Foot prints on the Sands of Time


An unfortunate condition of most Muslim societies of today is that very little patronage is given to learning and research. Most of the time, praises are showered on ideas with insignificant meaning, empty concepts are applauded and senseless thoughts extolled. Sadly enough, true knowledge is forsaken and at times even condemned. Scholarly research in religious issues is limited and when engaged is stuck in antiquated ideas and prone to quick labels of heresy.

In this regard, the greatest malady is Taqlid (Blind Following). Every opinion which has once been adopted is never thought over again. Every idea which has once been formed is regarded with a sanctity which has rendered it eternal. Every view which has remained undisputed in the past has become no less than the Word of God. Emotional attachment to traditional concepts and conventional thoughts, however baseless they may be and however much they might distort the truth, has given rise to prejudice and intolerance. Sincere words of criticism are anticipated with fire and fury from these traditional quarters. A person who does so is degraded in society, even if his arguments are based on the Quran and Sunnah. 

But then, this attitude is not even worth complaining about. Irrespective of all consequences, a person should always uphold the voice of his conscience. He should remain steadfast in the cause of truth and face every adverse current of society with grit and endurance. Any increase in the intensity of opposition should only increase his patience. The more the going gets tough, the tougher he should become - for expending even the last drop of blood in the cause of truth would make this path easier for others to tread. Like a lighthouse all his struggles and sacrifices would then shine as a source of guidance for humanity. He would then redefine the meaning of courage and extend the frontiers of valor. He would add new dimensions to dare and defiance. In the heavens, the angels would pray for his success and upon the earth success would yearn to waylay him.

He should, also, never forget that since the very first nautical mile of his intellectual voyage, he has remained the most besought target of traditionalists. They have always challenged the torrent of his intellectual advancement. Almost always they have obstructed his progress, but then, to no avail. Every time that their claws have closed on the champions of truth, a new episode of man's loftiness has been scribed by the historian's pen. A Socrates, an Ibn Taymiyyah, a Malik, a Galileo, a Copernicus, a Farahi was always there to write with his own blood an episode of man's resolve to abide by the truth. They died while upholding the cause of truth and with their death the torch of truth shone even brighter and is held high to this day by the successors of these giants, by no means any less in stature.

Perhaps these legends, in the words of Longfellow, have a message for us:

Lives of great men all remind us 
We can make our lives sublime 
And, departing, leave behind us 
Footprints on the sands of time

 

Source: Renaissance


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  53 Comments   Comment

  1. Follower of Truth from Land of UnTruth

    The author mixed great Islamic scholars with other men of learning like socrates, galileo and copernicus. How can you mention these men of unbelief with men of belief as the same truth? Galileo and others went against the church, an attack on religion. Regardless of his scientific ideas, that is not considered the same truth as that of ibn Taymiyyah or Imam Ahmad. They called people to worship the One True God and fought against those who rejected this truth. Ibn Taymiyyah fought to make the Quran and Sunnah upermost and to dispel the falsehood against the belief system in Islam. So, how can you mention that galileo and other men of unbelief abide by the truth as the same as ibn Taymiyyah or Imam Malik?

    The muslim truth is only that "There is no other god to be worshipped, except The Almighty Allah, and Muhammad is His messenger."

    Anything else besides this is falsehood, and to mention thos great Islamic scholars who upheld this great Truth with other men of other beliefs and falsehood and to say they are the same shows a lack of knowledge and understanding of the author. The author does not know what Ibn Taymiyyah and Imam Ahmad fought for and what Galileo fought for.

  2. shahidbinnisar from pakistan

    Taqlid now followed, doesnot guide someone not to research.if seen in the fiqa, u will find many problems that r reconcidered and reammended.In some of the problems, problems solved by the aaimmas are even now concidered as "marjooh".

    Moreover the time nearest to the time of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam is more safer(w.r.t. fithan) than the present one.Imam Abu-Hanifa was a taabi and the rest of aimma were also nearest to that time.the problems solved during their time are supposed to be more reliable & free of persnal willings.Therefore taqlid is done.But this doesnot mean not to research

  3. Nasir Hasan from USA

    I am not about the motives behind this article but there are a couple of points I would like to address.

    Firstly, there seems to be misconception regarding the important practice of Taqlid. In the busy world of today it is not possible for everyone to be familiar with the Islamic solution to a problem. There are certain learned, devout, and just Aalims who have been carefully chosen to a high rank allowing them to offer advice for practical problems faced by the ummah. The criteria that one has to use is that Taqlid may only be done of an Aalim who has been alive during one's lifetime and also he should be considered by the followers as the most learned Aalim of his time, regardless of geographical location. It is considered improper for one to switch from one aalim to another, simply for the sake of getting a desired solution.

