2.UNDERSTANDING AND INTERPRETATION DURING THE ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION LEGACY
3.THE DIMENSION OF KNOWLEDGE FROM MACRO AND MICRO PERSPECTIVES
4.THE HOLY QURAN AS THE KNOWLEDGE RESOURCE
5.UNDERSTANDING, INTERPRETATION AND APPROACH
6.EXPERIENCING APPROACH AND REALIZING ISLAMIC TEACHINGS IN THE LIFE OF UMMAH
7.MIXING UP HUKM TAKLIFI WITH HUKM WADH’IE
narrated in a classical story, there were 4 blinds wanting to to know the shape of an elephant. They were brought about to
an elephant, 1 was touching the tail, 1 was hugging a leg, 1 was touching the abdomen and the last was touching the trunk.
Then they talked to each other about the shape, thus they made their own interpretation and conclusion.
The blinds interpreted the shape according to what they thought, imagined and understood. Their
understanding were different from one to another based on their capabilities hence the limited sense i.e. mere touch.
The interpretation of Islamic Teachings are also related to the value and
level of individual’s understanding of a certain problem.
How the question of kulliyyah or macro understandable is closely related to the level
And how the question of juziyyah or micro understandable is closely related to the level
of knowledge as well.
The broad of macro as well as the depth of micro understandings are subject to several factors:
Mastering multi-knowledge in multi-knowledge disciplines and analytical capabilities.
Life background and broad experience.
Ability to and experience of undertaking intellectual researches.
Self-capability or malakah (talent) and intellectual ability.
UNDERSTANDING AND INTERPRETATION DURING THE ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION’S
The tradition of knowledge during that period emphasized on the shining up of malakah
and upgrading the level of intellectual capabilities.
Exploring multi-knowledge disciplines enabled the muslim ummah to master diversified horizons
of knowledge and expertise resulting in improved ethics as well as knowledge and civilization.
The broad dimension and research exploration as well as multi-discipline acquisitions paved the
way to diverse perspectives and beneficial dimensions of knowledge, either macro or micro, in understanding and interpreting.
The Prophet p.b.u.h. says: “Disagreement among my people (ummah ) is a bestowment”
was a motto that became the catalyst of broad Islamic Teachings which paved the ways to exploring knowledge resources.
Thus resulted in culturising the level of understanding and interpreting
in a macro, micro and super-micro manner.
The disciplines produced scholars dubbed as al-Fahhamah, al-‘Allamah, Faidhul
Khabir, al-Mudaqqiq, al-Muhaqqiq or Bahrul ‘Ulum.
Allah the Almighty promises to elevate the degrees of knowledgable people in His Holy Verse:
“...Allah will raise up, to (suitable) ranks (and degrees) those
of you who believe and who have been granted knowledge.”
A simple example in understanding the concept as follows:
Ta’biriyyah – from seeds become paddy.
Tahqiqiyyah – from paddy rice is produced.
Tadqiqiyyah – from rice flour is produced.
Ta’miqiyyah – flour is moulded to diverse kinds of food.
THE DIMENSION OF KNOWLEDGE FROM MACRO AND MICRO PERSPECTIVES
The broad and depth of knowledge is like an ocean, beachless and floorless. Thus the meaning,
definition, result, conclusion, elaboration, debate, analysis and theory are endless, until it is said:
These are the meanings given to the understanding and interpretation, meaning related understanding,
debate-related interpretation, discourse and analysis. Allah the Almighty says in His Holy Verse:
“Say: “If ocean were ink (wherewith to write out) the words
of my Lord. Sooner would the ocean be exhausted than would the words of my Lord, even if we added another ocean like it, for
The broad dimension of knowledge (macro and micro) challenges human capacity in understanding
and interpreting everything, because human being is only given limited abilities. Allah the Almighty says in His Holy Verse:
“...of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you, O men”.
