The second Demand

Beliefs & Practices, Chapter 06, Islam & Modernism / Sunday, August 17th, 2008

The second demand of the modernists is that “there can be no monopoly of the Ulema on the Book and Traditions. Therefore, the right of their interpretation cannot be reserved for religious scholars alone”.

Those under the charm of this propaganda are tirelessly repeating this slogan and do not stop for a while to think that thus they are making themselves similar to a person who had never seen a medical college but raises the objection as to why the treatment of diseases has been served for qualified doctors only or like a fool who criticizes by saying why the experts in law and jurisprudence – alone have the right of the interpretation of law and why not others are allowed to do so?

No sensible or conscientious person can ever think on these lines. However, if one has such an imbecile approach he should know that, any one has the right to perform all these duties, but to gain proficiency and eligibility for this you will have to spend years and years of hard work and labor, seeking the guidance from experts for practical experience, obtain degrees and diplomas and other related experience, then, of course, you will be allowed to make interpretations.

The most sensitive and delicate work of interpreting the Qur’an and the Sunnah is said to require the same process how can it be termed as a monopoly. Does it not require any one to get educated for it? Why the Qur’an and the Sunnah alone are considered to be as pitiable as to be treated by any individual at his own will? How one can be given the right to interpret the Qur’an and the Sunnah while he has not spent even a few months in acquiring the relevant knowledge.

They express their anger against the religious scholars all day long as to why they alone should deserve the right to interpret the Qur’an and the Sunnah? But they never reflect on the amount of pain and labor they have undergone to acquire this right? How in the two hundred years of British rule in India they had remained the target of the British atrocities and aggression? With all the doors of livelihood closed on them by the British rule they preferred to live on meager resources and devoted themselves to acquire this knowledge against all odds. They are still doing it despite the harassment from these modernists. How they their eyes glowed in front of the dim light of oil lamps of clay? And how they attempted to shape their lives in the mould of religion? If, after all that, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) gives them the right to interpret the Qur’an and his Sunnah, and the Muslims place their trust in them why is this resented by them?

The eagerness of modernists for interpreting the Book and the Traditions is certainly commendable; but for this they should also undergo the physical and mental strain needed for it. They, too, should spend some part of their life in trodding the roads to knowledge of the Qur’an and learn the manners of living on that ground. If after that any one refuses to recognize them as interpreter of the Qur’an and the Traditions, then their complaint against the scholars would be justified.

Under the present circumstances their attitude is like what the poet said:

Those who hold their life dear to them
Should not think of going to seek his beloved,

Your present state of mind has been well depicted by the poet of the East, Allama Iqbal, in this poem:

The knowledge of others you gained is a mere collection as if you have glowed your face with foreign cosmetics
You have given up your dignity so much that I cannot recognize you as yourself.’
Your mind is chained by the thoughts of others and the succession of breaths in your throat has a foreign source.
The tongue is yours but the speech is borrowed from others and so are your wishes in your mind.
The canaries wish to sing their own songs; the cypresses wish to be clad with their own foliage.
You borrow the wine from others in your goblet.
Even the cup you hold is not yours.
The Prophet is grieved, and the Creator asks Am I not there?” But for you! Alas! Alas!

Under these circumstances how can the Muslim Ummah entrust you with the responsibility of interpreting the Qur’an and Sunnah, who, with all their shortcomings, have saved their ideological entity as Muslims.

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