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IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL
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"O you who believe! Be careful of your duty to Allah, and be with the truthful." [Noble Quran 9:119]

"If you obeyed most of those on earth they would mislead you far from Allah's way." [Noble Quran 6:116]

Return to the QURAN only - the complete and final STAND-ALONE Divine Message which also contains the authentic sunnah of the beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAAW)

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I bear witness that NONE is worthy of worship except ALLAH, He has NO partner nor partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the slave and Final Messenger of Allah.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Does the term 'theology' connote to true Faith

The word “theology” comes from a Greek term meaning 'the study of God.' The established definition of the term 'theology' is the study of the characteristics of God in the Monotheistic Faith.

Christian theology holds that God can never be fully explained because God is Unseen, Eternal and much higher than humans.

In Islam it's simpler and more comprehensive. The extent to which God wants humans to know and understand Him is already defined by Him in the Glorious Quran. We are not to proceed beyond that nor fall short of it based on our own thoughts. The concept of recognizing the imams as authority on Islamic theology, law and spiritual guide is completely misplaced and amounts to transgression. The spiritual and practical guide for humankind is only the Quran which is independent and self-explanatory.

With the permanent presence of the Glorious Quran, and as a Muslim, I personally would not even accept the idea of theology. It's a notion which often leads to assumptions, philosophies, artificial eloquence and creates a quest for imaginative thoughts. Unlike the Quran which is a uniting factor for humanity, theology is clearly a divisive factor. The concept of God Almighty in the Quran is no "philosophy." It is the most significant Truth. Detailed theological studies as done by many Muslims in the medieval and modern times have contributed more in distracting people from the Quran rather than drawing them to it. The various theological schools among Muslims that began popping up more than 150 years after the death of Prophet Muhammad (SAAW), divided the pure Faith into sects of "Sunnis" and "Shiias," and then further sub-divided these sects into several schools of thoughts or madhabs.

Similarly the practice of religious students of these various schools assuming religious ranks is unwarranted in accordance with Quranic precepts and has been borrowed purely from Christian traditions by medieval Muslims.

The terms "methodology" and "scholars" have been misused much. The "true methodology" is defined by the ulemas as Quran and Sunnah. In truth, it's only the Quran. "Sunnah" is an interpolation of later times and elaborated greatly by the theological studies, a term that was never used by the Prophet (SAAW) nor is it mentioned (not even hinted upon) anywhere in the Quran. Sunni theologians emphasise upon following the "companions" of the Prophet (SAAW) or the sahabahs, while Shiia theologians are focused on the "family" of the Prophet (SAAW). The Glorious Quran instructs neither. The Quran only underscores the importance of following the commandments of God Almighty as stated within the Quran, and accordingly God orders the contemporaries of Prophet Muhammad (SAAW) to follow and obey him as the most perfect example of a Quran follower. At present, since the beloved Prophet (SAAW) is no longer with us, we are to follow the Quran directly to confirm our following of the Prophet. Adhering to the Quran automatically means following the Prophet, while adhering to the philosophies and writings of theologians and imams are no guarantees for following neither the Prophet nor the Quran. Teachings of the Quran are not to be separated from the teachings of the Prophet. The teachings of the Prophet (SAAW) did NOT contradict the Quran (as falsely scribbled by many theologians), but the Prophet's teachings complimented the Quran.

Another aspect which rejects the assertive claims and intrusive approach of various theological sources is the fact that God Almighty does not grant anyone the authority to establish their interpretations of the Quran as universal. The final and correct explanation of every line of the Glorious Quran is known only to God. For more on this, please refer to an earlier blog entry Can there be a universal tafsir of the Quran?

Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall, a British revert to Islam and one of the best Arabic scholars whose English translations of the Quran I trust the most, elucidated very articulately the insignificance and superficial importance of "theology."

Quoting Pickthall on the issue of theology.

QUOTE
The Jewish tribes of Medina, not long before the coming of Al-Islam had been reduced by the pagan Arab tribes of Aus and Khazraj, each Jewish tribe becoming an adherent of either Aus or Khazraj. But these Jews had preserved a sort of intellectual ascendency owing to their possession of the Scripture and their fame for occult science, the pagan Arabs consulting the Jewish rabbis on occasions and paying heed to what they said. Before the coming of Al-Islam (The Surrender, that is, man's surrender to the will and purpose of God Almighty) these Jewish rabbis had often told their neighbours that a Prophet was about to come .. So plainly did they describe the coming Prophet that pilgrims from Yathrib (Medina) recognized the Prophet when he addressed them in Mecca as the same whom the Jewish doctors had described to them.

But the Jewish idea of a Prophet was one who would give them dominion, not one who would make them brethren of every pagan Arab who chose to accept Al-Islam. When they found that they could not make use of the newcomer, they opposed him and tried to bewilder him with questions from their theology, speaking to him as men who possessed superior wisdom, failing to perceive that from a Prophet's standpoint, theology is childish nonsense, the very opposite of Religion and its enemy. Religion for the Prophet, being not a matter of conjecture and rhetorical speech, but of fact and conduct.
UNQUOTE

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