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On ‘Reform’ in Islam

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Yasir Qadhi

Channel: Yasir Qadhi

Episode Notes

Episode Transcript

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show contrast, you know, one chapter which I just quickly wanted to go into was chapter eight crisis of knowledge. And chapter eight crisis of knowledge is somewhat important to me at the moment,

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mainly because we do live in very difficult times. So panela, two days ago, Sheikh Mohammed Ali Assad booni Rahim Allah,

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we live, especially in times where many great scholars are passing away. And there's one point which you make in chapter eight on page 64, where you see that we are currently facing a crisis of Islamic knowledge in the West, I am very optimistic that the next generation will be much better than the elders in working for community development and fostering harmony with the wider society. What I am concerned about is that islamically speaking, we are nowhere near the level of scholarship required that will allow us to thrive. And this is really the point which I wanted to speak to you about today chef to is, even before the seminar, you know, the amount of people that contacted myself even

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even now saying, oh, how can you promote Shafi acid cardi, he is trying to reform Islam, he is trying to change Islam, you know, we live in times where the internet and especially because of globalization, it has given everyone a voice. So now for those who are listening today, you know, we have 13 160 people 1300 people who are watching live and for those who will obviously tune in later on because of the time differences. What would you say to them in terms of who should we seek knowledge from? How do we seek knowledge, but more importantly, Who should we listen to, especially when taking knowledge, especially in the world that we live where information is just being thrown

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at us left right center? So this is a very important question and yet obviously difficult to answer. We seek knowledge from those who are people have had a vicar first victory in quantum data alimony. Now, the problem comes that every single Muslim has an entire variety, you know, you're calling me from England, there's a famous ice cream company here called Baskin Robbins. And you know, they famously advertised you know, they have Mashallah, you know, 30 plus favorite flavors, you know, so we have not turned 30 Plus, we have 300, plus flavors of the scholarly community. So the average person when he walks into the ice cream shop, and he doesn't know which one he left to taste a few

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and then choose which one he likes, right? The religion is far more important and far more complex. How does the average Muslim How is he going to choose the shareholder item that, you know, he is going to listen to and take knowledge from because at the end of the day, there's so much variety out there. And sometimes certain roadmaps are critical of others certain to add certain students of knowledge or you know, very harsh against others. It's a very difficult and complex situation. I would ask every single Muslim The most important thing that you begin with is you raise your hands up to Allah subhana wa Tada. And you say, the Nasr author must have been more than 17 times a day

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you make that drop and you mean it You mean it You mean it, you actually make sincere to our to Allah, that to Allah guide me to the straight path and when you make this draw, Allah azza wa jal is most happy with Islam, he will create the ASVAB for you to be guided and one of the ways that the righteous Muslim is guided is by righteous roadmap and by the companionship of righteous people. So when you make this draw Allah subhana wa tada will facilitate you and so then after this, you have a selection that you will be listening to. So ask Allah subhana wa tada for hidayah in this and then overall look at the what is this person calling you too, if you find that this person connects you

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with Allah subhanho wa Taala if this person makes you aware of you know, the Prophet salallahu it who was sending him if this person is overall respected by the the colleagues and peers, because a scholar is recognized by the Buddha Ma and are two recognized by the people around them that Who are those that you know, endorsed this person who are those that this person associates with So, if you find that a particular person appeals to you, you're coming close to Allah subhana wa Tada, you're feeling your test skia you know, you want to increase your ibadah you want to increase your knowledge over all these are good signs and hamdulillah and I would also recommend that you stick

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with other rula In other words, some variety is good within a spectrum, any person that is increasing your level

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Islam. Personally, of course, I am against sectarianism. And so any person who's emphases is about movements or groups or people or personalities. Personally, I'm not attracted to that. And I, if you asked me what advice I said, That's not what this religion is about, stick with any group of Roma, any person or trend that is increasing your love of Allah and your knowledge of the deen and your awareness of the Prophet salallahu it who has said, that should be the primary focus of the share for the scholar or the day that you seek knowledge from any person who's just, you know, telling you about other people or their movements or their sex or whatnot. This is not what our religion is

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about, you know, that's something that should be the minority aspect. With regards to the question of reform and whatnot, this is a very, again, you know, some how to lead this is a very sensitive and delicate topic. And as usual, you know, people may Allah guide in all of the people of the oma, but people like to take certain segments and clips and read into them. In reality, the the concept of Islam, the concept of rethinking through, it is not something that is stranger new, it goes back to the very beginnings of Islam. And if somebody studies will sort of feel kind of somebody understands that there is this branch of knowledge called CSS machete, or how the Sharia is applied

