Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Message for Friday - The True Renewers of Faith Have Knowledge

G'd says in the Qur'an (39:2):
Is one who worships devoutly during the hours of the night prostrating himself and standing [in adoration] that takes heed of the latter-life and places his hope in the Mercy of G'd [like one who does not?] Say! are those who know equal to those who do not know? Only those endowed with intellect reflect [concerning this].
The Qur'an is a book that calls towards observation, acquistion and analysis of knowledge. In fact after the word G'd (ALLAH), the word knowledge (`ilm) and its derivitives is the most used word in the Qur'an.
A person, who is endowed with the proper understanding of implementing knowledge, however, is one, who has firstly devoted himself to worship, adoration and obedience to G'd. This person recognizes that the same order within the universe that is governed by G'd also must discipline their life within the same order to achieve success in this life and in the next life. Thus, a person of knowledge understands that success in cannot be independent of the guidance of G'd. Muslims believe that this guidance can be found within the pristiness of the Qur'an.
إن الله يبعث إلى هذه الأمة على رأس كل مائة سنة من يجدد لها دينها
أخرجه أبو داوود و الحاكم والطبراني والبيهقي
The Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) stated, "Surely G'd will awaken within this community at the head of every century one who will renew for it the religion [of Islam.]"
Those who say that there needs to be reform within the Muslim mind are absolutely correct. Their statements agree with the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and the prophets that came before him. However, this reform must coincide with the core principles of the Qur'an and the life example of the Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) for it to be Islamic reform. The reform is in fact a renewal of certain aspects of the Islamic life that the Muslims have deemphasized or no longer practice with the correct understanding.
Hence any reformer, who attempts to introduce concepts into Islam outside of the Qur'an, the primary source of Islam, is not a reformer. Introducing something outside of the Qur'an differs from thoughtful exegesis that factors in textual information with the development and evolution of applying the text to modern circumstances.
كل بدعة ضلالة، وكل ضلالة في النار
The Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) said, "Every [baseless, religious] innovation is astray, and every astray leads to the fire."
Fire is fueled by passions and feelings. The person, who just has a feeling about solutions to problems without proper knowledge may mean well, but this person will miss the mark. In fact, the person may actually observe issues that are truly problematic, but their lack of knowledge and baseless opinions may actually cause more harm than good.
Imam Ali (KW) said, "Knowledgable people are alive after death; ignorant people are dead although alive."
Therefore, how can a person who lacks knowledge of the Islamic sciences or cannot read the Qur'an have the capacity to reform the practice of Islam? It would be like a person claiming that he is going to create a pill to cure obesity, yet the person has not taken even one class in biology. It is absurd, and the pseudo Islamic reformers appear to be just as absurd to those who reflect and think.
And surely G'd knows best.

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