    My second concern relates to the exclusion of our prophets PBUT and especially our beloved Prophet Muhammed PBUH, as well as his staunchest supporter Imam Ali A.S. and in their footsteps our great hero Imam Hussain A.S. from the list of those who have sacrificed for truth and justice.

    As scholars through the ages have noted there has been no greater times when Islam was in danger then the battle of Khandaq ('ditch') when the Prophet PBUH declared " One stroke of Ali's (A.S.) sword today is greater then the worship of the two worlds" and the second instance was the battle of Karbala. The day of this battle that is commemorated like no other on the 10th of Muharrum (Ashura) every year faithfully all over the world symbolizes the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of truth and justice that was given by the family of the Prophet PBUH. The story of Islam became written with such a tragic note since that day that our tears literally became a sustaining force for our faith.

  4. Nuratu Adeosun from Canada

    Just to say ASSALAM ALAEKUN WARAMOTULAH WABARAKATUH

  5. Yahya Bergum from USA

    I have learned from Shiites, Sufis and Wahabis alike. May Peace be upon them and upon their ancestors.

    Honestly said, I am less concerned about where we are going in the next life than about how well we have served, in this life, to the Glory of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala). The Glory is Allah's.

    I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. [Quran 1:2] Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

    Assalamu alaikum.

    --Yahya Bergum

  6. M.P.Abdul Latheef from India

    Sir, the main aim of the muslims to be followed the previous scholars belief, but we create new ideas as per our aim, it is against the actual belief of islam, islam always given priority to study and research and we live within this ambit .LIke Ibnuthimia, Abdul Wahab and some scholars implemented their beliefs, which is only help for the destroying islamic belief

  7. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Assalamu alaikum. Jazak Allah khair!

    A'uthoo billahi minash-Shaitanir-rajeem. Bismillah ir Rahman ir-Raheem.

    [Surah 16 - an-Nahl]

    43. And We sent not before you except men to whom We revealed [Our message]. So ask the people of the message [i.e., former scriptures] if you do not know.

    [Saheeh International - Riyadh]

  8. amniuyahaya ibrahim from nigeria

    please i willl like to know if there,s printerble copies of islamicity nes letter b/cos most of friends need to read but they dont have access to internet

    nb assalam alaikum... wassalam aminu

  9. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Assalamu alaikum. What does the introduction in Quran 33:32 say and what am I failing to understand? A'uthoo billahi minash-Shaitanir-rajeem.

  10. Muneeb from USA

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    For an excellent discussion on the issue of Taqleed, you should read "The Legal Status of Following a Madhab" by Mufti Taqi Usmani.

    It is available here: http://www.albalagh.net/bookstore/?action=view&item=0251

    Taqleed has always been a part of religion since the time of the Sahabah. To reject Taqleed as "blind following" is very foolish and dangerous.

    P.S One should always remember the Ayat

    "fasaloo ahla alththikri in kuntum la taAAlamoona"

    Ask of those who possess the Message if you do not know. [An-Nahl 16:43]

  11. Dawud Rasheed from U.S.A.

    As-salamuAlaykum! Just yesterday, I was leaving the masjid salaafi focused that were talking about this same topic. I wish to know more about the history of islam and the orgins of things. I adhere to the methodology according to abu hanifa. I sincerely would like to communicate with someone who knows this deen and knows it and follows it as traditionally as it should be followed with the proper hikma that allows to function within the societies we live in. I'm amongst these ikwan because in my locality, they seem to follow the sunnah that best to their ability. They stay in contact with their scholars and continue to propigate their beliefs. Years ago I was told by A.S. Desai of PortElizabeth not to learn from them because it draws confusion. I've learned thus far that when it comes to Ahadith, they find weak links in the narration and thus find that particular hadith weak. Insha allah, I pray that allah will grant a communtiy as such here in hopes to produce good character and a solid base of deen and iman. Ameen

  12. Nauman Ahmed from USA

    Taqlid does NOT mean blind following. I challenge the author to prove to me that he is NOT following any scholar when it comes to the matter of jurisprudence. Muslims fall into three broad categories when it comes to juriprudence. First type follows one of the four schools of jurisprudence, which have their origins right from the beginning of Islam from the days of the Companions of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.). The second group of people follow the so called modern "scholars" like Albani, ibn Baz or Abdul Wahab, although these people usually do not like to openly admit this. The third group toggles between these "modern" salafis and their own nafs. In other words,they follow whatever appeals to them irrespective of its basis in Quran or Sunnah. For me, when it comes to the matter of dean, I would put far more confidence in the scholars of the days of Companions, Tabieen and taba-tabieen rather than these "modern" pseudo-scholars who have spreading nothing but hatred. This article also contributes tonothing but ignorance.

