The Religious Institutions and Modern Challenges
Answers to various questions about the religious institutions: their nature, relevancy, impact and fate.
Written for IslamOnLine.net
All praise be to Allah, and may His Blessings and Peace be on His Last Messenger,
The theory of secularization is based on certain premises, which include a certain degree of indifference to the religious institutions, if not religion in principle. It also claims, those institutions have, more than ever, become differentiated from the modern secular societies.
The proponents of this theory aim at compartmentalizing the religion within certain institutions, which are subsequently compartmentalized into certain areas of personal life. According to this theory, those religious convictions, are not to cross the bounds set for them and venture into public life or even contribute to shaping people’s political orientations or world views.
Apparently, the theory is failing, and it is quite felt all over the world that religion still rules over a large section of people’s collective awareness and intellectual constitution.
It is time for an introspective analysis of the various impacts of those religious institutions on humanity. In the following answers to a group of questions submitted to Islam-on-Line, I will attempt to do that, with a focus on Islam, since I don’t claim to be an expert in any other religion.
What is the nature of the religious institution in Islam?
First, is there a religious institution in Islam? The answer can’t be a simple yes or no, but rather an explanation of what may be considered a religious institution. However, before I begin my exposition of its nature, if you have already started to think of a central command and subordinate branches, or a rigid hierarchy, you have gone too far. This religious institution is not one entity nor is it uni-faceted. It is not completely discernable from the daily religious practice of the public either. In the beginning of Islamic history, the religious institution, which evolved gradually, was in the form of a state that showed deference to the divine law, judges who ruled by the Shari’a, and a magnificent network of interconnected scholars who were collectively able to provide a degree of consistency and a reasonably definable Islamic orthodoxy. They paved the way for their followers by formulating disciplines such as the Principles of Jurisprudence, which lays down the parameters of juridical deduction; and Historiography, to determine the validity of reports. The public can never be excluded from this institution because no one needed to be ordained to be listened to; the greatest successors of the Messenger of God (blessings and peace be upon him) stood to be corrected by any Muslim, men and women alike.
The people ascended through the abstract ranks of this institution based on merit and qualification. Those ranks are judged largely via public perception. And if in the current reality, the state hires some scholars to issue fatwas (scholarly edicts) in matters of public importance, those scholars, who may or may not be influenced by the state, don’t gain much public acceptance on the premise of being selected for those positions.
There is no distinction between the “men of God” and the “men of this world” in Islam. All are supposed to be of this world serving the cause of Allah. This understanding protected the religion from being regarded by the public as property of the clergy. All Muslims feel responsible for the religion, which equally belongs to all of them. This, also, was conducive to bringing down the barriers between the “clergy” and the public. In other words, the Muslim scholars are part of the public, of which many aspire to attain scholarly knowledge. That knowledge was always accessible by all. Teaching took place in the mosques, and any by passer was welcome to join the classes and learn. Omar Ibn Abdul ‘Azeez (Allah be pleased with him,) one of the righteous caliphs, said to his viceroy in al-Madeenah, “Spread the knowledge, and sit down to teach, until he who doesn’t know knows, for knowledge will fade away only when it becomes secretive.”[i] Upholding the principle of the right to knowledge, the second generation of Muslims saw the rise of an enormous number of the emancipated slaves to the top ranks of this religious institution. The extent of this made many historians label this ere, “The Era of the Emancipated Slaves.”
After the messenger of God (blessings and peace be upon him), no one is considered the ultimate head of this institution, whose positions are not contestable. In fact, during the reign of Abu Bakr, the second greatest after the Prophet, and his first successor (Allah be pleased with him), several of his positions were challenged, and he yielded to the contenders in many cases. This shows that the Islamic system of governance has nothing to do with theocracy. No one speaks on behalf of God. Thus, in the Islamic history of juristic disagreement, the position that prevailed is that which is supported, not only by the text, but also by reason. That is why the scholars paid attention to disciplines such as the science of dialectics (`ilm al jadal), which is about advancing one’s argument, and enabling him/her to best use the textual or rational evidence to validate their positions.
