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Frank

"your Opinion Doesn't Count"

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On other Islamic forums (I don't go on the appropriate boards on this one, so I don't know if it happens here) it's common to see older/stricter/whatever people tell others (often converts) that their opinion is meaningless, and that they are behaving in a non-Islamic manner by attempting to interpret the Koran rather than following the scholars.

 

I can understand this - I get incredibly frustrated with people getting excited about conspiracy theories when they have far too little knowledge of the subjects to have a valid opinion. For example, unless you are an academic historian specialising in the Nazi era in Germany, you really shouldn't imagine that you can judge the veracity of a Holocaust-denier's webite. The layperson can of course cite genuinely qualified people in defense of their views.

 

However. While I agree that a long tradition of scholarship produces an infinitely more subtle understanding of Islamic rules than any individual starting from zero knowledge, there is a problem. The scholars disagree. There are radically different versions of rules, and no means for the layperson to choose between them. In the end it DOES come down to their individual's opinion of which scholar is correct. There's no mechanism (eg, a Pope) for deciding on a definitive version of the rules. And as breaking the rules can see you end up in hell for eternity, it's fairly important.

 

So what do lay Muslims do about this? Accept the scholarly tradition they were born into and hope for the best?

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So what do lay Muslims do about this? Accept the scholarly tradition they were born into and hope for the best?

 

:sl: / Peace and Blessings

 

What you are asking here, in my opinion, is quite an advanced issue in Islam...

 

I already made a thread based on this some time back in the Advanced Islamic Discussions section..I posted quite a few interesting articles to read; if you are looking to the practical aspects of how Muslims deal with differences you can scroll down to the bottom two of my posts where answers are provided...

 

(you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetgawaher(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/index.php?showtopic=37360"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetgawaher(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/index.php?showtopic=37360[/url]

 

:sl: / Peace and Blessings

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Thanks, I'll read it.

 

(Dunno why it's an advanced issue, though - surely most Muslims face the issue when, say, their child wants to learn a musical instrument.)

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(Dunno why it's an advanced issue, though - surely most Muslims face the issue when, say, their child wants to learn a musical instrument.)

Parents should be made up in their minds about following which opinions before having children, and before thinking about what principles to instill in them. At least that is what I think...and I think at least in my community, most Muslim parents have made up their minds...

 

It is an advanced issue theoretically with why these differences exist and how we should deal with them....

 

Practically, it comes down to your true reflection on these issues with religion, and coming up to a informed conclusion and decision with regards to which opinion one should follow...and not just one which best suits you...so this can also be advanced or simple, depending on the Muslim's ability to think and perceive things.

 

The basic foundations of Islam are already in place (belief in one Creator alone, belief in the message given by the prophets, belief in the angels and jinn, establishing of regular prayers, paying of zakat (charity), performing pilgrimage, fasting in Ramadan). It is mostly the peripherals in life (niqab, music, etc.) where there are differences. And yes, while there are other more fundamental differences within Muslims, for that we just have to accept them, and wait for Allah's judgement.

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Hmm, well I read the thread you linked. It's basically saying that lay-people should just follow the tradition they think is best. That is, it leaves it to their opinion.

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On other Islamic forums (I don't go on the appropriate boards on this one, so I don't know if it happens here) it's common to see older/stricter/whatever people tell others (often converts) that their opinion is meaningless, and that they are behaving in a non-Islamic manner by attempting to interpret the Koran rather than following the scholars.

 

Just a random post here, but from what I've noticed through my own experience, converts are usually the most strict, whereas those who grew up into Islam just take it for granted. I guess forums are different though, since this is based on life experience.

 

But yeah, anyway.

 

Salam.

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*edit - this is an off-topic response to Layna. No need to answer me on this*

 

No-one admits it (this "the Ummah must stick together against the Kufar!" thing really does cause Muslims a lot of problems) but in my country the most vocal and aggressive Muslims are basically second-generation immigrants with parents who were illiterate peasants traumatised by civil war. I don't mean that as derogatory but it does explain why they are so ready to revere their sheiks (almost to the point of shirk) and follow very strict rulings.

