Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 65

Thread: What is Perennialism?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Gender
    Brother
    Madhhab
    Hanafi
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    124

    Default What is Perennialism?

    This is mainly addressed to the people of knowledge, like a scholar or Mufti. I was reading a post about perennialism and I was wondering if it was allowed in Islam or not.. I thought that Martin Lings, Hamza Yusuf and Schon are all Muslims... but now I have doubts. So what is the real story. (Please note, if you are biased or have no knowledge about this topic, please refrain from "commenting") What exactly do they believe in that is contrary to the teachings of Allah and his messenger? Please help me/us understand.
    Asalaamu Alaykum
    Do not be Stingy with Durood on Nabi :saw:
    well...Aren't YOU going to say it?

    اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ
    اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ، وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَعَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Gender
    Brother
    Madhhab
    Hanafi
    Posts
    372

    Default Re: What is Perennialism?

    I don't think anyone has accused Hamza Yusuf of being a non-Muslim. Perennialism has been discussed here: http://www.sunniforum.com/forum/show...t=perennialism

    Shaykh Nuh has this to say: http://seekersguidance.org/ans-blog/...sue-of-takfir/


  3. #3
    Senior Member Starting_anew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Gender
    Brother
    Madhhab
    Hanafi
    Posts
    637

    Default Re: What is Perennialism?


    Perennialism at its worst caricature holds that all religions are equally valid, that they all hold an equal germ of truth to them. I don't think any religion believes this explicitly or implicitly itself, however the closest religion to this is the Bahai'i faith, but even they give some (slight) prominence to Islam over other faiths.
    As Muslims we believe that every nation has been sent a messenger (Quran 16:36). Now the span of human existence is very long, we do not know when these messengers were sent, and what names many of these messengers took - only Allah swt knows, literally..
    So when we see another religion, it must be recognised that it may be a corrupted (in a non-pejorative sense) form of the original deen, i.e. Islam. It is possible some messengers also came whose message was conclusively corrupted so that what they said has changed. For example, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf said 'Buddha may have been a messenger of God. That does not mean he was, but only Allah swt knows. Modern Buddhist belief disavows the concept of God, or considers it of disinterest, but there are certain buddhist beliefs which align with Islam - the source of this may be entirely coincidential, or it may be because from somewhere they received a source taking them towards haqq. For example, original buddhism was a clear revolt against Hinduism and despised the caste system - as muslims, we hate the caste system too, now the origins for the buddhist revolt against the caste system is unknown.
    I have personally studied native American religions, and sometimes when I was reading something, I could not help but say subhannAllah. For example, I read about a tradition of one tribe to do something which seemed almost identical to fajr. (worshipping One God and thanking him for their existence before dawn)
    Now this brings me to the reason why I am addressing this thread specifically.
    In Imam Nawawi's (ra) 40 hadith. it states:

    On the authority of Al-Numan bin Basheer, who said : I heared the messenger of Allah say :

    "That which is lawful is plain and that which is unlawful is plain and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which not many people know. Thus he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honor, but he who falls into doubtful matters falls into that which is unlawful, like the shepherd who pastures around a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Truly every king has a sanctuary, and truly Allah's sanctuary is His prohibitions. Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh which, if it be whole, all the body is whole and which, if it be diseased, all of it is diseased. Truly it is the heart."

    p narrated by Bukhari and Muslim
    There are people on this forum who engage in doubtful matters a lot. They make takfiri pronouncements. they say things are not doubtful, when they are. So they will say things like Shaykh Hamza Yusuf is kafir. Which is such an extreme accusation to make, and it is an unnecessary accusation to make, because as soon as they make that pronouncement, they call upon the judgment of Allah swt. There is no reason for us to take such risks.
    I personally would advise you to stick to your Imam and your local masjid as your massively main source of guidance. Look in particular to the way your Imam, or religious people at the masjid speak about others, the way they speak with such adab. Stay away from these doubtful matters please, and recognise on the internet, a lot of the people here would get shouted out of the masjid for speaking the way they do.
    I personally am also fed up by the conduct of some of the people here. Inshallah I will keep on looking and find the right forum for me. There must be somewhere where the predominant theme of discussion is not on who is kafir and who is not. I am not saying this forum does not have good points, there is some incredible knowledge here, but the way people try to inject doubt into others hearts, where no doubt needs to exist, is un-necessary for me to be around.
    Do not be complacent. Most people judge religions by their followers, not their doctrines.
    Shaykh Abdal-Hakim Murad


  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Gender
    Brother
    Madhhab
    Hanafi
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: What is Perennialism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Starting_anew View Post


    There are people on this forum who engage in doubtful matters a lot. They make takfiri pronouncements. they say things are not doubtful, when they are. So they will say things like Shaykh Hamza Yusuf is kafir. Which is such an extreme accusation to make, and it is an unnecessary accusation to make, because as soon as they make that pronouncement, they call upon the judgment of Allah swt. There is no reason for us to take such risks.
    I personally would advise you to stick to your Imam and your local masjid as your massively main source of guidance. Look in particular to the way your Imam, or religious people at the masjid speak about others, the way they speak with such adab. Stay away from these doubtful matters please, and recognise on the internet, a lot of the people here would get shouted out of the masjid for speaking the way they do.
    I personally am also fed up by the conduct of some of the people here. Inshallah I will keep on looking and find the right forum for me. There must be somewhere where the predominant theme of discussion is not on who is kafir and who is not. I am not saying this forum does not have good points, there is some incredible knowledge here, but the way people try to inject doubt into others hearts, where no doubt needs to exist, is un-necessary for me to be around.
    I agree with you, but be patient. There are many people from different backgrounds and different levels of understanding... it would be impossible to cater for everyone. The reason I brought this topic up was b/c I have a very close friend who is really into perennialism, and always talks to me about it in a very intellectual manner. I am "deobandi" type Hanafi, yet some of the stuff he says is intriguing.. but after coming across a thread saying perennialism is kufr and worse still.. that Martin Lings, Hamza Yusuf and Rene Genon are all Kafirs, I got scared... But Alhumdulilah I think there is a difference on opinion and thus I will not think that perennialism is full out kufr, rather it may be some sort of innovation..
    Asalaamu Alaykum
    Do not be Stingy with Durood on Nabi :saw:
    well...Aren't YOU going to say it?

    اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ
    اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ، وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَعَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ


  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Gender
    Brother
    Madhhab
    Hanafi
    Location
    ٹورانٹو شریف
    Posts
    2,913

    Default Re: What is Perennialism?



    Brother, perennialism IS outright kufr because it casts doubt on verses of the Qur'an, such as "هو الذي أرسل رسوله بالهدى ودين الحق ليظهره على الدين كله ولو كره المشركون" - "He (Allah ) is the one who sent his messenger with guidance and the deen of truth so that He may proclaim it over every other deen, even if the mushrikeen detest it".

    And Shaykh Hamza Yusuf is not a perennialist. If someone claims as such, bring something directly from Shaykh Hamza Yusuf instead of making a mountain of takfeer out of a molehill.
    ياايها الذين امنوا اذكروا الله ذكرا كثيرا


  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Gender
    Brother
    Madhhab
    Hanafi
    Location
    karachi
    Posts
    1,847

    Default Re: What is Perennialism?

    Quote Originally Posted by islamion View Post
    This is mainly addressed to the people of knowledge, like a scholar or Mufti. I was reading a post about perennialism and I was wondering if it was allowed in Islam or not.. I thought that Martin Lings, Hamza Yusuf and Schon are all Muslims... but now I have doubts. So what is the real story. (Please note, if you are biased or have no knowledge about this topic, please refrain from "commenting") What exactly do they believe in that is contrary to the teachings of Allah and his messenger? Please help me/us understand.
    Perennialism is a very broad term which manifests itself in so many different ways that it shall be impossible to give a single concrete definition of it. The main umbrella of Perennialism is that all religions have some truth with in as they come from a single source. The "full blown" perennialist will take a step forward and will say that following any religion is a valid approach in the eyes of the deity and hence the followers of religions other than Islam shall also land into heavens. Some perennialists would limit "all religions" to the Abrahamic religions only. Mr Hamza is not only fond of perennialists but many of his own ideologies are inspired by perennialism. You will see a watered down perennialism here from Mr Hamza http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lg7jnoCvcY&feature=gv
    In this world is a Paradise, whoever does not enter it will enter the Paradise of the Hereafter : Shaykh Ul Islam Imam Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullah


  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Gender
    Brother
    Madhhab
    Hanafi
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: What is Perennialism?

    I read something from a newsletter in which Hamza Yusuf after having met Dr. Martin Lings states:

    ..."The day that we arrived at the doorsteps of Dr. Lings’ abode it was overcast and the atmosphere had an English wetness about it. This time, the good doctor welcomed us at the door and I attributed this to Dr. Lings impeccable comportment towards a direct descendent of the Prophet, and God knows best. He led us to the same room as before and invited us to sit. Habib ‘Ali sat closest to Dr. Lings, and I sat next to Habib ‘Ali. Before speaking, Dr. Lings apologised to us and explained that, while during his time in Egypt, he had become quite fluent in Arabic, unfortunately since his return to England his spoken Arabic had been neglected and become quite rusty from lack of use but that he would do his best. To our surprise, he began to speak a very mellifluous classical Arabic that
    impressed both Habib ‘Ali and me. Someone who was present brought up a thorny issue that was the source of the many warnings I had received about Dr.Lings’ books. The subject had to do with the belief that the world’s great religious traditions - Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism - teach essentially the same perennial truths as Islam does and therefore, like Islam, they each retain a validity of practice to this day. The subject is referred to in modern discourse as ‘Perennialism.’

    Dr. Lings responded to the question with comments that were highly philosophical. He reasoned that it is God’s Wisdom and His Will to keep these spiritual traditions alive until the present day. Dr. Lings substantiated his arguments with verses from the Quran. It was evident to me that the outward and apparent meaning of the verses he cited affirmed what he said but his interpretation was certainly not the classical view of the verses as understood by the accepted exegetes of the Quran throughout Islam’s history. Even so, both Habib ‘Ali and I felt that, while Dr. Lings’ view on the subject was not mainstream, it was not a complete rejection of the classical Islamic position which holds that previous religious dispensations were abrogated by the final message of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and certainly his own conversion to Islam indicated that fact. What we heard instead was a rather novel interpretation based upon Dr. Lings’ own thought and reading of sacred traditions that he had most likely inherited from his teachers. It is in fact a position entertained by the late Fazlur Rahman in his book, Major Themes of The Qur’an. The underlying justification for this approach is an attempt to reconcile the scriptural antinomy of an all-merciful deity who displays wrath, in which a focus on God’s overriding mercy mentioned in the Quran extenuates those scriptural statements that stress eternal wrath. An abstruse issue that several classical scholars wrestled with including Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah, Imam Al-Ghazzali and Shaykh Ibn ‘Arabi al-Hatimi. I interjected at one point and mentioned Imam alGhazzali’s orthodox and yet satisfying view presented in his intriguing Faisal al-tafriqah that suggests that the majority of
    Christians and Jews and even peoples of other faiths and creeds could ultimately gain salvation since they did not reject a true and compelling presentation of Islam.


    What they rejected rather was the tragic misrepresentation through distortion or the bad behavior of those who claimed to follow the true teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. Thus, according to Imam al-Ghazzali, this allowed for God’s ultimate forgiveness for the masses of humanity. Both Habib ‘Ali and I felt that Dr. Lings was most certainly a devout and pious Muslim, fully committed to the teaching of the Prophet and one who rooted his thought and practice in the Quran despite our clear differences with him on the subject of perennialism. I believe that his spiritual presence was a cogent argument for his practice and commitment. An aspect of Islam that many modern Muslims fail to recognize is the vast diversity of opinion that has accumulated over the centuries of Islamic history, much of it rooted in what is known as ta’wil (interpretation). Indeed, throughout Islam’s life of over fourteen hundred years, scholars have sought as many interpretive excuses as possible for heterodox utterances before attacking someone or worse still condemning such people of heresy. I am reminded of Imam Abu Hasan’s statement recorded by Imam Dhahabi in Siyar A’lam an-Nubala: “We do not anathematise anyone from the community of believers; rather,these are semantic issues upon whose meanings we differ.” Imam Dhahabi remarks that this was also the position of his own teacher Ibn Taymiyyah towards the end of his life, when he said, “We do not anathematise anyone who guards his wudu, as the Prophet said, ‘Only a believer guards his wudu.’”