The Shari’a allowed human diversity and encouraged discourse. Yet, there is some misunderstanding in the minds of some Muslims and non-Muslims, that the Shari’a controls every small corner of people’s individual and public lives. This is not true. Not because it is barred from any sphere of life, nor is it because any of its teachings may be neglected, but because it left enough room for human judgment and for the use of the gift of intellect endowed to humanity by God. The Shari’a provides detailed laws in the area of man’s relation with God. However, in the areas of man’s relation with fellow men and the society, it furnishes sublime guidelines and milestones to prevent inequity and corruption. For example, Islam is generally opposed to taxes and tariffs, but there are conditions when that it is allowable. Now, how much taxes and who are the taxable categories of people and how to spend the money collected; all of these matters are subject to debate. Such debate or discussion will be steered by the Divine guidance against inequity and burdening the less fortunate, but no clear divine dictum will end the discourse.
There is an impression among some people that the religious institutions are responsible for deepening the divides among human beings; justifying violence against people from other religious background, how do you perceive these kinds of accusations?
Human beings never needed a religious reason or pretext for aggression. What is behind the transgression committed by man against his fellow human beings is rather the much hated egotism, which was condemned by all of God’s revelations to humanity, from the time of Adam, through Abraham, Moses and Jesus, and until the seal of the prophets, Muhammad, (blessings and peace be upon them all). This egotism has various manifestations, which include tribalism, ethnicism, nationalism, racism, as well as all other forms of partisanship and classism.
There is an agreement between the Muslims, Christians and Jews on the story of the two sons of Adam, Cain and Abel. They didn’t belong to different religions. It is also not a secret that the wars that had the greatest toll on the human kind, with regard to the number of casualties, and extent of destruction, are world wars I and II. These wars didn’t have the two sides divided along religious or even denominational lines; Germany and Britain were both Protestant, while Italy and France were Catholic. So, putting aside the direct reasons behind those wars, there is close to an agreement that nationalism, imperialism, militarism as well as defense alliances were the main reasons behind the two wars that harvested seventy seven million human lives.
God did sanction the use of force by the prophets, such as Abraham, Moses and Muhammad, and many others for the cause of justice, not that of aggression. After all, it is not conceivable that the evil-doers be left to control the destiny of humanity. You would disagree with a man who sees a child being raped by someone, and wouldn’t interfere to save him, even if he had to use force. However, it is to be remembered that those wars were very limited in scope compared to modern time wars.
Having said that, I must assert that the members of religious institutions are not infallible; some of them may not be aware of the true teachings of God. Others may have deviated from the pursuit of the pleasure of God to that of finite and illusive personal interests. In this case, it is not the religion that will incite strife, but it is probably going to be used to justify the aggression committed by this side or that.
I also have to admit that schism did take place within the Muslim nation, as much as it happened in other religious groups. However, the current diversity that we have in Muslim countries, which is not a new occurrence but a long tradition throughout the history, confirms that toleration of others without acceptance of their thoughts is possible, and did take place in reality. The Encyclopedia Britannica agrees with this and says, “At the same time, while condemning schisms and branding dissent as heretical, Sunnism developed the opposite trend of accommodation, catholicity, and synthesis. A putative tradition of the Prophet that says “differences of opinion among my community are a blessing” was given wide currency. This principle of toleration ultimately made it possible for diverse sects and schools of thought—notwithstanding a wide range of difference in belief and practice—to recognize and coexist with each other. No group may be excluded from the community unless it itself formally renounces Islam.”[ii]
Due to man’s inclinations, sometimes the belonging to a religious fraternity turns into another manifestation of tribalism. To warn against this, the Messenger of God (blessings and peace be upon him) said, “Give victory to your brother, whether he is the oppressor or oppressed!” When the companions wondered at the statement, he explained that if he was the oppressor, giving him victory is by stopping him from aggression.[iii] That was a declaration of the fall of all allegiances except to the Divine cause, which is one of justice and magnanimity.
Criticizing the role of the religious institutions, some people might see that spirituality is natural and does not need an institution to experience and develop this. How can you see the future of the religious institution in light of this viewpoint?
It is true that there is an individual aspect of the religious practice that is only between man and God. In Islam, that is well emphasized.
Allah stresses his proximity to his creations, and says,
(وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ)
“When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way.”[ Al-Baqara, 2:186]
And He condemns seeking intercessors to him, and says,
(وَلَقَدْ جِئْتُمُونَا فُرَادَىٰ كَمَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ وَتَرَكْتُم مَّا خَوَّلْنَاكُمْ وَرَاءَ ظُهُورِكُمْ ۖ وَمَا نَرَىٰ مَعَكُمْ شُفَعَاءَكُمُ الَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُمْ أَنَّهُمْ فِيكُمْ شُرَكَاءُ ۚ لَقَد تَّقَطَّعَ بَيْنَكُمْ وَضَلَّ عَنكُم مَّا كُنتُمْ تَزْعُمُونَ)
“And behold! ye come to us bare and alone as We created you for the first time: ye have left behind you all (the favors) which We bestowed on you: We see not with you your intercessors whom ye thought to be partners in your affairs: so now all relations between you have been cut off, and your (pet) fancies have left you in the lurch!”[Al-An'aam, 6:94]
In a Divine hadeeth, the Prophet relates from Allah the following, “I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me a hand’s span, I draw near to him an arm’s length; and if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.” [iv]
Also, in Islam, one doesn’t need any clergy to validate his conversion, conduct his marriage, accept his repentance or oversee his final rites.
