong to it will have it rejected.”
The Sources of Islamic Law and Guidance
The goal of Islam is for the human to become a true servant of Allah.
Therefore, his source of guidance and the foundations for his actions must be rooted in the revelation from God. It is from this vantage point that the scholars speak about the sources of law in Islam. The two ultimate authorities in Islamic Law are the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet.
The Quran is the speech of Allah and a revelation that came directly to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) from Allah via the angel Gabriel. The Quran was revealed piece by piece over a period of twenty-three years. It guided the early Muslim community along every step it took. It thus completely transformed that community into a pious generation.
In the meantime, it set examples for all later Muslim communities who will face some of the same circumstances they faced. It transformed an Arab people who were on the margins of the civilized world at that time into the leaders of a great civilization, whose influence still continues today. When read, understood and applied properly today, it will also transform individuals or society and exalt them to new heights of piety and closeness to God.
Upon receiving the words of the Quran, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would pass those words onto his followers. In addition, he would have his scribes record the newly revealed verses. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said about the Quran, “There was no Prophet among the Prophets but was given miracles because of which people had had belief, but what I have been given is the Divine Revelation which Allah has revealed to me. So I hope that my followers will be more than those of any other Prophet on the Day of Resurrection.” In other words, the Prophet Muhammad’s great sign and miracle was the Quran.
Indeed, the Quran is miraculous in many ways. For example, the Arabs at the time of the Prophet excelled in language. However, even though they greatly opposed the Prophet for many years, they realized that they could not meet the literary eloquence of the Quran. But the Quran is much more than simply a “literary miracle.”
It is miraculous as well with respect to its fulfilled prophecies of future events, its internal consistency (although revealed over a period of twenty-three years), its scientific accuracy, its historical accuracy, its precise preservation, its magnanimous and wise laws, its affect that it had and still has in reforming and changing humans and so forth.
In addition to the Quran, there are the sayings and example of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), known as the Sunnah. It is also a form of inspiration that was given by Allah to the Prophet.
The Prophet said,
“I have been given the Quran and something similar to it with it.”
The authority of the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah is not because he is some kind of demigod. He was definitely only a human being, just like all of the other prophets. The prophet’s authority is related to the issue of submission to Allah: It is Allah in the Quran who establishes the authority of the Prophet.
Hence, following the way of the Prophet is nothing but acting in obedience and submission to Allah. Allah has virtually said such when He said, “He who obeys the Messenger has indeed obeyed Allah, but he who turns away, then we have not sent you (O Muhammad) as a watcher over them” (4:80).
In the Quran,
Allah makes it clear that if someone loves Allah and wishes that Allah should love him in return, the key is to follow the way of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Allah says, “Say (O Muhammad to humankind), ‘If you (truly) love Allah then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful’” (3:31).
The Quran says about the Prophet,
“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have an excellent example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much” (33:21). The Prophet was, in a way, a “living Quran.” When the Prophet’s wife Aishah was asked about his character and behavior, she replied, “His character was the Quran.”
There is a very important relationship between the Quran and the Sunnah.
The Sunnah demonstrates how the Quran is to be implemented. It is a practical explanation of what the Quran is teaching. It defines the morals, behaviors and laws of the Quran in such a way that its meaning becomes clear.
This complete, human embodiment of the teachings of the Quran is a great blessing and mercy for Muslims. It makes the guidance from God more complete and accessible to all.
Thus, the Quran and the Sunnah form one united unit that offers all the principles of guidance that humankind will need until the Day of Judgment.
The Quran, of course, comprises one book that can be captured in some two hundred pages or so. The Sunnah, on the other hand, is quite different, covering all of the statements and actions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The Sunnah is captured in what is known as the hadith literature. A hadith is a report about what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said or did.
Muslim scholars recognized that the religion of Allah must be preserved properly. They also recognized that not everything attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) may be correct as even honest people can make mistakes. Hence, they meticulously and methodically studied the various hadith and statements ascribed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), sifting those that can be authenticated from those that cannot be authenticated. Thus, in Islamic law, not every hadith is considered an authority. Only those that can meet rigid standards of authenticity are considered authoritative. The scholars call these types of hadith sahih (authentic) or hasan (good). Unacceptable hadith are classified as daeef (weak), very weak or fabricated.
Although the original Arabic texts of both the Quran and the Prophet’s sayings are available, one has to resort to modest translations to convey their meanings to non-Arabic speakers. With respect to the Quran, two translations in particular can be recommended. They are The Noble Quran: English Translation of the Meanings and Commentary, translated by al-Hilali and Khan , and The Quran: Arabic Text with Corresponding English Meaning, translated by “Saheeh International.” These two are recommended due to their translations being based upon the understanding of the Quran as can be traced back to the Prophet himself and his closest Companions.
To truly appreciate the depths of the Quran, one should also read a commentary of the Quran. Unfortunately, there are not a large number of excellent commentaries available in English—although there is a plethora of them in many other languages.
One very important work available in English is the ten-volume Tafsir ibn Kathir (Abridged). This is the translation of an abridgment of a classical work of Quranic commentary by ibn Kathir (1301-1372 C.E.) In his study of Quranic commentaries, Muhammad Hussein al Dhahabi calls this commentary one of the best of its kind. In this work, ibn Kathir follows the principles of Quranic commentary as elucidated by his teacher, the well-known ibn Taimiyyah. Perhaps the only drawback of this work is that it is a translation of a classic work and therefore was not written in a style that many today are most comfortable with.