THE HOLY QURAN AS THE KNOWLEDGE RESOURCE
The Holy Quran is the premier and king of all knowledge. Its drive in the past motivated the
Ignorants of Arab society; dubbed by the Romans and the Persians as ‘the locusts of the desert’; to raise in developing
knowledge, civilization and humanity, mental, spiritual and material, within
more than 10 centuries.
They became the people who succeeded in exploring multi-knowledge, multi-ethics
and multi-civilization, exploring the discoveries of new knowledge, expanding the dimension of knowledge and ancient heritage
of civilization. They were then known across the world as scholars, artists, laurettes, engineers, architects, doctors, philosophers
and the like.
The past muslim ummah established a political empire stretching from the border of France
to the border of China. They became the ummah who occupied the world, extended the civilization and gave meaning to the worldly
life. Presently, their inherited heritage has partly been overtaken by the western society which then enabling them to further
establish their own civilization.
How to give a correct meaning and definition and to interpret them? This
is where the root cause of the problems and the differences of the muslim ummah lie, between the past ummah with their legacy
of civilization and the present ummah.
The Holy Verse of the Holy Quran and the Sayings of The Prophet p.b.u.h
still remain the same, previously and presently, but the arising question states that; why those Holy Verses and the Sayings
of The Prophet p.b.u.h. were recited, understood and interpreted by the past ummah consequently making them more dignified
and respected whereas the case is otherwise presently?
Does the difference of understanding the needs of Syakli and Maudhu’ie result
in contradicting interpretation, subsequently resulting in different approaches? Or are there any other reasons that cause
the visible effects between the past and the present situations?
From the 1st to the 10th century of Hijrah, the muslim ummah was outstanding,
dignified and strong. Beginning from the 10th century onwards, since 500 years ago, they have dramatically deteriorated and
became the weak and helpless. Moreover, they were dubbed with negative attributes such as backwards, uncivilized and weak.
Presently, they are even called terrorists! The Holy Quran, the Sayings
of the Prophet p.b.u.h. and the knowledge legacy inherited by the past scholars are not mistaken at all. It is the understanding,
interpretation and approach of the present ummah that are mistaken, consequently producing weak muslim individuals, societies
and groups, backwards and terrorists.
Among the main factors that weaken the present muslim ummah are:
Incomplete religious practice.
Individualism and tribalism.
Lost of self-dignity and self-esteem.
Lost of the fighting spirit.
Decrease of good ethics.
UNDERSTANDING, INTERPRETATION AND APPROACH
The Holy Quran and the Sayings of the Prophet p.b.u.h., as understood by the past scholars during
the legacy of the muslim ummah since the 1st century until the excellent
level of civilization era, are interpreted into 2 dimensions:
Understanding and interpreting the mantuq needs
Understanding and interpreting the mafhum needs
Both dimensions were well understood, the interpretation was well-clarified, the approach was
well-coordinated, and thus the implementation was based on the result of endless effort of exploring multi-situations, multi-facts,
multi-knowledge, multi-environments and sharpness of wisdom; thus, they managed to realize the gees of Islamic Teachings within
the context of Hukm Taklifi and Hukm Wadh’ie.
How glorious and well coordinated were their discourses, how furthermore systematic were their
mixture of understanding, interpreting and implementations methods and approaches, which lasted from their generation to the
next generation. Some of them went even ahead of time and foretold futuristic presumptions with the method of al-Mafrudh.
Presently, a lot of problems have not been resolved properly due to effortless ijtihad activities, since many have thought that the door of ijtihad has tightly closed down with no other opportunity left to proceed it.
Is it true that the door of ijtihad has closed
down? Or rather is the muslim ummah too weak to overcome present challenges
which require them to sacrifice (mujahadah ), be committed and strive hard enough to release themselves from the problems
that have enveloped their lives?
Or have they lost their self-dignity and fighting spirit until they have been easily defeated,
unable to overcome or resolve the questions and problems they have been facing, subsequently some of them have turned to elements
Shallow interpretation; and
Mistaken approaches misleading them far adrift from the divine guidance .
