fikr, permissible dissent, and schism

fikr, permissible dissent, and schism

would anyone like to take up this project?

1. Allah (SubHana Wa Ta`ala) asks us many times in the Quran to do fikr. He as warned us of against letting ourselves turn away from Him, or ridiculing the deen, and of many things besides. But He also tells us that people were first on one deen, then differences arose, and schism developed. Also that if He wanted, He could have made all follow one line of thought.

2. AHadeeth also encourage fikr, but set some limits on our questioning. The deen has been completed. We should look for answers in the Quran and Sunnah, then do Ijtehaad. The limits are about the physical appearance of Allah, about qada and qadr …

3. Next we have the Seerah of the prophet and that of his companions. There were differences of opinions, and of mental and emotional make up of the companions.

That did not make them ex-communicate those who did not conform to their point of view.

a. At the time of the rebellion against Caliph Uthman (ra), the Caliph refused to use force even in his own defense.

b. At the time of battles between the companions, they again did not call each other Kafir, but instead appreciated each other’s qualities and state of deen.

c. When the fitna of the Khwarij emerged, even then the fourth Caliph Ali (ra) did not call them Kafir, but treated them as Muslims with full benefits and protection of the state.

4. Next we have history.

ibne Saba is reputed to have caused the battles between the companions. My question is why was he able to create such mischief. Did the rebels haave cause to be disgruntled? What are the limits of such dissatisfaction?

Throughout our history we come across complaints, dissent, persecution, rebellions, battles and then a permanent break with the main body. There have been rebellions against Central authority, based on many factors: ethnic, tribal, and they have taken a sectarian tinge.

Of course there would be non-Muslims wanting to redefine Islam for us. Of course there would be conspiracies. As of course there would be attempts by genuine Muslims to rectify our state of affairs in the light of our understanding of the world.

Sometimes these need to be dealt with strongly, sometimes with understanding and compassion.

So we have to look at the issues that are being espoused. We do have to be aware of outside (Satanic!) infuences, but we should not ignore problems just because they are being highlighted by misguided or “evil” ones.

The problem of mistreatment of women, children, and the poor is one common to all third world countries. In fact, this problem is one for the developed world as well. There is the traditional domestic violence and rape, and then there is exploitation of the female body for commercial ends.

There is no reason to link this to Islam, and to become defensive about it. Why do we not start reforms that truly liberate women in the sense of the deen? Why do we not insist on their getting their share of inheritance under the Shariah? on getting education? on being able to work without harassment and retaining their earnings? on justice where there is domestic
or other violence?

Why don’t we insist that residents of Muslim countries have full protection of the Shariah, of laws.

That is the way to gain Allah’s favors, and stop innovations in the deen that may lead people astray. As long as our societies and communities ignore the deen, dissents and accompanying schism will increase in frequency and intensity.

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