  13. Yahya Bergum from USA

    I went into a bookstore, picked up the Quran and became a Muslim - because I believed that I was looking at God's truth. On the other hand, I have yet to find any mention in Al Quran or Ahadith about four schools of fiqh. So I guess that makes me a Salafi - rather than belonging to any particular sects of thought.

    It is my personal opinion that scholars (and students) are blessings - not prophets. In addition, I think that I have shown a certain amount of respect in the past for Shiite Muslims (and their beliefs) in my comments at this site. Also, I am guessing that followers will be held responsible for the paths they were on at the end of their lives.

    Peace be upon Messenger Muhammad (Allah bless him). May Allah be well pleased with the companions of Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him). Ameen.

    Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.

    --Yahya Bergum

  14. abdur r sakhia from usa

    Many such articles have become fashionable by the so called salafees. Our reply to the ignorant and spreaders of ignorance is as follows.Taqlid does not mean "blind following" as the article states. Instead, it means following those scholars who have a much better understanding of the quran and sunnah than a muslim who has not gone through a required learning process. It stands to reason that closer in time the scholars were to the prophet and his companions, the better was their understanding of the islam. Thats why the scholars of those times (tabieen and taba tabieen) laid the foundation of the four schools of fiqh. These fiqh schools have been constantly challenged and upgraded througout the centuries and have withstood the test of times. Today, anyone going out of these four fiqh is basically commiting a major mistake unless he or she can prove that the cumulative understanding and synthesis of scholars of tabieen and taba tabieen which has been refined over centuries has any flaws in it. Some pseudo-scholars have attempted this and have miserably failed which is not so surprising. In fact, a very dangerous message comes across from articles like these. That is that one does not need to follow any fiqh and instead you can just resort to a translation of quran and ahadith for complete fiqh. This is a major blunder and making a mockery of Islam. This idea is being preached in the West and the consequences are manifestly disastrous with every muslim acting like a mufti and passing fatwas on others. I also do not agree with the articles when it suggests that major schools of juriprudense do not tolerate any critism. This shows a serious lack of knowledge on the part of the writer of this article. Take the example of Hanafi fiqh. Many many rulings of Imam Abu Hanifa are over-ruled by his students and subsequent scholars who came forth with dalail (legal proofs) and this process continues to date. One only has to look at

  15. Sofia Shums from USA

    I would like to share an insight about us, Muslims, that I happened to stumble upon in recent years. I was shocked out of my wits when I realized that-- inspite of the oft-repeated statement by many Muslims about how Islam is a way of life-- many, far too many Muslims do not seem to have an individualized, personalized ethical sense of right and wrong. It seems that Muslims have for hundreds of years felt comfortable going along with a group decision of what is right or wrong on just about all issues that they confront in their religious life. Ethical and moral issues have been decided for them by others-- ulema, creators of schools of thought, the local masjid muscles or whatever group they happen to embrace in their lives.

    This, I believe, has created very serious problems in the practice of our deen. We need open and honest discussions, dialogs and debates. We need to stop ourselves listening passively to monologues of self-appointed "scholars" and "religious" talking heads in our midst. Or, repeating, verbatum quotes of learned men of our historical past. Sometimes I feel that many Muslims believe that merely repeating words of men of yester years will get us into Paradise. We Muslims seeem to have equated this behavior with another one that of repeating the Word of the Creator when we recite our salat or quote from the Qur'an. Whereas repeating the Qur'anic ayat could raise us to profound spiritual and mystical levels, words of ordinary men do not necessary achieve any worthwhile enlightenment. Often they only take us away from the Word of Allah SWT not closer to Him.

    A wise person stated that nobody can take away your dignity if you do not give it to them. One could replace dignity with other words such as freedom of speech, honesty, raionality, conscience, etc.

    As-Salaam Elekum!

  16. n.parvez from usa

    asalam o alaikum,its very nice,we all run blindly with our religion without study deeply that ,s why our blind generation goes in dark if we give some time to our religion which is the latest of all religion we will rule in this world.may allah help me and all other muslims to awake up and only afraid from allah not from people.only spend their life according to allah ways,then there earth life as well as other life after death will save from hell.

