Renewal of Islamic Discourse,Renewal of Islamic Discourse
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Renewal of Islamic Discourse
By Saleh Abdullah Al Alshaikh
Attributes of Islamic Law:
A – The comprehension of Islamic law:
One of the prescribed rules to Muslim is that Islam is an inclusive religion to all times and places. Allah says (And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a giver of glad tidings and a warner to all mankind, but most of men know not) 28 Saba
He also says (Say (O Muhamma): “O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allâh.) Al-maeda 158
The Almighty also said (And We have sent down to you the Book (the Qur’an) as an exposition of everything, a guidance, a mercy, and glad tidings for those who have submitted themselves (to Allâh as Muslims).) Al-Nahl 89.
Al-Bukhari and Muslim and others narrated from Jabir ibn Abdullah that the Prophet (PBUH) said (I have been given five things which were not given to any one else before me. 1. Allah made me victorious by awe, (by His frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month’s journey. 2. The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for praying and a thing to perform Tayammum, therefore anyone of my followers can pray wherever the time of a prayer is due. 3. The booty has been made Halal (lawful) for me yet it was not lawful for anyone else before me. 4. I have been given the right of intercession (on the Day of Resurrection). 5. Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation only but I have been sent to all mankind).
Muslim narrated in his Saheeh and others from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said (By the one in whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, there is no one who hears of me from this nation of Jews and Christians and then dies without believing in my message except that he will be a companion of the Fire).
Ahmad, Ibn Haban, Tabarani and others narrated from Abu Dharr, may Allah be pleased with him, that the prophet (PBUH) said (I have not left anything that will bring you closer to Paradise and keep you further away from Hell but I have certainly taught you about it.).
Shafi’i narrated in his Musnad from Amr ibn Abu Amr, that the Prophet (PBUH) said (I have not left anything that would bring you closer to Allah, except that I have commanded you to do it. And I have not left anything that would distance you from Allah, while bringing you closer to the Hellfire, except that I have forbidden you from doing it.”).
B – The aptness of the Islamic Sharea:
There is no doubt that our religion has invalidated all previous religions and revived what was distorted in them. Allah says (Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allâh and the last (end) of the Prophets. And Allâh is Ever All-Aware of everything.) Al-Ahzab 40.
And also said (This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islâm as your religion) Al-maeda 3
Al-Bukhari, Muslim and others narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said (My similitude in comparison with the other prophets before me, is that of a man who has built a house nicely and beautifully, except for a place of one brick in a corner. The people go about it and wonder at its beauty, but say: ‘Would that this brick be put in its place!’ So I am that brick, and I am the last of the Prophets).
Al-Bukhari, Muslim and others narrated that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet (PBUH) said (The tribes of Israa’il were ruled by the Prophets, every time a Prophet deceased he was followed by another Prophet, and there will be no Prophets after me, and there will be Khulafaa (successors) and they will be many.” The companions then asked “What do you order us? He replied: The one to whom allegiance is sworn first has a supremacy over the others. Concede to them their due rights (i.e. obey them). Allah (Himself) will question them about the subjects whom He had entrusted to them).
C – The attention of the legislator to the people’s interests:
Al-‘Izz Bin Abdul Salam said (the Islamic is full with interests, as it ward off evils or bring the interests, if you heard Allah sayes, “O you who believe!” AlBakarah 104, then consider his commandments after his call, you will not find anything but good that induce you to do it, or evil that forbid you to do it, or both of them).
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, may Allah have mercy on him, said (It is well known that Islam came to complete interests and to disrupt and minimize the evils as possible).
Ibn al-Qayyim said (Sharia is based on governing and interests of people, and it is full with justice, mercy and wisdom, and any matter that go against is not from Sharia. Sharia is God’s justice and mercy among the slaves on his land and his wisdom that show the sincerity of His Messenger “PBUH”).
Renewal of Religious Discourse
First: The meaning of Tajdeed (Renewal) in language and terminology
First: The meaning of (Tajdeed) Renewal in language and terminology:
The meaning of Tajdeed in language
Al-Fayoumi said: Tajdeed is derived from the Yajed, Jedah, Istajadah words which mean something new.
Alsefery said Tajdeed means to return something to his fist state.
The meaning of Tajdeed in terminology:
Al-Alqami said: Tajdeed means to revive what we study by doing what is mentioned in Qur’an and Sunnah and abide by them.
Al-azeem Abadi added: To abandon the heresies and heterodoxies that appeared in these days.