To the extent that some have gone further astray like:
Denying dalil qat’ie al-thubut which is qat’ie dilalah and mutawatir;
Mistakenly interpreting the dalil that is qat’ie dilalah or otherwise, as
a result of their ignorance or other personal interests;
Unable to distinguish the needs of qat’ie dilalah
between mantuq al-nas and mafhum al-nas or rather deliberately discard the both due to personal or tribal interests;
Overzealously implementing Hukm Taklifi without firstly observing and experiencing the
needs of Hukm Wadh’ie.
Where are the knowledge disciplines inherited by ancient muslim scholars to be practiced, like:
Understanding and interpretation of Ta’biri
Understanding and interpretation of Tahqiqi
Understanding and interpretation of Tadqiqi
Understanding and interpretation of Ta’miqi
Those disciplines require comprehensive and broad understanding and interpretation, which also
value all perspectives, wajh istidlal, debates and ways of making conclusions.
Misunderstanding of Islamic Teachings followed by the attitude of taking it for granted consequently
has risen up the consecutive implications, such as:
Misunderstanding of Islam
Misleading interpretation then appear
Mistaken interpretation of Islamic Teachings then occur
Misleading assumptions against Islam then emerge
The meaning of nas ( text ) and the fitrah ( human nature ) are cohesive, as Allah
the Almighty says in His Holy Verse:
“ So set thou thy face steadily and truly to the faith: ( establish ) Allah’s handiwork
according to the pattern on which He has made mankind. No change ( let there be ) in the work
( brought ) by Allah: that is the standard religion, by most among mankind understand not “.
The criteria of Islamic Teachings are as the following:
The comprehensive teachings which fulfill the human nature and the duties as the servant of Allah
and as His vicegerent on earth.
Tauhidic teachings and faith (I’tiqad ) do not change with the change
of time, since the Prophet Adam ( p.b.u.h ) until the last period of time i.e. the doomsday.
The syariah remain firm despite there are
changes and differences between the teachings of one prophet to the other, due to different environments and requirements
to meet appropriate human changes and his nature. As muslim scholars said:
“Men are naturally ever-changing and advancing”.
Its universal teachings of ethics (akhlaq ) and the genuine characteristics and nature
of the human being are cohesive.
Thus any deviated understanding, interpretation and approach fall into 2 conditions, either deviant
or getting the wrath of the Almighty Allah ( the meaning of Surah al-Fatihah: 7 )
The universality of the Islamic Teachings has completely met the need of human being, either
the role of being the vicegerent on earth – improving its stability, integrity and glory to be equally enjoyed for the
betterment of the creatures on it, or the role of being the servant of Allah – always totally submitting to Him in every
righteous deed, action and approach.
Truly, the human being would always remain with the nature; so would the worldly lives and animals,
provided that the human being would not betray the nature, provided that they remain steadfast with the divine guidance of
the Almighty Allah.
EXPERIENCING AND REALIZING APPROACH OF ISLAMIC TEACHINGS IN THE LIFE OF UMMAH
Accurate and precise understanding and interpretation will result in correct and precise undertakings,
and be categorized by Allah the Almighty as stated in His Holy Verse:
“All who obey Allah and the Messenger are in the company of those whom is the grace of
Allah – of the Prophets ( who teach ) the sincere ( lovers of truth ) the witness ( who testify ) and the righteous
( who do good ): Ah! What a beautiful fellowship”.
Would the present muslim ummah be as successful as the past ummah, as described
in the following nas ( text ):
“Islam is the most noble, there is none higher than it”.
Have the present muslim ummah attained the highest level ( of balance and achievements
) as compared to the other nations?
Are the people of the muslim ummah capable of achieving the level of the best exemplary
ummah to the whole humankind?
“Thus have We made of you an ummah justly
balanced that ye might be witness over the nations”.
Are the people of the muslim ummah capable
of being the masters who are responsible in determining the earth is always set in order?
“Do not mischief on earth, after it hath been set in order”.
Could the people of muslim ummah be inheritors
and masters of the world?
“…My servants, the righteous, shall inherit the earth”.