    Another point less frequently made is that our Prophet himself informed us that the guidance of the later peoples would not be the same guidance of that of the earlier community, and yet it will be good. According to a sound hadith narrated by Imam al-Bukhari, Hudhaifah relates: “People were asking the Prophet, upon him be peace and
    blessings, about good, and I decided to ask about evil out of fear that it might affect me. So I said, ‘O Messenger of God, we were in ignorance and spiritual privation, and then God brought us all of this good. Is there any evil after this good?’ The Prophet replied, ‘Yes!’ I then asked, ‘Is there good after that evil?’ He said, ‘Yes but it will contain cloudiness!’ "What is its cloudiness?’ I asked. He replied, ‘A people who guide by other than my guidance; some things from them you recognise and others you reject …’”

    In this hadith the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, is telling us that people will come later who are good but their teaching will have alien elements not contained in the original purity of the Prophet’s teaching to such an extent that it will not be recognisable to the early community and thus, rightfully rejected. And yet he, peace be upon him, called such people good. It is important for us to recognise the good in our community and especially the scholars whom God has graced with intellect and training, which enables them to see things others do not see, and which as a result, causes them to sometimes make mistakes and err in their judgment and understanding. While some of the views Dr. Lings has expressed in his insightful and brilliant writings are in contradistinction to what my own teachers taught me and what I believe, they are,however, rarified metaphysical considerations that are better pointed out as heterodoxies that fall into a category of opinion and interpretation that many of the great scholars of the past have held, including but not limited to Ibn ‘Arabi, IbnTaymiyyah, Ibn Rushd, al-Farabi, Imam az-Zamakhshari, and Ibn Sina. Many of our great scholars have maintained positions based upon their idiosyncratic views and conclusions that extended beyond the boundaries of mainstream orthodoxy, but this did not prevent the community of believers from recognising their excellence and benefiting from their knowledge and piety and looking for interpretive justifications or at least excuses for them.

    Our scholars agreed upon matters that all Muslims could grasp as well as what was most unambiguously expressed in the Quran and Sunnah. They shied away from metaphysical considerations inaccessible to most people that also allowed for confusion or obfuscation. Imam Shatibi opined that the sacred creed and law of Islam was in essence ‘illiterate’ (ummiyyah), in which he meant accessible to the simplest of minds.The urge to establish the universal applicability of God’s mercy is rooted in the reconciliation of mercy with wrath and an acknowledgment of mercy as God’s central attribute. Many scholars of the past have grappled with this theological bugbear and many still do. For instance, the well-substantiated view held by Ibn Taymiyyah, may God have mercy on him, that the Fire would eventually be extinguished was based upon his belief that the mercy of God was too vast to punish people eternally. He also based his opinions on a nuanced and highly interpretive reading of verses of the Quran that condemned some people to the hellfire eternally and substantiated his views with certain confirmed statements of the companions of the Prophet that buttressed his position.

    I read a book examining his views on the matter and was dumbfounded by the strength of his arguments and the subtle points he brought up on the subject. His position is, however, heterodox, and thus rejected by almost all the scholars of Islam. And while some scholars anathematised him for his views, the majority recognized it was heterodox but rooted in a sophisticated ta’wil (interpretation) that was nonetheless incorrect. It is well-known that the classical and soundest view in Islam is that the Prophet’s message has abrogated previous dispensations and that according to the authentic Hadith in Imam Muslim’s collection anyone who is presented with a sound picture of the Prophet, in other words the Prophet’s veracity as a prophet, and is substantiated for him with clear proofs, and yet still refuses to believe in him renders himself a disbeliever and suffers the consequences. And while the four schools of Sunni thought anathematise someone who does not adhere to this view, their position is based upon an outright rejection of the position and not those who use ta’wil to arrive at heterodox understandings without denying any meaning expressed in the Quran or the multiply-transmitted narrations of the Prophet, peace be upon him. Such views are then categorised as innovations. However, scholars are very careful about deeming someone a disbeliever (kafir) who may hold heterodox beliefs as a
    result of ta’wil. And interpretive statements that have been deemed heterodox can be found in the works of Ibn ‘Arabi, Sidi ‘Abd al-Karim al-Jili, Emir ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza’iri, Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi and others. And despite all of those illustrious men suffering attacks from some of the great as well as less than great scholars of Islam, the community of scholars and believers alike have, notwithstanding such views, taken the good of such scholars and point out the areas of concern while adhering to the majority view where they may differ.

    The Perennialist Muslims in the West constitute a highly educated cadre largely made up of converts, who have done some of the finest work on Islamic materials and have presented Islam in a beautiful and illuminating manner that has made it accessible to people it would normally not have reached, and with an aesthetic and intellectual dimension that is sorely absent from many of the mainstream efforts. In spite
    of the aforementioned concerns, to dismiss their noble endeavours is unconscionable and mean-spirited. In my subsequent meetings with Dr. Lings the issue of Perennialism did not arise nor was I inclined to mention it. My respect for his scholarship, discernable spirituality and metaphysical insights, not to mention the fact that he was more than twice my age in years and three times my age in Islam all demanded I listen attentively to his wisdom and learn from his character. He was a highly-educated Muslim who as the keeper of Oriental manuscripts at the British Museum had spent much of his adult life reading some of the finest Arabic manuscripts ever put to pen by Muslims, entirely aware of the orthodox position, and had read much finer arguments than those I would be able to muster. I chose to set aside the position I was taught and still adhere to and benefit from a unique English Muslim sage in a bereft and derelict age of folly. As Dr.Lings was a man who spoke when he had something to say and said things that resulted from intense deliberation, I took
    copious notes on all of my visits.

    http://www.q-news.com/363.pdf
    Read from pg 53
    Asalaamu Alaykum
    Do not be Stingy with Durood on Nabi :saw:
    well...Aren't YOU going to say it?

    اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ
    اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ، وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَعَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ


  8. #8
    Senior Member Abu Zakir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Gender
    Brother
    Madhhab
    Hanafi
    Location
    England
    Posts
    3,145

    Default Re: What is Perennialism?

    Humans like to be part of exclusive clubs. And they like putting people outside of their club. The Quran says those who say Allah is one of three are kafirun. As Muslims should we arrogantly look upon all Trinitarian Christians as kafirun who are all bound for hell? BTW, those who reject the Prophet hood of Muhammad are also kafirun, not just Trinitarians. When speaking to Christians is it always a good idea to emphasise their kufr or might it be better to put the shared and common values forward?

    There are subtleties here. Arrogance puts people off. Not everyone has had access to the message of Islam, some may have a very distorted picture....so we need to be wise and vast in our mercy and humility, you never know this might win people over more than a harsh exclusivist invitation to Islam.


  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Gender
    Brother
    Madhhab
    Hanafi
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: What is Perennialism?

    It is kinda funny that I had asked this question.. yet I am answering it.. I got this from another thread... The person is replying to a few other people too:
    This also helps one understand my previous post..

    .................................................. ...........
    Salamualaikum wa rahmatullah.

    My reply will be more of a series of responses and commentary on Amjed’s very nice posts and others posts, and I wish to challenge some of us to further appreciate what Shaykh Hamza Yusuf (may Allah preserve him) is saying here: that when it comes to the diverse opinions that Muslims hold, it is better to include than to exclude. In this spirit of including, my responses will incorporate some replies given by some of those who have been contributing to this thread.


    What I find fascinating is that Shaykh Hamza is implicity placing Sidi Martin Lings in the same category as scholars such as Rumi and Ibn Arabi, Abdal Qadir al Jazairi, and Abd al Karim al Jili. Although Sh. Hamza is putting SOME of Sidi Lings’ positions in the category of heterodox insights, the last time I checked such scholars, especially RUmi and Ibn Arabi and Abdal Qadir al Jazairi are heavily revered as awilya and, God knows best, are one of the reasons and means through which Allah (swt) has spread his Deen throughout the ages! May Allah u tala give this same maqam to the likes of Sidi Abu Bakr-Martin Lings-ameen! . May Allah give us the tawfiqe to appreciate His Hikma and be patient when we do not understand His Will. “For the good (khayr) is in what has occurred”
    And now my commentary (sorry in advance for the length):
    Shaykh Hamza stated in this article you quoted from Amjed the following:
    “Even so both Habib Ali [Al Jifri] and I felt that while Dr Lings view on the subject was not mainstream, it was not a complete rejection of the clasical Islamic position which holds that previous religious dispensations were abrogated by the final message of the Prophet Muhammad [saw], and certainly his own conversion to Islam indicated that fact

    What we heard instead was a rather novel interpretation based upon dr lings own thoughts and reading of sacred traditions that he had most likely inherited from his teachers.”

    Shuyab: After reading much of your posts on Islam and other religions, I also came to this same conclusion on your perspective which Shaykh Hamza came to on Sidi Dr. Lings; perspective. It seems in your understanding of the essential unity of religions through which every particular religion can be understood as a form of “Islam” ( a position which indeed has Quranic precedent), along with the acknowledgment of Islam’s status as the last religion, you seem to take a nuanced and ‘rarified metaphysical’ understanding of abrogation and the status or validity of other religions. In this sense I do not agree with those who call your ideas kufr or that you are a kafir. How could anyone truly say such a thing! I want you to know that there are actually ahl as-Sunnah Muslims out there who would never anathematize you. I may think some of your positions are mistaken or faulty, but I would never discourse with you to prove the kufr in your words. Astaghfirullah!, Truly, the diversity of positions of our ulema , both past and present, and most likely future(not mine and yours since we are not Alims, or atleast I’m not ) are indeed a Mercy. What follows is my means of better understanding your perspective. Please correct me if I have misunderstood you positions.


    Habib1968 said:
    “Salam alaikoum,

    I readed the text fron sheikh Nuh http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/nuh/amat.htm but he accept the shia as our brothers as well as the salafis. Why are the perennialist called kuffar?. They pray, fast... just like the other groups. Why do we call the perennialist kuffar when in the same time we accept the shia and the salafi as our brothers, they have also different wiews or aqida?

    Wa salam “

    You make a good point regarding Perennialists vs Shias etc. Although I do not agree with everything SH. Nuh says about perennialism (for example, his understanding that Perennialists believe in the universal validity of all religions. Interestingly enough, perennialist who are Muslim do not exactly posit a ‘universal validity’ of other religions other than Islam as Shaykh Nuh understands it-towards the end of this long response I come back to this point). Shaykh Nuh gives an insightful reading on Ibn Arabi’s position on other religions (which I would dare say is just one way, and not the only way of interpreting Ibn Arabi). In any case, I believe Shaykh Nuh has something else in mind than what you are stating regarding his casting of Takfir on perennialists. Shaykh Nuh’s position is more nuanced than you may think. His position is that perennialist IDEAS have Kufr in them and NOT necessarily that Muslims who hold perennialist ideas are Kafirs . In short, we should anathematize the ideas and not those who hold on to such ideas. The difference I believe is important here. It is in this way that he accepts Shia and Salafis to be Muslim although some of their ideas/doctrines might be deemed as heterodox or kufr. In my opinion, I believe that he does not believe that so called perennialist like Martin Lings are Kaafir (astaghfirullah) but that some of the ideas they hold have kufr in them from his point of view. Shaykh Nuh has an excellent article on these theological principles(Iman, Takfir and Kufr) which he masterfully applies to the Deobandi and Barelvi perspectives which can be found here (and in my humble opinion resolves many of the tensions between the two perspectives and demonstrates to me the legitimacy of both points of view):
    http://www.imanwire.com/iman-kufr-and-takfir-nuh-kellar

    Marco100, you stated:
    "salams brother,
    the use of ta'wil is valid as long as it doesn't contradict the outer meaning of a verse in the Quraan. Placed side by side, the so called esoteric meanings advocated by Perennialists openly contradict those clear cut verses of the Quraan that class certain groups of people as Kafir. This is kufr."