Second: The meaning of the religious discourse:
It means the religious discourse that clarifies to the other the terms and the Islamic morals, or to convince him with the issues of Islam and Muslims, or to indicate the peaceful coexistence, juxtaposition, acculturation and cooperation.
Hence, we can say: The meaning of the renewal of religious discourse is to present Islam as revealed by Allah to His Prophet (PBUH). One of the requirements of this renewal is to return to the regarded legitimate sources, and to deny prejudice, myths, and cults and so on.
Third: The content of the religious discourse:
It should be noted that this religious discourse include fixed matters and variable matters. Fixed matters are the Quranic texts, the correct Sunnah, the companions’ sayings and the jurisprudence texts. All these are fixed matters that are used in all religious discourse that takes into account the variable side that serves this fixed one and support and renew it.
Those who are interested in religious discourse can expand implications and meanings and choose the appropriate one according to the listener state and needs, in order to establish a contemporary and useful speech that achieve its legitimate objectives in all religions and laws.
Renewal does not mean to replace Islam with other religion, or to change some of its provisions or to make things that violate any of its rules and purposes.
But it means Islamic renewal that takes place within its conditions, and which is legitimate and legal, as it is required by life and is regenerated, and developed by the movement of man. And it is therefore religious and legitimate necessary for humanity.
Fourth: The foundations of the religious discourse:
Religious discourse that is based on legitimate assets should be based on important things such as:
The first thing: The desire to reform and get the listener out of the passion cycle to religious, moral, and cultural commitment.
The legal purpose of Sharea makes man choose to be a slave to Allah alone.
The second thing: To facilitate the call to Allah and help people to understand the speech and the content smoothly and gradually so as to get them out of the traps the devil.
The third thing: To take into account the appropriate event and place, for example, it is not accepted to recite verses about divorce in the occasion of marriage.
Four thing: To paying attention to the addressee state and his/her cultural, scientific, social and functional level.
Fifth: To take into account the conditions of the time and its achievements and take advantage of it such as International information network and space stations, to ensure the delivery of the speech to the largest possible number of audiences and to ensure response.
Fifth: Renewal evidences of Legetimcy:
First evidence: It was reported by Abu Dawud, and by Hakeimm in his Mustadrak, Tabarani, and al-Bayhaqi and others Narrated that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet (PBUH) said (Allah will raise for this community at the end of every century the one who will reform its religion for it)
Al-Manaawi said (end of every century) is likely from the Prophet’s birthday or the mission or migration or death.
(for this community) means the Muhammadian group.
They are called the nation of call. (its religion) means the provisions of Sharea, traditions and religious sciences both outward and inward.
Second evidence: Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said “Renew your faith!” It was said, “O Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), who do we renew our faith? He replied “By saying la ilaha illa Allah (There is no God but Allah) a lot”
Third evidence: Abu Darda narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said (The science of religion will continue to be taken by those fair (reliable) from each generation, which is always struggling to clean this religion of: 1) Tahriful Ghalin (perversion of the religious sense performed by the extremists). (2) Intihalul Mubthilin (lie people astray in the name of religion) (3) Ta `wilul Jahilin (a false religion by people who are ignorant)).
The word: (from each generation) means any new generation who are the successor of the last generation or it means that the good man that comes after another one and take his place.
(those fair) means those who are described with piety and religious.
(to clean this religion) means those who will defend the religion a support it.
(Tahriful Ghalin) means the perversion of the religious logic performed by the extremists.
(Intihalul Mubthilin) means people who lie to astray the other in the name of religion.
(Ta `wilul Jahilin) means a false religion by people who are ignorant
Sixth: The terms and conditions of the renewer:
The renewer must be:
Faithful and has a correct approach, because he will be responsible to protect Islam from impurities and deviations, and he should be from the Sunnis who supported the unification and Sunnis, and those who fought against superstition and heresy.
The second condition: He should be from the people of diligence and know about the reality of people and how to deal with them.
The third condition: He should support the weak persons and be characterized with praiseworthy attributes and good and beautiful praise as he is the one who will lead the nation.
Seventh: The Role of renewer:
Manaawi, may Allah have mercy on him, said: Renewer is the one who revives Shariah, Sunnah and the religious sciences, and shows the correct Sunnah, spreads the science, supports its people, breaks the people of innovation.
