Hey there Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

ISLAM: Governed by people OR Governed by Scholars?

Announcements Posted on
Post on TSR and win a prize! Find out more... 10-04-2014
    • Thread Starter
    • 10 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    So...which is it?

    Every time I debate with a muslim, he/she throws in the "scholars say this" and "scholars interpret that" and all that stuff. The word "scholars" gets thrown around quite a bit and I just wanted to ask....do muslims actually practice their own individual versions of how they interpret the books or do they just take what some random "scholars" say at face value and just follow those things?

    Some muslims say they follow Islam from the books, but whenever I ask a hard question, they defer to the "scholars say" argument.

    For example, on TSR alone, many muslims say that the life of Mohammad (documented in the hadiths) is the example of a life that muslims should emulate.

    However, there are "scholars" who have rejected several hadiths, due to many reasons. So do muslims too reject a bunch of those hadiths just because the scholars said so, or do they continue to follow them as Allah commanded?

    Another example: Many call people like Yusuf Al Qaradawi and Ayatollah Khomeini and the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia (among many others) as "scholars"

    However, those men come up with many controversial rules and fatwas, which many muslims reject completely. However, they also come up with certain fatwas which might be appealing to majority of muslims and they may follow those appealing rules.

    So my question is...is Islam an objective belief system, or is it just a mixture of what different "scholars" say, combined with personal beliefs and interpretations of the Quran?

    What is Islam?
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    As a muslim, If it's written in the Qur'an or in the hadiths, it affects me deeply and i try to abide by what it says.

    but if someone says to me 'scholars say this...' i take it with a large pinch of salt. Scholars aren't the be all and end all of islam, they're just there to comment, and because they're 'learned', their views are taken into consideration. People like Ayatollah Khomenei may speak for large amounts of muslim communities in the middle east, but his opinions don't affect me at all, nor would i pay any attention to them. It's like saying all anglicans believe what Rowan Williams says, it's just not true.
    • 69 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    Bloody hell. AFAIK, you're a Christian. Do you not see the hypocrisy/irony of your post? Why just Islam, why not all religions? Obviously other religions don't have things like hadiths etc... but the initial question can apply to any religion
    • 19 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Wasn't this done the other day, arguably in a terrible manner, by that Indo guy...
    • 26 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Good point, .eXe. I think we only need another two of your threads before every Muslim on TSR rips off their beards/hijabs and converts to Christianity.
    • 14 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Muslims are governed by the Quran and Sunnah.

    Every Muslim should have the same Aqeedah (creed). However, in terms of fiqhi (Islamic jurisprudence) issues, we look to the scholars because of the difference in opinion. I'd also like to point out that difference in opinion isn't an issue with fiqhi discussions.

    Anyways, Muslims usually follow one school of thought and this is to avoid following your desires. You cannot pick and choose depending on the situation you're in. For example, say you follow x school of thought but they forbid music, you cannot then follow y school of thought for this particular issue.

    Muslims also mustn't do taqleed which means to follow a scholar on every issue even when the scholar has made a mistake.
    • Thread Starter
    • 10 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by de_monies)
    Bloody hell. AFAIK, you're a Christian. Do you not see the hypocrisy/irony of your post? Why just Islam, why not all religions? Obviously other religions don't have things like hadiths etc... but the initial question can apply to any religion
    Find me a SINGLE Christian who argues for Christianity based on "scholars". Have you ever argued with a Christian who says, "uh, scholars said this about the Bible"? They read and underatand the book on their own...they don't need "scholars" doing their work for them.

    There is another thread on this forum called "Christianity is a relationship" or something like that.

    And that's exactly what Christianity is...a relationship with God. Doesn't matter what some "scholar says"

    In any way, my thread is asking a specific question, stick to the topic, don't put in the "other religions do it too" argument (it's fallacious and just deviates the entire thread).
    • Thread Starter
    • 10 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Addzter)
    Good point, .eXe. I think we only need another two of your threads before every Muslim on TSR rips off their beards/hijabs and converts to Christianity.
    Um, exactly which part of the OP gave you the idea that I am trying to convert people on this thread...?

    However lol, your post did make me chuckle.
    • 69 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by .eXe)
    Find me a SINGLE Christian who argues for Christianity based on "scholars".
    Perhaps you don't have scholars, but you do have the vatican, the pope etc... Is Christianity governed by the people, or by the pope or the vatican (of course you have to be catholic for both of these)

    Is Christianity governed by the CofE if you're protestant?

