Today's Khutbah was exceptionally good.
I went to MEC (Muslim Education Center) in Morton Grove, IL. I was so early that I was actually late for the first Jamaat. So I stuck around for the second Jamaat. Was I glad I did too!
He started out talking about Imam Malik, who as many Muslims are aware was a brilliant scholar and theologian. He established his own school of fiqh (jurisprudence) known as the Maliki Madhab. A quarter of Muslims today practice his teachings, as I am told by Wikipedia.
Mufti K goes on to tell about Imam Malik' acclaim and prominence amongst the Muslims of his day. He was so respected that the Khalipha at the time approached Imam Malik for permission (Ijazaat) to use his madhab as the ONE madhab for the entire Ummah that was spread across many regions and peoples. Thinking of course that the multiple ideas on fiqh present was causing harm rather than good and the only solution would be to unify it and make only one madhab the right one.
Imam Malik responded in tears saying that it would never happen so long as he lived. The Khalipha was confused and asked why he felt this way. Imam Malik told him that what he was teaching he was taught be his teachers, he respected and loved his teachers and wouldn't follow any others. He said that he would not let someone take that away from him, so there was no way he could allow this to happen to others who are taught by other teachers.
This went on for a bit but Mufti K finally came to the point which was, as I stated in a comment to the last blog post, that differences of opinion amongst the scholars is a blessing and actually helpful to the Ummah as a whole. Of course he made the point that some things are just not disputed, everyone agrees that eating pig is wrong and forbidden, but for other things a difference of opinion is allowed.
I wholeheartedly agree with this, this is what I have been taught by my own teachers. I appreciate Mufti K and his vast knowledge, I don't agree with him on everything, but I am sure he will not mind, especially considering what he said above. It's not a problem, it's actually a solution. So long as one's ideas and understanding are not forced on others. There is no compulsion in religion, or in anything for that matter.
Another example of what Mufti K was saying I learned from my own reading on Imam Shafi. Imam Shafi, another huge scholar who developed his own madhab, or rather had a madhab developed after his teachings. Imam Shafi was originally in Cairo where he lived and was known already by then as a prominent scholar on jurisprudence (fiqh). He was invited to Baghdad by the people there, so after a little time he made the journey and settled there.
When he came to know the people after some time, he realized that the rulings he enacted while amongst the people of Cairo would not be compatible with the people he was currently living amongst in Baghdad. So he developed a new version of fiqh for these people, understanding that these people are different and require different "medication" as it were.
This further emphasizes Mufti K's point, if Imam Shafi changed the way he dolled out rulings of fiqh during his life simply based on the type of people and place, how can we deny differences amongst us? I am grateful for these differences and rely on them.
This was an excellent Khutbah. I give it 5 stars (we are implementing a rating system soon, stay tuned!)
I hope others were in attendance at this khutbah and can post their thoughts. Be sure to check out our Concepts page, we will be adding more and more to the site and encourage suggestions and feedback. This is the just beginning of Khutbah Khaos.
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