RELIGST 3C03 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Muhammad Abduh, Maslaha, Sharia

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Started on: 19/01/2015 21:40:00
McMaster University, Winter 2015
Muhammad Abduh
- Modernization
- “Following the West?”
- Azhar had remained out of touch with reality
- Mufti
- Afghani was too meddled with constantinople castle
Mu’tazili theology at Azhar - “Some western learning”
- Praised reason at the center
- We know things because reason tells us
- How do we know that killing is evil?
oObedience is evil and good….
- Mu’tazili theology was centered on reason
- Reason can tell us what the law is, although it cannot give us detail.
oNo law of God cannot be unreasonable
oLaw must be important for human conduct
oHuman beings need laws
oThese laws must be relevant at the time
oLaws that were instituted in the classical period of Islam (Starts when Prophet is born
570, ends with 1258) - When the Mongols conquered Baghdad
oPositive law means a law that develops with time - no such a thing as a “final” law
Circumstances change, therefore the law must also change
Positive law means a newer law
We cannot use European laws to govern Egyptian Society
At this time, many had replaced Muslim laws with European laws.
“Why do we need European laws to tell us what to do and how to
- Abduh said that God gave us general principles only - can derive specific rules through reasoning
of Maslaha (Interest or welfare of the community)
oWhat is in the interest of the community must also be God’s objective
oGod does not keep a law out of randomness, but because it is in our best interest
oGod does not wish difficulties, but only ease.
The law must be connected to the welfare of the community
- Law connected to Maslaha - Especially when it is not mentioned in the sources
- Islamic Law divided into TWO PARTS
oIn Mu’Milat we have general guidelines (but questions of Law, business, etc. these are
between human beings)
oIbadat are those transactions between you and God
- Not only is Ijitihad permitted, it is a must
oWe need reasoning
oYou do not change laws between You and God
- Abduh argued against polygamy - 4:3 and 4:129 it was permitted due to prevalent conditions
Angie © McMaster University
Winter 2015
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