Islamic Fatawa (3)

Question (1)

Dear scholars, As-Salaam `Alaykum. I have gotten into a discussion with an old English teacher of mine concerning the Christian concept of Original Sin. She being a “New Testament Christian”, does not agree with the traditional belief of how Original Sin works, but still believes that humans have a sinful nature. To prove that, she mentions that if left up to our own choice, we normally will choose that which is pleasing physically or personally even if it means disobeying God’s command. In other cases, people like to relate how even babies will do “wrong” when they know they are doing something bad. How should I, being a Muslim, respond to this notion? Jazakum Allah khayran.

Name of Mufti        Ahmad Kutty, IOL Shari`ah Researchers

Answer (1)

Wa`alykum As-Salaam Warahmatullahi Wabarakaatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear questioner, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake.
First of all, it is to be stated that the Original Sin doctrine is in utter contradiction to the Islamic belief. In this regard, we’d like to cite the following:

“Islam rejects the premises of the concept of Original Sin which is alien to Islam and inconceivable to the Muslim mind. Islam has a different version of the Fall. Adam acknowledged that he had gone astray and sincerely sought Allah’s forgiveness which was granted to him unconditionally. Adam and his progeny descended from bliss to the earth because of his error, and yet, none of his children inherited the blame for his error. The volitional implication of Fitrah is that man is responsible for his own wrong actions. It is inconceivable to Muslim thinking that mankind should be punished for wrong actions that others did. The concept of Divine forgiveness features strongly in the Qur’an, for Allah accepts the sincere repentance of His slaves.

Almighty Allah says: “But Satan caused them to deflect therefrom and expelled them from the (happy) state in which they were; and We said: Fall down, one of you a foe unto the other! There shall be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a time. Then Adam received from his Lord words (of revelation), and He relented toward him. Lo! He is the Relenting the Merciful.” (Al-Baqarah: 36-37)

Tawbah (literally, turning, i.e. away from wrong action, and to Allah) or repentance plays a very significant and decisive role in a Muslim’s life. Although man is born in a state of original goodness or Fitrah, he is also subject to temptation and folly. Allah has granted him the ability and opportunity to repent which means that he should admit his errors and turn remorsefully away from them to Allah.

Knowledge of Divine mercy as well as knowledge of the innate goodness of the human Fitrah, serves three very important functions: firstly it gives the believer hope of salvation and success; secondly, it gives him confidence in his own potential to do right and resist wrong; thirdly, it exhorts and admonishes him to actively pursue all that is right and resist all that is wrong. These are the merits of sincere repentance. Just as the Prophet Adam, peace be upon him, repented and was pardoned for his wrong action, so may his descendents repent and be pardoned for their wrong actions.”

Source: http://www.thetruereligion.org

Shedding more light on the question in point, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

“According to the Qur’anic perspective, man has been created with the equal inclination for good or bad. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And a soul and Him Who perfected it. And inspired it (with conscience of) what is wrong for it and (what is) right for it. He is indeed successful who causeth it to grow, And he is indeed a failure who stunteth it.” (Ash-Shams: 7-10)

Based on this and other Qur’anic verses, all of us has the propensity to do good or bad. So, in Islam we can choose either of the two ways: right or wrong and we are rewarded accordingly.
Human beings themselves recognize when they do sin that they have the choice to avoid it. When they do something good they have the choice to do it and they feel good about it.

If human beings had been on sins and they had no choice but to do sins, then there is no wisdom behind punishment. Allah Almighty is All-Wise and All-Just. He has assured us in the Qur’an: “No soul will be questioned about what another soul has don.” (Al-Israa’: 15)

This means that the sin of Adam did not pass on to his offspring; he paid for his own sin and we must pay for our sins unless Allah forgives us.

The Islamic concept in this matter is fully consistent with reason and revelation. It is also consistent with the teachings of the Gospel and the Old Testament before the Christians invented the doctrine of the Original Sin. As historians have pointed out, the concept of Original Sin and the Jesus being crucified or the sins of humankind had been imported to Christianity from Pagan sources.”

Allah Almighty knows best.

Question (2)

Dear scholars, As-Salaam `Alaykum. Can you explain the meaning of the verse: (If My servants ask you about Me, tell them I am near, ready to answer those who call upon Me? ) (Al-Baqarah 2: 186) I was told it means that one can only come to Allah through the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Is that true? Jazakum Allahu khayran.

Name of Mufti: Ahmad Kutty

Answer (2)

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear questioner, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake.

Unlike other religions, Islam teaches its followers to resort directly to Allah without any intermediary or intercessor. The verse mentioned in the question affirms this principle; it tells us that Allah is near and close to each person, and accordingly there is no need for any external link between servants and Him.

