Is There Any Affinity Between Islamic and Christian Mazhabs (Schools of Law)?
There are great diversities between Islamic and Christian schools of law. The Islamic schools are of the same opinion regarding the basic principles of belief and worshipping. As for the Christian schools, they concluded to confutation and misguidance of one another; each one became virtually a separate religion. There had been long lasting wars among them.
The underlying ground of the difference between the Islamic and Christian schools is the form of emergence of these schools of law.
We see that Islamic schools are based on three main sources:
The first one is the Quran. The schools came forth out of the various commentary of the verses open to different independent judgments of the same Quran.
As for Christianity, there are many versions of the Bible. The number of the gospels going up to seventy was decreased to only four in the Iznik meeting. It became almost inevitable that the separate schools originating from various Bibles came into existence just like a completely new religion.
Hadith forms the second basis for it. The messenger of Allah himself made new interpretations (ijtihads) on the Law, and these independent judgments became significant sources for mazhab leaders. Hazrat Eesa (Jesus) has not made any independent judgments on the Bible.
The third source is the interpretations by the companions of the Prophet. Some of these judgments were made when the Prophet was alive and they were welcomed by him. Upon the permission of the Messenger of Allah for the scholars of his companions to make independent judgments on the Law, the companions made plenty of interpretations. And those commentaries are the third important source for the schools of law.
Now you see that the sect leaders made independent judgments on some new matters not explicitly explained by those three sources. And they constitute only ten percent of the Shari'a.
As for Christianity, no interpretation of the law attributed to apostles is in question.
Since this is the case, clergymen were devoid of those three sources mentioned above and they were free to make any statements in accordance with their own pleasures, assumptions and even sometimes their benefits and as a result, diverse schools of law which are contrary to each other emerged.
Christianity was employed in the hands of the spiritual leaders as a means of tyranny and oppression.
Badiuzzaman Said Nursi stated this point as follows:
For a long time the Christian religion and particularly the Catholic Church, had been a means of domination and despotism in the hands of the upper and ruling classes. It was by that means that the upper class perpetuated its influence over the ordinary people. And since it was the means of oppressing the patriots, who were those who were awakened among the common people and were called Jacobins, and was the means of oppressing the freedom-seeking thinkers, who attacked the despotism of the upper class tyrants, and since for nearly four hundred years it had been considered to be a cause, through revolutions in Europe, of overturning the stability of social life, the Catholic Church had been attacked, not in the name of irreligion, but by the other Christian sects.
On the other hand, the principle think firstly and thereafter believe is dominant in Islam. Unlike Islam, Christianity is prevailed by the superstition you must believe without any contemplation, and then you must not reckon either. Since the religion is contrary to the decrees of the reason in Christianity. Moreover, deep thinking about the faith is unbelief. The advice by one of the spiritual leaders of Christian is never take the mind as your guidance on the grounds that the religion is opposite to the reasoning as a whole.
Islam enjoins to accept something after thorough proof and evidence. As for Christians, it is in vain engaging yourself in the evidence. Those occupying themselves with evidence are belittled. The priests were never able to satisfy the mind with the suppositions they indoctrinated for the sake of religion, and failed to soothe the conscience. They managed to fool only the ones incapable of discerning what is good and bad.
Badiuzzaman said the following in his work entitled Damascus Sermon:
We Muslims, who are students of the Qur'an, follow proof; we approach the truths of belief through reason, thought, and our hearts. We do not abandon proof in favor of blind obedience and imitation of the clergy like some adherents of other religions. He advises in one of his ,works, do not let every word uttered penetrate into your hearts. Here are the words I have said to you. Let them remain in the hands of your imagination; weigh them on the scale. If they turn out to be gold, keep them in your hearts.
When the truths put forward by the leading interpreters and guides of Islamic law are analyzed, it will be confirmed that those truths are based on the reasonable and transmitted evidence.
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