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Prophet Muhammad Reflections

On the Misappropriation of Culture & the Centrality of Revelation

I had a reflection concerning the ‘urf discussion. Why do we spend so much time discussing ‘urf, which is secondary, when actually priorities dictate that we first focus on the universal manners and attitudes that are established by the sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh)? 

Sure Islam leaves a certain level of leeway for various cultural expressions, however, the sunnah establishes a sort of SUPER-CULTURE through its teachings in regards to manners and etiquette that should be followed and established first and foremost, then wherever there can be an allowable sub-cultural expression within that framework, fine.

This would return the focus and priority of the discussion to the wahy and the necessity of engaging in personal development before anything else. If we want to talk about culture, let us discuss how we can actualize Abu Ghudda’s “Islamic manners” in our lives!

About the author

Jamaal Diwan

Jamaal Diwan was born and raised in Southern California and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Third World Studies and a minor in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego . He accepted Islam in 2003 and has been married to his wife, Muslema Purmul, since 2004. He has served with the Muslim Student Association (MSA), MSA West, and Muslim American Society (MAS) at varying capacities. He remains an active MAS member and is a scholarship student with the Islamic American University. Jamaal is a graduate of the Faculty of Shariah at al-Azhar University in Cairo and has done some graduate work in Islamic Studies from the Western academic perspective. He recently finished serving as the Resident Scholar at the Islamic Center of Irvine (ICOI).

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