  17. Yahya Bergum from USA

    I have the impression that the more literal and direct translations of the Quran are more scientifically accurate than the more explanatory translations. No matter the case may Allah reward all those who have labored to bring the message of the Quran to others.

    When I first read Quran 25:46 as it appears in the Saheeh International translation I immediately thought of a factoid from an introductory-level Engineering course which essentially seemed to say that the velocity of a tire was momentarily zero at the point where it met the surface of the road. I am not sure that I correctly understand the underlying principal itself.

    My point here would be that (in addition to seeming more poetic) the more literal translation immediately brought to my mind that Engineering factoid where more explanatory translations of Quran 25:46 don't bring it to my mind at all. I'm no student of Astronomy but Quran 25:45-47 appears to summarize perhaps an entire lesson on the subject.

    Quran 25:45-47 also seems to provide a working example of the use of singular and plural forms of proper pronouns within the Quran.

    (I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan.)

    45: Have you not considered your Lord - how He extends the shadow, and if He willed, He could have made it stationary? Then We made the sun for it an indication.

    46: Then We hold it in hand for a brief grasp.

    47: And it is He who has made the night for you as clothing and sleep [a means for] rest and has made the day a resurrection.

    Incidentally the planet Mercury is an example of a planet with a side that always faces the sun and a side that always faces away from the sun. On one side of Mercury it is always day and on the other side it is always night. The shadows on Mercury are stationary.

    Assalamu alaikum.

    --Yahya Bergum

  18. Sofia Shums from USA

    Well said!

    Blind following and cowardly silence! What we follow without active, conscientious participation may not lead us to the Right Path or into Paradise. It might lead us into hot waters! For in the end, we will all be held individually responsible for our actions. There may be a garden in Paradise but the path to get there is filled with thorns, potholes and cliff hangers! Le us be wary!

  19. Yahya Bergum from USA

    I still agree with this article - but Taqlid is not the same as blind following. It seems to me that when leaders are making sound decisions it rarely occurs to critics to accuse followers of being blind.

    I think the author might accomplish more by avoiding temptations to challenge problems (perhaps due to protection of incompetence among leaders) by attacking what would seem to be essential to any form of representative government - confidence on the part of followers. It seems to me that when critics have more freedom to express criticism leaders appear to make sounder decisions and followers appear to be less blind. (Insha'Allah.)

    Assalamu alaikum.

    --Yahya Bergum

    PS. To whom it may concern, I include within my comments what shall (insha'Allah) become my legal name to possibly enable my views to be more easily retrieved electronically - by whomever might be interested. Salutations of peace (with love).

  20. Muneeb from USA

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    It is ironic that the Salafis are supporting this article just because it condemns Taqlid. The article both condemns Taqlid as well as "traditionalist" Muslims (i.e those who follow the way of the Salaf, exactly what the Salafis call for) in the same breath.

    The author condemns the past as useless and "antiquated." Is not the fact that people will fall so low as to curse their pious predecessors and reject their ways one of the signs of the Qiyamah?

    Research is for finding solutions to new problems that arise in modern society, not rethinking matters already clearly decided. One cannot do ijtihad in such clear matters as riba, alcohol, or hijab. However research is necessary to find solutions to questions regarding genetic engineering, cloning, etc.

    There is no "Englightenment" or "Renaissance" in Islam. These are European concepts that resulted in the throwing out of religion from public life. Islam is directly opposed to such an idea because it is a complete way of life, providing guidance for both public as well as private life.

    Islam cannot be "reformed", "researched", or "re-thought" to fit modern society. Rather, we should strive to reform our lives and society to fit the commands and guidelines provided by Qur'an and Sunnah, the timeless sources of guidance for all mankind.

    May Allah (SWT) grant us guidance and salvation in this life and in the Hereafter.

  21. Suhail Ahmed from United States

    A conscious effort has to be made, so as not to alienate the masses and further splinter the ummah. Subanallah, the way of the Prophet appears to be the only way not just for salvation in the next world but in this as well.

  22. H.A. from Chechnya

    I do not understand this article at all. So, I BLINDLY AGREE with whoever is the owner of this article. I am a MUSLIM and I blame me, myself, and H.A for not understand it.

    I do not blame Jews, Christians, Eskimos or other Muslims for not understanding it.

    ...What the heck is the point I am trying to make!!! Am I spewing anything?

  23. Faqir from USA

    Taqlid is not "blind following."