    (Original post by .eXe)
    In any way, my thread is asking a specific question, stick to the topic,
    And I'm free to point out the hypocrisy/irony of your post

    (Original post by .eXe)
    don't put in the "other religions do it too" argument (it's fallacious and just deviates the entire thread).
    Why ever not? Is it because you don't like it. Tough
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by .eXe)
    Find me a SINGLE Christian who argues for Christianity based on "scholars". Have you ever argued with a Christian who says, "uh, scholars said this about the Bible"? They read and underatand the book on their own...they don't need "scholars" doing their work for them.

    There is another thread on this forum called "Christianity is a relationship" or something like that.

    And that's exactly what Christianity is...a relationship with God. Doesn't matter what some "scholar says"

    In any way, my thread is asking a specific question, stick to the topic, don't put in the "other religions do it too" argument (it's fallacious and just deviates the entire thread).
    First about your main question: Islam is governed by God.

    In the same way you may listen to a Professor in political science to hear his opinion on a political issue, or a Professor in history about a historical issue, some people would like to hear the opinion of a *scholar* on a religious issue. What is exactly wrong with that?

    There is nothing wrong with it in itself. Especially in old times most of people do not know how to read or write, so scholars were important to tell them things.

    In Christian communities sometimes these scholars can be called "doctors of law" or "Bishops" or even Pastors are supposed to be knowledgeable about their religion i.e. some degree of a scholarship. (or even in Jewish communities the rabbi can be called a teacher or a scholar ..etc).

    I must say that Quran tell people not to take their religious leaders as lords instead of God: or in other words, not to obey scholars, bishops, rabbis, as if they are lords telling us what to do and what not to do, instead of focusing more on obeying God our Lord.

    So yeah, some people may chose to listen to scholars, but they should not lose focus and start to "worship" scholars instead of worshiping God.
    • Thread Starter
    • 10 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by de_monies)
    Perhaps you don't have scholars, but you do have the vatican, the pope etc... Is Christianity governed by the people, or by the pope or the vatican (of course you have to be catholic for both of these)
    The Vatican are hardly seen as "scholars". They are revered sure, but Christians don't use the Vatican's interpretations to understand the Bible. For example, in an argument you will very rarely find a Christian using a statement from some vatican pope/priest/bishop/whatever to back up a claim. Instead, they will quote directly from the book or give their own interpretation.

    Muslims however, defer quite often to the "scholars say" argument. I just want to know why that is...who dictates Islam?
    Is Christianity governed by the CofE if you're protestant?
    Hell no. What are you talking about lol? Christianity is not "governed" by anything. It's defined as a "personal relationship with Jesus Christ"

    Can't really be governed.

    Islam is not defined as a relationship with God. Instead...Islam is "submission" Thus, it is open to governance.

    See the difference??

    And I'm free to point out the hypocrisy/irony of your post
    As I have stated over and over again...the religions are different. Just stick to the topic please this is not a Christianity thread.

    Why ever not? Is it because you don't like it. Tough
    I assure you, me not liking it has nothing to do with it. When threads go off topic, mods close them and I don't want that. Additionally, that argument is fallacious.
    • 69 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by .eXe)
    The Vatican are hardly seen as "scholars". They are revered sure, but Christians don't use the Vatican's interpretations to understand the Bible. For example, in an argument you will very rarely find a Christian using a statement from some vatican pope/priest/bishop/whatever to back up a claim. Instead, they will quote directly from the book or give their own interpretation.

    Muslims however, defer quite often to the "scholars say" argument. I just want to know why that is...who dictates Islam?
    Perhaps not on TSR, and perhaps not in the West, but I'd imagine that Christians across the globe will refer to scholars

    https://encrypted.google.com/search?...stian+scholars

    (Original post by .eXe)
    Hell no. What are you talking about lol? Christianity is not "governed" by anything. It's defined as a "personal relationship with Jesus Christ"
    Are you dictating this to me then? Also, to be pedantic, Christian comes from the word Christ, and a follower of Christ, so Christian does not mean "a personal relation with Jesus Christ"

    (Original post by .eXe)
    Can't really be governed.


    Islam is not defined as a relationship with God. Instead...Islam is "submission" Thus, it is open to governance.
    Islam is seen to be "governed" by God, not any scholar

    (Original post by .eXe)
    See the difference??
    I still see the irony



    (Original post by .eXe)
    As I have stated over and over again...the religions are different. Just stick to the topic please this is not a Christianity thread.
    Whilst other religions are obviously different, the same sort of thing happens with other religions. Also, I happen to know about Christianity better than some of the other religions, so that's why I talked about Christianity

    (Original post by .eXe)
    I assure you, me not liking it has nothing to do with it. When threads go off topic, mods close them and I don't want that. Additionally, that argument is fallacious.
    Then what is your point? What is the point of this thread?
    • Thread Starter
    • 10 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by de_monies)
    x
    If you want to debate Christianity with me, feel free to PM me or just make a thread stating your arguments.