Edited by Frank

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people who have little positive 'tradition', often turn to a 'tradition' offered that is more positive. You might think about this before cheering on yet another invasion of yet another country in the alleged name of 'democracy' bought by guns and bombers.

 

as for your original question, is it not like the west where the most 'beleiving' or inspirational teacher has the strongest influence? Now ask yourself, why is it the teachers who teach lessons of hate and violence are the 'strongest' teachers at present? And if you desire the teachers of 'peace and development' to be stronger, what is it in the world you would change?

 

because every one of us can make a difference. Do you understand?

 

 

Peace and Love. :sl:

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:sl:

 

You need either guidance, or knowledge to be able to interpret Quran.

 

To understand Quran you need to know the context (ie; when it was revealed, why is was revealed, what it means) and this requires a huge amount of knowledge.

 

On the other hand, it is possible to understand Quran if you are guided.. however that isn't enough to understand the whole thing unless you know about the history.

 

Therefore to understand the Quran properly you need both knowledge, and guidance from Allah. If these people are having a go at kids trying to interpret Quran, there is probably a reason behind it. We really shouldn't go off trying to draw our own conclusions.. because I could show you a verse right now and ask you to tell me what you think about it.. and when I tell you the context and why it was written it would be a whole different meaning.

 

 

Mehmet

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Gnuneo, nice post and all, but did you post it in the right thread?

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Righteous, did you read the OP? I agree with you, but the point of the thread is to ask how people choose between scholars when they disagree. You, I know, follow scholars who say that music is forbidden in Islam; others don't. What do you do about this disagreement? Do you agree to disagree? If not, how could the disagreement be resolved?

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Gnuneo, nice post and all, but did you post it in the right thread?

 

No-one admits it (this "the Ummah must stick together against the Kufar!" thing really does cause Muslims a lot of problems) but in my country the most vocal and aggressive Muslims are basically second-generation immigrants with parents who were illiterate peasants traumatised by civil war. I don't mean that as derogatory but it does explain why they are so ready to revere their sheiks (almost to the point of shirk) and follow very strict rulings.

 

people who have little positive 'tradition', often turn to a 'tradition' offered that is more positive. You might think about this before cheering on yet another invasion of yet another country in the alleged name of 'democracy' bought by guns and bombers.

 

as for your original question, is it not like the west where the most 'beleiving' or inspirational teacher has the strongest influence? Now ask yourself, why is it the teachers who teach lessons of hate and violence are the 'strongest' teachers at present? And if you desire the teachers of 'peace and development' to be stronger, what is it in the world you would change?

 

because every one of us can make a difference.Do you understand?

 

 

Peace and Love. wub.gif

 

yes, i beleive so.

 

 

peace and love. :sl:

Edited by gnuneo

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Salaams peeps,

 

but the point of the thread is to ask how people choose between scholars when they disagree.

 

People usually follow a school of thought and stick to that. But this is not compulsory, and ultimately a Muslim can use his or her own judgement when scholars disagree - but this is not advised. Fiqh becomes very complicated which is why people are encouraged to follow one school.

 

peace

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Guest amani
Righteous, did you read the OP? I agree with you, but the point of the thread is to ask how people choose between scholars when they disagree. You, I know, follow scholars who say that music is forbidden in Islam; others don't. What do you do about this disagreement? Do you agree to disagree? If not, how could the disagreement be resolved?

Peace

 

in Islam theres no this scholar said this so it must be right and this scholar said that.

 

a scholar cant give his opinion just like that.

 

it should be this scholar said this. his proof is based upon..and proof from the Quraan and Sunnah must be given. obviously there are people who may not want to listen but the thing is you dont choose between which scholar to follow you see what is closest to the Quran and Sunnah, what the Companions of the Prophet peace be upon him said and the righteous predecesors.

 

Hope that somewhat answers your question, if not what im trying to say is we dont follow our scholars we follow the Quran and Sunnah, if a scholar contradicts that we do not listen to him.