    It is taking guidance and legal rulings from the greatest masters of our ummah. Are we to consider ourselves masters of Quranic exegisis, hadith morphology, the nuances of the Arabic language & grammar, theology, deductive logic, interpretative methodology, and all the other spohistacated sciences which our great scholars of old have mastered? If you were to be trekking through the thick and dangereous rainforest, would you not follow the lead of the indigenous inhabitant who offers his lifetime of experience, knowledge and expertise to guide you through safely? Or would that be betraying the gift of your intellect or the voice of your conscience? Of course not. Only our arrogance would call us to not follow hos lead. Similarly it is our arrogance, which drives us to say "I don't need Imam Shafi'i." "I can interpret this hadith on my own," or "I read a book (or heard someone explain) that said he was wrong." Is that not taqlid as well? You are simply "following" your nafs or your local imam or some contemporary author, etc. Personally, I feel more comfortable with the so-called "mistakes" of Imam Shafi'i, then your "corrections."

    Does that mean I'm saying he's infallible or that I blindly follow him. No. But when it comes to legal rulings, I sure feel safer in his noble and scholarly hands then I do in yours or mine.

    Sorry but you ARE making taqlid. There is no escaping it. Your one useful opinion is that we should not lose our intellect in the following of another. Engaging, questioning, and seeking is fine but at some point you will realize that you cannot encompass, comprehend, or attain the level of those great men of the past, and you will need to just trust them. They are the "heirs of the prophets." Is that reason enough?

    It is hollow arguments like yours that have millions of Muslims around the world refusing to sit with qualified teachers, refusing to learn arabic, and languishing in stagant ignorance

  24. Almustafa Kamaye from Nigeria

    The only comment I wish to add to the text is that today we muslims find the plesure of this life more amusing than that of the hereafter. Most of us have left the path of truth of our ligion and the path of falsehood is rejecting us as can be seen on what is happening around the world now. We should note that we cannot afford to continue to remain in the middle. We muslims we should stop becomeing more hypocritic in all oura affairs. That is the straight route to achieve salvation.

  25. Hussaini H. Muhammad from Nigeria

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    It is very true that TAQLID is a cancer among the Muslim Ummah which needs to be uprooted through intensive education.The primary sources of knowledge in Islam are the Qur'an and the noble traditions of the holy Prophet(S.A.W ).Other sources follow.May Allah show guide us,amin.

  26. ISAAC from MAURITIUS

    Dear Believers,

    Those who seek knowledge and truth will get guidance provided they must have faith and total commitment to Allah s.w.t.

    Allah s.w.t is Most Merciful & Generous.

    You are absolutely right, when you stated:

    "People will follow Taqlid blindly"

    Remember: this is one of the prophecies by the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H)

    As you mentioned, In ancient times, Taqlid was like a blessing, those leaders were real spiritual guides and knew also the science of

    Tassawuf! I hope you understand what I mean.

    I just want to give you a name:

    The excellent scholar Ibn Kathir.

    Perhaps another one you already mentioned is:

    Ibn Taymiyyah.

    Islam is a religion based upon knowledge for it is ultimately knowledge of the Oneness of God combined with faith and total commitment to Him that saves man. The text of the Quran is replete with verses inviting man to use his intellect, to ponder, to think and to know, for the goal of human life is to discover the Truth which is none other than worshipping God in His Oneness. The Hadith literature is also full of references to the importance of knowledge. Such sayings of the Prophet as "Seek knowledge even in China", "Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave", and "Verily the men of knowledge are the inheritors of the prophets", have echoed throughout the history of Islam and incited Muslims to seek knowledge wherever it might be found. During most of its history, Islamic civilization has been witness to a veritable celebration of knowledge. That is why every traditional Islamic city possessed public and private libraries and some cities like Cordoba and Baghdad boasted of libraries with over 400,000 books. Such cities also had bookstores, some of which sold a large number of titles. That is also why the scholar has always been held in the highest esteem in Islamic society.

    But not the fake ones or imposters. I said that because I have observed a few who have even failed to understand "the

  27. Shakir Ebrahim from India

    If Muslims block 50% of their youth, the women from learning, how can you expect to go forward? We are responsible for our own backwardness. We should even leave behind stars of earlier generations like Ibn Taymiyyah or Shafi and progress forward without doing Taqlid of them. We need new ijtehad

  28. Cristale from usa

    I approve of speaking the truth in whatever circumstances arise, so the article is not far from my beliefs, but I do want to point out that I am a little bothered by the mention of Socrates as a wise man, I have learned that he referenced too much to relationships of man to man, especially with his discussion with Pheadrus about love.. I do not see Socrates as a leader for anything, but just as another addition to the freedoms of Haram. Please don't take offense to your article, I just want you to realize that Socrates promoted and lived by those utterly disgusting haram ways and therefore I just consider him a wise fool and not a pioneer of any good knowlede.