    Keep Christianity out of this thread.

    Also, if you cannot see the blatantly stated point of this thread then I will state it once more.

    In any debate with muslims, they always bring up the "scholars say" argument. My question is...who dictates Islam? Is it the scholars or is Islam what people personally interpret it is. And if it is the latter then why do muslims always bring up the scholas arguments?

    And this is not just isolated to TSR muslims. If you go and see actual debates (For example this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rh34Xsq7D_A), and just concentrate on what Maajid and Heba are arguing...they often bring up the "scholars" argument.

    So again, my question is...who dictates Islam? If it is truly dictated by God, then why do muslims keep using "scholars" over and over again?

    Also, as a side point, it's always funny to me that muslims only quote the "politically correct" point that their supposed scholar make.

    if a scholar says"ban women from driving", no muslim's going to quote that. But if they say "mohammad was super awesome" then they will keep quoting that scholar.

    This brings into question the selective bias that muslims use in their arguments, but I guess that's a different thread.
    • 24 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by .eXe)
    So...which is it?

    Every time I debate with a muslim, he/she throws in the "scholars say this" and "scholars interpret that" and all that stuff. The word "scholars" gets thrown around quite a bit and I just wanted to ask....do muslims actually practice their own individual versions of how they interpret the books or do they just take what some random "scholars" say at face value and just follow those things?
    Debate lol? With all due respect, it's more like argueing with you.

    (Original post by .eXe)
    Some muslims say they follow Islam from the books, but whenever I ask a hard question, they defer to the "scholars say" argument.
    And that would be blind following. What we usually do is look at two things;

    1. The consensus of the Scholars (throughout history, scholars who have never met each other, yet they see the exact same sources and come to the same conclusions). This gives us the indication that unless you want to accuse all these scholaro of a "mass conspiracy" it is likely the consensus of the scholars is right.

    Thus a Muslim would quote from a very famous/reputable (usually Classical Scholar, since Classical scholars were closer to that culture/time and had the deepest/best knowledge of Classical Arabic) to reflect a consensus amongst the scholars.

    2. No proper, acceptable scholars says anything without providing proof from the Qur'an and Hadith. Thus, we will always check where they are basing their verdicts/facts from.

    Through this, we end up having a fairly good and objective view of Islam, moreso than most religions could possibly have.

    (Original post by .eXe)
    However, there are "scholars" who have rejected several hadiths, due to many reasons. So do muslims too reject a bunch of those hadiths just because the scholars said so, or do they continue to follow them as Allah commanded?
    Completly untrue, no proper Scholar "rejects several hadith". There is a thing called hadith sciences, and hadiths are graded as strong, good, weak or fabricated.

    This is based on a strong critical and objective analysis of the isnad (chain of narrators). If the chain is authentic, then no scholar ever rejects it, and if the chain is doubtful/fabricated, then all scholars will reject it.

    (Original post by .eXe)
    Another example: Many call people like Yusuf Al Qaradawi and Ayatollah Khomeini and the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia (among many others) as "scholars"
    LOL, are u serious? You just named a Shia, a slave to the Saudi monarchy, and a slave to western colonialism.

    No one really takes their fatwas seriously. Only the Grand Mufti I could feel a bit sorry for, because if he spoke the truth, the Monarchy would end up jailing him like they have many before him.

    (Original post by .eXe)
    However, those men come up with many controversial rules and fatwas, which many muslims reject completely. However, they also come up with certain fatwas which might be appealing to majority of muslims and they may follow those appealing rules.
    No true Muslim ever accepts something based on their "desires", we don't take our religion for a joke. If there's truth in a statement with a strong religious basis, we will accept it, if not then we will reject it.

    Islam is always based on truth.


    “And say not concerning that which your tongues put forth falsely: “This is lawful and this is forbidden,” so as to invent lies against Allaah. Verily, those who invent lies against Allaah will never prosper.” [al-Nahl 16:116]


    (Original post by .eXe)
    So my question is...is Islam an objective belief system, or is it just a mixture of what different "scholars" say, combined with personal beliefs and interpretations of the Quran?

