Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Is it absolutely necessary to ask scholars for everything?

An excellent fatwa for those Islam QA lovers.


Asalam Alaikum. Do you think it is a disease of our ummah that Muslims consult scholars and imams about minute details of life? Sometimes I wonder if this is almost a permanent doubt we remain in - ambiguity unless someone else tells us something is right or wrong and it can encourage paranoia/OCD about very small factors of life. Do you think this is how we are supposed to operate? I think about this a lot because I know Islam is not supposed to be a burden and sometimes think there is a thin line between avoiding invention and being too robotic and not embodying your faith. After all Allah gave us all logic reasoning and intellect. What did people do before the Internet and before such easy access to information? I would be really interested to understand your point of view because I notice unlike some scholars you often present the facts within the Quran Hadith but then ask the person to judge for themselves. You also always present alternative views. Other scholars instruct people directly with very limited boundaries of choice even if the exact situation cannot be found within the Quran & Hadith. An example for me is vinegar which the Prophet said was good yet people ask details about different kinds of vinegar and interrogate waiters before consuming a meal instead of just thinking about the bigger picture of why we were told to avoid alcohol and how and why we are using vinegar. Do you understand my point?


The point you have raised is highly appreciated. It is a sad fact that many Muslims today seem preoccupied with miniscule more like the Pharisees and Sadducees, and thus are losing the spirit and soul of religion. This was the same condition that Imam Ghazali was fighting. The reason for this is the scholars over emphasizing the form of religion as opposed to the inner dimensions. Many questions people ask do not need any specialized knowledge; even the common sense or our own moral conscience can help us decide on such matters. The Prophet himself said, consult your conscience, consult your conscience! Of course, he meant the sound moral conscience that is aware of Allah's judgement.

However, we cannot condemn genuine questions. The Qur'an and the Prophet's traditions exhort us to ask those who know when we cannot make up our minds in regards to the issues we face in life.

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