Eighth: Is the renewer only one person every hundred years:
Ibn Hajar said: …….. It is not necessary that at the top of every hundred years there will be only one person, but it will be as the prophet said “A group among my nation shall continue standing firm on the religion of Allaah. None of those who forsake or disgrace them shall be able to harm them until they become victorious over all people”. The attributes is not limited in one kind of goodness, and is not necessary that all the good qualities be in one person, as the only person who was described with all these qualities was Omar bin Abdul Aziz, who came at the top of the first hundred years with all qualities of goodness. The one who came after him did not come with order of jihad and to rule with justice. For this, any one was described with any of these qualities at the top of the hundred years will be the wanted person.
Ibn al-Atheer said: The Hadith of (Allah will raise for this community at the end of every century the one who will reform its religion for it) should be understood in general, as it is not required that at the head of hundred years will be only one man, but he may be more than one.
Ninth: Reasons of renewal:
1- : The Islamic texts are confined while the reality of people’s lives is not limited, it is therefore imperative for the diligent to join any matter with its match counterpart, the branch to its origin, and to consider whether there is a true evidence, or that he should be diligent in the light of the book and Sunnah, which is called the renewal of religious discourse.
Shatby and others spoke about some of the causes of renewal, and said:
Because the facts are not limited, it is not valid to enter it under limited evidence, so there is a need to open the door of diligence from juristic reasoning and others. There must be facts that its rules are not provided, and where the formers have no diligence in which. Diligent should beat all times because imposed facts are not concerned with only one time.
Manaawi said: When Allah make the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) the end of prophets and apostles, there were unusual incidents and it was therefore necessary to know the provisions of religion, the wisdom of the King required that a group of good people arise every century to solve such unusual things with the scholars of this nation as the prophets of children of Israel do with their peoples.
2- : The suitability of law and its ability to approach and influence the reality and life.
3- : The need to meet the spirit of the age and its changes and developments. And the need to develop solutions and alternatives to various problems and life issues.
4- : Confirming that the blessed Prophet texts is prescribed for renewal and the need for innovators in every age and country.
5- : Spread of corruption among a range of people and the preoccupation with worldly interests. In addition to many other things that ignoring many legal rulings and distorting many of to achieve their purposes.
Iyad bin Himar reported that Allah’s Messenger (PUH), while delivering a sermon one day, said: Behold, my Lord commanded me that I should teach you which you do not know and which He has taught me today. (He has instructed thus): The property which I have conferred upon them is lawful for them. I have created My servants as one having a natural inclination to the worship of Allah but it is Satan who turns them away from the right religion and he makes unlawful what has been declared lawful for them and he commands them to ascribe partnership with Re, although he has no justification for that.
Manaawi, may Allah have mercy on him, said: having a natural inclination: Means that they are Muslims and free of sins and ready to accept guidance.
The phrase: (Satan who turns them away from the right religion): means that Satan managed to mislead them after they were true believers.
Tenth: The renewal conditions from the perspective of Sharia purposes:
The renewal that is based on Sharia’s purposes is not undisciplined, neglected thing, but it is a reality
With its most important conditions as following:
1- : To know the law system (texts, judgments, evidence, rules, regulations, and interpretations …) Because knowledge is a condition of purposes science which is the condition of renewal.
2- : The conscious and exact knowing of the current conditions and concerns, because renewal will focus on facts and innovations that can be judged only by imagining it, and understand it correctly in order to be feasible and right.
3- : The validity of the renewer and his strong will to innovate and to become diligent, because this power is the main condition of religiosity in general, and condition of diligence in particular.
4- : The ability to apply the Islamic rulings in a way that fit the real reality and achieve interest.
Eleventh: The unchangeable fundamentals:
There are constants in religion does not change and diligence is not included within, because the interest to be taken into account is constant.
Some examples are:
1- Sharia and its basics:
There are basic rules of sharia that cannot be subjects to change
If the interst disagrees with the constants, this is clear evidence that these interests are invalid.
Because it does not make sense that religion order to preserve the soul and money, then cancel it at another time.
2- Beliefs and metaphysical things.
This does not include renewal nor accept it as a justification.
Allah says “And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad) but We revealed to him (saying): Lâ ilâha illa Ana
[none has the right to be worshipped but I (Allâh)], so worship Me (Alone and none else).”
