8 Jun 2005


'When sacred texts and religious institutions are fixed in place and time, there is always a need to adapt to change, albeit without formally compromising that which had been declared sacred. When compelled by changed circumstances, a still vibrant community of believers will inevitably relax its critical judgment and favour instead an interpretive license with which to accomodate new realities. But, sooner or later, that effort to legitimize the present by creating a past out of new cloth will strain credulity even among the most trusting of the faithful.' J. Lassner.

The death of Prophet Mohammad ended revealtion for all times. In theory, the prophet's actions were considered guidance for all muslims, not only during his time but for the many generations to come. This forced the reliance on God's last revealed text and sunna established by his final messenger. But, as with other revealed religions, neither the scripture nor historical precendent provided a viable foundation for contingencies that evolved over time-- and in this case, in regions far removed from the birthplace of Islam. And so a process of determining precendents, particularly regarding law and religious practice were invoked to authenticate developments taking place well after the prophet's death and well beyond Arabia. Institutions and practices that had taken root among Muslims subsequent to Mohammad, institutions often adapted from foreign models of governance and from the customary law of conquered regions, were recast in Muslim mold by way of back projections made consistent with the Prophet and his age. These later institutions and practices were thus endowed with legitimacy and authority as if time had no historical boundaries.

What else could they have done? With they I meant .......


Blogger ألِف said...

Excuse my ignorance, but I was attracted by the post's title because only yesterday I stumbled by this
Is this post a title only, or am I missing something :-)
What do you think about that book so far?

6/04/2005 03:44:00 pm  
Blogger doshar said...

i don't know if my iq is going down or is this really confusing? honestly i don't understand the post khales. can you please explain?

6/08/2005 07:01:00 pm  
Blogger Dalulla said...

I also did not understand, except for maybe that you are saying that sacred texts and religious institutions should change as time passes to suite the changes people are going through?

Please clarify.

6/08/2005 07:28:00 pm  
Blogger Dalulla said...

ok the picture is getting clearer, but can you continue..who did you mean? and what do you mean what else could they have done?

6/09/2005 12:34:00 am  
Blogger haal said...

You guess and think!

6/09/2005 10:09:00 am  
Anonymous rahmanium said...

"...But, sooner or later, that effort to legitimize the present by creating a past out of new cloth will strain credulity even among the most trusting of the faithful."

6/09/2005 01:41:00 pm  
Anonymous rahmanium said...

.. sorry for the capital letter writing, it was a technical error

6/09/2005 02:10:00 pm  
Blogger haal said...

Absolutely. This is indeed part of the argument--the historical argument re/ historiography, writing of history--which Hadith is a huge part of it.

6/09/2005 03:18:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Koran and sunnah are indeed absolute. they are eternal. forever. they suit all ages. still people discover new things with every step they go deeper in the teaching.

6/09/2005 07:12:00 pm  
Blogger farida said...

I agree with anonymous,Koran and Sunnah are absolute.

6/10/2005 06:42:00 am  
Blogger haal said...

Maybe Coran as a text is absolute, but its exegesis (interpretations) are circumstantial? Dunno. But Sunnah has more serious issues than Coran, in terms of 'sifting' through it to distinguish what was real from what is circumstantial, and by circumstantial, I mean, developed at certain time, certain circumstances to aid keep the umma at that time a replica of that during the Prophet.

6/10/2005 09:17:00 am  
Blogger doshar said...

yes,, but i think that those things ya haal that were circumstantial as you say, are usually obvious. and if those circumstances recur, we should take an example of what the prophet PBUH did.
can you give me an example of something like that for clarification purposes? i can't think of any right this moment

6/10/2005 04:10:00 pm  
Anonymous haal said...

Huh,...Not sure if I get what you are talking/asking about YA doshar. What is 'obvious'.

And I agree that the sunna of the prophet in most cases provide the 'how things should be done'.

What i meant with exegesis, interpretation of Koran, was how it is 'read' throughout the ages, how it can be read in 'isolation' of the time--which gives it a limited insight-- and when it is read in integration within the society so as to give it a different perspective. If all the interpretations are the same, we wouldn't have different points of views towards the same thing, for instance, Hijab, jihad, treating non-muslims, qawama, .....

6/10/2005 06:22:00 pm  
Blogger Dalulla said...

i would like to comment on anonymous and Farida's comments..

Not only was the Quraan revealed for a specific time, it was revealed to suite life till the day of judgement. As anonymous mentioned, people are discovering and beginning to unravel lots of meanings the Quraan pointed to.

Also the ahadeeth mentioned things that will happen, some of which already took place and some still haven't but will eventually...

Therefore, the idea that the Quraan and sunnah cannot contain and be used for complications arising in modern time is not applicable.

We must also bear in mind that some countries have actually adopted foreign laws and executed them, like Egypt for instance, which applies the French law with some of the sharee3a mixed in. This does not mean that this took place since the Sharee3a is crippled, or was not enough; rather it was just a matter of many political aspects and change in faith with certain individuals whom happened to have had authorities.. And this contradicts the following hadeeth.

"Tarakto fikom ma in tamasktoum bihi lan tadelou ba3di abadan. Kitaba allah waa sunnaty" (Please note that I tried to get the exact wordings but still haven't managed to)
تركت فيكم ما إن تمسكتم به لن تضلوا بعدي أبدا.. كتاب الله و سنتي.
And also the prophet did mention that there will come a time when those who rule amongst the Moslems are not fit for their positions, in the sense they will not ya7koumo bel Quraan and Sunna as they should.

