The Sources of Islamic Doctrine – Part 3: The Reliance of the Traveller and Implications

Fortress of Faith Tom Wallace and Shahram Hadian

Fortress of Faith Radio by Tom Wallace and Shahram Hadian, and Sources of Islamic Doctrine Part 3.  See Part 1 first HERE and Part 2 HERE

Best way to absorb this content is to Listen to the program HERE ( OR DOWLOAD THE MP3HERE).

Show Notes from the Audio is Below

Today we are continuing on the subject of the sources of Islamic doctrine. Our purpose for this series is not to cause people to hate Muslims. My Christian faith tells me to love everyone, including my enemies.

The Muslim faith teaches that Jesus didn’t die on the cross, He didn’t raise from the grave, He is not God in the flesh, and so forth. There is only one way to God, and it is through the Lord Jesus Christ. It is out of love for the souls of Muslims that we teach on the false teachings of Islam, We want to see them saved from Hell, to have an eternal relationship with our God.

Our purpose is to inform Americans, and especially Christians in America and Canada, so they can be prepared to show the errors taught by Islam. The ultimate goal is the salvation of Muslims.

This is the third in a series showing the sources of Islamic doctrine. In the first we looked at the Qur’an, the words of their god, Allah. The second source of Islamic doctrine is the Prophet, Muhammad,  himself. We looked at the Hadith  and the Sira, which  together are known  as the Sunnah.

Today we are going to look at the secondary  sources of Islamic doctrine. This is the main reason for this series, This secondary source is called the Sharia. This is the term for the sacred law of Allah. In Christianity, the only sacred law of God is found in the Bible. We don’t have secondary sources or other books that carry weight in our doctrine.

The majority of the supplementary sources come from Muhammad, through his biography, his acts, and his sayings. Most people don’t understand that the Sharia is the jurisprudence of Islam. It is similar to case law in our legal system. It is paramount in the day to day adjudications in Islam. For example, Iran is governed by a constitution that is governed by the Sharia. Today we want to look at what that jurisprudence is.

The most important book dealing with the Sharia is the Reliance of the Traveller (link is to the entire book) It is an accumulation of more than 1,000 years of Islamic case law. We will look at some specifics of Sharia.

Before we get started I want to deal with a misconception between the law of the Bible and the law of Islam. Sharia is not just for Muslims, it is for non­Muslims as well. When Muslims take over a country,  everyone, including non­Muslims, are governed by Sharia law.

The first level of authority is the god of Islam and his prophet. The secondary level of authority is the interpretation and practice that the followers of Islam have mandated. Another  source of Islamic interpretation are the commentaries. Ibn Katir, is the primary and most accepted commentary.  Not all of his teachings have been translated into English, so we don’t have  a full vies of what he taught. He is kind of like the Matthew Henry of Islamic commentators. The third source of Islamic interpretation is the local imam or some Islamic cleric who is giving his interpretation.

There is a term, Siqh refers to an Islamic counsel. There are many of these across the world. They get together as a counsel and make decision which build upon the case law. The Reliance of the Traveller is built upon the accumulation this of case law.

These counsels and the commentaries can never contradict the Qur’an or the Sunnah. All interpretations must conform the the actions and words of Muhammad.

The Origin of the Reliance of the Traveller

 

Let me start by saying the word “traveller” is the proper spelling of this word in the title of this book. It is not that we don’t know how to spell traveler.

I want to start with the madh’habs, or schools of jurisprudence. Within 100 years of Muhammad’s death, Islam had taken over most of the Middle East and North Africa. They had conquered Spain and had gone into France. They were pushed back by Charles the Hammer at the battle of Poitiers.

During that time  of expansion  period of Islam,  about  700 years, many  interpretations  developed.  Certain  schools  of interpretation  were formed.  Muslims  would query these madh’habs  to find out how to handle different  situations.  For example, one might say, my neighbor killed my donkey, how to I handle this, what is required of him to pay restitution? Am I allowed to cut off his head, or whatever? The madh’habs would go to the first tier sources, the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and render a judgment on the issue, called fatwas. A fatwa is a legal Islamic ruling based upon the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Different  madh’habs would have different judgments on the same issues. The two largest  madh’habs were the Shafi’i and the Hanafi schools. There were some other, less accepted, schools like the Maliki and the Hanbali schools,

The Hanbali were literalistic, they live by the letter of the law, not by the spirit of the law. It is the latest interpretation and dates to about 855 AD. It is named after the Iraqi scholar Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, This school is the source for Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia. It is a very strict form of Islamic interpretation.

