Because of the differences in these different schools of interpretation, a counsel was called in the 15th century, about 700 years after Muhammad, to hash out the differences. They found that they agreed three fourths of the time. The Shafi’i school won the day. Their interpretations were consistently agreed upon by the rest of the schools. They decided that they should put this together in a book, and the book is called the Reliance of the Traveller. According to Islam, the Muslim is on a journey, a pilgrimage, and this book is how he is to walk. He is to rely upon the principles described in the book.
The Reliance of the Traveller has been translated into English. This translation has the stamp of the Al Azhar University. This is the Ivy League school of Islam. It is out of Cairo, Egypt and you don’t get any higher than this is Islamic university. They certified the interpretations in the English language as being accurate and true to Islam. Here is what it says:
To commence: In response to the request you have submitted concerning the examination of the English translation of the book ‘Umdat al-salik wa ‘uddat al-Malik by Ahmad ibn Naqib in the Shafi’i school of jurisprudence, together with appendices by Islamic scholars on matters of Islamic law, tenets of faith, and personal ethics and character: we certify that the above-mentioned translation corresponds to the Arabic original and conforms to the practice of faith of the orthodox Sunni Community (Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama’a). There is no objection to printing it and circulating it.
You can’t get a better confirmation of the accuracy of this from any greater authority. The English translation “ corresponds to the Arabic original and conforms to the practice of faith of the orthodox Sunni Community.” When we use this to support what we say Islam believes, the apologists cannot say that it is our interpretation. This is a powerful weapon when confronting the false teachings concerning Islam and Islamic teachings put forth by the apologists. Remember, Sunni Islam is, by far, the largest faction in Islam. It includes both ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
The Reformers and the apologists want us to believe that the violence was just for the seventh century, No, it if for today. My copy has copyrights of 1991 and 1994, and the last reprint was 2011.
The Reliance of the Traveller is more valuable for understanding Islam than the Qur’an, itself. It explains what is meant by the Qur’anic passages, and quotes both the Qur’an and the Sunnah to back up its interpretations. It is an easy reference manual because it is laid out by subject matter. If you want to know about marriage, you go to the section on marriage. If you want to know about jihad, you go to the section on jihad.
There are two aspects of Sharia. The first is that which is hoped for when the Muslim is in a non-Muslim country. There are those things that they cannot do when they are in the land of unbelievers, called the House of War. When they are in a place where Islam has the upper hand, called the House of Islam, there are things that they must do, which would be excused in the House of War. There are things that must be done in both houses, like daily prayers, the five pillars, and so forth.
About one third of the Reliance of the Traveller deals with religious obligations, how to pray, how to fast, how to take pilgrimages, etc. These are the things that would be protected under our First Amendment and religious freedom. We have no problem with this part of the book. Where we have a problem is with the last two thirds of the book. This deals with the government under Islam. It includes civil, criminal, marriage, custody, financial, political, dealing with non-Muslims, and military issues. In Islam, there is no separation from that which is religious and that which is civil.
The biggest problem the West has in understanding Islam is that there is no separation between the religion of Islam and the government of Islam. I don’t know why the West has so much trouble understanding this, it is evident in every Islamic state. If we understand this, it is easy to understand that the goal of Islam is to establish Sharia Law in every nation.
If you have my book, Refuting Islam, you have all of the ugly, evil stuff that is found in the Islamic scriptures. It has many quotes from the Reliance of the Traveller, and as we have seen, this corresponds the the faith and practice of a faithful Muslim. It deals with how women are to be treated in Islam, slavery, and many other doctrines that are offensive to us in the West.
When I hear some apologist say that Islam has abolished slavery, it almost makes me laugh. The sad thing is, those who are not informed will probably believe this. Not only does Sharia endorse slavery, in some cases it is obligatory.
You may ask, aren’t there differences in the various schools of Islam just as there are differences between Christian denominations? The answer is yes and no. There my be differences on how the law is carried out. For example, the ISIS strain of Islam (see above) believes that homosexuals are to be thrown off a high place to be killed. In Iran, the Shi’ites interpret that to hang them on a crane. In Syria they are throwing them off buildings. The bottom line is, the Reliance of the Traveller, their Sharia law book, says very clearly that homosexuality is not only a sin, homosexuals are to be killed. The consequences of the law are not contested, the how to carry it out is different. Since ISIS can’t really decide which way to kill homosexuals, they both throw them off a cliff and then stone them afterward.
There is no argument when it come to the treatment of women. There is no argument when it comes to killing apostates, there is no argument on the major issues. Any argument that there is, would be over how to carry out the punishment.
There is also no argument over who the non-Muslims are, and how they are to be dealt with. The Reliance of the Traveller makes it clear that jihad is about killing non-Muslims.
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