    If the use of ta’wil is valid as long as it ‘doesn’t contradict the outer meaning’, than I would ask what is the purpose of ta’wil? This is a rhetorical question I am posing to you marco100, only to make you think about some of the implications of your important point, since from what you have said, I know you are knowledgeable enough to appreciate ta’wil and to distinguish the esoteric from the exoteric levels of the Quranic verses . There is a common principle in tassawuf that one’s ‘kashf’ is deemed invalid and in fact dangerous if it contradicts the Quran and the Sunnah taken as a whole (this is one of the reasons for the need of an authentic Master who is grounded in both the dhahir-outward and the batin-inward of Islam). But when applying this beautiful principle to Tafsir, one has to appreciate that ta’wil is not tafsir. Tafsir can be defined as the study of the outward aspects of the Quran (grammatical, juridical etc). And Ta’wil is more of a rendering of a hidden or inner meaning of the Quran more explicit. Yes the inner and outer has to be balanced and cannot essentially contradict one another because they are both from Allah (for Allah is the Dhahir and the Batin to quote a Quranic verse), but they CAN apparently contradict one another until the inner meaning (or ta’wil) of the reality of the situation or truth is demonstrated to resolve the extrinsic or outward contradiction.
    Infact, this is the very function of ta’wil for Khidr in the Suratul Kahf when he unveils the meaning of his apparently antinomian acts which contradict the Shariah of Musa (as). Please note that the Arabic word al-Khidr uses is ‘ta’wil’ when he reveals the secrets to Hazrat Musa (as) behind why he performed such acts as sinking the boat of those generous people who helped them across the river, and when he killed the young child of pious parents, and when he fixed the wall of a town of people who were very rude to both Musa and al-Khidr….
    Here the ulama extrapolate ta’wil to mean, that which gives true and inner meaning to a certain verse which is either outwardly ambiguous (mutashabih) or resolves the contradiction between one meaning of the verse and another meaning of the same Quranic verse or another Qurnaic verse; thereby rendering the disparity only an ‘apparent contradiction’ or an extrinsic contradiction and not a real or intrinsic contradiction. The ahl as-Sunnah legitimize ta’wil as a hermeneutical operation which is able to demonstrate the veracity of a truly inspired mystical intuition or state (hads dhawq, kashf, ilhaam), deemed to be an allegorical truth (ishara) (as opposed to a fiqhi principle), which conveys inner meanings of Quranic verses. This very idea and understanding of ta’wil can be applied to the process whereby perennialist Muslims (such as Lings’s ) use the Quran to demonstrate a more universal and inclusive understanding of ‘Islam’ and the status of previous religions while acknowledging and maintaining that contradictions do exist in the belief systems between certain of the People of the Book and Muslims. (Whether this process of ta’wil is substantiated by kashf , spiritual intuition (ilhaam) or by mental conception alone is not the point here.)
    To be brief marco100, my only point here is that the perennialists actually use ta’wil and their ta’wil cannot easily be written off as faulty ta’wil plain and simple. I think Shaykh Hamza Yusuf makes this point well. To attempt to explain and resolve the apparent contradictions between those verses of the Quran which criticize some of the Peoples’of the Book’s belief and show how such theological differences can be held on one level of Quranic discourse while upholding an essential and intrinsic universality of spiritual purpose and ‘validity’ of prior Revelaitons on another level, takes extensive ta’wil, and such Muslims such as Martin Lings or Seyyed Hossein Nasr have arguably accomplished this kind of ta’wil. To them the ‘contradiction’ is only outward or ‘apparent’, and although real on its own level (the theological and dhahiri level) the contradiction between the beliefs of the People of the Book are Transcended by a so-called higher unity that is deemed more essential and common to the Muslims and the People of the Book: and this unity is more of a metaphysical Tawhid than a Theological tawhid to such Muslims. Again a lot of sophisticated ta’wil is used here to explain an intellectual or mystical intuition, and so these perennialists are not rejecting what the Quran or the ahl as-sunnah states on these issues, but they are actually accepting that position as a true and valid position, but within the framework of their rarified understanding of Islam which encompasses and in ways surpasses (therby being in extrinsic conflict with) the normative Islamic position on these issues. This is why Shaykh Hamza stated that Sidi Martin Lings understanding was “not a complete rejection of the clasical Islamic position which holds that previous religious dispensations were abrogated by the final message of the Prophet Muhammad [saw],”(for a better explanation of this ta’wil please ask Shuayb Ahmed 

    London786, you stated:
    “so r u saying its ok to believe like the perennialists that all religions are equal......that the goal is the same etc.....this unity of relgions concept is such rubbish and clear cut kufar.....yes u heard right clear cut disbelief “

    I know that you are frustrated with what you understand as the perennialist position on other religions but with all due respect, and as I have mentioned above , their perspective is a bit more nuanced and complex than what you have simplistically written above and this is Shaykh Hamza’s very point when he discusses how the perennialist position is “not a complete rejection” of the classical Islamic position on abrogation. Often times, it is better to accept a given authority’s position (like Shaykh Hamza or any other scholar’s position) on the issue as one possible position which I atleast have to respect since they are scholars of the Deen and I am not.
    In this sense, it is better for Muslims to understand such positions that the perennialists hold as ta’wil, or derivative interpretations which do not ‘outright reject’ the normative Sunni position on abrogation but seek to interpret it from a perspective which is Quranic but based on a more esoteric and rarified reading of the Quran. Having said this let me attempt to summarize my understanding of their position in light of what you have said and in light of all the posts I have read by Shuayb Ahmed and others (Shuyab, correct me if I am wrong):
    You stated that perennialists believe that “all religions are equal”. From my reading of them, this is not what they believe. They believe that all ‘authentic’ religions are ‘intrinsically valid’ in that they have been revealed by Allahu tala SO far this is the classical Islamic position. But here’s the nuance: since each religion has distinct features and Allah has willed this (for example the emphasis of Tashbih or Divine Immanance of God in Christ in Chrisitianity--or viewing Christ’s being as the very Wahy--and the emphasis of Tanzih or Divine Transcendence in ‘Islam’ and how the Quran is the Wahy), they are also not equal-infact they differ in very important and crucial ways, and they are divinely willed to be so. And yet there is an underlying Transcendent or essential unity since each revelation and thereby religion has been sent by Allah u tala (“To each of you we have given a Law and a Way, We could have made you one Ummah but We did not inorder to test you with what we have given you…”Surah Maídah, verse 48) Please note these words in the this translation of the Quran very carefully, and please try to appreciate how such words can be ‘interpreted’ or understood (through ta’wil ) as the perennialist Muslims may understand them. Again, please also note that the reason why I am using quotation marks on certain terms is to allow you to appreciate that the perennialist are using ta’wil to arrive at their definitions and conclusions on what Islam is, and on what abrogation can mean to them.

