Op Ed: A Community is Judged by It’s Conduct says al-Kasani

Please read my op-ed in today’s Orlando Sentinel. Comments on my WordPress page are welcome.

ʿAlā al-Dīn Abū Bakr al-Kāsānī (d. 1189) in what might be a throw away line in his Badāʾiʿ al-Ṣanāʾiʿ fī Tartīb al-Sharaʾiʿ, The Immaculate Calling in Ordering Normative Traditions really startled me. He wrote: المذاهب تمتحن بعبادها/ al-madhāhib tumtaḥanu bi ʿibādihā vol 3:466, Kitāb al-Nikāḥ. I translate this as: schools of thought or moral orders are tested by the their followers. Kāsānī’s editor writes, bi fasād ʿibādihā, by the corruption of its followers. I thought this man’s insights required commentary and he shares a common sense sensibility over time. So I started my op ed by channeling the insight of Kāsānī.

About ebrahimmoosa

Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA
This entry was posted in Ethics, Islam in America, Islamic Law/Ethics, Islamic studies scholarship, sacrilege, scholars, scholarship. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Op Ed: A Community is Judged by It’s Conduct says al-Kasani

  1. nmr says:

    My current way of looking at this problem, especially the slavery debate you mention at the end of your piece, is the clash of theological interpretative lenses. If you have a liberationist outlook, then slavery is antithetical to message of freedom inherent in spiritual texts. If you have an obedience outlook, then God wants us to obey and you only look for messages of rules, regulations, and prescriptions in canonical texts. It all gets back to God, Iblis, and Adam. Does God want humans to be free or to be obedient? I suspect the answer is “yes”, which means I haven’t worded the question properly.


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