    Thanks for allowing to express this view.

    A sister.

  29. Fazal Wahid from USA

    Long live the teachings of the true scholars of Islam, i.e., Imam Malik, Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Shafaii and Imam Ahmad. Only some one who is against their teachings would write an article like this. Muqlids are not "blind" followers of these scholars but instead "true and sincere" followers, who accept their own limitation of Islamic knowledge and rely on scholars who have based their opinions on the Qur'an and Hadeeth, to guide them. These scholars are trustworthy people and their opinions are available in great detail,for those who are patient enough to study them.

    When people lose the sense of guidance and keep in high esteem the ideas of non-muslims even if they are against Islamic principles and more importantly when they lose respect of great scholars of Islam and regard them as ordinary common people, with mediocre intelligence and mediocre status among humans, do we see these types of ideas surface.

    I would say that the truely courageous and steadfast people these days, are those who struggle to follow the true teachings of the prophet Muhamammad Sallahu Alaihi wa Sallam through these great scholars of Islam. These scholars are trustworthy people. As the Prophet Muhamammad Sallahu Alaihi wa Sallam has urged us, that in the matter of religion we ask some one who knows. Which means, we should follow ( be a muqlid to ) those who know about this great religion and are trustworthy and should not merely form our own opinion about it, even if we feel we are very smart.

  30. Dr Khalid Shahzad from USA

    Taqlid does not mean "blind following" as the article states. Instead, it means following those scholars who have a much better understanding of the quran and sunnah than a muslim who has not gone through a required learning process. It stands to reason that closer in time the scholars were to the prophet and his companions, the better was their understanding of the islam. Thats why the scholars of those times (tabieen and taba tabieen) laid the foundation of the four schools of fiqh. These fiqh schools have been constantly challenged and upgraded througout the centuries and have withstood the test of times. Today, anyone going out of these four fiqh is basically commiting a major mistake unless he or she can prove that the cumulative understanding and synthesis of scholars of tabieen and taba tabieen which has been refined over centuries has any flaws in it. Some pseudo-scholars have attempted this and have miserably failed which is not so surprising. In fact, a very dangerous message comes across from articles like these. That is that one does not need to follow any fiqh and instead you can just resort to a translation of quran and ahadith for complete fiqh. This is a major blunder and making a mockery of Islam. This idea is being preached in the West and the consequences are manifestly disastrous with every muslim acting like a mufti and passing fatwas on others. I also do not agree with the articles when it suggests that major schools of juriprudense do not tolerate any critism. This shows a serious lack of knowledge on the part of the writer of this article. Take the example of Hanafi fiqh. Many many rulings of Imam Abu Hanifa are over-ruled by his students and subsequent scholars who came forth with dalail (legal proofs) and this process continues to date. One only has to look at many many books on fatawa being published by the Hanafi school of jurisprudence: it's very live,vibrant and dynamic madhab with top-notch scholars world wide.

  31. Dr Khalid Shahzad from USA

    Taqlid does not mean "blind following" as the article states. Instead, it means following those scholars who have a much better understanding of the quran and sunnah than a muslim who has not gone through a required learning process. It stands to reason that closer in time the scholars were to the prophet and his companions, the better was their understanding of the islam. Thats why the scholars of those times (tabieen and taba tabieen) laid the foundation of the four schools of fiqh. These fiqh schools have been constantly challenged and upgraded througout the centuries and have withstood the test of times. Today, anyone going out of these four fiqh is basically commiting a major mistake unless he or she can prove that the cumulative understanding and synthesis of scholars of tabieen and taba tabieen which has been refined over centuries has any flaws in it. Some pseudo-scholars have attempted this and have miserably failed which is not so surprising. In fact, a very dangerous messahe comes articles like these. That is that one does not need to follow any fiqh and instead you can just resort to a translation of quran and ahadith for complete fiqh. This is a major blunder and making mockery of Islam. This idea is being preached in the West and the consequences are manifestly disastrous with every muslim acting like a mufti and passing fatwas on others. I also do agree with the articles when it suggests that major schools of juriprudense do not tolerate any critism. This shows a serious lack of knowledge on the part of the writer of this article. Take the example of Hanafi fiqh. Many many rulings of Imam Abu Hanifa are over-ruled by his students and subsequents scolars who came forth dalail (legal proofs) and this process continues to date. One only has to look at many many books on fatawa being published by the Hanafi school of jurisprudence: it's very live,vibrant and dynamic madhab with top-notch scholars world wide.