    To continue then, the perennialist Muslim may believe that Islam as a religion is ‘superior’ to other religions because it is the last and final religion and because it emphasizes universality in its teachings along with upholding its own particularity and therefore its theological criticisms of other religions. But it should be mentioned that through this understanding the perennialists use ta’wil to demonstrate that naskh (or abrogation) proves the superiority supra-eminence of Islam, but not necessarily that the Shariah of Muhammad (saw) absolutely invalidates other revealed religions. They quote Ibn Arabi in this light and although Shaykh Nuh argues that Ibn Arabi does not intend what the perennialists read into him, Ibn Arabi’s views on other religions in this case and in other cases can arguably be used to support the perennialists’ ta’wil. It is in this sense that Shaykh Hamza recognizes that there were certain positions that Ibn Arabi held which were considered heterodox, among them possibly being his view on “The God created in the belief’ of Muslims and non-Muslims (see the fusus ul hikam and the futuhaat al makkiyya for this very esoteric, profound, yet controversial teaching of Ibn Arabi)….

    In other words the religions according to the perennialists are ‘unequally valid’ and not ‘universally valid’ or even not ‘universally equal’. Before I lose you completely, allow me to further state that from what I have read of them, no perennialist who has accepted Islam would uphold that it is alright to leave Islam and accept Christianity on the pretext that religions are ‘equally valid’. This is why, as Shaykh Hamza pointed out, Sidi Martin Lings accepted Islam despite (or arguably because of) believing in the essential unity of religions, and that his conversion and his practicing of Islam signifies that other religions for Sidi Martin Lings were infact ‘abrogated’ for him in his view, despite his rarified metaphysical understanding of the truth, ‘validity’ and holiness of other religions.

    In this light it may be worthwhile to consider how the perennialist Muslim might explain the clear meaning of the mutawatir (mass-transmitted) hadith:

    "By Him in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, any person of this Community, any Jew, or any Christian who hears of me and dies without believing in what I have been sent with will be an inhabitant of hell" (al-Baghawi: Sharh al-sunna 1.104).

    Again, although the apparent meaning is quite clear, that the religion revealed to the Porphet Muslim is now normative and binding for all of humanity, a meaning which in any other circumstance would render the perennialist position as totally null and void, ta’wil would be used here by the perrennialists to legitimaze a simultaneous acceptance of this hadith as it stands while integrating it to their perspective. In other words, I think ta’wil would be used here by the perennialist Muslim, not to circumvent the hadith, but to uphold the hadith by explaining it within the context of their own position. They would probably argue that just like the Quranic Discourse has universalist elementsand exclusivist or particularist elements, the same goes for the Prophetic discourse. There are events in the Sunnah which display the more positive and universal appreciation of other religions, such as the accommodation of the worship of the Byzatinian Christians who came to debate the Prophet (saw) on the nature of Christ, and the Prophet’s love and respect for the King of Negus even before his death (see the other post for a fascinating discussion on this). Also one recalls the Prophet (saw) rising for the funeral procession of a Jew. One may also include here the Prophet’s dealing with the Jews in the pact at Hudaiybiya. And certainly the more exclusivist aspects of the Prophetic Sunnah are expressed in this above hadith which has been quoted (not to mention many other examples).
    But this hadith can also be interpreted through ta’wil to show openings to the perennialist point of view. For example the phrase ”any who hear of me” is conditional and the ulema have had a variance of opinions on what exactly constitutes a proper “hearing’ of the Message of the Messenger’s Prophet-hood. (You can see the prior discussions on this, especially the faysal tafriqa position of Imam al Ghazalli). The fact that this is conditional or relative means that it has a contingent characteristic and that what may be sufficient proof enough to acknowledge the veracity of the Messengership of the Prophet Muhammada (saw) for one person may not be sufficient for another. Only Allahu tala can know this for sure… And so we are left with a condition that cannot be absolutely paraded as absolute proof that only accepting Islam as the final Message to Muhammad (saw) can lead to salvation-there are other ways which our classical positions take account of which the perennialist would acknowledge, and use this to support their own position...
    But another ta’wil can be made regarding the phrase “….and do not believe in that which has been revealed to me”. Now if one understands that that which has been sent to the Prophet, in essence-and not necessarily in form-- is the same ‘message’ which has been sent to the previous prophets as in the following verses:
    “Naught is said unto thee [Muḥammad] but what was said unto the Messengers before thee.’ (41:43)…..”
    ‘He hath ordained for you of the religion (min al-dīn) that which He commended unto Noah, and that which We reveal to thee [Muḥammad], and that which We commended unto Abraham and Moses and Jesus, saying: Establish the religion, and be not divided therein ...’ (42:13)

    Then a claim can be made that a non-Muslim’s acknowledgment of the Prophet’s Messengership AND their rejection of our Prophet’s (saw) message is in effect a rejecting of their own message, since all messages are in essence one! And it is for this reason that the non-Muslim who reject the Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) message after ‘hearing of him’, suffers the consequences of the hell-fire: namely, that they are being ‘kafirs’ not only to Prophet Muhammad’s particular and final message, but also to their own message or revelation that Allah has revealed to them since it is in essence the same message! This constitutes Kufr and hell fire for an adherent of any authentic religion, and in this light the Prophet and the Quran (that which I (the Prophet saw) has been sent with) constitutes a kind of Furqan (criterion) against such disbelievers, whether the kafir be of “this community, any Jew or any Chrisitian..”…..