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in the nation state or in modern times, well, I shouldn't say nation state, because that's a modern concept. But the notion of applying the idea in a particular context is not the same as you get it from the books or the books of film are teaching us the generics of Islam, how and when to take those applications and then put them in a broader society, that is something that we can have odema of every time look through, without ever rejecting the [???]tier we can never reject the [???]ty up, we can never, you know, transform the [???]ty of Allah subhanho wa Taala, but it is allowed it is allowed to at times make that which is MOBA, that which is permissible, it is allowed to make it for

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example, impermissible for a time being or to restrict the unrestricted there are things that can be done. And there are many examples. For example, what about photography Alon, very famously, the issue of the triple Fatah, for example, well known that he felt that this was being misused and abused. And so he had a federal or had an issue a decree about the triple threat of there are a number of other things as well. For example, one of the categories of Zakat was one level the problem or the people that you want to bring their Islam, you know, make their Islam strong. And America the law said, you know, right now, Islam is a state of power, we don't need to give money to

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anybody who were doubting when he just completely not, not permanently, but for that timeframe, he took one of these eight categories. And he said, you know, we don't need to apply this particular category for this time, or we do but he never rejected the [???]ty I was a biller, he never said we're never going to do this. He said for right now, we don't need to do this, that's permissible to do in the reality of the shutter. So the concept of some of these issues of how to apply the Shetty are in modern times, this is a very, very convoluted topic. I did not even say anything specific. I simply said, it is permissible for the ruler of every time in every place to have a frank

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conversation for their societies. And you know, the irony, of course, and this is needs to be said, what I have said is pretty much the the position of so many scholars, I don't like mentioning names, but Zaid, because you're the one you know, having this conversation conversation with me, you know very well, our teachers view and that is a crumb, you know this very well, you know, the reality of what he says, and it is exactly in line of what I'm saying. You also know the position of the European Council, Chef qaradawi, for example. And his position is pretty much even more x by the way, he's much more all I'm saying we should have a conversation, every group of Roma of every

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locality should have a conversation, Chef qaradawi because he's not only because he is so much more senior than me, he's con much v on this. And he's made some very definitive statements in this regard. You know, unfortunately, may Allah, you know, protect us but people who are not trained or qualified, there's a knee jerk reaction when they hear something they've never heard before. And because of the socio political realities of the world, because so much harm has been done by Western superpowers. And by certain, you know, characters that are not trained in Islam, innocent Muslims, when they hear anything that they're unaware of, they immediately say, Oh, this must also be, you

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know, a sellout or liberal or around your supporter. And that was my point is that look there, the genuine conversation is possible. And I'll give you a simple example. Where in

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A Muslim country is jizya being applied right now we're in fact which ruler ma of which land are calling for jizya to be applied. Now Is anybody going to say that jizya is unethical I would Avila nobody will say this rubella. How can anybody reject but pretty much you know, the global community of Roma, at least we should say, obviously, you always find strands, but in every single Muslim majority land, you will find Rhoda ma trained traditionalist, these aren't progressors are sellouts who are understanding, okay, given the modern dynamics of the world, given these nation states that didn't exist 100 to 100 years ago, given the changing situations, we will not apply this ruling of

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the Sharia for this particular time. I asked you and I'm not even the one saying this. Where is it juicy being applied and who's the one calling for it amongst their alumni that are respected amongst the global councils. There's hundreds and 1000s of roadmaps that are sitting in the overseas Council, Martha, Robert and Adam in Makkah, who amongst them is saying, oh, in our country, in Libya, and Tunisia and Pakistan and Egypt and whatnot, let us apply the jizya. The same goes for the many other laws, for example, right? And so what we find here may Allah guide all of us, there seems to be an emotional reaction when somebody states the obvious or other Billa I am not ever insha

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Allah either going to reject Allah Shetty, I owe the villa that is Cofer, however, to be practical and say that we are allowed to have a conversation about what we can do for the current timeframe for the current circumstances. This is not a rejection. This is an adaptation. This is how do we translate these laws into modern times? That's a different issue altogether. So I don't know what else can be set in this regard. Because I didn't even give an actual vertic. All I said was that this is something that yes, we are able to think about. And if there odema of a particular land a particular time say, Okay, this particular law, we should just janee for this time frame, it's not

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applicable, or it's not something that is going to be to the benefit, given the current circumstances, right. That's something that's very different than saying, we're going to change the [???]tier no one has the authority to permanently change. However, as we explain, there are certain aspects of aptly applying the laws of the [???]tier that communities can think pros and cons. And, you know, the irony of ironies, there seems to be so much anger, when somebody speaks like this, there's not a single land in the world, not a single land, where every single aspect of the Sharia is applied, like it used to be. So what are you going to do your irritation is the, you know, people