This would seem rather unimportant  if it were not for the fact that Saudi Arabia is the one who finances the spread of Islam, especially in America. This is also what the Islamic State, ISIS, is following today. They are following the practice of Muhammad, and this is why the Sunnah is so important. Remember, Muhammad is referred to as the perfect man in the Qur’an, and the Qur’an tells Muslims to follow his example at least 93 times.

In the order in which  these schools were formed is:

  1. Hanafi – The closest to the time of Muhammad
  1. Maliki
  1. Shafi’i
  1. Hanbal

These are all from the Sunni side of Islam, which is the majority of Muslims. On the Shia side of Islam, you have the Ja’fari or Imāmī school and the Zaydi school. There is an offshoot of the Ja’fari school called the Twelvers. These are the people ruling in Iran today.

We need to remember that on the majors of Islamic doctrine, all of these different schools are in agreement. Most of of the disagreement is on Eschatology and timing. The Twelvers believe they are supposed to be stirring up things to get ready for the coming of their Mahdi.

The main thing I want you to see is that concerning the Qur’an and the Prophet, there is little or no difference between these different schools of interpretation. There may be a difference on how the law is to be applied (letter or spirit of the law), but the law is the law to all Muslims. All of the terrorist organizations are going by the letter of the law. The more you study Islam, the closer you get back to its beginnings, the more evil and demonic it gets.

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Because of the differences in these different schools of interpretation, a counsel was called in the 15 th  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 al­salik wa ‘uddat al­Malik 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 above­mentioned translation corresponds to the Arabic original and conforms to the practice of faith of the orthodox Sunni Community (Ahl al­Sunna wa al­Jama’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 Al­Qaeda.

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 non­Muslim 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 non­Muslims, 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 non­Muslims are, and how they are to be dealt with. The Reliance of the Traveller makes it clear that jihad is about killing non­Muslims.

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Before I get into some specific things, I want to say a word about the reformers. They keep telling us that we need to get away from the things of the seventh century.  Islam cannot  have a reformation in the same way  that Christianity had  a reformation. If Sharia is divine law, it cannot be reformed any more than the Ten Commandments can be reformed. They express the character of God, and Sharia expresses the character of Allah. The only way to reform Islam is to completely denounce Islam and its Prophet.

I wrote my book, Refuting Islam, because buying  the Reliance of the Traveller, will set you back about $40.00 on Amazon. My book takes those parts where we need to pay attention, and quotes the Reliance of the Traveller to explain what they mean.

On page 57 we start getting into how to use the book. When we get to about page 60, we look at how Islam treats non­ Muslims. To begin with, they call us kafr, which means excrement, not a really nice word.

Islam is a religion of violent conquest to make the world subject to their god, Allah. Either you become a follower of Allah, a slave, or you are killed. In the Reliance of the Traveller, this is section o9.0 on jihad. Here is the definition of jihad:

“Jihad means to war against non­Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada signifying warfare to establish the religion. “

Every reference gives quotes from the Qur’an and the Prophet to support what it says. To support this definition it quotes the

Qur’an:

(1) “Fighting is prescribed for you” (Koran 2:216);

(2) “Slay them wherever you find them” (Koran 4:89);

(3) “Fight the idolators utterly” (Koran 9:36);

Then it quotes the Prophet:

I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and perform the prayer, and pay zakat. If they say it, they have saved their blood and possessions from me, except for the rights of Islam over them. And their final reckoning is with Allah” (Bukhari)

 

Jihad is something that is prescribed for all Muslims as long as there is unbelief in the world. It goes on to say who is obliged to fight.

ROT o9.4 Those called upon to perform jihad when it is a communal obligation are every able bodied man who has reached puberty and is sane.

We are even given the responsibility of the caliph:

ROT o9.8 The caliph (o25) makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians (N: provided  he has first invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non­Muslim poll tax (jizya, def: o11.4)­which is the significance of their paying it, not the money itself­while remaining in their ancestral religions) (O: and the war continues) until they become Muslim or else pay the non­Muslim poll tax.

