When properly understood, these concepts safeguard peace and protect the sanctity of life. They exemplify the divine mercy that Islam brought on the tongue of the Prophet of Mercy, Muhammad, may God’s peace and blessings be upon him. When these concepts are misunderstood and adulterated in both form and meaning, they morph into a contradiction of their original purpose, goal, and aim, and so the mercy is replaced by punishment for the community, suffered by the criminal and innocent alike, spreading to both the learned and the ignorant equally.
Some of the reasons for these misconceptions are as follows:
a.There is a disconnect between the Islamic dictates and their stipulations: The five rulings of Islamic law (obligation, recommendation, permissibility, discouragement, and prohibition) are regulated by the legal stipulations, which are legal causes, preconditions, and preventatives.
It is only from combining both the dictates and their stipulations that a proper understanding develops; if we separate the commands and prohibitions from fulfilling the preconditions, establishing the presence of legal causes, and ensuring the lack of preventatives, then the rulings contravene and contradict Islamic law. To state it more simply, the relationship between applying the rulings and the implications of both time and place and the positive and negative consequences has been severed.
b.The relationship between means and end has been distorted: Any disconnection between the ends and goals as well as the means and tools leads to violating Islamic law. That is because the means to evil ends are also evil, and noble ends can be reached only by noble means. So one cannot use genocide, murder, oppression, or vengeance to establish truth and justice.
c.The four values upon which Islamic law is built—wisdom, justice, mercy, and the common good—have been degraded.
This is Not the Path to Paradise - Response to ISIS
Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah
President, Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies September 14, 2014
Document written by 250 muslim scholars and thinkers.
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