Ultimately, The Holy Koran Is The Only Source Of Authority In Islam

1618 words - 6 pages

The Holy Qur'an, most sacred book of Islam, is a collection of revelations from Allah to the Prophet Muhammad. The Qur'an acts as a guide for the Muslim, covering all aspects of everyday Muslim life. The Qur'an is by far the most important and influential foundation of Islam, but it is not the only source of authority. In addition to the Qur'an, the Sunnah of the Prophet, preserved in the hadiths, offers guidance on proper Islamic conduct. The approved practice of the community (ijma) is another source of authority, while Ijtihad is the practice of finding judgement on issues not covered in the Qur'an. Additionally the Sharia is the body of laws which govern the Islamic state. While there are several sources of authority in Islam, the Qur'an is overwhelmingly the most important, and it is only through the Qur'an that other sources gain their stature.It cannot be doubted that the Qur'an is the 'supreme authority' of Islam. Allah is the ultimate source of authority, and it is his word revealed to the Prophet Muhammad that is preserved in the Created Qur'an - a direct copy of the Uncreated Qur'an, written in Arabic and existing in heaven with Allah. The Angel Gabriel revealed the words of the Qur'an to the Prophet Muhammad. Muhammad regarded this as Allah's 'standing miracle' - Muhammad himself was illiterate, so, claim Muslims, the Qur'an had to be the word of Allah. Furthermore the Qur'an is considered a literary masterpiece, a collection of beautiful prose unrivalled in the Muslim world, and surely a heavenly text.The Qur'an states, 'In the month of Ramadan the Koran was revealed, a book of guidance for mankind with proofs of guidance distinguishing right from wrong' (2:185). The Qur'an includes an immense amount of guidance in many areas. There are rules regarding;modesty, marriage, divorce, inheritance, feuding, intoxicants, gambling, diet, theft, murder, fornication and adultery. Exploitation of the poor, weak, widows, women, orphans and slaves is vividly condemned. False contracts, bribery, abuse of women, hoarding of wealth and usury are denounced.Some Muslims claim that 'everything' can be found in the Qur'an. Huston Smith argues that it is not possible to place too much emphasis on how central the Qur'an is to the Muslim, and to how important it is in the creation of other Islamic doctrines and hence sources of authority. It is expected that children memorise large sections of the Qur'an, and it shapes the understanding of every part of Muslim life . Philip K. Hitti notes; 'not only is it the basis of the religion, the canon of ethical and moral life, but also the textbook in which the Moslem begins his study of language, science, theology, and jurisprudence'.Often described as second in authority, or complementary to the Qur'an is the Sunnah of the Prophet. 'Sunnah' means the 'trodden path'. Originally referring to the accepted practices and traditions of a community, which too is a source of Islamic authority in itself, the Sunnah came...

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