Friday, January 22, 2010

Comments on Tariq Ramadan's ideas on reform in Islam

The 'ibâdât or ritual duties may be timeless, but when it comes to the mu'âmalât, or social issues, there is room to manoeuvre. The basic rule here is: everything is allowed which the text does not expressly forbid! This opens the door for progress, for a reformist interpretation of the law that responds to modern times and circumstances.

He therefore calls for “equal councils uniting 'ulamâs and specialists in the various fields (human and natural sciences) in order to enable legal statements in keeping with the age in which we live”’


Ramadan's suggestions make sense. One thing that Muslims should also study and learn from are the mistakes of Secular societies. Today we have greater evidence that there are very serious flaws in these models. The increasing trend towards greed, exploitation and racism confirm that Islam can offer many solutions to these societies. In fact these societies would be more accepting of Islamic Principles and their benefits if the Muslims were to actively practice them, themselves.

The "no compulsion in religion" principle is not practiced in large parts of Islamic Societies and is a major hurdle for Muslims to understand their own religion. The problem of Islam is not with modernity as the west makes us believe but in Muslims not practicing their own religion in its entirety. Ramadan is right in wanting to give more attention to Muamalat in which there is a need for greater discussion amongst Muslims.


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