To elaborate more on your question we would like to cite for you the following fatwa issued by Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He states:

While explaining the Qur’an we should follow the proper methodology. We should understand it as the people who were its first addressees understood it. Qur’anic terms and concepts should be explained by reference to their usages and explanations. Otherwise, we will end up distorting the text, projecting our subjective ideas into them. The result would be the tarnishing the purity of the religion.

The verse, (If My servants ask you about Me, tell them I am near, ready to answer those who call upon Me? ) (Al-Baqarah 2: 186) was revealed in an answer to a question put to the Prophet: ‘Tell us about our Lord – is He near that we can whisper to Him, or is He far that we ought to raise our voices?’

The verse teaches us that Allah is near and close to each person. There is no need to raise one’s voice while calling upon the Lord. By implication it rules out the need for any intercessor or intermediary. Because Allah is near, each one can speak to Him directly.

It is, therefore, absolutely wrong to state that the above verse refers to the idea that one can come to Allah through Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Islam teaches us that although Prophet Muhammad is the last Prophet and Messenger, he is not considered an intermediary between man and Allah.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: http://www.islam.ca

Allah Almighty knows best.

Question (3)

I want to know why didn’t Muhammad die for your sins?

Name of Mufti: Ahmad Kutty

Answer (3)

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear questioner, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake.

First of all, it is to be made clear that the entire concept of someone dying for our sins is in utter contradiction with the Islamic view of the nature of man and God. In Islam, every individual is responsible for his/her own salvation. Everyone, male or female, can directly approach God without any intermediary of a prophet, saint or priest.

Answering the question you raised, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto,Ontario, Canada, states:

It seems to me that you are coming from a Christian background. In order for you to be able to understand the Islamic position, it is important to be clear about certain points.

First, Islam, unlike Christianity, does not teach a concept of “original sin”. Adam’s sin was his and his alone; and, according to the Qur’an (for the Qur’anic narration of the story of Adam and Eve, see: the Qur’an: 2: 30-39; 7: 19-25; 17: 61; 18: 50; 20: 116-122, etc.), God forgave both Adam and Eve when they turned to God in repentance; accordingly they were once again restored to divine mercy. Hence, there is no concept of Adam passing on to his progeny an original sin, and therefore no need for stipulating a redeemer for such sins.

Second, as there is no original sin, every one is born into a state of fitrah, a state of natural innocence; sin is acquired later by our own conscious and willful actions. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Every child is born into a state of fitrah (natural state of innocence.)”

Third, Islam teaches that God is All-Compassionate and All-Merciful; He is not bound by the rule of a blood sacrifice in order to forgive His servants. To assume that God can forgive only by accepting a blood sacrifice and therefore to state that Jesus or Muhammad died for our sins is not acceptable in Islam. Allah says: (O My servants who have wronged against their souls! Do not despair of Allah’s mercy! For Allah forgives all sins; for He is indeed Forgiving, Compassionate. Turn to your Lord repentant, and submit to Him before the torment overtakes you when you shall not be helped.) (Az-Zumar 39: 53-54)

Fourth, Islam teaches that every individual is responsible for his/her own salvation. Not Abraham, or Moses, or Jesus, or Muhammad can save us; they are only capable of saving themselves through God’s grace. In the words of the Qur’an: (Whoever commits a sin commits it only against himself. Allah is Knowing, Wise.) (An-Nisa’ 4: 111); (Allah does not charge a soul with more than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns.) (Al-Baqarah 2: 286); (Each soul earns only on its own account, nor does any laden (soul) bear another’s load.) (Al-An`am 6: 164) (Whosoever goeth right, it is only for (the good of) his own soul that he goeth right, and whosoever erreth, erreth only to its hurt. No laden soul can bear another’s load.) (Al-Israa’ 17: 15)

Fifth, everyone, male or female, can directly approach God without any intermediary of a prophet, saint or priest. God is closer to us than our own jugular veins. Almighty Allah says in the Qur’an: (We verily created man and We know what his soul whispereth to him, and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.) (Qaf 50: 16) (When My servants ask you about Me, tell them I am nigh, ready to answer the prayer of the suppliant when he prays to Me; therefore let them respond to Me and believe in Me, that they may walk in the right way.) (Al-Baqarah: 186)

So, the entire concept of someone dying for our sins is inimical to the Islamic world-view or understanding of the natures of man and God. Islam beckons us all to respond to God’s message and receive His grace and salvation through faith, good works and leading a responsible moral and ethical life.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: www.islam.ca

Advertisements

One comment on “Islamic Fatawa (3)

  1. […] : The Quran Blog – Enlighten Yourself Etiketler: Fatawa, Islamic Bu yazı Çarşamba, 09 Haziran 2010, 21:10 tarihinde English […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s