Yet, despite that valid concept of a bilateral relationship between man and his Lord, the religious institution will be always needed. That is because the scholars are best positioned to perform the work of ascertaining the text and context of the Islamic revelation and understanding its implications. Consequently, they will be endowed with issuing scholarly edicts (fatwas), spreading authentic knowledge, and resisting deviation and innovation as well as excessiveness in the understanding of the religion. Moreover, in our history, the religious institution, besides the aforementioned functions, was the leading force in repelling assault from invaders and preserving the identity of the nation against dissolution under the harsh conditions of occupation and colonialism. It also fought, within the Muslim society, for the rights of the unprivileged. After all, you won’t trust a civil engineer to speak about Diabetes, and if you did, you will surely not allow him to operate on your daughter’s appendix. The knowledge of the religion is not less intricate, nor is it less significant in people’s lives than any other discipline.
Do you think that the role of the religious institutions vary from One society to another according to its social, economic and political positions? How? And how can the administrative and financial status of a religious institution affect the independency and the efficiency of this institution?
The role of the religious institutions greatly varies between the various societies. In some societies, there is more deference shown to them than others. That is multi-factorial in origin, but of the obvious reasons is the value people place in religion.
Traditionally, our Islamic religious institutions have been able to stay independent from the state through the endowments that sufficed their expenses, salaries and various needs. It is to be said, though, that they generally upheld the inspirational ethics of asceticism, which didn’t necessarily mean poverty, but rather keeping the love of money from controlling their hearts and subsequently their positions.
This economical matrix has been to a great extent disrupted over the many decades or centuries during which Muslims were occupied by imperial entities. That work was unfortunately continued by the modern states, which were keen on controlling those institutions.
It is historically known how prominent families were keen on having one of them specialize in Islamic sciences and become a scholar. Overtime, and with diligent work from the adversaries of the Islamic religious institution, this attitude dramatically changed, to a point where the seats in religious schools were almost reserved for the less fortunate and less capable. This was in part an expected consequence of the systematic impoverishment of the scholars, which was master-minded by the occupiers and their allies. For example, the salary of an Egyptian who went to a secular elementary school for only four years was four pounds, guaranteed from a government agency after his graduation. That was when the rent of a fine villa in an upscale neighborhood was one and half pounds. On the other hand, the graduate of Al-Azhar, after twenty years of education, would, if found a job, make one hundred and twenty piasters.[v] It is obvious how a profession would lose the brilliant minds to others if this was done to it. Try to imagine the salary of the US physician dropping to twenty thousand dollars a year; who will join medical schools in this case? This trend is being gradually reversed; all praise is to God.
From the end of the religious institutions, some of them accepted the compartmentalization, and limited their involvement in politics, or public affairs generally. By this, they marginalized themselves and lost the people’s trust. Others failed to respond to the changes, and isolated themselves. This mainly happened because they failed to recognize that the scholarly edicts (fatwas) – not Allah’s ruling (hukm) – may change from time to time and place to place, not simply by the mere change of time and place, but rather because they are vehicles in which various new events, customs and conditions exist. They also constrained that which is vast (Shari’a), into one school (madhhab), and they constrained the madhhab itself within the literal statements of its founding or earlier scholars, which, in essence, were meant as prototypes and examples. The direct consequence of this was the attribution of error, inflexibility or limitation to Islam.
All of this undermined the authority of scholars in many parts of the Muslim world, and almost led to anarchy. That was directly consequential to the reclamation of the religion by the public, which is positive in many ways. However, there is also less respect for specialty and expertise, which will hopefully be corrected overtime.
The remedy to the difficulties of the traditional institutions is multifaceted. As for the revitalization of the role of religion, it is hoped that the scholars will approach the sources of the revelation directly, while paying due respect to the schools of the expert jurists (mujtahedeen) and being faithful to their ideology and methodology, but not their individual conclusions in matters where there is no consensus, as well as in newly emerged ones (nawazil). And, as for the financial and political independency, it is hoped that our religious institutions will recover from the current state of subjection, and emerge as independent entities that don’t rely on the governments for funds or authority.