 

For those who do not know who the Zoroastrians are, they are mentioned in the Old Testament,  and are considered  by Muslims as people  of the book, the Bible. If the people of the book, Christians and Jews primarily, don’t convert to Islam, you subjugate them and extort them through the poll tax. There are maximums  and minimums The maximum is 50% of what you own, and 50% of what you earn.

Section o11 deals with how Muslims are to treat non­Muslims when they have the upper hand.

ROT o11.5 Such non­Muslim subjects are obliged to comply with Islamic rules that pertain to the safety and indemnity of life, reputation, and property. In addition, they:

(1) are penalized for committing adultery or theft, though not for drunkenness; (2) are distinguished from Muslims in dress, wearing a wide cloth belt (zunnar); (3) are not greeted with “as­Salamu ‘alaykum”;
(4) must keep to the side of the street;
(5) may not build higher than or as high as the Muslims’ buildings, though if they acquire a tall house, it is not razed;
(6) are forbidden to openly display wine or pork, to ring church bells or display crosses, recite the Torah or Evangel aloud, or make public display of their funerals and feastdays;
(7) and are forbidden to build new churches.

As you can see, this makes them second class citizens. Sharia is not compatible with our Constitution because this is a violation of its basic precepts. We not only have a Bill of Rights, but the Constitution guarantees equality under the law in both application and protection. There is neither equal protection nor equal application with the conditions imposed on non­ Muslim under the Sharia.

We also have laws that look at men and women  as equal under the law, but Islam does not. Quite the contrary, Islam oppresses women.

ROT m10.11 (3) It is obligatory for a wife to obey her husband as is customary in allowing him full lawful sexual enjoyment of her person. It is obligatory for the husband to enable her to remain chaste and free of want for sex.

This is supported by the following from the Qur’an in Surah 2:223:

“Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will…”

The meaning of tilth is a plowed  field.  Muslim scholars interpret this verse teaching the wife is a field for the man to plant his seed whenever and however he desires.

This next one was a bit of a shock to me when I first read it:

ROT W45.1 A woman is not obliged to serve her husband by baking, grinding flour, cooking, washing, or any other kind of service, because the marriage contract entails, for her part, only that she let him enjoy her sexually, and she is not obligated to do other than that. (A: Rather, it is considered sunna in our school for the wife to do the housework, and the husband (who is obliged to support her) to earn the living, since this is how the Prophet divided the work between Fatima and Ali.

It also says that a man may forbid his wife to leave the home, we call this being held against your will here in America. In section 10.5m it tells how a man is to treat is wives if he has more than one.

Again, can you see why Sharia is incompatible with our Constitution? Here is what the Reliance of the Traveller has to say about apostasy:

ROT o8.0 APOSTASY FROM ISLAM (RIDDA)

Leaving Islam is the ugliest form of unbelief (kufr) and the worst….

ROT o8.1 When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed.

ROT o8.2 In such a case, it is obligatory for the caliph to ask him to repent and return to Islam. If he does, it is accepted from him, but if he refuses, he is immediately killed.

ROT o8.3 If he is a freeman, no one besides the caliph or his representative may kill him. If someone else kills him, the killer is disciplined

ROT o8.4 There is no indemnity for killing an apostate

Here is an important question; If Islamic law clearly teaches that one who leaves Islam must return to Islam or be killed, how can Islam have freedom of religion? This is, of course, incompatible with our First Amendment. What Muslims mean by freedom of religion is that you are free to choose their religion.

It is a terrible thing to be trapped in this oppressive religion. Some, like Shahram, have had the courage to leave Islam despite the danger of being killed.

The other  secondary  sources are not a major as what we have been discussing.  There  are, as we mentioned earlier, the commentaries which explain the text. Since we have already explained this, let’s look at the other secondary source, the imams.

When it comes to the issue of jihad, there are a few names that are well known. Many of them have been killed by drone attacks, but their teaching is still on the Internet. Many of the jihadists in the West are found to be followers of some of these internationally known imams. The head of ISIS, al­Baghdadi, is also an imam.

These are secondary sources, and there is disagreement between some of them. The bottom line is that these imams are a source of Islamic doctrine.

We will continue next week exposing the sources of Islamic doctrine, be sure to join us then.

If you would like to schedule a meeting with Tom you can call him at 1­800­616­0082.  No church is too big or too small.