How to Approach Islamic Sources

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In this post, I will list a few principles, or rules, to follow when dealing with a source in Islam. This will clarify how to properly handle these sources to avoid unnecessary and incorrect interpretations. I will use simple language to make the following information easily understandable.

  1. An authentic source that provides a clear meaning can’t be debated.
    This might be the easiest principle, in which either a verse having a clear order or hadith with direct writings prevents the possibility of debate or assumptions. For example حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمْ أُمَّهَاتُكُمْ وَبَنَاتُكُمْ وَأَخَوَاتُكُمْ وَعَمَّاتُكُمْ وَخَالَاتُكُمْ

(( “Prohibited to you [for marriage] are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father’s sisters, your mother’s sisters,” 4:23 ))

There are many examples of this level of order in the Quran and Sunnah.

  1. An authentic source might have more than one correct interpretation.

This is one of the most critical principles that confuses many today. Instead of taking a more profound look at a source, like a hadith or verse, some will reject the source immediately—not the interpretation. However, there can be multiple interpretations of a verse or source, and all of them may be true. Muslims can choose which interpretation to accept, as long as it follows the rules of the language and doesn’t promote a false belief or not related to Language or understanding. A good example is a hadith in Bukhari:
(( “When the Prophet (ﷺ) returned from the battle of Al-Ahzab [The confederates], he said to us, ‘None should offer the ‘Asr prayer but at Bani Quraiza.’ The ‘Asr prayer became due for some of them on the way. Some of them decided not to offer the Salat but at Bani Quraiza while others decided to offer the Salat on the spot and said that the intention of the Prophet (ﷺ) was not what the former party had understood. And when that was told to the Prophet (ﷺ) he did not blame anyone for them.” ))

In this example, the Prophet accepted both interpretations. Some took his words as they were and understood that they needed to move fast and pray in a specified way. Although the interpretations are different, they share the same principle of following the order. This example demonstrates that a difference in views is tolerated for a source, as long it remains within the limits of the language and it didn’t drop a must which Asar prayer in this case.

  1. The authenticity of a source is not related miss interpretation or misunderstanding.

This issue is seen more and more in modern times, where a lack of understanding and knowledge of Islam has become widespread. Local culture and regional influence play a role in views, which might result in falsely interpreting the source or taking it out of context to satisfy a group’s need or ideology. This problem creates another problem, where the individual doubting the source tends to disqualify the source entirely or even reject an entire sector of the Islamic source. This represents fighting extremism with extremism, which is unwarranted. and not related to the authenticity of the source nor the right meaning of the source.

those are few points on how Source or evidence from Quran and Sunnah is take

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