A-5 Important Principles for Approaching the Quran and Sunnah
1. The Quran and Sunnah contain everything we need.
“…And all things have We explained in detail.” [17:12]
“This day those who disbelieve have despaired of [defeating] your religion; so fear them not, but fear Me. This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” [5:3]
Thus, our religion is complete and perfect, and we do not need any other sources for our beliefs.
2. The Prophet(sal-Allahu ‘alayhi was-Sallam) has informed us of all that we need to know.
O Messenger, announce that which has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not, then you have not conveyed His message. And Allah will protect you from the people. Indeed, Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.[5:67]
If the Prophet (sal-Allahu ‘alayhi was-Sallam) did not mention something, then it is not a part of our deen. Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) will protect him from failing in delivering the message.
3. Any guidance other than the guidance of the Prophet is misguidance.
“…If you obey him, you shall be on right guidance.” [24:54]
Say, “Then bring a scripture from Allah which is more guiding than either of them that I may follow it, if you should be truthful.” But if they do not respond to you – then know that they only follow their [own] desires. And who is more astray than one who follows his desire without guidance from Allah? Indeed, Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people. [28:49-50]
The Prophet (sal-Allahu ‘alayhi was-Sallam) also said that there is nothing which brings you closer to Jannah, except that I have informed you of it, and there is nothing that brings you closer to the fire of Hell except that I have warned you against it. [Tabarani]
He also said, “There was no prophet who came before me except that he was obliged to tell his people of the good he knew, and warn them against the evil that he knew.”
So from this we see that those who turn away from the guidance of the Quran and Sunnah are following their desires, and that the Quran and Sunnah are complete as sources for our deen. The one who turns away from this is turning away from the guidance of Allah (swt) and is destroyed. This is as the Prophet (sal-Allahu ‘alayhi was-Sallam) said, “I have left you upon a clear path, its night is like its day (distinct, clear, unambiguous), no one deviates from it except that he is destroyed (or he wishes for destruction).” [Abu Dawud]
4. The sacred texts are in clear and lucid language. (Important!)
This is proven from every ayah indicating that the Quran is clear. Many of these ayaat can be found as the first verse following an ayah of disjointed letters. For example, “Alif Laam Raa. A Book which We have revealed unto you … lead mankind out of the depths of darkeness into light“ [14:1-2], and “Alif Laam Raa. Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic Quran that you might understand.“ [12:1-2]
Part of the eloquence of the Quran is that it gets the message across clearly, such that everyone can understand it. Just as if a man were to say something ambiguous, it would not be eloquent, how can one say that the Quran is unclear and not able to be understood? It is, after all, a book sent to guide mankind (and not confuse it!).
The Quran is complex; however, even the most complex meanings of an ayah can never contradict the clear basic meanings they give. For example, ibn al-Qayyim wrote a book (Madaarij as-Saalikeen) that is a 3 volume commentary on the ayah, “You alone we worship, You alone we ask for help.” The ayah has many meanings, some which only the scholars can derive, however, none of them can contradict the basic meaning that everyone picks up from seeing that verse.
5. Following the example of the earliest generation over the later ones.
This should be common sense. There are ayaat indicating Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) is pleased with the Sahabah (9:100). The Prophet (sal-Allahu ‘alayhi was-Sallam) also said, “The best generation (of mankind) is my generation, then those after them, then those after them” [Bukhari/Muslim].
Simply, they were the best generation, they were there when the Quran was being revealed, they lived it, and when they agree upon something, it is binding upon us.
Following this methodology is something that seems fairly intuitive for most people, however there are some who refer to it as being “backward” or “regressive.” The following points can be made in response.
Firstly, it was these “backward” (audhubillah) people who spread the deen all over the world. Were it not for them (after the blessings of Allah) our ancestors would probably not have converted. They spread the message from China to Spain.
Secondly, no one is calling for a return to living life like 7th century Arabia, rather, it is a return to their understanding of the religion itself. It is to practice it as they practiced it, and believe in it like they believed in it. They are our unequivocal role models in this regard. Do we seriously expect to be saved by following a path different from it? The understanding, theology, practice of the deen is something that transcends time, and this is one of the things necessitated by the fact that our religion has been perfected for us.
Thirdly, those same “progressive” people who make these accusations are themselves actually returning to a philosophy (e.g. Aristotelian thought) even older than Islam!!
Posted on October 19, 2013, in Aqeedah 102, I - Introduction to Asmaa wa Sifaat – The Names and Attributes of Allah Intro and tagged Intro. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.