Tag Archives: knowledge

The Parameters of Being a Layman “Scholar”

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This is not a definitive set of parameters. Not in the least. However, what is attempted is to begin an inquiry of sorts into the following challenge I’ve encountered as a Muslim: to purport to apply Islam for oneself or to explain Islam to Non-Muslims and Muslims, in the midst of primarily trying to learn, understand the said-knowledge myself, first, and at-the-same-time.

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The Old ‘Punishment for Apostasy is Death’ Chestnut

PART 1

It is easy to watch the above video for just 23 seconds (to hear that in Islam, apostasy means death) then stop, pack our bags, go home with our understanding that Islam is a wicked religion and have our prejudice against Islam, confirmed.

If we continue to watch after 23 seconds, suddenly we realise there is a bit more to understand.

This is Assim Al-Hakeem and in summary, the content of his talk after 23 seconds is as follows:

1. Not anyone can mete out the judgment for apostasy.

2. The ‘procedure’ must be understood first.

3. He gives an example: If a random person says ‘I don’t believe anymore’, can we kill him? No.

4. The ‘Procedure’ = i) check that the condition has been fulfilled; ii) check that the criteria can be made to NOT apply to this person [as a fail-safe].

5. How is the ‘Procedure’ performed? a) a panel of Muslim judges/scholars to question the person, first, to try and persuade them out of apostasy; b) if he still insists to apostatise, the verdict is given ONLY by the Muslim ruler (the ‘Imam’, meaning ‘leader’ – not ‘Imam’, meaning ‘the normal guy that leads the prayer’); c) then the Muslim ruler must make a decision.

6. Al-Hakeem then gives random, modern anecdotes of people applying and meting out judgements against perceived-apostates on a day-to-day level. This is blatantly wrong. The doer of that action could end up in hell! Because the layman does not have the right to issue takfir (identify and confirm in a legal sense that a person is a kaffir (‘The one that covers the Truth’/  ‘unbeliever’/ ‘disbeliever’).

7. Never do anything without knowledge. One must be really careful when dealing with these things.

Now, there is something very important that is not noted in this video. Check out the next link to contextualise the issue: Continue reading

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On Education, Philosophy and Science in Our World (Truth 5 of 5)

This is a MUST LISTEN lecture – probably one of Hamza Yusuf’s best.

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