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A scholar is just someone that knows better than we do that's why we trust his opinion - he has no religious "post" or "rule". It's like we ask a doctor when we are sick because he knows better than we do and we trust his opinion.

 

In the end, we do what we believe is closer to the truth.

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Mahawi and Amani - thanks, but but but ... I keep reading that interpreting the Koran and Hadiths is far too complicated for lay people to attempt. It's almost a form of sin to try. Yet somehow lay people are expected to be able to choose which scholar is interpreting the Koran correctly?

 

And isn't there a saying (or something) to the effect that scholars stand between god and the people (this is meant to be a good thing, although it sounds like the worst aspects of a priesthood to me)?

Edited by Frank

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And isn't there a saying (or something) to the effect that scholars stand between god and the people

 

Never heard of such a hadith. I also know for sure that there is no priesthood in any way.

 

I dont see the matter so pressing and I never had a problem, the differing opinions are only in minor issues really, none of them disagree about praying or fasting or zakat...etc. Also, none of them say that the other scholar is wrong and if you follow that fatwa then you are going to hell; the reason behind that is that they know that the other scholar has a solid basis for his opinion.

 

The lay person, when he is in such a dilemma, should learn enough to help him to decide; if he doesn’t want to learn he then should just follow what the scholar says. Asking God’s guidance will also go a long way in this.

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Salaams peeps,

People usually follow a school of thought and stick to that. But this is not compulsory, and ultimately a Muslim can use his or her own judgement when scholars disagree - but this is not advised. Fiqh becomes very complicated which is why people are encouraged to follow one school.

 

peace

 

:sl:

 

Agreed. Most people follow one of the 4 traditional schools of thought. They are all valid and lead you to Allah but which one you follow largely depends on resources, i.e. are there scholars/teachers in your local area teaching the jurisprudence from that particular school of thought?

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A person who interprets the Qur'an based on his opinion can take his place in the Hellfire. This doesn't mean that a Muslim can't meditate on a passage, but if he says that his opinion is the definitive meaning of the passage then he is sinful. Most importantly the Qur'an must be first interpreted literally, then by the Qur'an itself, then by the sayings of the Prophet(pbuh) etc. I think you get the main idea, you must interpret the Qur'an based on evidence.

 

All the views of the four schools of thought are acceptable, differences of opinion are allowed as long as the method with which the ruling was derived with was sound. A layman who followed a false ruling won't be thrown into Hell just like a person whom the Truth hadn't reached won't be thrown into Hell. Both couldn't have known any better.

Edited by Younes Ibn Abd' al-Aziz

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So lay people who say that, for example, "Music is forbidden in Islam" are not only incorrect but sinful?

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"just like a person whom the Truth hadn't reached won't be thrown into Hell"

 

This is the wrong thread, but it would be interesting to get a definition of 'the Truth hasn't reached'. By a strict interpretation it could be said to be impossible to disbelieve the truth if it has 'reached' you (ie you understand it to be the truth). Which produces the result that the world is composed entirely of believers and people whom the truth hasn't reached.

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Peace

 

A person who interprets the Qur'an based on his opinion can take his place in the Hellfire.

 

I totally agree.

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Erm, didn't you just reach that conclusion about the fate of people who interpret the Koran based on your interpretation of the Koran?

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So lay people who say that, for example, "Music is forbidden in Islam" are not only incorrect but sinful?

 

No. Music is forbidden in Islam. A layman would be sinful if he said this without giving any evidence.

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"just like a person whom the Truth hadn't reached won't be thrown into Hell"

 

This is the wrong thread, but it would be interesting to get a definition of 'the Truth hasn't reached'. By a strict interpretation it could be said to be impossible to disbelieve the truth if it has 'reached' you (ie you understand it to be the truth). Which produces the result that the world is composed entirely of believers and people whom the truth hasn't reached.

 

Well no. If the Truth was presented to you then you are accountable. Óbviously the world isn't composed of Believers, even those whom the Truth hasn't reached won't necessarily be Believers in the Hereafter. To give you better understanding on this subject I would have to define Believer to you, but I'll give you a hint: Satan knows that God exists, yet he isn't a Believer.

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