Thursday, August 2, 2007

Responding to the new Mu'tazila [The Liberal Da'wah]

From Ustadh Suhaib Webb's blog:

A problem that we face now in the West in the House of Islam is the rise of a liberal current clothed in an Islamic discourse that pretends to be a da’wah to ijithad and revival. This da’wah, which has emerged in the West affirms “the Aims Of The Shar’iah” but has done so at the expense of textual support and without the support of a wholstic methodology that surveys Islamic texts globally. They are reading the source texts piecemeal and dismiss being informed by scholarly legal methodology [Usul al-Fiqh] and tradition [scholarly experience.

This is why they raise issues that are non-starters they bring up issues about polygamy, womens’ rights, Islamic criminal law etc. in the name of a more humanistic read of Islam and according to the claim of being more in line with the spirit of the Qur’an. Not all that is said is problematic but this current would do well to first initiate itself in rigorous scholarly methodology rather than in sensationalist events and the discipline of debate.

The liberal discourse because it opened itself up to the philosophy of postmodernism that is the likes of Derrida, and Foucault and the school of Hermeneutics and literary criticism and other currents that claim to be tools of textual interpretation, would have the Muslim submit to cultural relativity prior to a thorough read of Islamic sources and literature [tradition].

The key here is not to engage the debate as it is a tool of mass distraction, the key is to focus on:

a.] Education

b.] To master Maqasid ash-Shar’iah studies to the degree we can

c.] To Learn how the sources of Islam well, both: The Qur’an, Sunnah and tradition in light of maqasid studies [ta’lil [wisdom, reasons, underlying purposes of Shar’iah and ta’dlil [textual evidence].

Continue here

I tried looking for a good article about the original Mu`tazila to link to but could not find a decent one, sorry. Still, I think it's interesting the comparison Ust. Abdul Hussein draws between the "liberal da`wah" (a.k.a. progressive Muslim movement) and the Mu`tazila school of thought. Actually, I think the comparison gives the current "liberal dawah" movement too much credit, because in many cases I find that that movement comes nowhere close to forming a cohesive school of thought.

1 comment:

Affad Shaikh said...

I think the posture of comparing Mutazila and progressive Islam movement is far to generous. It does give credibility. To me that movement is ashamed of Islam to the point where they have to make it work for them with in the western values they have taken up.

Its not to say Western values are all bad, what i am trying to say is that they have taken Western values to repleace Islamic principles- or core values- instead of find common strains of values between the West and Islam to reconcile and bring together their values/ethics/whatever youw ant to call it.

The fact that Islam is at once a secondary value system is problematic, because you fall into the trap of accepting a dominant cultures values to be omipotent, subjugating yourself and your values to the whims of the dominant culture.

We see this in the way Irshad Manji sells herself out like a prostitute to the highest bidder because her goal is not to "reform Islam" as she claims but rather to "cash in on Islam" so she could make an easy living. Just see where her funds come from.

None the less I believe there are those who are innocent enough to fall into the trap and so they are the ones stuck. To them Webb throws out a dignifying life line by legitmizing their ideology with that of the Mu'tazila.