On Mastering Multiple Fiqh Discourses- Drops from Dr. S’ad al-Din al-Hilali*
“Many of you studied in Cairo for a number of years. If I asked you to tell me how to come to al-Azhar from al’Attabah many of you would tell me, take al-Azhar street straight to the mosque! However, what happens when you run into one of our famous traffic jams? Would you rely on your your limited knowledge of the main road, or would you feel more comfortable with a local who knows all the streets, alleys and subtitles of Cairo’s roads?
The same can be said of the scholar of law, restricted to one path, he will find himself shackled by his own handcuffs and caged by his own ignorance. Release those handcuffs with the keys of knowledge, open your mind and prepare for the ascent. No one is a faqih until he can, at least, mention multiple opinions when giving an answer.
The Faqih stands before the Umma like a firefighter in front of a smoldering structure. If he knows one the main hallways, he will do very little good, may get caught in a back draft and harm himself as well as the structure and its occupants. As for the one who has the blueprints to the building, studies them and knows them well, there is a great chance that he will put out the fire, save the occupants and restore the good and noble nature of the structure.”
On Obama’s Victory
Suhaib: “Sheikh! We chose Obama.”
Dr. Hillali: “And we chose him as well!”
Suhaib: “Sheikh some are saying voting his haram and we are committing acts of infidelity.”
Dr. Hillali: “My son. This discourse is old… very old it came to us, in the 80’s, and left. I have a student doing a PhD. on the topic “Western Muslims and the Political Process.” If you like, next month, you can sit with him.”
Suhaib: “That would be amazing.”
Dr. Hilali: “al-Humdulillah. We not only chose Obama because we felt he is best for the Arabs. We chose him because we felt he was best for America and her people. Mubarak to you and your people. May Allah bring goodness through His servants”
*Background on Dr. S’ad al-Din al-Hilali
Dr. S’ad al-Hilali is a world renowned scholar of Islamic law. He has mastery over more than one school of though, teaches in al-Azhar’s comparative fiqh department as well as trains muftis in the Dr. al-Ifta program. Recently Dr. Sa’d was received an award from the ‘Amir of Kuwait for his excellent writings on contemporary fiqh issues. A scholars scholar, we are thankful to know him and hope to translate some of his more important works in the future.