One day (5 part) conference on ‘Steps Towards the Right Path of Understanding’ by Shaykh Haitham Al Haddad, Director of Muslim Research Development Foundation, London. On Saturday 12th April 2008
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Part 1 of 5 – Introduction
Part 1 is an introduction to the topic discussing the aims and objectives of this course. Detailing the steps needed to be taken when dealing with general life issues and Islamic issues; which are:
1. What are the reliable sources of information about what you want to find out
2. Then, to correctly understand the information received
3. Then, to correctly implement it
The shaykh goes on to discuss “Internal Sources” of information being; the brain, the heart/desires, senses/emotions and al fitrah..
Part 2 will discuss in detail “External Sources” of information in Islam, starting with Al Quran.
Part 2 of 5 – Al Quran
Part 2 introduces the 4 external sources of information in Al Islam, being:
1. Al Quran
2. As Sunnah
3. Al Ijma
4. Al Qiyas
The Shaykh starts off explaining the first source of information and legislation, being Al Quran and “The methodology of the Quran in changing people”; how the Quran never asks/orders people for anything without setting a premise (a common ground) for those people involved.
What is Al Quran?
It is the speech of Allah SWT, sent down to the Prophet Muhammad (S), and its recitation is an Ibadah. It is of the highest degree of authenticity, whoever doubts even 1 letter of the Quran commits an action of Kufr.
“…Whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Qur’ân nor acts on its orders, etc.) verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection. He will say: “O my Lord! Why have you raised me up blind, while I had sight (before). (Allah) will say: “Like this, Our Ayât came unto you, but you disregarded them (i.e. you left them, did not think deeply in them, and you turned away from them), and so this Day, you will be neglected (in the Hell-fire, away from Allah’s Mercy).”
[Surah Ta Ha]
Part 3 will discuss the second source of information, being As Sunnah.
Part 3 of 5 – As Sunnah
In part 3, Shaykh Haitham discusses the second source of information in Al Islam being As Sunnah.
There are a number of definitions of the word “Sunnah”, depending on how it is used. Linguistically, it means ‘a way or a path’. Non-linguistically it takes different meanings, when used within the following contexts:
* Aqeedah –
Aqeedah is the main belief of a Muslim and what negates those beliefs. Example, the 6 articles of faith — their details are given to us in the sunnah. The word “Sunnah” here is used as to explain the way of the Prophet SAW, his path, i.e. Islam.
* Fiqh –
The scholars of Fiqh (the Fuqaha), are concerned with the rulings in Islam. If something is recommended, it would be called “Sunnah” in order to differentiate from Fard, Wajib, Muba, Haraam..
* Hadith –
The scholars of Hadith (the Muhaditheen), are interested in all that the Prophet SAW did, his actions, his words, his approvals, his appearance and descriptions etc. The words “Sunnah” here is to report everything on the Prophet SAW.
As a sacred source, the Sunnah is different than the Quran and comes second. As a source of legislation, both the Quran and Sunnah are of the same authority.
“Nor does he (Prophet) speak out of his desire. (What he says) is nothing but Wahi (revelation that is revealed.)” (Quran 53:3-4)
The Prophet (SAW) said: “I do not want to see any one of you reclining on his couch and, when he hears of my instructions or prohibitions, saying ‘I don’t accept it; we didn’t find any such thing in the Book of Allaah.’” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)
Part 4 will discuss the third source of information, being Al Ijma (consensus of scholars)..
Part 4 of 5 – Al Ijma
In this part, Shaykh Haitham discusses the third source of information being Al Ijma (general consensus of the scholars).
In Arabic, this means “to take a decision.”
The technical point of view is: “An agreement of the scholars of the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad SAW after his death, on a shari’ee matter.”
The Shaykh explained if the first generation of Muslims were in agreement on an issue (or the overwhelming majority), and then the second generation were also and then the third also — this is Ijma ontop of Ijma ontop of Ijma…..Now how can anyone now after 1,400 years go against their agreement? Are we saying the whole Ummah for 3 generations were misguided and now we are right? Did we find a daleel they did not find?
Thus, Ijma safeguards our religion from those who try and innovate into it.
The last part of this course, Part 5 – will discuss the last source of information in Islam, Al Qiyas.
Part 5 of 5 – Al Qiyas
The last part of this course, Shaykh Haitham discusses the 4th source of information and legislation in Al Islam, which is Al Qiyas.
In English this word means, “extension”.
Technically this word means, “To extend the ruling from an old (original) case to a new case that both share and agree on the effective cause.
The Shaykh gives examples of this and explains how Al Qiyas is an effective tool for Ishtihad.
Alhamdulilah, this is the end of the course, InshAllah we hope it has been of benefit to you, as it has been to us.
We look forward to your feedback.
Jazaak Allahu Khairan IB, Sh Haitham and to you all. Ameen