Did the Scholars Hijack Islam?

>> Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Salamz Aunties, I just started looking at your blog and haven't taken a really good look at it, but I was thinking that maybe you can help me out on this- who hijacked Islam and gave it to the scholars only? I feel like we as a community are so frozen. No offense, but Allah created us with minds and intellect. He created us to think and question. Even the angels asked Allah about His decision to create man on Earth. I guess what I'm coming with is-why are people so afraid to question? And why has Islam become limited to 'hijab' and the beard and so forh. What happened to our personal relationship with Alllah? This is just me and I'm sorry if the question bothers you. ---Want to QUESTION

Dearest Wanting to Question =)

First of all, welcome to our bloggy. I'm glad you felt comfortable enough to send in your question.

So….I see that you've mentioned how the angles questioned Allah. I've heard that before, but I think it's important to look at that example in a different light as well.

To begin with, when Allah told the angels He was going to create a khalifa, a human, He didn't order them to do anything. He simply let them know what was going to happen. But yes, the angles using their logic couldn't begin to understand why Allah would do something like that. (Of course, Allah made it clear later on that He was right and their logic had been limited. He said, "O Adam, inform them of their names." And when he had informed them of their names, He said, "Did I not tell you that I know the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth? And I know what you reveal and what you have concealed." (2: 33) .)

But let's look at when Allah commanded them to do something- to make sujood. The angels all obeyed. There was no "thinking" or "asking". Just pure obedience.

In fact, the one who did not obey Allah was Shaytaan. And the reason he didn't obey Allah was because he thought about the matter and figured that he was "better" than Adam. He used his faulty logic to rationalize why he didn't have to make sujood.

Now, let's look at Prophet Ibrahim. Subhan Allah, even though Prophet Ibrahim was a prophet, he wanted to reaffirm his faith when it came to the issue of resurrection. So he asked Allah to show him bringing something back to life. And [mention] when Abraham said, "My Lord, show me how You give life to the dead." [Allah] said, "Have you not believed?" He said, "Yes, but [I ask] only that my heart may be satisfied."

But when Allah commanded him to slaughter his son, he didn't question it.

So what are we getting at here?

There's a difference between asking a scholar for clarification/help with an issue and deciding to ask your own self if a commandment makes sense to you.

You need to be careful when, how, and who to question- and the reason is because it is Allah who told us that. He said:

"So ask the People of Knowledge if you do not know" Qur'an:21:7

He also said: It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error. (Surat Al Ahzab, 36). 

We can ask to understand, but to question because we "don't like something", is really dangerous.

I'm sure you've heard of this example before but if you wanted to do heart surgery, would you just go to any doctor? Or worse yet, try to treat yourself? Would you say "Well, Allah gave me a brain, so I should figure out how to fix my own heart"? We refer to the experts in the serious and important issues in our lives….Why should Allah's words/ religion be any less important?

 In fact, recently I was listening to Bayyinah's tafsir podcast on Surat Al Baqarah. Nouman Khan was mentioning what one of the scholars (Ar-Razi) had said about the connection between Surat Al Baqarah and surat Al Fatiha. He said that in Surat Al Fatiha, we ask Allah for guidance. Surat Al Baqarah though begins with the mystery of the "letters" (Alif-Lam-Meen). No one knows exactly what those letters mean.
 The idea is almost like in order for us to receive guidance, we need to first understand our place...understand that our knowledge is finite and that we do not understand everything. 

 Allah lets us know that if you really want to get guidance from this Book – you will ask Allah to give you understanding of this religion, you cannot know it of your own accord. Submission to Allah will open the doors for true understanding.

And what about Surat Al Kahf? The Quran even shows us how even Moosa alyhee as salam was a prophet and he talked directly to Allah, he was told to ask someone more knowledgeable than him.

Well what about the fact that Islam has become only "hijab"/ "the beard"?

The reality is that Islam is a complete way of life and it's definitely not just the hijab! An extremely big part of Islam has to do with our manners and morals; the Prophet described his mission as coming to perfect our manners. (And let's not forget the hadith where the Prophet described who is truly bankrupt...or the hadith where the people asked the Prophet about the woman who prayed and fasted a lot, but was rude to her neighbors and he described her as being in hell.) Clearly, then, how we act is extremely important.
But that's not to say that we can just forget the other parts, such as the prayer, fasting, hijaab, etc. That's picking and choosing. And that just contradicts the idea of Islam, which is submission. The whole essence of Islam
 is to submit to the One True Creator, and to put Him above everything else- above our own desires, families, societies, money, etc.   Islam revolves around our personal relationship with God and the fact that He is GREATER than everything. And if we truly submit, then it should affect every single thing in our lives, from the tiniest details to the biggest points. (I mean we even have a dua where we ask Allah not to leave us for ourselves even for a blink of an eye.) And by doing that, truly submitting to Him, we acquire true peace.

