Sunday, July 08, 2007

Islamic Heritage: A Debate To Remember!

Since i won't be blogging for a month or so (summer vacation ba2a), i thought i'd leave you with this inspiring debate..

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This is one of the most interesting, open minded debates that happened 1300 years ago.
This happened in the time of the Islamic Abassi state (the capital of the Islamic world back then was in Baghdad, Iraq).

The debate was between two of the greatest Scholars (Imams) of Islamic Fikh (concluding laws from Quran and Prophets sayings\doings).
These two were Imam Abu Hanifa (who lived in Iraq) and Imam Anas Ibn Malik (lived in Madinah).

Imam Malik used to criticize Imam Abu Hanifa for some of his fatawa (Fikh rules) per what he used to hear about the fatawa of Abu Hanifa (they never meet in person till the time of this debate).

This was the case till they one year meet in Hajj (Holy Pilgrimage in Makah).
Not only were they both there, but also Imam Al Layth Ibn Sa'ad (lived in Egypt) was there to witness this debate.

There were three different things Imam Malik criticized Imam Abu Hanifa about. The below conversation was about one of them...

Lets read and learn….

Note: The conversation below is per the story I heard (my memory may fail me when trying to deliver the exact sentences).

Imam Mailk: "I strongly disapprove that you keep talking about future events and what the fatawa for them would be. You are wasting peoples' time by imagining situations and then trying to figure out the Fatawa for such incidents." …

Imam Malik (continues): "In other words, you should only do fatwa about what happened, what people asked you about, and not waste time about things that haven't happened.
May I remind you what Omar Ibn Al Khattab once said that we are not to ask about future events and go day dreaming about things that didn't happen yet. We should focus on reality and be productive!"

Imam Abu Hanifa: " I understand your concern, but may i remind you of something… we (Abu Hanifa and people he provides fatawa to) live in Iraq, things are not as static there as they are in Madinah where you live (Iraq was the center of the Islamic state at that time).
Because of the new countries and people (with different backgrounds) coming into Islam frequently, we get questions that we never thought of being raised and usually those questions are sent to the center of the Islamic state (Iraq) for us to provide Fatawa about. We need to be innovative and think before-hand. We need to be ready and prepare for everything we might be asked about."...

Imam Abu Hanifa (continues): "May I remind you about the incident when a man came to the prophet and asked him …what if someone attacked me or my land, what if I die defending my land…etc. The prophet gave him answers for all his questions without telling him off becuase he asked about things that might happen in the future.
This incident clearly states that it is ok for anyone to ask about something that didn't happen, so that they can be prepared for such future incidents in case they happen.

This is why I find nothing wrong in being prepared for future questions by imagining things in the future that we might be asked about."

Imam Malik:" I see your point."

Imam Layth Ibn Sa'ad (who was listening to the whole debate):" Allaho Akbar! You both have demonstrated the greatness of Islam!".

Imam Abu Hanifa:" What do you mean?"

Imam Layth Ibn Sa'ad: "Imam Malik is encouraging people to focus on day to day events and not waste their time on nonsense. He emphasizes on being productive.
At the same time Imam Abu Hanifa is encouraging people to research, prepare and be ready for the future in issues that are of importance.


… both of you (and everyone else) thought that you were on opposite sides in this discussion, but actually you have both proven that Islam is a complete entity by showing us two different ways of looking at the same truth!".

Allaho Akbar!!

Mood: PROUD :)

3 comments:

nousha said...

that's a really nice story. Can u remember from where u heard it? I would love to know more.

Fadfadation said...

Amr Khalid's "Da3wa Lel Ta3ayoush". The 10th lesson. It was about Imam Malik.

Anonymous said...

wow am stonned by this magnificent story thanks to whoever published it..... GEHAD ABDULLAH