Umm Sulaim's Thoughts

Thoughts Lead To Appreciation

ISLAM: In Your Own Words

Does Belief in Allah overrule thoughts of Allah? Does Islam frown at expression of ones thoughts? Should conversations between Muslims be dotted with quotations of the Qur’an and Hadeeth before such conversations are acceptable?

Beginning with the last question – some Muslims have developed the habit of quoting the Qur’an, Sunnah or words of the Ulema in normal every day discussions. Ask them for their thoughts, feelings, or opinions and they quote Texts. What then would they do when you ask them for their knowledge of a Fatwa (Religious)? Would they then state their thoughts?

Yes, the Qur’an is the best of Speech, being the Speech of Allah, and so is the Hadeeth of my Prophet Muhammad. Whoever believes in the Qur’an will have come across several Aayah that praised those who think and condemned those who fail to use their thinking abilities.

Belief in Allah means to surrender oneself to Allah’s Sharee’ah. Belief in Allah means that ones thoughts are according to Sharee’ah. When Allah says “Remember Me”, He demands two actions from us; the first is Belief in His Words and the second is implementation of His Words. The latter necessitates thoughts, for remembering Allah means thinking of Allah.

Understandably, the Ulema have explained “Remember Me” to mean to perform Salaat (Prayers), Du’a (Supplications), recitation of the Qur’an and Praise of Allah using the words taught us by my Prophet. None of these acts is performed with absence of mind.

Salaat is performed as if we see Allah, i.e we are thinking of Allah, knowing He watches us. We supplicate to Allah in the same psychological state as in Salaat. Neither Salaat nor Du’a is a mechanical act, nor is the recitation of the Qur’an. No one should recite the Qur’an without full concentration. The same applies when we praise Allah. This clarifies the first introductory question.

So, we can think. But can we express such thoughts? Interestingly, those foremost against thoughts and their expression have the following qualities:

  1. They express their thoughts when they tell the rest of us not to think and not to solve.
  2. When expressed, their thoughts are such as will disgust everyone except the most docile of individuals.
  3. They are very quick to misunderstand the simplest of sentences, written and spoken.
  4. Their own words are a complete clutter, an affirmation of the entropy (disorder) of their thoughts.

The critical thinking encouraged by Islam and its sources the Qur’an and the Sunnah can be seen in terms of university courses.

Using biology as an example, let us assume ones lecturer asks one “Explain photosynthesis in your own words”. To answer accurately one needs to go beyond the course material and into ones world of thoughts and present own understanding of the topic.

The same applies in social discussions. One may state certain facts in own words, but if required one then looks up the researchers and their statistics. However, no one goes around sticking theories, statistics and proofs onto people’s face in normal conversation.

The same is Islam. Discussions should be based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah in your own words until you need to state the evidence. But, of course, this can only benefit those who do have their own words to state. In addition, ones words should be a reflection of the accurate understanding of Islam.

To understand a particular position in Islam comprehensively, one should avoid picking an Ayah (Verse) of the Qur’an to the detriment of other Aayaat and Ahadeeth that will aid to understand the proper position.

In terms of mathematics, given A = A, the answer is simply A, the original value of A, which is what one gets with only one Ayah or Hadeeth. Given A = A + X, the value of A changes to a new value also called A, but this new value depends on two variables A and X. When one expands ones knowledge base to two or more relevant proofs, the outcome is surprisingly different from what one gets with just one input.

Can you accurately explain Islam in your own words?ISLAM IN YOUR OWN WORDS


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