Home Insights and Teachings The Lack of Quranic Culture

The Lack of Quranic Culture

The R. A. SayyedMuhammad HusseinFadlullah (ra)

The problem that the Muslim world faces in many of its parts is the lack of the Quranic culture that is open on the issues of faith, man and life. Those in charge of spreading and calling for Islam did not focus on this culture. Instead, their major concern was the juristic studies, which the

Hawza[1]are overwhelmed with. This makes them unable to direct their Muslim communities todeepen their relations,and their knowledge of the Quran, as well as interpreting and analyzingit, for itis not among theiracademic concerns.

The problem may be that they are overwhelmed with the traditions of the Prophet(p.) and the Imams (a.s) without verifying their authenticity or checking theirconceptional content. This makes those in charge of this kind of Quranicculture drown in  an  Islamic cultural chaos, as their  concern with  thenarrationsof the virtues of (certain  Muslim figures)that are  based on unreliable  interpretations exceeds  theirinterestsin the Islamic conceptsthat  enable  the Muslim to comprehend the  Quranic truths and its general conceptsregardingthe movement in  life.

Caringabout sectarian personalities might outweigh by far that of theinterest in the Quranic culture,despite the fact that it is the basis of Islamicknowledge. Thus, they focus on the particular traits of these figuresat the expense of the Quran…this problem[is aggravated by] the fact that there are several schools of Quranic interpretations.

It is also ironic that the concern in the Quran has been reduced to the vocal aspect ofreciting it. There are even those who are good at reciting the Quran, but they are ignorant of its meanings. We may also find some religious scholars who subject the Quran to the Hadith without checking the validity of its sources, instead of subjecting the Hadith to the Quran. This have led  to many negative resultsincluding theincorrect understanding of the Quran, especially in the issues related to the sectarian particularities of which there are many different views. They also added to thismethodology,the attempts to clarifythe inner meanings of the Quranic verses, although the interpretations they came up with are not related to the apparent meanings.

Thus, the original meanings of theQuran weredissociatedfrom the Islamic culturalmentalities, as a result of thisoverwhelming chaos of different trends and concerns. Moreover,traditions, too, have turned the Quran into a book that is read tothe dead, or a book that cures illnesses or one that is used in Istikhara[2], instead of being a book of awareness, culture and Islamic originality. 

The Quran is the light

The Quran represents the light that illuminates to the Islamic mind the Islamictruths whether infaith, Sharia and life or in the movement of thereality. Allah, the Most Exalted, wanted thepeople tostudy and comprehend it in aprofound scientific manner and try to inspire from its verses everythingthat is related to theissues of man in his general situations andin the arenas of struggle. He wanted them to open up to its methodology of dialogue and preaching, since the mind is the basis ofcommunicatingwith the otherminds. Thus, the dialogue will be from one mind to another, not from a mind to an instinct!

In this respect, man should consider science a humanvirtuethat elevateshim,by increasinghis  knowledge and learningthe secrets  of the universe and  the facts of  the human soul  and life, as  well ashow  to deal with man’s ambitions  and the diversities of the reality, by  means of the Islamic rules that identify what is right and what is wrong,whether  in the course of life or in arena of the  struggle, especially in the  general  political and social domains.

Quran is the book of the Islamic movement

TheQuran, which Allah, the Most Exalted,revealedtoHis Messenger(p.), is the book of the Islamic  movement, of the Messenger and  the Muslims who were with him,  in the  course of  the Call and in the challengesof the struggle and in war  and peace. Thus, Muslims  in every time and place  should inspire its general principles that  convey the Islamic  experience in  its  various  situations, as well as challenges and counter-challenges, and actions and reactions, in addition of being  committed to  emulate the Messenger(p.)’smissionary personality in his biography, relations and private and public life. They should learn from the difficult experience the prophets lived with their peoples and revive the general concepts that areassociated with several aspects of their lives when facing the other trends orideologies.

The Muslim community ought to be educated on all the (Islamic)cultural elementstocreate a spiritualpractical andideological immunity so as not to beaffected by the non-Islamic currents, since the influence of these currents and its effect in the Muslim community hasbeen produced by the inexistence of an Islamic cultural methodology thatclasheswith the other disbelieving anddeviating methodologies. This state of vacuum might speed upthe deviation of man, as a result of the various means that addresses chis feelings financial ambitions andinstincts.

The Quran creates awareness

We believe that the profound study of the Quran, and its original Islamic concepts that is open on all the issues of man, reality and life, is the one that creates the awareness that protects the Muslims from the hegemony of the other currents over their doctrinal.  Juristic and cultural resources in general.

Going back to the Quran to achieve proximity between the sectsrequires a deep understanding of the Quranic facts,through a specialized culture that is based on authenticating the methodology, which represents the basis of the evaluation of any idea. And this in turn requires :

·       A thorough comprehension of Arabic grammar and meanings

·       Authenticating the source and content of theHadithsof TheProphet(p.)andAhl Al-Beit(a.s.).

By this methodology, we can formulatethe criteria of the correct understanding of the Quran ,its goals and its baselines.

In the light of this, being more accurate in applying the rules and criteria prevents the deviated parties fromaccentuating their thoughts that they claim and thatthey refer them to the Quran.  This  applies in  particulartotheTakifiris,  who  have failed toemploy their  interpreting and juristic methodology, or rely on the Quran to assert their superficialcriteria to  differentiate  between the believers and  the disbelievers,which   they  depend  on  tostigmatize otherMuslimsof different opinions.Especially inissues of theoneness of Allah, the Most Exalted, and ascribing partners toHim, which they do not have any juristic or logical proof of.

New understanding of the Quranic text

Ourquesttorenew the understanding of theQuranic text is not the product ofa cultural complex  that seeks to renew  our Islamic culture and cancel the old understandingsheld by other  interpreters in  their judgments ,who relied on the  commonly accepted old texts  and their  inductions and analysis to  prove the rightness of this or that sect. Moreover, it is certainly not a product of an intellectual state thatbelievesthat theyare wrong both in their understanding and methodology.

  However,so as not to  be imprisoned  by the previous  judgments of the scholars of various sects whosework, we appreciateand respect, we tried  to study the Quran by theIslamic  interpretative culture we possess,as well as some of the new methodologies man has discovered, in additiontoour original understanding of the apparent meaning  of the Quranic verses. We  also tried to compare between  the results  of  our  judgments , analysis  and inspirations  to reach  a  decisive new understanding  that is different than that of the others.

We do not believe in thesacredness ofthe old texts of falliblescholars. Just as they differed in their ways of understanding the Quranand in various juristic and doctrinal issues  without considering this a religious or a scholarly problem , we also have the right to differ with them if we discover something ( that does not conform with their views). It is natural that the basis of this methodology is the scholarly Islamic piety that relies on the arguments and proof, not the mood and the passions.

 A dialogue with Ar-ramadaniyaBahraini Magazine 15-9-2007.

[1] educational institution which involves teaching religious ideas and educating religious students

[2]using a rosary or quran book or a prayer through a duaa  to ask Allah if an action is good or bad.