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that are criticizing me in this regard, they're kind of missing the mark here, like, there is nowhere in the world that those original laws are being applied. Because every single land has its issues and circumstances. I'm not justifying what's going on in those lines. But I'm saying that there is much more to be there's far easier targets than someone like me, who is simply saying, Let us be realistic. Now, the issue of blasphemy and the issue of the the laws of ryda. I didn't actually say that the what we should do, because I don't have an actual opinion about what should be done in Muslim majority lands. I will tell you that even in let's say, Saudi Arabia, no person has

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been executed for apostasy despite the fact that multiple people have been charged with it. Even a famous case happened. And this isn't a [???]ty court. And believe it or not, where somebody was, you know, said something he should not have said and tweeted about it. And the courts made a case that he should be executed, and other courts and other people got involved. And they basically, you know, got rid of this. Now, this is an actual case that occurred in Sharia courts, in [???]ty our courts in the land of Arabia. And they felt that, you know, it's it's for the detriment of that country and that region and that land to not go down this route, whether they're right or wrong. That's their

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discussion to have, we can comment on it, no problem. But in the end of the day, I am still stating what is the mainstream position of pretty much all of the scholars that are involved in global issues that are talking about Islam as a lived reality, this isn't unique to me. And that is that these laws that apply at a state level, they are permissible to have a conversation to think about what can and cannot be done. And we look at the Muslim and I've said that the pros and the cons, and we weigh the pros with the cons and there will be certain situations. Now what those situations are, we'll go back to various lands and whatnot. And they give you the example once again of the jizya

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pretty much the bulk of these are the AMA have understood that it does not make sense given the nation state and again I said this in the the lecture that

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was the you know, the whole issue began that we have to look at the reality of the nation state. And that its paradigm is so different than that of the shadier, it's not that the [???]ty are developed with Ebola cannot be applied, it's that the model of the nation state doesn't fit with the model of the shady as land, where there's a downward Islam, where people are basing their citizenship based upon faith, that's a different model, right. And our model that we currently occupy, it's something that is not compatible, not because our the below there's a problem with the [???]tier. But frankly, because the model of the nation state, frankly, it doesn't make absolute sense. That's a whole

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different topic here. Because, again, this is a whole different topic. And there are many articles and books written about this. In any case, Shakespeare has a phrase Much Ado About Nothing, I feel this applies over here as well. I have said this multiple times, nothing new. And there's no hidden agenda. This is something very clear cut. If you don't, you know, trust me in this regard, no problem as people far more senior to me. And again, it's awkward to say this, but it needs to be said most of the people that are critiquing and you know, releasing these types of things. They are not trained, you know, in the city. If you really have an issue with something that I've said, I

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strongly encourage you to go to our teachers to go to people that are older than me, but hamdulillah there are rude Emma and Michelle, if I look up to people that are more knowledgeable than me, people that are wiser than me. And again, because they they're on the call, I don't mind mentioning, but chef Academy is one of those individuals, please go to chef a calm in America, we have a chef Hartman has so many other people go to them, and complain, literally say, Chef, you know, this person by the name of your said such and such, and we're very angry at him. This is exactly his quotation, quote, literally showed them. And I am more than happy to engage in dialogue with my

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seniors, with people I look up to and with back and forth. But I say this out of gentleness when those who are not qualified, and they haven't understood and they've never trained, and they are reactionaries. And they're known for, you know, these types of genre of refutations and whatnot. Our religion is bigger and broader than this. And you know, you know, it's up to you if you feel that those individuals are more conducive to your demand. And that's your decision and any What can I say that's your that's your decision. But my simple advice to you is, listen, follow the people who bring you closer to Allah and make you love the messenger. Simple as that. If it's not me, no

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problem, somebody else hamdulillah out of the law, who was here, the plenty of people are hearing this in this land in this in this globe. And there are many, many people who are preaching and teaching mainstream Islam and who are effective amongst the masses, stick with those whom your heart feels content with, and try your best to not to get involved in Qaeda will call and drama and you know, making people hate other people. This is not what this religion is about. If you like what I'm preaching hamdulillah if not Al Hamdulillah, find somebody else and get busy with him. But whatever you do, the last thing you should do is to get busy talking about other human beings. That's the

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last thing you should do. And it's really a disease of the heart to do that. And Eliza knows best.

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And just comala hate on chunky acid for your concise answer. Check yourself um, just before I take a few questions from the audience.