He also says “He (Allâh) has ordained for you the same religion (Islâmic Monotheism) which He ordained for Nûh (Noah), and that which We have revealed to you (O Muhammad), and that which We ordained for Ibrâhîm (Abraham), Mûsâ (Moses) and ‘Îsâ (Jesus) saying you should establish religion (i.e. to do what it orders you to do practically), and make no divisions in it (religion) (i.e. various sects in religion). Intolerable for the Mushrikûn, is that (Islamic Monotheism) to which you (O Muhammad) call them. Allâh chooses for Himself whom He wills, and guides unto Himself who turns to Him in repentance and in obedience”
3- Ethics and good manner:
This is also do not include renewal, as it is not reasonable that it become vices in any time.
4- the provisions of penalties
the penalty of adultery, theft, slander, etc., this is set to the interests of creatures, and it is not permissible for any one to say I can concealed adulterer or punish him without stoning or flogging and will realize the same interest. For he will either do harm to the individual or wrongs of society. Glory to the wisest of all.
5- Worships:
Allah has commanded to perform it, and the Prophet (PBUH) performed it according to a specific way and time, if so, we can not renew or change it.
Ibn Hazm said: If there is a text in the Quran or the prophet Sunnah concerning any rule, then any one claimed that this provision has been moved or canceled as thee conditions has changed, he should give an evidence from Qur’an or the prophet Sunnah that this provision has been canceled, if he gave this evidence then he is true saying, and if he did not give it then he is wrong.
al-Khatib al-Baghdadi said: Worship is from Allah to His slaves has two meanings: The first meaning is the worship that is specified in Quran and Sunnah which is not permissible to change it, the second meaning is that kind that be changed according to the renewed conditions, and this kind can be referred to the scholars to reply on it.
The twelfth: Renewal areas:
There are many areas including:
1- : To re-refer a new matter to the law of Allah with evidence from Quran and Sunnah is renewal.
2- To renew educational field, discretionary field, lawsuit and the judicial field and so on.
3- To renew contemporary conditions and incidents that occurred in the nation, which include two types:
A)Private in the jurisprudence rulings: The sum of the partial incidents that have emerged in the current era under the appearance of scientific and technical development in the areas of life, including the medical and treatment field: The artificial insemination, medication with alcoholic and porcine extracts, and DNA.
In the financial and economic field: Retail selling and Leases that end with transfer of ownership
In the Information and communication field: Issuing fatwa via satellite and electronic commerce.
B): Islamic public events: The general accidents that appeared in the current era in thought, culture, politics and international relations fields.
For example:
Globalization, democracy, political, and social organization, and Muslims in the West and the integration in this country and so on.
These events have put a major and dangerous challenge in terms of understanding, obtaining the necessary provisions and giving the appropriate legal solutions, and in terms of dealing with it or engaging in it.
4- The religious figures: Renewal happened with what those people do according to their jobs and their specialties.
Renewal has two meanings:
The first: Replacement intended to dispense with the characters that are no longer valid to perform their tasks properly.
The second: The pledge is intended to provide the religious personality what make him useful, new and modern.
5- Islamic institutions field:
It means fatwa bodies, jurisprudential academies, research centers, educational institutions (institute, colleges and universities) and Islamic institutions (Satellites, Internet, and Islamic newspapers), and the renewal of these institutions means to activate the functions and roles to suit the current age and brings Islamic interests.
The kinds of renewal are as follow:
a-Modernizing the administrative bodies and urban buildings, in line with the nature and status of these institutions to facilitate the working time for workers.
b- Coordination and cooperation with other institutions at home and abroad so as to spread benefits, gain the time, deny redundancy, overlap and confusion, and to ensure specialization, audit and achieve collective work.
It is noted that these institutions have similar topics, publications and programs, which waste time and efforts and increases separation.
1- Disseminating publications and wide its distribution so that it includes a maximum number of scientific and legitimate groups, and Islamic peoples in all parts of the globe. The pain is growing when a lot of workers are deprived from value versions of some specific institutions, because of the tight circle and the high cost of publishing.
2- Revising the works, decisions and scientific curriculums for the purpose of development, encouragement and correction.
The thirteenth: The requirements of renewal based on Sharia’s purposes.
The renewal that is based on Sharia’s purposes requires procedural things that achieve it a good, regular, permanent and effective way, and these things are dictated by developments in the current era, and are necessary to keep pace with enormous technological advances, and the world challenges in the field of thought, culture, politics, economy, media and so on.
These requirements can be summed up as follows:
1- a collective renewal based on the legitimate purposes:
i.e. The renewal is done by a group of scholars, experts and intellectuals not to say all or most of them, because of the importance of collective effort and the difficultness of individual renewal and the complexity issues and interests and so on which can not be possessed by one person, but there must be cooperation and coordination with specialists and experts who know all these disciplines, in order to identify the innovation topics and its requirements.