There are signs that we started moving in the right direction; all praise is due to Allah.
Do you agree that the religious institutions can be involved in politics; supporting a certain agenda or party? Why?
Firstly, it is important to remember that the people of religious knowledge, like others, have their own opinions and should be free to express them.
Secondly, the religions were not revealed to guide people in the hereafter, because there is no need there for regulations. They were sent by the Lord, because he is a Lord, meaning, amongst other implications, a caretaker. He wouldn’t leave his servants without guidance regarding the issues of life about which they have no encompassing knowledge. They may be incapable of comprehending their various facets and long term consequences. The scholars and learned Muslims are more capable of understanding the text of the revelation and relating it to the current realities.
For example, it is the scholars who struggled to resist the overwhelming and monopolizing control of the world financial system that was marred by corruption and the very seeds of its collapse. Many considered them out of touch with the reality, but here is what the Vatican, now, says about the Islamic alternative they struggled to present, “The ethical principles on which Islamic finance is based may bring banks closer to their clients and to the true spirit which should mark every financial service.”[vi] It is not only the Vatican, but many secular entities. The discouragement of excessive risk taking was a major focus of the last G20 summit in London. That is al-Gharar, which Islam forbade. A simple search on the internet will further clarify this point.
Having said that, it is also true that in Islam, there is no theocracy and no one holds the keys to understanding the word of God or may claim a special power in this regard. The understanding of the scholars is accepted on the basis of their merit and capacities, as well as the soundness of their arguments.
Thirdly, many people, including Muslims, may think that the scholars will agree on the majority of matters, which is untrue. That is because the affairs of this life are intricate and multifaceted, and the scholars like all others will be affected by their backgrounds, mental capacities, world views and perceptions, as well as good or bad life experiences. The multiplicity of positions that result from these differences will not be treated as deviations, as long as it is not in clear conflict with the text or reason.
Fourthly, in the history of Islam, the scholars never considered themselves the sole controllers of the political course, but contributors to it. They always maintained that the people in charge are the various representatives of their peoples, as well as the leaders of the army, judges, masters of various professions and the scholars.
Even when the fiqh (jurisprudence) assemblies attempt to reach a religious edict regarding medicine, economy, engineering or others disciplines, they always call upon the experts to attend their deliberations from the beginning to the end, and provide them with the necessary input.
Fifthly, the presence of a powerful religious institution, which is organized and independent, will be for the best interest of the society. It will be a safety net or stopcock against the drifting of society when it loses all compasses and anchors; it will protect it from totalitarianism, as well as inverted totalitarianism, when the government is too weak to withstand pressure from lobbies and special interest groups. This is because the members of this institution draw their core values from the juristic heritage widely accepted by the masses. Moreover, if they work together, they will not be cowed in by the authorities or lobbies. They also have other motives higher than advancing their own personal agendas. Such motives will not make them, as thought by many in the west, messianic or apocalyptic nihilists, because, in Islam, there is a great level of realism, which is not over drowned by its idealism, and which permeates throughout all of the religious teachings. For instance, it is a sin for an army leader to take part in a battle without any foreseeable gains. That is because war was never meant to eliminate the enemies or attain martyrdom, but rather to serve the cause of the divine in the establishment of justice and religious freedom, and ensuring those who wish to worship him alone shall not be prevented from doing so.
Currently, how do you find the relation between the religious institutions and science in light of a history of complications, sometimes, contradictions?
Firstly, the Muslim scholars never felt the need to oppose science because there is no scientific issue about which the entire ummah has taken a mistaken position, nor is there any issue about which the text of the revelation has contradicted a certain scientific fact.
And with regard to the history of Islam and science, we find no conflict at all. In fact, there has been a symbiotic relationship at all times. When the Muslims were practicing and devout, they excelled in science and contributed to the progress of human material civilization. In The Making of Humanity, Prof. Robert Briffault says, “Science is the most momentous contribution of Arab civilization [he meant Muslim, because all Muslims wrote in Arabic] to the modern world…The debt of our science to that of the Arabs does not consist of startling discoveries or revolutionary theories; science owes a great deal more to the Arabs; its own existence.”[vii] I see the point of Prof. Briffault, because many science historians rightfully credit the Muslim scholars with establishing of the experimental method. However, I would humbly say that they were a very strong link in the chain of human progress, which saw all nations contribute to it, from the Chinese and Indians in the east to the Africans south of the Mediterranean and the Europeans north of it.