    So in light of the above, if the perennialist Muslim accepts the normative understaning and meanings of such ahadith and ayaat that pertain to the Islamic exclusivism, while situating such an understanding in the context of their own ta’wil--as arguably outlined above--which recognizes a religious universalisty or universalism that encompasses the other, than such an idea , although a bidah from the point of view of the fiqh and kalaam, cannot be considered outright kufr and a means of anathematizing such a Muslim from Islam. This is in consonance with the following position of Shaykh Hamza:

    “It is well known that the clasical and soundest view in Islam is that the Prophet's [saw] message has abrogated previous dispensations and that according to the authentic hadith in Imam Muslims collection, anyone who is presented with a sound picture of the prophet [saw], in other words, the prophet's [saw] veracity as a Prophet, and is substantiated for him with clear proofs, and yet refuses to beleive in him renders him a desbeliever and he will suffer the consequences, And while the four schools of Sunni thought anathematise someone who does not adhere to this view, their position is based upon an outright rejection of the position and not those who use ta'wil to arrive at heterodox understandings without denying any meaning expressed in the Quran or the multiply-transmitted narrations of the Prophet, peace be upon him. Such views are then catogorised as innovations”


    Please note that this is all being said, not to undermine the normative orthodox Sunni Position which I believe in, but truly in the spirit of ‘husni-zunn’ (good suspicion) towards our brother Muslims who happen to uphold a perennialist perspective on Islam, just as Shaykh Hamza showed husni zunn to Sidi Martin Lings (and to show you how complex this ta’wil of the perennialists is). There is a very subtle point here that I hope you have appreciated and that I have been attempting to point out in this very long and tiring response . Allah’s Hikma and His Deen encompass all contexts and situations , and surely one aspect of the Quran can be emphasized (while maintaining belief in all of the Quran and Islam) in order to “Call People of the Book to what is finest” according to the Quran. This to me is true and timely Quranic Wisdom (hikma) which can be applied to non-Muslims and even Muslims who differ with us.

    To return to Sidi Martin Lings then, it can be said that because of his very belief in the essential unity of religions, he saw that the Islam of Muhammad realized this perennialist understanding the most explicity (as compared to other Islams of previous Prophets) in its teachings (in the Quran and Sunnah), and this was one of the reasons for Sidi Lings’ converting to Islam. From this point of view, one can also argue that it is Sidi Abu Bakr’s (Lings) beautiful approach to other religions from the point of view of the Quran that brought (and is bringing) like-minded seekers of truth to the folds of Islam! The beauty and truth of Islam is that in our context a Muslims can emphasize the universality of Revelation as witnessed in the Quran, and universalism as a possible form of Dawah for the Din al Haqq and I believe this is what the likes of Sidi Martin Lings and others have done quite successfully in our times! …

    Also London786, as for believing that one perennialist belief is that “the goal [of religion] is the same” for all religions: In my opinion no real religion believes in other than what Islam believes as the goal of Religion (Din), if we understand this goal to be salvation (falah and najah). If other religions did (do) not believe in this same goal than they are not real religions—plain and simple, and the argument stops there, otherwise, what is the purpose of religion if not salvation? Now, whether these religions can lead to salvation in their current forms, this is up for debate and has been debated throughout Islamic history—and has even been debated by certain Perennialist authorities (especially when it came to the status of Christianiy. Here Guenon’s view can be read as a more explicit acceptance of the classical Islamic position of abrogation than say Frithjof Schuon’s view on Christianity. In any case, what I understand the perennialists to be saying is that putting current forms of the religions aside, it can be deduced from the Quran and from ta’wil that the actual forms of the previous religions did not take on the exact same form as our Islam does. Each ‘Islam’ of a previous Rasool had distinct features that are different and may even have apparently contradictory features as compared to our Islam’s way of understanding conceptions of God and ways of worship, etc. But the perennialists would still maintain that each Islam did convey “Tawhid” in their own Divinely revealed way and form. ”To Each (Rasool) we have given a Law and a Way” …(5:48). Recall my explication of ta’wil and the apparently contradictory meanings or verses in the Quran. Now, the perennialists would say that appreciating or understanding this position entails a certain kind of ta’wil and esoteric reading of the Quran, which ‘contradicts’ the outward meanings of the established teachings of the ahl as-Sunnah position on abrogation… .

    In any case, the Quran arguably is not as ‘cut and dry’ on this position of the ‘validity’ or spiritual and legal efficacy of other previous religions as we may think, since there are many legitimate ways to interpret certain verses of the Quran such as the verse : “In the Gospel (and Torah) is Light and Guidance”, “Verily Religion with God is Islam”. And that “Allah will not accept another religion apart from Islam” (not to mention how those verses on the ‘tahrif’ or alteration of previous scriptures is understood by the scholars).The word Islam can be interpreted in different ways here, in either a more exclusive way (the last religion=as most of our members here understand it to be) or a more inclusive way (the very principle of all truly revealed religions, that of ‘Submission’. (as Ibn Arabi has and as other more normative commentators such as Tabari implicitly has by accepting the impossibility of Verse 2:62 of being abrogated by other ayaat since Allah u taála does not abrogate His “Promises”. ( Recall that “Verily, those who believe, the Jews and the Christians and the Sabeans, indeed any who believe in Allah, the last day and are virtous, their reward is with their Lord (2:62)” is in the semantics of Arabic, certainly a promise from Allahu ta’ala)…

    However, suffice it to say that the normative and Islamically ‘soundest’ opinion (to use Shaykh Hamza’s wording) of this above verse according to ahl as-Sunnah is that this verse is abrogated by other verses, but my only point here is to show that this normative and mainstream position is not the only position in Sunni Islam (Tabari, and others) and the perennialists (for different reasons then why Tabari and others uphold their position as we see in Shuayb Ahmed’s points in other posts) use this minority position as evidence in supporting their ta’wil. And as such, their rarified position does not necessarily need to be a cause for anathematizing them (or delegating takfir on them). Remember Shaykh Hamza’s point that according to:
    “Imam Dahabi in Siyar alam An nubala:

    "we do not anethematise anyone from the community of believers; rather these are semantic issues upon who's meanings we differ"

    Imam Dahabi remarks that this was also the position of his own teacher, Ibn Taymiyyah towards the end of his life when he said: "we do not anethematise anyone who guards his wudhu as the Prophet [saw] said "only a beleiver guards his wudhu"

    Umar_Italy said:
    "Quote:
    Originally Posted by umar_italy


    Please be more cautious before generalizing takfir.

