If Islam, the Quran, and Sunnah are so easy and simple, why is it that so much of our lives is at odds with it and their contents?

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In Surat al-Nahl, Allah Most High commands us to “ask the people of the message if you do not know” (Q16:43).

It is amazing how many people consider this verse appropriate for matters related to medicine, engineering, and shoe repair, but then reject its application to matters related to Islam and Islamic scholarship. Often they will defend this with claiming that Islam is supposed to be easy and simple.

If Islam, the Quran, and Sunnah are as easy and simple as they claim, why are so much of our lives at odds with it and their contents? And why is it that so many of the folks who claim its ease and simplicity and reject scholarship are also struggling with basic and evident personally-obligatory matters of the religion?

The focus of our struggle should be on removing excuses that prevent us from practice, not searching for excuses to remove us from it altogether.

Ramadan moonfighting & Shāfiʿīc calculations

As Ramaḍān nears, people have started to ask their annual questions about the status of calculations within the Shāfiʿī school. I do not like writing about this issue because the fiqh almost ends up playing second fiddle to the politics. This two parts of this article is based on two older writings.

The first part is from old article published on the defunct Shariʿah Perspectives” blog. I wrote it while I was working at Dār al-Iftā and it is intended for general audiences.

The second part is from an email. It concerns the status of calculations within the Shāfiʿī madhhab. It is intended for students of fiqh who read Arabic and are able to do their own additional research.

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Evident Memorandum: Sales & Other Transactions

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In addition to The Accessible Conspectus, I am also finishing up a commentary for Ibn Mulaqqin’s Shāfiʿī fiqh Memorandum. This commentary is tentatively titled The Evident Memorandum. Since people often find the conditions for sales somewhat perplexing, I figured that I would take the opportunity to show some of the evidence and reasoning behind the rulings given in the previous post. The text below is from The Evidence Memorandum. The book includes documentation for all of the hadiths and passages it cites. I have removed them here.


7 Sales And Other Transactions

A sale, linguistically, is exchanging property for property. Ibn al-Rufʿah defined it as exchanging one property that is subject to disposal for another property that that is subject to disposal, with an offer and an acceptance, in a manner that has been permitted for it to be done.

The foundation is Allah Most High saying, “…But Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest [ribā]…,” [Q2:275] and similar verses, as well as the well-known verses coming in this chapter, and the consensus of the Ummah.

[Sales are] valid with an offer and acceptance,…

The requirement for the offer and acceptance are out of analogy to marriage. So it is not valid to exchange by just giving the specific price without a verbal offer and acceptance. This [type of exchange] is said to be acceptable in transactions where that is customary. Many scholars preferred this opinion (including al-Nawawī) since there is no authentic text establishing that a verbal phrase is required, thus making it necessary to go back to custom, just like for other phrases.

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