If we trace the origin of this synergistic relationship between Islam and scientific advancement, we will certainly go all the way back to the revelation, which emphasized the importance of knowledge and considered man as God’s viceroy in establishing life on earth. Allah said,
(وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً)
“Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: “I will create a vicegerent on earth.” (Al-Baqara, 2:30)
We also find the Messenger of Allah to have said, “I am verily a human being, so when I command you about something of your religion, take it, and if I command you based on an opinion, then I am only a human being.” In a report from ‘Aishah, he said: “you know the affairs of your life better”[viii] This great prophetic tradition makes it clear that Islam, while providing valuable guidance in ensuring the ethics of research procedures, it doesn’t allow the religious institution to control the results of scientific research or restrain it.
In compliance with the revelation, the religious institution has always condoned and never condemned scientific progress, to the point of making it a religious obligation. Imam Al-Nawawi (Allah bestow mercy on him), one of the greatest icons of this institution, said, “And as for worldly sciences, some of them are a collective (communal) obligation, such as the needed sciences of medicine and math” [ix]
The followers of Sunnah, while abiding by it, didn’t neglect the mental axioms or those things perceptible by the senses. In this regard, Imam Ibn Taymiyah (Allah bestow mercy on him) maintains that the scholars believe, not only in that which is authentically transmitted from the revelations, but also, in that which is perceptible by the senses, or comprehended by the mind.[x] That, besides his understanding of predestination, is probably part of the reason why Ibn Taymiyah was considered by Britannica to have “sought to rehabilitate human freedom and responsibility.”[xi]
The result of this consistency in promoting the cause of science was many advancements in various areas; these advancements were not limited only to building on the achievements of previous nations, but as the Columbia History of the World put it, “Modern trigonometry, as well as algebra and geometry are in considerable measure Arab [Muslim, as explained here above] creations.”[xii] It is also fair to say that the advancements made were in a very wide of spectrum of fields, which may be manifest by recognizing the Arabic origin of the following names: Alkali, Alchemy, Algebra, Alcohol, Syrup, Arabic Numerals, Cipher (Sifr): The Vital Zero, and Nadir.[xiii]
Now, many of the readers, particularly non-Muslims, may not be aware of this history, and that is largely due to two reasons:
The first of which is that the vast majority of Muslims have plummeted in the area of science to unprecedented lows, and became content with consuming the technology produced by others. The fact that our adversaries strove hard to keep us behind, doesn’t absolve us, Muslims, of the primary responsibility for this decline.
The second reason is the primary responsibility of the adversaries, who worked so hard to assassinate the character of Muslims by concealing their contributions to human progress through a variety of dishonorable means; means that were bad enough to make Prof. John William Draper say, “I have to deplore the systematic manner in which the literature of Europe has contrived to put out of sight our scientific obligations to the Mohammadans. Surely they cannot be much longer hidden. Injustice founded on religious rancor and national conceit cannot be perpetuated forever…The Arab has left his intellectual impress on Europe. He has indelibly written it on the heavens as any one may see who reads the names of the stars on a common celestial globe.”[xiv]
Neither Islam nor its institutions is the cause behind the state of backwardness Muslims suffered from in recent history, nor is it one of the causes, if understood correctly. The misunderstanding of the religion as well as the weakness of true religious commitment was behind every decline and the opposite has been behind every progress in the history of Muslims.
I hope in these brief answers to such critical questions, I was able to stimulate the appetite of some readers for more reading on the topics addressed here above.
Allah knows best.