2-The specialization of renewal based on Sharia’s purposes.
The meaning here is that the renewal is particularly done by specialists in the science of law and sciences relevant to the subject of renewal.
The important of specialization here is in the true and accurate knowledge of relevant science to keep a pace with the current era, in which specialization has become one of the features and landmarks used in various parts of the world.
3- The Institutional renewal based on Sharia’s purposes.
To embraces the renewal projects based on the Sharia’s purposes by formal institutions with clear regulations and policies, and have financial resources and autonomy in decision making and in implementing it. The usefulness of renewal institutions is to ensure the permanence and regularity of work and the exclusion of spontaneity, individualism and exceptional circumstances, and so on.
Fourteenth: The legality of renewal from the perspective of Sharia’s purposes:
Muslim should know that the legitimate purposes of the renewal is justified and warranted. The adoption of any purposes as a legitimate framework of reference for renewal is based on several issues, including:
The first: The means of purposes:
Means the sum of means and qualities that lead to its purposes, and those scholars have put a solemn principle (means have the provisions of purposes), these means is divided into two types:
1- : Constant means that are not changed by time, place or situation, for example: The retribution from the murderer to protect the soul, sexual contact between the legal couple to save the human race, and the reconstruction of the earth and the Hereafter. The constant means are related to some variables that are changed by time, provided that they do not cancel the source itself, For example:
– The use of artificial insemination outside the uterus, as this is a change related to reproduction, but with a little change dictated by scientific developments and the human need to achieve love, taking into the consideration the legal controls of non-mixing it with other, and to be between the legal couple. And the other important controls
All these meanings are achieved in In-vitro fertilization, when can not have a natural birth.
2- Changing Means: This is determined depending on the circumstances, and innovations, for example:
– Instruction that is divided into traditional education, distance education and education within schools and university and
traditional institution like mosques, home and book are changing field for renewal in Islamic life to achieve the public and private purposes of Islamic legitimacy, that is because of the diligent and the renewer have choice in selecting the best means to achieve interests.
The second: Equalization between purposes:
If purposes conflicted with each other, then preference and choice can be used.
The conflict in contemporary Islamic studies is known as “the comparative jurisprudence” which is also a welcomed arena for consideration and adoption of innovation, diligence, according to this jurisprudence.
Sometimes to broadcast a satellite channel is better that to build mosques, because the broadcast station has more interests as it provide more education and awareness while building mosques may not exceed the reconciliation between the residents and neighbors, but to do so there are some conditions including:
The impossibility to combine between the two things, and that there is no need to build a mosque for performing prayers and so on.The innovative aspect of this example stands out from the point of familiarity with the facts of the age.
The third: The priorities in the purposes:
Priorities is something different from comparative, as the meaning of priorities is to bringing forward the priority and leave the others with the ability to do both of them, but comparative means to bringing forward the first and most important thing, and to leave the others, as it impossible to do both of the them.
The difference between them lies in the possibility or the impossibility to combine both of them.
The Fourth: Linking partials with totals:
And this is an important because the total is subject to partials, and the partial return to his total.
The importance of this report is the diligence in unconfined particles taking into account its origins and its totals.
This will require an important effort at the level of knowledge of rules and that it involves branches, exception and protest conditions with it, and so on.
The Fifth: Acts results.
Acts results mean the outcomes of the acts done.
For example: The result of good acts in the life is paradise in the hereafter, and the result of strong infrastructure is good development and strong economy.
The consideration of acts results is an important innovative, in which the diligent can do priorities through estimating the most important results and to expect it to judge on the premises, methods and approaches.
After this presentation to the renewal of religious discourse, we can say that the legitimate renewal is what has been proven by true evidence as a true thing, Taking into consideration the legal purposes and knowing the Islam texts, provisions, and rules, and so on. If “renewal” experienced collision with constant rules that we have referred to part of it, or if it cancel a legal text under the pretext of a legitimate interest, for example, it is not considered as a renewal at all.
The renewer should also be well-informed about his nation reality and its events, then he should look at the facts and in the religious texts, deal with these facts and events through the Holy Sharia, and then take the easier options. He should bring to his nation progress and prosperity through what he sees as beneficial to the nation.
And Allaah knows best.
Abdullah Bin Saleh Al-Sheikh

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