Plus the fact that If God told us to follow the prophet's teachings and the Quraan then honestly the ongoing talks about the ahadeeth that were da3eefa (weak) is not a good enough reason, since the ones that are Sa7eehs were many more.. And those are available in AlBukhary and Muslim…

Besides there is also a verse in the Quraan which clearly states that we should follow what the prophet has said and taught and to avoid what he told us to.. The concept is, If Allah said this then we should take it as explicit, since he knows what will happen in every stage of this life, there is not a question about that.

"ومآ ءاتاكم الرسول فخذوه وما نهكم عنه فانتهوا واتقوا الله إن الله شديد العقاب"
سورة الحشر أية 7

6/10/2005 08:57:00 pm  
Blogger doshar said...

What is 'obvious'
alot of the things in the Quran are very clear and alot are repeated and clarified in more than one place. a million examples exist i am sure you don't need me to actually list some.

alot of times when you are reading quran you don't even have to go back to tafseer to know what the aya is talking about.

and there are motashabehat, true, (certain unclear things maybe)and in that we go back to sunna or to what the majority of olamaa (scholars) think. the olamaa will turn to quran and sunna in trying to make up their mind, so it still guides us now

but i don't think any of the examples you gave are related to the passage of time or the era we live in. they could have been contraversial issues back then as well as now.

and in the event of a true contraversy in opinions, i think you should follow the opinion of olamaa that you most believe in your heart is correct, and God knows what is in our hearts and will judge us fairly

6/10/2005 08:59:00 pm  
Blogger haal said...

Sounds like you gals figured everything out. Good for you.

But I think you are off-topic.

I am glad that you found one another. Really!

6/10/2005 09:56:00 pm  
Blogger Dalulla said...

Oh so i guess that would mean anonymous, rahmanium, farida, ألف Doshar and myself, are all off-topic.

So please could u kindly explain what the topic was originally?

6/10/2005 11:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Joseph L. said...


I agree that there are lots of different interepretations that had been modified througout the course of history. Jihad is, up to our present time, a topic that has caused differences among scholars, olamaa. I believe that as long as we are keeping ourselves open to re-reading sacred text then this is an indication of progress.

I hear lots of issues regarding Qawama, and their is actually a web site, i will link its page here, that shows the chronological development of this term. Did you read asma' can't remember the last name, in which she was re-reading the gender verses in Koran in a new light.

Doshar, I think you are taking things a little from a 'faith' p.o.v, brushing aside the historical and religious history of the issues. I beg to differ, the Koran is regarded by some as circumstantial, for the simplest reason as its verses were revealed at different times to treat certain issues that evolved at the time; some at the midst of Muslims fight with Jews... which not sure if we should use them till now or to be more clear, 'interpret' them to our times now. I think this what Haal meant. Same with Hijab, now talking niqab, but there is an ongoing argument about the 'traditions' of that time regarding hijab.... the debate is on, whether to choose to see it or not--and it does have a historical aspect that can not be ignored.

Dalulla, I feel you act more like a da'iya--which is great-- but you also need to read more into history and ongoing debates.

Haal, I will appreciate if you elaborate on the 'historical', 'historiography' aspect of the post. I feel that your post was not meant to go into 'Coran/Sunna' debate--at least this is what I get from 'off-topic' and when I initally read the post.

6/11/2005 12:03:00 am  
Blogger Dalulla said...

Joseph i am into ongoing debates, that is why iam interested in haals discussions.

6/11/2005 02:23:00 am  
Anonymous JLumbard said...

Wish you had said No to Dalia's request.

Waiting for the rest of your line of thought.

6/12/2005 06:16:00 pm  
Blogger Dalulla said...

Jlumbard, Why do u wish she had said no? Just curios. The girl is open to discussion isn't she?

Besides, words don't bite, especially if one believes in what they say and is on solid ground.

6/12/2005 11:43:00 pm  
Anonymous JLumbard said...


Hope I won't offend you. But I really wished Haal had said no to save you from writing a 'weak', let me put it this way, post for such an important topic.

Reading your post, no one can deny your passion, however, my guess is that you didn't think or take time to read and contemplate on the real question that was posed.

Sorry if I offended you in any way.

Good luck with your other posts.

6/13/2005 12:03:00 am  
Blogger Mohamed said...

Joseph/JLumbard, good to read your thoughts here. I agree with you actually. Too much passion alone don't get us anywhere, if not supported by strong arguments.

Maybe Allah will love you for all that passion, but the negatives done by being overpassionate with weak arguments overweigh the positives. I'd rather avoid a discussion all together, than get into one with weak arguments --especially in such important topics.

Dalulla, knowing that you are on solid ground is a wonderful thing (althought its good to always look under your feet), but what is solid to you looks very shaky to others, and hence its not enough for an argument.

Joseph, I think you're refering to Asma'a Barlas book?

6/13/2005 10:08:00 am  
Blogger haal said...

Let the girl write whatever. Free will, oullee NO to the idea of free will kaman ya Dahlia

6/13/2005 01:58:00 pm  
Blogger rmacapobre said...

why do people allow religion to rule over the state ..

6/16/2005 12:53:00 pm  

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