Author: Dr Rizwan Syed
Compared to some other religions, Islam does have a number of rules and indeed, many people see Islam as a set of rules, and measure piety by how strict a person is in finding extra rules and adhering to them.
We cannot deny that our life mission is to please God, so that we can hope for a life of eternal happiness. And part of pleasing God is to honour His commandments, seeking a life that remains true to them.
“Allah is good and does not accept anything but good.”
(Muslim and Tirmidhi)
“Anyone who desires what is Halal from the world… will meet his Lord with a face shining like the moon.”
(Bukhari and Muslim)
In shari’ah, the rules (ahkam) are thus graded, in order of their seriousness – i.e. how important it is to do or not do them:
In the past 100 years, the world has changed in almost every way, and continues to change at an increasingly dizzy pace. A way of life that had remain unchanged for centuries, now seems at odds with modernity. Many things that made sense and worked in the past, cause problems today. Many other things are entirely new and bear little relation to the issues for which rules were established centuries ago (e.g. illicit drugs or smoking).
Because the matter of halal and haram is so important, the issue causes a great deal of anxiety and even debate today. People are quick to hurl labels at one another, based on how much they want to restrict themselves, labels such as the following:
In the end, what all parties fail to realise is that everyone is trying to sincerely practice what they see as the best interpretation of Islam.
So, putting accusations aside, here we will look at five basic rules that will help keep us all safe as individuals and also help us keep the peace and restore love and respect between people with differing perspectives…