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A Reflection on the Qur'an, Heritage and Education - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Class 23 July 2012 A Reflection on the Qur’an, Heritage, and Education This book is based on a project called “Islam and Social Change.” Fazlur Rahman aims to study the main features and weaknesses of medieval Islamic educational system…
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A Reflection on the Qur'an, Heritage and Education

Download file to see previous pages... This essay reflects on his ideas on the subjects of the Qur’an, laws, and education. It agrees with the foundations that the Qur’an laid for a comprehensive viewpoint on lawmaking and legal interpretation, as well as on a modern educational system that balances religious and rational sciences. The Qur’an is the foundation of Islam, which supports it as a way of life. The Qur’an is different from other religious texts, because it focuses on the moral development of humanity in a tangible and communal way (Rahman 2). It is different from Buddhist and Taoist texts that tend to be metaphysical or individualist in orientation. The Holy Bible of Christianity also attempts to morally guide Christians as individuals and as a community, but it does not attempt to affect the legal and political dimensions of human living. The Qur’an, on the other hand, is a blueprint not only for individual living, but how individuals should live together. It is a practical and moral guide for numerous issues, including peace, war, and various other public and private affairs (Rahman 2). This paper believes then that the basis of saying that Islam is a way of living is because the Qur’an provides for the direction of that way of living. In Christian societies, the Church and the law are separate, and so are the Church and legislative and executive functions of society. Muslim jurists, on the contrary, use the Qur’an to find answers to both historical and present-day legal questions and cases (Rahman 2). The idea is that God lives through the words of the Qur’an and to follow it completely entails that Muslims should believe in and depend on the Qur’an completely. This way, they truly fully surrender to Allah through living the Qur’an in every aspect of their existence. This essay agrees with Rahman that one of the main problems with present Islamic jurisprudence is the failure of jurists to have a unified reading of the Qur’an, which leads to an atomistic and insufficient understanding of the verses and the entire Qur’an itself. Rahman criticizes the deductive reasoning used on the Qur’an, such as using qiyas, or analogical reasoning, because it reduces it to its parts, instead of using the parts to appreciate it as a whole (Rahman 2). Like Rahman, this essay believes that to properly read the Qur’an, people must go beyond literally reading the verses, and instead, they must read it in relation to the whole of the text too. In other words, the process starts from the specific and then goes to the general goals and values of the text. Rahman is concerned that by diving the text into verses, they will have unintended legal and religious interpretations (Rahman 2-3). In order to properly read the Qur’an, this paper believes too that the thought systems must come from it, and not from external sources, like what the Sufis did (Rahman 3). This way, fundamental ideas and thought structures will be derived from the Qur’an itself and not from the outside, which are forced on the Qur’an instead (Rahman 3). Rahman calls his process as a new hermeneutical method that highlights the cognitive aspect of the Qur’an (4). It consists of studying the Qur’an using its text, instead of relying on external resources to make sense of it. For me, it means that interpreting the Qur’an does not require outside sources, but an analysis of what the text means in its parts and then as a whole. The idea is to go inside the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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