[i] صحيح البخاري ج 1 ص 49. دار ابن كثير, اليمامة – بيروت- 1407-1987، الطبعة: الثالثة ، تحقيق : د. مصطفى ديب البغا. “وَكَتَبَ عُمَرُ بن عبد الْعَزِيزِ إلى أبي بَكْرِ بن حَزْمٍ انْظُرْ ما كان من حديث رسول اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَاكْتُبْهُ فَإِنِّي خِفْتُ دُرُوسَ الْعِلْمِ وَذَهَابَ الْعُلَمَاءِ ولا تَقْبَلْ إلا حَدِيثَ النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وَلْتُفْشُوا الْعِلْمَ وَلْتَجْلِسُوا حتى يُعَلَّمَ من لَا يَعْلَمُ فإن الْعِلْمَ لَا يَهْلِكُ حتى يَكُونَ سِرًّا”
[ii] Islām. (2009). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved July 20, 2009, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online:http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/295507/Islam
[iii] صحيح البخاري ج 2 ص 863 - دار ابن كثير واليمامة – بيروت – 1407 – 987 ، الثالثة، تحقيق : د. مصطفى ديب البغا. عن أَنَسٍ قال رسول اللَّهِ “انْصُرْ أَخَاكَ ظَالِمًا أو مَظْلُومًا قالوا يا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ هذا نَنْصُرُهُ مَظْلُومًا فَكَيْفَ نَنْصُرُهُ ظَالِمًا قال تَأْخُذُ فَوْقَ يَدَيْهِ”
[iv] صحيح مسلم ج 4 ص 2061. دار إحياء التراث العربي – بيروت ، تحقيق : محمد فؤاد عبد الباقي. عن أبي هُرَيْرَةَ قال قال رسول اللَّهِ r يقول الله عز وجل “أنا عِنْدَ ظَنِّ عَبْدِي بِي وأنا معه حين يَذْكُرُنِي إن ذَكَرَنِي في نَفْسِهِ ذَكَرْتُهُ في نَفْسِي وَإِنْ ذَكَرَنِي في مَلَإٍ ذَكَرْتُهُ في مَلَإٍ هُمْ خَيْرٌ منهم وَإِنْ تَقَرَّبَ مِنِّي شِبْرًا تَقَرَّبْتُ إليه ذِرَاعًا وَإِنْ تَقَرَّبَ إلي ذِرَاعًا تَقَرَّبْتُ منه بَاعًا وَإِنْ أَتَانِي يَمْشِي أَتَيْتُهُ هَرْوَلَةً“
[v] واقعنا المعاصر،ص217 – 220، محمد قطب، مؤسسة بدران، جدة، الثالثة، 1410هـ 1989م.
[vi] The Vatican ‘s official newspaper Observatore Romano said. Form: Washington Post, Religion Briefing, Saturday, March 7, 2009; B06.
[vii] Robert Briffault, The Making of Humanity , G. Allen & Unwin ltd., 1919, p.188-201
[viii] صحيح مسلم: ج 4 ص 1835 كتاب الفضائل، باب وجوب امتثال ما قاله شرعا دون ما ذكره صلى الله عليه وسلم من معايش الدنيا على سبيل الرأي. عن رافع بن خديج ، أنه قال ” قدم النبي المدينة، فإذا هم يأبرون النخل- يقول: يلقحون النخل- فقال: ما تصنعون؟ قالوا: كنا نصنعه. قال لعلكم لو لم تفعلوا كان خيرا. فتركوه، فنفضت، فذكروا ذلك له، فقال: إنما أنا بشر، إذا أمرتكم بشيء من دينكم فخذوا به، وإذا أمرتكم بشيء من رأي فإنما أنا بشر “.وفي رواية عائشة : ” أن النبي مر بقوم يلقحون، فقال: لو لم يفعلوا لصلح. قال: فخرج شيصاً ، فمر بهم فقالوا : ما لنخلكم؟ قالوا: قلت كذا وكذا. قال: ” أنتم أعلم بدنياكم “. وقد رد الاستدلال بهذا الحديث بأن المراد: أنتم أعلم بدنياكم من أمر دينكم. ويكون توبيخا لهم. وسياق الحديث يأبى هذا.
[ix] روضة الطالبين: للنووي 1/223. قال الإمام النووي – رحمه الله -: “وأما العلوم العقلية فمنها ما هو فرض كفاية كالطب والحساب المحتاج إليه”
[x] «دَرْء التَّعَارُض» لابن تَيمِيَّة (7/332-333). «والأصل في مذاهب الناس كلهم ثلاث مقالات: القول بالحس بحسْب، وهو مذهب الدهرية فإنهم قالوا بما يدركه الحس ولم يقولوا بمعقول ولا خبر؛ وقال قوم بالحس والمعقول بحسب ولم يقولوا بالخبر وهو مذهب الفلاسفة لأنهم لا يثبتون النبوة؛ وقال أهل المقالة الثالثة بالحس والنظر والأثر وهم جماعة المسلمين وهو قول علمائنا وبه نقول»
[xi] APA Style: Islām. (2009). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved July 20, 2009, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online:http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/295507/Islam
[xii] The Columbia History of the World, Harper & Row, NY, 1972, p. 287
[xiv] John William Draper, A History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, Harper & brothers, 1863, p.356