    What is Islam?
    Already answered this question above.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by .eXe)
    If you want to debate Christianity with me, feel free to PM me or just make a thread stating your arguments.
    Why do priests like to take advantage and have sex with young boys?
    • Thread Starter
    • 10 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Perseveranze)
    Debate lol? With all due respect, it's more like argueing with you.
    Well with all due respect, debates require arguments. They are not mutually exclusive concepts.

    And that would be blind following. What we usually do is look at two things;

    1. The consensus of the Scholars (throughout history, scholars who have never met each other, yet they see the exact same sources and come to the same conclusions). This gives us the indication that unless you want to accuse all these scholaro of a "mass conspiracy" it is likely the consensus of the scholars is right.

    Thus a Muslim would quote from a very famous/reputable (usually Classical Scholar, since Classical scholars were closer to that culture/time and had the deepest/best knowledge of Classical Arabic) to reflect a consensus amongst the scholars.
    See here while I consider what you say as valid, I disagree wholeheartedly with how you use certain words. You say "we". Who is we? There are several muslims on this very forum who contradict many of the things you say (for example: death to apostates issue). So when you say "we", what you really mean is "I". Now the "consensus of scholars" issue. Here is the thing mate...Islam is seen as the unchanging word of God. Thus, no changing of opinions/interpretations of prior scholars is technically allowed. If a prior scholar says X, and a subsequent scholar says that X is wrong...then he/she can easily be labelled as an apostate to Islam because they would be going against established doctrine. So my argument is...it's no wonder that many of the "scholars" have consensus. It's not because they all come up with the same exact interpretation, even during different time period. Rather, it's because Islam completely refuses to accept any contemporary interpretations of the Quran. Whatever was interpreted at first is the same interpretation that muslims use today, or else they risk being ostracized and labelled as apostates. You should note that Islam is actually the ONLY religion which threatens death on people who go against the doctrine or reject it. So again my point is, the consensus you refer to is actually very illusory because much of it results from people not wanting to interpret things differently from established interpretations, and by doing so, risk their lives.

    I should also mention that this is in fact the main problem today with Islam. Most people argue that Islam is stuck in the stone ages. Why is that? Because the traditional interpretations that the mullahs and imams and caliphs came up with all those centuries ago have NOT changed over time. And you cannot look at the agreement between different "scholars" because it is not real agreement...rather it's just people agreeing with past interpretations so they don't get labelled as apostates and get killed.
    2. No proper, acceptable scholars says anything without providing proof from the Qur'an and Hadith. Thus, we will always check where they are basing their verdicts/facts from.
    Okay, sure. However, I am sure you agree that interpretations of the verses in the Quran vary and many are contradictory within the book and between the Quran and the Hadiths. So back to my original question. Do muslims independently interpret the verses by themselves or do they just follow the "scholars" interpretations?

    Completly untrue, no proper Scholar "rejects several hadith". There is a thing called hadith sciences, and hadiths are graded as strong, good, weak or fabricated.

    This is based on a strong critical and objective analysis of the isnad (chain of narrators). If the chain is authentic, then no scholar ever rejects it, and if the chain is doubtful/fabricated, then all scholars will reject it.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quranism

    So are you saying that all Quranists are wrong? Isn't the Quran the perfect, master book? Why are Quranists wrong then? They are following the one true book of God...and rejecting entirely the hadiths which are not perfect books of God because as you said they vary in the validity of their information and they are written by man, about a man. Why in your opinion are Quranists wrong?
    LOL, are u serious? You just named a Shia, a slave to the Saudi monarchy, and a slave to western colonialism.

    No one really takes their fatwas seriously. Only the Grand Mufti I could feel a bit sorry for, because if he spoke the truth, the Monarchy would end up jailing him like they have many before him.
    Sure they may not be appealing to you but I assure you...irrespective of their political statuses, millions of muslims follow those guys. They consider them scholars. If you don't so what..? What about the millions who do? Are you saying they aren't muslims? Are you saying those scholars are misguided? Then why are their fatwas allowed? Why don't the muslims (the real muslim) fight against these false scholars?
    • Thread Starter
    • 10 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by premolar)
    Why do priests like to take advantage and have sex with young boys?
    Nice contribution. Enjoy the perm ban lol.

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?

    this is what you'll be called on TSR

  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?

    never shared and never spammed

  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By completing the slider below you agree to The Student Room's terms & conditions and site rules

  2. Slide the button to the right to create your account

    Slide to join now Processing…

    You don't slide that way? No problem.

Updated: May 26, 2012
Article updates
Useful resources
Reputation gems:
You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.