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I'm going for it was a co editor of the book actually referred to

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Salam aleikum wa Taala on this point in

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our Salah, nice to meet you online for the first time. Likewise, under the current circumstances, I guess the best we can do haven't had the opportunity to read your book. I would definitely agree with what you said is an easy read. For somebody layman like me, and I do understand, you know, the chapter it was very comprehensible, it seemed very relevant. One question I did have

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Do you think it needs to be ready in order chronological order going from the first not at all? I thought some of the chapters were very relevant to me at this present time, which weren't maybe necessarily the first one. Likewise, some of them in hindsight would have been perfect couple of years ago, and I'm sure some of them will be very relevant in the future. What exactly that's each chapter is completely independent, and inshallah I mean, Zaida already knows this work as a we're working on reflections, part two, right. So start start doing that. So so the answer you just gave in the last 10 minutes, I think, should be too too small chapters.

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How long do you have the recording? I don't have the recording of this. So call us Bismillah go and do that. They actually there is a chapter about very basics about reform over here.

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I am wondering which one it is. But there is a chapter about very generically, I talked about reform. And you you've got the chapter of unity in it too. Yes. Unity. Yes, yes. And what what I did was in that chapter, I gave an example of inheriting a house from our fathers with furniture in it, right? I have an example of that, that basically it's like we grew up in a house of our forefathers and then we inherit that house now our children come and they want to change the furniture they think the furniture is outdated. The wise person understands the foundations of the house from the furniture of the house right the person is able to understand Hey, look, this is my father's house

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you know it's gonna be there at hamdulillah but you know what, updating the curtains you know, bringing in new furniture that is not something that is changing the house if you understand also that fifth you understand the sciences have failed to understand the McCall so the Shut up you understand the CSO Shetty these are all different disciplines. Okay. And I do not claim by the way, I'm very clear in this regard. My area of expertise and speciality in the Islamic tradition is after either and aspects that Runa Koran and syrup and other things. I do not claim to be a fluffy and which the head moussaka rubella, I am a minor student of knowledge. And in some areas, I feel

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confident, you know, being Yani somewhat independent, but not in fifth and not in Mikasa. When it comes to these topics, I consider myself to be a student of knowledge. And I take from those far more knowledgeable than me and I have said this many, many times that the primary people that I look up to are those around me that are traditionally trained, but forward thinking, Okay, that's my own personal choice. And amongst them will be, you know, at the very top of this list for me, it's just something that I would, and overall, the Phil councils of the globe that are adamantly starting to fill council ShareFile qaradawi you know, shift, others of that nature, Chicago, Lucifer, Judaic,

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Akram nadwi, these are the people there fatawa, about modernity, their fatawa, about issues of the of the modern world, generally speaking, I find myself much more sympathetic to them. I do not know of a single factor that I have said about anything to do with the laws of Islam with Shetty, I would accept that there are precedents from these roadmap, I'm not saying every single thing but within this camp, you will find definitely everything that I have said And the same thing goes for this issue of acid looking at deposit when it comes to what we can think about CSS or applying the [???]tier of Allah. So the same goes to this example of the house with the furniture that every

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single generation is allowed to do a type of Islamic internal Islamic. Now the word reform has many meanings to it. And unfortunately some of you know the these younger critics they they wish to go on the worst possible meaning I was a builder, but if you listen to the talk, I was very clear and this is what really hurts I was very clear. We follow the Quran and Sunnah we follow a Gemma we're going to make sure we follow whatever is epistemologically allowed IE that is well suited I literally said this we have to follow the hermeneutics This means well suited filled right the the the provider the Maxim's we have to follow what is allowed. I'm not going to change the sort of filth but

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unfortunately, especially our untrained youngsters, they're reactionary, right, they inherit the house with the old furniture and the and the and the curtains. And they think if I change the curtains, it's like changing the foundations. No, they don't know the difference between the curtains and the foundation. They haven't been trained because they think it's a hole they don't understand. And that's why you need forward thinking, are they trained or Dema? who understand what can and cannot be fine tune what the Shetty itself allows what the mocassin allows, and that's something that again, I will say, I'm not the one doing this, I'm simply quoting you far greater

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aroma that I happen to be sympathetic to now Are these the only group of aroma No, definitely not. There are other than my traditionally trained and they want to remain in that tradition. And I respect and admire that that's fine. And that's something that they're comfortable doing and you have the deobandis you have you know the Salafi odema. You know, you have you know, the you know mckeldin of some of the other Medina hamdulillah. They have heard they have Eman, they have support, and they have good, me personally, I am more inclined towards another group, as I have said, and you know, the aroma of the great aroma of the Deobandi and the set of tradition. They respectfully

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disagree with the great aroma of the ones that I look up to respectfully, the problem comes, you have these again, you know, I don't know what to call them, but you know, these people that they feel that you know, any type of discourse that they haven't heard, it's something that means Oh, we're opening up the floodgates for destroying Islam and this goes back to

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reactionary stance that is rooted in, if it is, if it is sincere, then it is rooted in ignorance. If it is not sincere, it is rooted in something much more dangerous than that. We ask Allah for protection

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he can remesh

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he can