  32. Bernard Webb from usa

    As one within the Christian tradition, I found this article highly inspiring. Perhaps there is not enough awareness among the world's religions of how much creative and open searching there is within my tradition regarding new approaches and insights. A deeply suffering world awaits us all out there, pleading for a commonality of healing mission based upon inward spirituality. Blessings to all in this search.

  33. Wasim from US

    Its always the new generation who has taken the knowledge to the next level but not neglecting or putting aside what the earlier generation has done. We need to study what our predecessors have done and then carry the knowledge forward. This is true for any branch of knowdedge. But unfortunately when it comes to Islamic Knowdege there are people who would completely disregard what the predecessors have done and claim what ever they have done is wrong or questionable and start a new theory.

  34. Wasim from US

    Its always the new generation who has taken the knowledge to the next level but not neglecting or putting aside what the earlier generation has done. We need to study what our predecessors have done and then carry the knowledge forward. This is true for any branch of knowdedge. But unfortunately when it comes to Islamic Knowdege there are people who would completely disregard what the predecessors have done and claim what ever they have done is wrong or questionable and start a new theory.

  35. A. Rahim from Canada

    Bismillah:

    Brother what you have said about the Muslim society of today is very true. This is what we are witnessing in all quarters of Islamic society from Maraksh to Java. A radical concerted effort is required to make Muslims open their eyes and see the issues in the true perspective of changing times.

    Having said that I am surprised that in your article you have mentioned some names of the old-guards but have not included Sayyid Qutb, who was one of the latest to uphold his dynamic islamic ideas expressed in his work Zil-alQuran and eflected in some of his books such as Milestones, and for the sake of truth he did not hesitate to sacrifice his life. I hope in future you will give him his proper place in the Islamic Gallary of think-tanks.

    Jazakum Allaha Khairun.

    A. Rahim

  36. debra kerrick from usa

    What a great article. A very timely and thought read adjusting piece. The bulletins articles and lessons are getting better and better. Keep up the good work.

  37. M. Hameed Ali from India

    Dear Sir,

    Assalam - O - Alaikum

    Iam Hameed from India. I receive your valuable thoughts always. I am thankful to you.

    But I need a small help is that can you send me some books at free of cost. Becuase I have many intersted to read such books and Journals.

    If you could send some books then I will be very very happy and greatful to you.

    Awaiting for your positive reply at the earliest.

    Thanks & Regards

    M. Hameed Ali

  38. LEONA NASSER from U.S.

    IT IS SAD THAT THE MAJORITY OF MUSLIMS ARE STILL LIVING IN THE DARKNESS OF IGNORANCE. THEY HAVE THE MAIN SOURCE OF WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE (THE QUARAN AND SHARIA), YET THEY LACK THE UNDERSTANDING FOR THE APPILCATION OF THE QURAN'S PRINCIPALS. THEY ARE STILL UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF THE WEST (DOMINATING CHRISTIANS). THE WEST THAT ONLY RECOGNIZE MALES AS LEGENDS. FEMALES ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BECOME LEGENDS; THEY ARE DESTROYED AS SOON AS THEY APPEAR. MUSLIMS, MOST OF THE TIME IGNORE THE PRINCIPALS OF THE QUARAN, WHICH HAVE TREATED MALES AND FEMALES AS EQUALS. THEY TEND TO FOLLOW THE WEST FROM THE LACK OF THE DEPTH OF UNDERSTANDING FOR THEIR RELIGION.

  39. Syed Zafar Raza from Pakistan

    This is a very beautiful article. It truly reflects the state of Muslim society at present.

    "A Socrates, an Ibn Taymiyyah, a Malik, a Galileo, a Copernicus, a Farahi was always there to write with his own blood an episode of man's resolve to abide by the truth. They died while upholding the cause of truth and with their death the torch of truth shone even brighter and is held high to this day by the successors of these giants, by no means any less in stature."

    I tend to disagree with the massage i.e in the above mentioned lines how these people can leave their foot prints on sands of time. Foot prints on sands tend to fade away with time whereas the works and names of these people are are still a guide line for modern society.

