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Is This How Religion Should Be Narrated?

The three sentences you will read below are all mine. All three have the same subject, and all three narrate the same incident. Let’s read them together carefully.

1- It was years ago. During a conversation with the youth, I was narrating the sermon that Respectable Abu Bakr had delivered in the mosque before he was given allegiance.

2- It was years ago. During a conversation with the youth, I was narrating the speech that Respectable Abu Bakr had given on the pulpit after being chosen as the Commander of the Faithful and the promises he made to the people in that speech.

3- It was years ago. During a conversation with the youth, I was analyzing the government program that Respectable Abu Bakr read in the parliament before the vote of confidence was held after he was elected as the head of state.

First sentence: Caliph, mosque, allegiance, sermon.

Second sentence: Commander of the Faithful, mosque, allegiance, speech.

Third sentence: Head of state, parliament, vote of confidence, government program.

If the purpose is to narrate the first speech Respectable Abu Bakr made after being elected as the head of state in a way that today’s people can understand, which sentence will serve this purpose best?

I will give one more example.

1- The objectives of Islamic jurisprudence, as determined by Islamic scholars, are five principles: preserving intellect, preserving religion, preserving wealth, preserving life, and preserving lineage.

2- The objectives of Islamic jurisprudence, which mean understanding the purposes of the practical rulings found in religious texts, have been classified by Islamic scholars as follows: preserving intellect, preserving religion, preserving wealth, preserving life, and preserving lineage.

3- Our scholars have identified five main categories to understand the purposes of legal regulations based on religious principles. These are: preserving intellect, preserving religion, preserving wealth, preserving life, and preserving lineage.

I am asking the same question again: if the purpose is to explain how the objectives of legal regulations based on the Quran and the Sunnah are understood, which sentence serves this purpose best?

Now let’s move on to examples. Respectable Abu Bakr’s sermon/speech/government program is already an example in itself.

As for the other one:

Preserving intellect: The most precious asset of a human being is their intellect. Intellect is the most fundamental faculty that distinguishes humans from other living and non-living beings. It must be protected.

Preserving religion: Believers should defend their religion against attacks.

Preserving wealth: Preserving wealth means not squandering what one has earned through their hard work, using it wisely, and protecting it in the face of external threats.

Preserving life: The right to life is one of the fundamental human rights. Therefore, necessary regulations should be made to ensure that individuals lead a life in accordance with human dignity. In this context, international humanitarian law plays a significant role.

Preserving lineage: One of the most important public duties of the state is to allocate funds from the state budget to undertake monumental services that cannot be accomplished through individual efforts alone. This encompasses a wide range of areas from environmental regulations to education and healthcare services.

Now, I ask the same question again: if the purpose is to understand and explain the objectives of legal regulations based on the Quran and the Sunnah, which examples serve this purpose better?

You might ask, ‘Doesn’t this mean secularizing the religious language?’ Yes, I have this concern, but I would like to emphasize the following: both Respectable Abu Bakr’s sermon and the concept of “the objectives of Islamic jurisprudence” are presented within the context of Islam and the state, Islamic state, and state-citizen relations. They are offering these in a language that does not distinguish modern state concepts and practices from the tribal state, city-state, or administrative council formed by the union of tribes established in the Hejaz region 1445 years ago. In other words, they are evaluating yesterday through today’s value judgments. So why aren’t they renewing the language and updating the examples? Is this how religion is to be conveyed?

It’s not over; I will write another article.”

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AHMET KURUCAN
AHMET KURUCAN
Dr. Ahmet Kurucan is a an author and scholar focusing on Islamic Studies and Law.
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