With the Passage of Time: Does Islam Have to Change?

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Details of Fatwa
Title of FatwaWith the Passage of Time: Does Islam Have to Change?
Date of Reply29/Mar/2005
Topic Of FatwaMisconceptions
Country Applied Denmark
Question of FatwaDear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. My question is regarding the relevance of Islam in modern times. What do you think: Is it possible that Islamic teachings are to be altered to cope with modern changes? Are they changeable with the passage of time? I need a fatwa on this issue. Jazakum Allah khayran.
Name of Mufti IOL Shari`ah Researchers
Content of Reply
Wa`alykum As-Salaamu Warahmatullahi Wabarakaatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear questioner, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake.

First of all, we'd like to state that Islam is an eternal religion. Its basic rules and principles are unchangeable for they, being from Allah, are applicable to all times and regions. Islam provides humanity with basic rules of morality and guidelines of proper conduct in all spheres of life. It provides the guidelines and principles upon which laws and regulations can be established. In light of the guidelines and basic values Islam stipulates that humans regulate their worldly life in accordance with their time and region.

Elaborating on this point, we'd like to cite for you the following:

Does Islam have to change with the passage of time?

Some people, however, argue that the passage of time itself is a sufficient ground for the need of new guidance and, hence, a religion which was revealed some fourteen centuries ago must necessarily grow obsolete and become a thing of the past, not suited to the needs of the new age. This objection is totally unfounded. Islam’s teachings, first of all, are eternal, because they have been revealed by Allah, Who knows all about the past, present and future and Who Himself is eternal. It is the human knowledge which is limited. It is the human eye which cannot see the vista of future, not Allah Whose knowledge is above all the limitations of time and space.

Second, Islam is based on essential human nature, which is constant and not subject to change according to time and space. It is a modern illusion that sees everything subject to change. In human life and in nature there is a beautiful balance between elements of permanence and change. It is the outward forms which change while the fundamental principles, the basic values and the essential human nature together with men’s basic needs remain unchanged.

The Qur'an and the Sunnah propound the eternal principles of Islam, while through ijtihad particular needs of every age are deduced from them. Ijtihad, however, is neither independent reasoning as thought of by Schacht nor free-thinking as defined by Gibb, but it is a technical term in Islamic jurisprudence. It is a legal principle which has been defined by Muslim scholars as “the competency or legal ability to deduce rules of law through juristic speculation from original sources where definite authentic decisive texts are not specific.” To cite an example, Islam has no objection to making laws to control the modern traffic, but murder will remain as a capital sin and a grave crime which deserves a heavy punishment even if it is committed by a driver.

A man come to a famous Muslim jurist and said to him: “You argue that the Qur'an contains every principle to cater for modern needs. If so, can you show me whether the Qur'an teaches us how many loaves of bread can be made from a kilo of flour?” The jurist’s answer is very significant to understanding the essence of the matter: “Yes, the Qur'an teaches us how many loaves of bread can be made from a kilo of flour. It enjoins us to refer to the people of expert knowledge for what we do not know ourselves. Allah Almighty says, (Ask the followers of the Reminder if ye know not?) (Al-Anbiya’ 21: 7) So, go and ask a baker about it.

Islam is the only religion which has established machinery for the perennial evolution of human society in accordance with the fundamental principles and permanent values of life.

Source: www.thewaytotruth.org

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to write back!

May Allah guide you to the straight path, and guide you to that which pleases Him, Amen.

Allah Almighty knows best.





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