    I think if one does something great in this world which effects lives of other people one does get recognition if not in ones life time after ones death but one does get it.

  40. abdullatif from uk

    for the laymen taqleed of one of the four great imaam mazahibs is unanimously wajib.

    other than that i agree with the rest of the doc.

  41. ALLADIN from CANADA

    ASSALAMOALAIKUM RESPECTED GENTLEMEN!!

    YOUR EFFORTS ARE DEFINTILY LAUDED!

    BUT ARE YOU AWARE THE ADVENT OF PROMOISED MEHDI, ALAHE SALAM?

    YOU ARE REQUSTED TO MAKE EFFORTS IN THIS DIRECTION. MAY I REQUEST YOU TO PLEASE UPDATE ME IN THIS RESPECT. WILL YOU?

    JAZAKALLAH, MAY ALLAH GUIDE YOU ON THE CORRECT PATH ALLAH BLESS!!! ALLADIN

  42. Aslam Syed. from Canada.

    This is indeed the advise needed for our Clergy to encourage free thinking amongt the youth to adopt to the scientific world of today .

  43. Marie from USA

    First article I felt the great need to comment on, beautifully written and positive in every way, encouraging and a blessing for all those who read it deep and take it to their hearts

  44. Gilberto Abrao from Brazil

    Assalam Alaikum !

    I am totally and unconditionally for it. Allow me, however, to have one question clarified and consequently make one short remark.

    Ibn Taimiah... Is this the guy who called for the "takfir" of the shia muslims? Is this the guy who said that a sunni muslim should not pray behind a shia imam or his prayers would not be accepted ? Is this the guy who said that a sunni should not eat an animal slaughtered by a shia muslim as it would be considered impure? Is this the guy who said that the kiling of shia muslims is "halal"?

    Despite of all this and his writings to devide Islam are we still supposed to consider him a hero and a great thinker of Islam?

    Wa Salam Alaikum

    Gilberto Abrao

  45. Muhammad Ansa from UK

    The feeble-minded modernists in delusions of their own grandeur believe they too are also great men and ignore the footprints in the sand;

    The fool has turned his back to the door

    and is walking towards the wall...

  46. KM from England

    Poor article. Reasoning is weak and against all logic. Every muslim is encouraged to think for themselves and learn as much as possible and break new barriers. However, without a sound base from which to work from one cannot progress. It would be advisable to understand what Taqlid means before using the term so liberally and derogatorilly.

  47. M. A. S. Ahmad from USA

    Do you see any contradition here?

    "Every opinion which has once been adopted is never thought over again. Every idea which has once been formed is regarded with a sanctity which has rendered it eternal. Every view which has remained undisputed in the past has become no less than the Word of God. Emotional attachment to traditional concepts and conventional thoughts, however baseless they may be and however much they might distort the truth, has given rise to prejudice and intolerance."

    "A Socrates, an Ibn Taymiyyah, a Malik, a Galileo, a Copernicus, a Farahi was always there to write with his own blood an episode of man's resolve to abide by the truth. They died while upholding the cause of truth and with their death the torch of truth shone even brighter and is held high to this day by the successors of these giants, by no means any less in stature."

    Footprints on the sands of time do not, in reality, last very long.

  48. Mohamed Al-Darsani from U S A

    I wish this reahes the author of this articl, or whoever published it.

    First, why the name of author was not provided. IS it because of the lack of courage? or just an honest overlook.

    Second, I wish the author provided some examples or poited out some areas, within the faith of Islam, where change, new ideas orinterpetations of triditions are needed. generalization and abstract thaughts are often misunderstood.

    Finaly I hope and pray that may Allah increse the knoledg of the author and easy to impress publishor so they can see clearly where the change is needed. OUR ATTITUDE.

  49. Ayyaz Hussain from USA

    I agree with the general rule of rethinking and researching many issues facing us today.

  50. Yahya Bergum from USA

    If one is looking for a way to discourage so called "blind following" than one might consider encouraging protagonists of Taqlid to apply Islamic ideals, such as humility and modesty, to as much of their own daily lives as possible - beyond ways specified within the Sunnah or "prescribed" by (selected) Tafsir. Surely, I could (for the duration of my life) keep my trousers from dragging along on the ground, if Allah willed, and still find myself denied entry to Paradise on account of other expressions of vanity. Similarly, if I harassed my wife for not wearing hijab at the supermarket and then preceded to make du'a before the Lord of the worlds with my own head uncovered, might that not suggest a potential lack of humility on my part?

    Assalamu alaikum.

    --Yahya Bergum