How Does Islam Determine What Is ‘Islamic’?
What relationship does the Islamic State, ISIS, have to Islam? Almost every Western politician answers: “Absolutely nothing.” President Obama adamantly stated in a televised address that the Islamic State “is not Islamic.”
So how does one determine what is, and is not, Islamic? The traditional process — the Islamic answer — is as follows:
What do the core texts and scriptures of Islam say about the thing in question? Does the Koran, believed by Muslims to contain the literal commands of Allah, call for or justify it? Do the hadith and sira texts — which purport to record the sayings and deeds of Allah’s prophet, whom the Koran (e.g., 33:21) exhorts Muslims to emulate in all ways — call for or justify it?
If any ambiguity still remains, the next inquiry is: what is the consensus (ijma‘) of the Islamic world’s leading authorities concerning it? Here, one most often turns to the tafsirs, or exegeses of Islam’s most learned men — the ulema – and considers their conclusions....
Muhammad himself reportedly said that “my umma [Islamic nation] will never be in agreement over an error.”
It is false to say, as President Obama does, that the Islamic State “is not Islamic.” Indeed, even in the most savage of details — including triumphing over the mutilated corpses of “infidels” and laughing while posing with their decapitated heads — the Islamic State finds support in the Koran and stories of the prophet.
It is dishonest to accept the methodology of Islamic jurisprudence — is “X” part of the Koran, hadith, sira, and does it have consensus among the ulema? – only to reject this same methodology whenever “X” makes Islam look “bad.” In the context of jihad, all that the Islamic State is doing — beheadings, crucifixions, massacres, enslavements, and subjugation of religious minorities — is Islamic.
Read this cogent and still relevant article, at PJ Media here.