 And the thing is if we truly love Allah and want Him to love us, He told us how- by fulfilling what He's commanded.

God, ever blessed and exalted is He, says: “Whoever treats a friend of Mine as an enemy, on him I declare war. My servant draws near to Me by nothing dearer to Me than that which I have established as a duty for him. And My servant does not cease to approach Me through supererogatory acts until I love him. And when I love him, I become his hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hand with which he grasps, and his foot with which he walks. And if he asks Me [for something], I give it to him. If he seeks refuge with Me, I place him under My protection. In nothing do I hesitate so much as I hesitate [to take] the soul of a believer. He has a horror of death, and I have a horror of hurting him” Reported by al-Bukhari, according to Abu Hurayra.

You see...."salah, hijab, and the other commandments"are all Allah Akbar (God is the Greatest)" in action.

Well, sister, I hope this helps you a bit.

With love,

5 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

seekingpatience,  April 10, 2012 at 11:25 AM  

It's so true how we have to be careful. I took some tafseer of the beginning of Suratul Baqarah from my local Imam, and that's when I learned how you have to be careful how you phrase your questions.

For example, to never start off with: "I think...or this is what it means..." that is most likely from your desires, and clarifying with scholars it important, because they are knowledgeable of the Quran and Sunnah and in the right context, inshAllah.

Also I remember one ayah in Suratul Baqarah that we talked about and it was again.

2:26. Verily, Allah is not ashamed to set forth a parable even of a mosquito or so much more when it is bigger (or less when it is smaller) than it. And as for those who believe, they know that it is the Truth from their Lord, but as for those who disbelieve, they say: "What did Allah intend by this parable?" By it He misleads many, and many He guides thereby. And He misleads thereby only those who are Al-Fasiqun (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah).

Anonymous,  April 10, 2012 at 12:05 PM  

Assalamu Alaykum,
True Scholars have spend their life studying the deen, learning the Tafseer, Ahaadith and many more aspect that relates to our deen. An average person cannot all of a sudden say that I can interpret the Quran, Ahaadith or even come up with Fiqh ruling. When average people or people without knowledge start doing that then the result would be what has happen to the Taurah and the Bible. These books were one time holy and divine in all entirely and then when people tried to interpret out of their desires or with out knowledge they started creating lies about Allah(s.w.t). Therefore, we muslim have to be really carefully when it comes to the Quran, Ahaadith because an average person cannot sit down and start teaching it. You have to be a scholar to teach it. Therefore, I love the example little auntie gave about heart surgeon. it is so true that when it comes to worldy things we like to go to an expert but when it comes to deen why like to lower the standard and think that we ourselves are sufficient enough and refrain from asking a true Islamic Scholar.

About asking question, Alhamduillah One of the etiquettes I was able to learn was: we need to sincerely ask ourselves before asking any question that, Are we asking question merely to justify our mere desires or asking question to sincerely learn about the deen so that we can worship Allah(s.w.t) better.

HijabRockers April 10, 2012 at 11:43 PM  

THIS i really really really like and wanna share. Even the comments are wise. MashaAllah. Thank you for sharing the answer to this question.

Little Auntie April 11, 2012 at 12:22 PM  

Seeking Patience and Anonymous, excellent points, Jazakun Allah koli khair.

HijabRockers, please do =)

Anonymous,  May 13, 2014 at 10:54 AM  


Just to comment though - in Islam we are meant to respect our scholars as the carriers/studiers of our beautiful deen, but that doesn't mean that Islam is so complicated that 'only a scholar' can understand it or talk about it. That's a very Christian-clergy thing to say - Islam is simple enough for the simplest of people, and a scholar need not come between you and your Lord. The role of the scholar is to explain the unclear by studying Islam even further and finding the various evidences for stances or unclear issues - thereupon which we should follow them because duh not all of us have the time to sit down and sift through the entirety of the huge history of Islamic legal systems when we want to know something.

:) Jazakumallahukhairan!

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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