: Feb 05, 2014

In the post Ottoman phase of recent Islamic history the mechanism by which students of sacred knowledge were trained and prepared was altered. This mechanism – …

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In the post Ottoman phase of recent Islamic history the mechanism by which students of sacred knowledge were trained and prepared was altered. This mechanism – from being a method that was linked to a chain (sanad) of transmission – was reconstructed into an academic approach for studying the sacred sciences. The latter replaced the former.

Academia, as a modern research methodology produced by the human mind, is extremely beneficial when it complements the traditional Islamic methodology bequeathed to us through a continuous chain of transmission.

The moment academia serves to replace traditional methodology as the primary tool through which religion is understood, disaster occurs. It is then that rules and regulations are flaunted. In the past no one would dare to ascend the pulpit except he was authorised to do so by a scholar who testified to his knowledge, behaviour, morality and ability. Today the situation of who speaks for Islam is chaotic.

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