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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


A.M. Journal

Muhammad Speaks

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


QUESTION: Do you encourage your community to practice the Sunni of Prophet Muhammad in harmony with the interpretation of such Sunni scholars as Al Ghazali, Imam Rabini, etc.?
—Danbury, Conn.

IMAM: Regarding the jurisprudence and shari'ah in Al-Islam, the understanding and application of the teachings of Al-Islam especially in legal matters, and the body of laws that have been established or formed over the many centuries since the time of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.), I would say only that I advise Muslims in this part of the world -- especially the Muslims of this community — to follow the leadership of this community and have faith that this leadership will bring this community to the highest possible point of development as an Islamic community.

The established principles and teachings of this religion, we accept and we intend to include all of those sound and well established teachings and bodies of knowledge in our own curriculum for the elementary schools, the high schools and the colleges. And we hope to make all of that knowledge available to our Imams.

But we have to do it with some discretion, because the writer knows, I am sure, that there are many unsound Hadiths, many unsound laws in the Islamic society today and we have to be careful to select them very carefully.

Who knows, perhaps this community in the very near future will be blessed with learned scholars from our community who will be able to study history, study the history of the law, study persons like Al Ghazali and Rabini and many others and give even deeper insight than we have so far.

We don't believe that the past scholars in this religion are super-beings and there will be no match for them in the future.

We believe that if we study the Quran very diligently, study the life of Prophet Muhammad, Hadith and the body of information that traditionally has been passed down as shari'ah — or whatever — with our modern mind, our modern interest and the sincerity that is in us at this time, it is possible that we will improve upon it.

That is what history is. History is improving upon what is discovered, upon what is given.

God has given us some things and we make certain discoveries or certain disclosures. God also has blessed us with vision to even make improvements. Perhaps there is something that the old scholars overlooked when they were interpreting and applying the teachings of Quran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad — which are the same in my opinion.

The teachings of the Quran and Hadith differ only in that one is the language of the Prophet, the other is revealed language. The body of knowledge that was expressed from the Prophet as a human being — or as the Prophet to Hadith or whatever we might want to call it — though it is second in authority to the Quran, in my opinion it must be in agreement with the Quran.

I think some of these scholars of the past have not dealt with law and Hadith as they should have dealt with them — that is in the light of the Quran — let the Quran be the inspecting light: inspecting what we are doing, inspecting what we are examining, questioning the conclusions that we come to.

I think there is more improvement to be done in that area.

I hope that from this community will come leaders, scholars who will carry us into stronger, more solid grounds regarding Hadith and shari'ah — the law.