Theology

The Seventy-Three Sects: Are the Majority of Muslims Innovators?

Posted by on Mar 30, 2012 in Theology | Comments Off

The Seventy-Three Sects: Are the Majority of Muslims Innovators?

Some hadiths speak of the Muslim nation splitting-up into seventy-three sects, each of them in the Fire except the one Saved-Sect. This paper discusses the extremely volatile issue of The Seventy-Three Sects, discussing whether this implies that the majority of Muslims are destined for Hell? It further looks at the phenomena referred to as salafism (salafiyyah, to give it its Arabic tag) and to those known today as salafis; probing their claim to be the sole upholders of Islamic orthodoxy. That said, the paper’s overarching aim, however, is concerned with the indispensable issue of sound Muslim unity.

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Evolution, Prayer-Mats & Telescopes

Posted by on Nov 17, 2009 in Theology | 10 comments

Evolution, Prayer-Mats & Telescopes

For many, Darwin’s evolution by natural selection satisfactorily explains how life on earth began, and how humans came to be. Others reject the theory and its fossil records (human and non-human) down to the last bone. Abu Aaliyah discusses Islam’s view on evolution, showing it is neither one of wholesale rejection (as is often assumed) nor total acceptance. Rather, Islamic theology should put us in more of a middle ground. But a poor grasp of finer theological arguments, and an even poorer grasp of current scientific notions, has barred this from happening. This is an important piece of writing, therefore, and a crucial read.

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Tawhid: Asserting God’s Unity

Posted by on Dec 25, 2007 in Theology | Comments Off

Tawhid: Asserting God’s Unity

Abu Aaliyah’s article deals with what can be called the ‘heartbeat’ of the Islamic faith: tawhid – often glossed as God’s “unity”, “oneness” or “monotheism”. It explains what is intended when the Qur’an insists that God is One, and what it signifies in a believer’s life. The article is is a must read for those who desire to gain clearer insight into Islam’s core doctrine and its monotheistic energy, or its teachings about God’s nature and our relationship with Him.

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Are There Any Trivial Matters in Religion?

Posted by on Jul 28, 2007 in Theology | Comments Off

Are There Any Trivial Matters in Religion?

Some conceptions of religion seek to sanctify every aspect of the individual’s life – be it eating, drinking, dress, work, rest, welfare, legislation, marriage, love and war. This is true of Catholicism and orthodox Judaism, as it is for Islam. If that is understood, the question of their being trivial matters in religion need not arise. What we must realise, though, is that religious practice does have priorities – that is, some religious prescriptions are of a greater importance than others; but none are trivial. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymin’s fatwa to this frequently-asked question clarifies the issue accordingly.

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What of Those to Whom Islam Does Not Reach?

Posted by on Jul 28, 2007 in Theology | Comments Off

What of Those to Whom Islam Does Not Reach?

The response to this delicate, but frequently asked question does more than just state Islam’s doctrinal position on the matter. Shaykh Bin Bayyah’s reply demonstrates the much needed balance between the letter and spirit; between theological precision and spiritual humility. The fatwa also reminds us of the need for religious dignity and integrity, commitment to call to revealed truths, and an insistance that “the devotional life must be lived in peaceful coexistence with others.” An enlightening fatwa indeed!

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Between Natural & Religious Loyalties

Posted by on Mar 22, 2007 in Theology | Comments Off

Between Natural & Religious Loyalties

The learned have pointed out that, after tawhid, no issues is stressed in the Qur’an as that of wala’ and bara’a – usually translated as “loving and hating” – or “loyalty and enmity” – for God’s sake. This is one of those “hard” issues that need a highly nuanced and contextual reading of the sacred texts, in order that their overall intent and application can be properly discerned. A failure to do just this has led to certain extremist re-readings of the texts in our time, and has resulted in devastating social consequences. The article addresses the imbalance and distinguishes the shades of loyalty – religious and natural – that the Qur’an encompasses.

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