It has become a norm in our era to label acceptable practices in religion as innovations. Unfortunately, our Masājid have become arenas of disputation and debate; luminaries and high-ranking Islamic scholars are branded as innovators. Many issues that have a legitimate basis in religion are rejected under the pretext that they are innovations not found in the early era of Islām. One such issue is the ruling of delivering a lecture prior to the Jumu‘a prayer. Many people claim that the prohibition of delivering a lecture before Jumu‘a can be inferred from Hadīth. Further, they assert that such a practice was not found among our pious predecessors. Hence, it is an innovation.
The article before you is an abridged translation of the treatise “Mashrū‘iyyat al-Dars Qabl Salāt al-Jumu‘a” by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Wahhāb al-Mahiyya. In this article, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Wahhāb has conducted a brilliant research in which he adequately addresses each objection posed by those who assert that the practice is an innovation. He proves that far from being an innovation, numerous Sahāba, Tabi‘ūn and people of knowledge have lectured in their Masājid before Jumu‘a. In fact, he submits that there is a basis for this practice from the blessed Hadīth.
Since this is the most detailed article we have come across on the topic, we felt it appropriate to translate it for the benefit of those interested in the topic. We ask Allāh to accept this effort and make it a means of clarifying any doubts in this regard. Amīn
A Glance at Contemporary Approaches to Islamic Jurisprudence
By Shaykh Salāh Abū al-Hājj
Translated by Muntasir Zaman
All praise belongs to Allah. We praise Him, seek assistance from Him, and ask of Him forgiveness and guidance. We send blessings on His chosen and noble Messenger, who was sent with the upright Sharī‘ah for the guidance of all the worlds; and [we send blessings] on his progeny and his brilliant and fortunate companions, those who were loyal to his commands and trod on his sublime path; and [we send blessings] on those who followed them in excellence from the practicing scholars, those who preserved His religion and way until the Day of Judgment.
It is amongst the greatest necessities of this time that various Islāmic notions concerning different aspects of life are corrected, as a result of the religious isolation in which we live due the subjugation of the disbelievers and the spread of the intellectual incursion that has engulfed our lives.
Amongst the most distinct of these notions to have encountered confusion and great error in terms of its understanding is Islāmic Jurisprudence (al-Fiqh al-Islāmī), which the Muslims have ruled in accordance with, and have approved of, for the duration of fifteen centuries, in all aspects of their life. Thus, it would keep pace with those situations that newly emerged, and presented to them legislative solutions for all their religious, collective and financial problems. [This was] because their attitude towards Fiqh was an attitude of submission, reverence, honor and estimation, due to their confidence in the knowledge and piety of its imams, and that they put themselves up for [the task of] pursuing Islāmic rulings from their detailed evidences with complete integrity and scrupulousness. Read the rest of this entry »