April 16, 2009

Variant Interpretations

Interpretation seems to be the root of all conflicts. The variant degrees to interpret religious texts is the main cause of societal conflict and divide. If we look at the history of Islamic thought, we may realise that this very 'variation' of Islamic interpretation is evident in the existence of the four school of thoughts, Hanbali, Hanafi, Shaf'i, and Malki. These, to me, are merely different 'efforts' by human beings like me and you who made personal conclusions on some Islamic issues. They all may very well be 'correct' in their own sense.

Perhaps it is the 'reasoning' that matter. Just like a research paper, your conclusion is right according to your epistemological and methodological methods that you are following. One must be able to defend one's position. Often times it is embedded in one's own background, religious, educational, societal and also time line in Earth. This may be why many things are best left flexible, this flexibility beautifies our religious system. Life is never meant to be black or white, there are gradients between the whites and blacks. In fact, the white colour must reflect all colours once entered into a transparent body. This transparency is what is vital to have, the transparent clear open mind. However, the limitations and guidelines are clear-cut, because these are meant to be the boundaries of one own's territory and freedom.

Therefore, 'generalisation' of one's thought process becomes problematic. Especially when one intrude into other's space, this disrupts their thought process and dilute their intrinsic clarity. I see Islam as a very 'holistic' way of life. It requires you to 'submit' to one basic belief that unify your believes and channel them into one 'right path'. The saviour tools are given to you, Quraan and Sunnah, together with your own brain and heart, you are left free to 'seek' your right path.

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