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Islamic Law

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By Hazrat
Maulana Yunus Patel (Rahmatullah 'Alayh)

We want Islamic law to conform to our liking, so much so that we will
find some Fatwa (Juristic ruling) to justify our actions.


The ordinary laymen, and so too many who are highly qualified in the
secular field, read the Qur`aan Shareef and authentic Hadeeth kitaabs[1] such
as Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, and find some Ayah (verse)
or Hadeeth to justify their actions.

Often, the Ayah or Hadeeth is taken out of context and expounded to
justify grave and major sins. 

Each Ayah and Hadeeth has an explanation and commentary. If there was no need
for explanations, we would not have had Allama Sayyid Mahmood Baghdadi (Rahmatullah
), Ibn Katheer (Rahmatullah ‘alaih) and
other Mufassireen (commentators of the Qur`aan Shareef), or
Hafez Asqalani  (Rahmatullah ‘alaih), Mulla Ali Qaari 
(Rahmatullah ‘alaih) and other Muhadditheen[2] writing volumes in commentary. Therefore, to just read and present
an Ayah from the Qur`aan Shareef or a Hadeeth from a kitaab is not sufficient
to justify one’s actions.


Despite the fact that there are so many law books and medical journals at the
disposal of the layman, not everyone is qualified to understand or explain and
interpret these. One has to spend many years in study and research under one
already qualified in the field of law, medicine, etc. before one can do so. …If
some quack has to give a wrong opinion or an incorrect diagnosis, he would be
sued for malpractice. 


So in the field of Ifta[3], only those qualified in the science of Qur`aan and Hadeeth may issue
verdicts. No matter how many certificates, degrees and other qualifications and
titles a person may have acquired in the secular field, these do not give him
(or her) the license and authority to issue Fatwas in the sphere of Religion.


…Then there are so many who have a superficial knowledge of just the Arabic
language but consider themselves qualified to interpret the Qur`aan Shareef and


The Sahaba-e-Kiraam (RA), who were perfectly acquainted and versant in the
language of Arabic, were still required to formally learn the Qur`aan Shareef
from Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). It would therefore be false and
arrogant of a person, with a basic study of Arabic, to lay claim to having more
knowledge and understanding than the noble Sahabah (RA), by presenting his own
commentary of Qur`aan.  


There are so many who have not studied Shariah under the guidance of
Ulama-e-Haq, but who reject the teachings of the Mujtahideen[4] and
present their own concocted theories and commentaries; others are quick to
quote Ayaah and Ahaadeeth in support of their sinful actions, or misinterpret
the same. Such people should seriously heed the warnings of Rasulullah
(Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in regard to their careless and erroneous
statements and ignorant behaviour.


Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said : “Whosoever, in
interpreting the Qur`aan, says therein anything of his own opinion commits a
mistake even if he is correct.”



In another narration, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu
alayhi wasallam) mentioned : “Whoso interprets the Qur`aan without knowledge,
let him seek his abode in the Fire.” 


And: “Whoso
interprets the Qur`aan according to his opinion, let him seek his abode in the


                                                              [Tirmizi Sharif]

In regard to misquoting Ahaadeeth, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi waSallam)
stated explicitly : “Be careful of (narrating) traditions from me
except what you know. Whoso imputes falsehood to me intentionally, let him then
seek his abode in the fire.”


 [Tirmizi Sharif]


Yes, when it comes to etiquette, character, the stories of the Ambiyaa (‘Alaihimus
) and nations of the past, the causes of rise and decline; paradise
and hell, reward and retribution, then read and quote authentic Tafseer
or translation; but when it comes to the laws of Shariah, Fatawa
(Shar’i rulings), commentary of Qur`aan and Hadeeth, leave it to those who have
spent years mastering these sciences and are experts in these fields.

Nowadays, the title of ‘Mufti’[5] has also become very cheap. Some spend a few months or a year in a
Darul Ifta[6] and become rubber stamp “Mufti so and so”Before
enquiring about matters pertaining to Deen, verify the person’s qualifications,
just as we do in worldly matters.

…Women have a weakness, that if a woman gives a powerful speech on a subject,
having read some Islamic books, she is asked questions on all subjects. The
speaker too will reply to all questions even though ignorant.

Just giving a good speech is no qualification to answer all questions on the
Qur`aan Shareef and Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

We should be cautious and selective regarding whom we acquire Ilm-e-Deen from.
…There is a famous statement of Muhammad bin Sireen (Rahmatullahi
‘alayh): “This knowledge is a matter of Deen, so be careful who you
take your Deen from.”


We should keep this in mind and we should not
lay claim to qualifications we do not possess.


[1] kitaabs : books

[2] Muhadditheen : Scholars of

[3] Ifta : Legal Shar’i injunctions

[4] Mujtahideen : Scholars certified
as capable to interpret Islamic Law

[5] Mufti :
Muslim Jurist

[6] Darul Ifta : Institution offering
a course concentrating on Islamic Law and passing verdicts


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