    Mufti Shafi Usmani and Mufti Taqi Usmani had introduced some of R. Guénon's works in the curriculum of Darul Uloom Karachi some years ago..
    "


    Thank you Umar_Italy for this very important point. I have also known very serious students of the Deoband persuasion who have Rene Guenon’s “The Crisis of the Modern World” and his “The Reign of Quanity and the Signs of the Times” in their libraries along with the works of Hakim al-Ummah Hazrat Ashraf Ali Thanvi’s and others. The point I am trying to reiterate here is Shaykh Hamza’s point that we can benefit from the so called ‘Perennialist’ writers, and in this particular case, Rene Guenon (Shyakh Abd al Wahid Yahya)’s two above mentioned works are arguably the most powerful critiques of modernism ever written (mashaÁllah) ! Such works are important from a Traditional Islamic perspective which seeks to make space for its own perspective in a modernist atmosphere that denigrates religion from its own secular and atheistic point of view. It is this need to incorporate such metaphysical and intellectual ideas which can serve as a great compliment to the heritage of Islamic Theology and our Intellectual tradition, a compliment that is truly needed in our context. If such writers are just anathematized to begin with because of certain ‘abstruse and thorny’ ideas that they may or may not espouse, then a great good will be lost, and we Muslims will miss out on the beneficial knowledge that such Muslims such as Rene Guenon have to offer to us contemporary Muslims. In this sense, one can integrate the metaphysical and philosophical critiques of such perennialist or Traditionalist Muslims such as Rene Guenon, Martin Lings , Seyyed Hossein Nasr and William Chittick, and others into the Ahl as-Sunnah perspective as certain aspects of Greek thought itself were integrated into the ahl as-Sunnah persective when it was called on in the Islamic tradition to critique certain prevalent errors in its times. We should have more hikma when we deal with people and their ideas. And if we cannot achieve this because our anger takes the best of us, then we should follow the Sunnah of our Beloved Prophet (saw) and we should remain silent and refrain from anathematizing people. Ït is better for you”as the Quran says. It is better for our own akhira inshaÁllah.


    And Finally, as to your other points Amjed:
    “so I think what this perrenialist br, or shaykh Hamza [if he indeed did say all of that] is saying here is that, due to the taweel nature of the interpretation of perrenialists like martin lings, it is better to regard their view as bidah and not kufr?
    And:
    He also later clarifies the opinion of the four madhabs. After stating that the opinions of the perennialists are based on highly nuanced interpretation he writes:

    "And while the four schools of Sunni thought anathematise someone who does not adhere to this view, their position is based upon an outright rejection of the position and not those who use ta?wil to arrive at heterodox understandings without denying any meaning expressed in the Quran or the multiply-transmitted narrations of the Prophet, peace be upon him".

    So according to this the perennialists would clearly not be charged with kufr and would at worst have entered into the arena of innovation. Islam is so much broader than we often think it to be.”
    "

    Indeed Islam, in every dimension and on every level of conception-from the juridical to the theological and to the metaphysical and spiritual- is “so much broader than we often think it to be”. As regards to labeling the perspectives of perennialism held by certain Muslims, my opinion (I am not a scholar of Islam so take everything I have said with a grain of salt) is that from the point of view of fiqh and kalaam—regardless of whether they point to a profound and providential truth or secret or not-- it is better to regard such views as a kind of ‘bidah’ and not necessarily as kufr. But whether they are a good bidah (bidat ul hassana) or a bad bidah, I think a good case can be made that such contemporary perspectives on Islam which have produced a multitude of profoundly intellectual, spiritual and inspiring commentaries and approaches to Islam which have drawn contemporary non-Muslims and Westernized Muslims to Islam, and which have contributed greatly to Islam’s positive appreciation by the West on many levels (from the academic to the political), a good case can be made for viewing such ideas as a ‘good bidah’. Indeed a strong case has already been made by these aforementioned achievements. For “the khayr (good) is in what occurs”.

    Allahu Alam,
    hasan
    Asalaamu Alaykum
    Do not be Stingy with Durood on Nabi :saw:
    well...Aren't YOU going to say it?

    اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ
    اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ، وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَعَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ


  10. #10
    Senior Member umar_italy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Gender
    Brother
    Madhhab
    Hanafi
    Location
    As the name suggests... :-)
    Posts
    4,100

    Default Re: What is Perennialism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Zakir View Post
    Humans like to be part of exclusive clubs. And they like putting people outside of their club. The Quran says those who say Allah is one of three are kafirun. As Muslims should we arrogantly look upon all Trinitarian Christians as kafirun who are all bound for hell? BTW, those who reject the Prophet hood of Muhammad are also kafirun, not just Trinitarians. When speaking to Christians is it always a good idea to emphasise their kufr or might it be better to put the shared and common values forward?

    There are subtleties here. Arrogance puts people off. Not everyone has had access to the message of Islam, some may have a very distorted picture....so we need to be wise and vast in our mercy and humility, you never know this might win people over more than a harsh exclusivist invitation to Islam.
    Stating basic Islamic 'aqidah doesn't automatically mean being harsh.
    Otherwise, if you believe one is going to Jannah anyway, why do you need to give them da'wah?

    I've always clearly told to non-Muslims -in a kind, not-harsh way - that they will end up in the Hellfire forever unless they accept Islam, and they didn't find any problem with this. And many alhamdulillah accepted Islam.

    While if you hide this fundamental piece of truth from them, why should they be interested in accepting Islam, if it "doesn't really matter"?...

    When we confuse 'Aqidah with "kindness", it's here that problems arise.

    We'll have been infected by the post-christian modernist western virus of "being nice is more important than speaking truth", and also the idea that speaking truth is something bad and "unkind".


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •