Page 18 - Islam In Focus

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To establish Faith on sound grounds, there are various parallel avenues. There is a
Spiritual approach which is based mainly on the Qur’ an and the Traditions of
Muhammad. There is also the rational approach which eventually leads to Faith in the
Supreme Being. This is not to say that the Spiritual approach lacks sound rationality.
Nor is the rational approach deprived of inspiring spirituality. Both approaches, in
fact, complement one another and may well become in state of lively interaction. Now
if a person is sufficiently equipped with sound rational qualities, he may resort to the
rational approach or to the Spiritual approach or to both, and may be confident that his
conclusion will be right. But if a person is incapable of profound inquiry or is
uncertain of his reasoning powers, he may confine himself to the Spiritual approach
and be contented with the knowledge he can derive from the authentic sources of
religion. The point is that whether one uses the Spiritual approach or the rational
technique or both, one will in the end come to Faith in God. All these avenues are
equally important and accepted by Islam, and when properly channeled, lead to the
same end, namely Faith in the Supreme Being (Qur’ an, 5:16-17; 12:109; 18:30;
15. The true Muslim believes that the Qur’ an is the word of God revealed to
Muhammad through the agency of the Angel Gabriel. The Qur’ an was revealed from
God piece by piece on various occasions to answer certain questions, solve certain
problems, settle certain disputes, and to be man’ s best guide to the truth of God and
eternal happiness. Every letter in the Qur’ an is the word of God, and every sound in it
is the true echo of God’ s voice. The Qur’ an is the First and most authentic Source of
Islam. It was revealed in Arabic, it is still and will remain in its original and complete
Arabic version, because God has made it His concern to preserve the Qur’ an, to make
it always the best guide for man, and safeguard it against corruption (cf. 4:82; 15:9;
17:9; 41:41-44; 42:7, 52-53).
In testimony to God’ s conservation, the Qur’ an is the only Scripture in human history
that has been preserved in its complete and original version without the slightest
change in style or even punctuations. The history of recording the Qur’ an, compiling
its chapters and conserving its text is beyond any doubt not only in the minds of the
Muslims but also in the minds of honest and serious scholars. This is historical fact
which no scholar from any faith – who respects his knowledge and integrity – has
ever questioned. As a matter of fact, it is Muhammad’ s standing miracle that if all
mankind were to work together they could not produce the like of one Qur’ anic
chapter (2:22-24; 11:13-14; 17:88-89)
16. The true Muslim believes in a clear distinction between the Qur’ an and the
Traditions of Muhammad. The Qur’ an is the word of God whereas the Traditions of
Muhammad are the practical interpretations of the Qur’ an. The role of Muhammad
was to convey the Qur’ an as he received it, to interpret it, and to practice it fully. His
interpretations and practices produced what is known as the Traditions of
Muhammad. They are considered the Second Source of Islam and must be in
complete harmony with the First Source, namely the Qur’ an, which is the Standard
and the Criterion. If there be any contradiction or inconsistency between any of the
Traditions and the Qur’ an, the Muslim adheres to the Qur’ an alone and regards
everything else as open to question because no genuine Tradition of Muhammad can
ever disagree with the Qur’ an or be opposed to it