These are the questions that should be inside the thought and heart of the present muslim
ummah, because the perfection of Iman and Taqwa requires 3 aspects of approach, that are:
“Trust by heart, confession by the tongue and to prove it with righteous deeds and actions”.
The universality of the nature system in the Islamic Teachings requires the muslim ummah to treat wholistic understanding, interpretation and approach. The mixture of
correct understanding, interpretation and approach is the main pillar in the effort of realizing the noble content of Islam
into the reality of the ummah.
Mistaken mixture of the three has been the root cause of the turbulence in the muslim ummah,
subsequently they have dramatically dropped to a very low level as of today.
Are the muslim ummah capable of realizing
the whole maqasid of the syarak in
their effort to translate it into reality? The history has demonstrated that they were
capable of doing so with Allah’s will.
Presently, they must strive and endeavour once again to free themselves from the engulfing chaos,
they must also struggle to balance the understanding, interpretation and approach, based on the past brilliant accomplishments,
with the following approaches:
The universality of the system in the Islamic Teachings do not require everything to be implemented
all at once, since it is obviously none of human ability. A destination that needs a thousand steps requires a single step
at a time. It is impossible for human being to make a thousand steps at once at a time. However a single step, one after another,
is needed to reach the thousandth step.
There are difficulties and burden along every single step. How is every single step built up
with its own strength? It requires thorough analysis, introspection, supervision, and observation of its positive and negative
MERGING HUKM TAKLIFI WITH HUKM
The muslim ummah always confess themselves
as the servants of Allah the Almighty. They hope that their every deed is an ibadah
and genuine submissive contribution to the Almighty Allah.
They ultimately hope that every intention, word and action to be a righteous deed, where between
fear and hope – they fear the wrath of Allah the Almighty or worry if the deed becomes worthless. They always hope for
Allah’s endowment and blessings, hence as they always repeat the iqrar (oath):
“Say: Truly my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the worlds”.
In the effort of attaining total submission, sometimes the muslim ummah forget that excessive enthusiasm, need and hope of the total submission can tie them up from obeying the
real needs of both Hukm Taklifi and Hukm Wadh’ie.
In fulfilling the 5 pillars of Islam, the muslim ummah
normally obey the mixture of both ( Hukm Taklifi and Hukm Wadh’ie
) requirements, yet in other matters they tend to commit an action which either deny one of them of both. They also deny
the cause, conditions and restrictions in fulfilling a certain requirement.
The method of fiqhiyyah – al-umur bi maqasidiha - requires an ibadah
to be followed by the intention and the objectives of submission to the Almighty Allah. The objectives of the behaviour, whenever
contradicting with the maqasid al-syar’iyyah, then the maqasid al-syar’iyyah is prioritized. That is the requirement of the method of fiqhiyyah: “The objective doesn’t
justify the end”.
Mathematics teaches human being that to reach an accurate result, a correct and accurate solution
is to be utilized. Hence a solution is a tool to reach a result.
That is why the ijtihad of a mujtahid
applies only to himself. The other mujtahid can examine the dalil, istidlal, wajh istidlal, and madlul. If the waqi’ie has similarities, the ijtihad can
be adopted by the other mujtahid.
Otherwise, based on different ihtimal (presumptions) to produce different madlul,
another ijtihad is to come out with in order to obtain the maqasid syar’iyyah, although the dalil is the same.
Since there is a method of ‘admu hatmiyyati al-khilaf, there is no assurance of
who has it right in the problems of fiqhiyyah. The muslim ummah are
however free to search for an appropriate references that meet the needs of the present surroundings.
That is permissible only if understanding and interpretation are undertaken by mujtahidin.
However if non-mujtahid people do so, we deserve to select our own appropriate way in order to meet the maqasid
al-umum in the Syariah and
the waqi’ie that we experience.
conclusion, the establishment of Islamic Research Training Centre ( I-RETRACE ) is truly an effort to help cater
the dilemma that has been the root cause of the problems faced by the Muslim ummah.