Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Turkey Revises Islam

This is pretty interesting. Turkey is having scholars look at the Hadith and revise it. The Hadith are sayings (hadith) that supposedly come from Muhammad. They have been looked at and studied and analyzed. They are usually accompanied by a list of names describing the transmission of the statement. Example: Abdul said that his father heard this saying of Muhammad from Samir who heard it from his uncle Ali, etc. etc. Scholars have looked at them and tried to determine their accuracy. For instance, by checking out the people involved: Abdul's father had a good reputation, but Samir's uncle Ali didn't, so this saying might be true, but we're not sure. Or Ali had a great reputation as an honest man so it's probably true. That's how the Hadith came about.

Well, Turkey is taking another look at them. Some people are even comparing this to the Protestant Reformation. Personally, I think they do need another look. A lot of old religious works (including the Bible) are often taken out of context, because times have changed a lot since they were written. The Turks even give an example of their own: one of the hadiths says that women should not travel on their own. But that was written at a time when it was not safe for a woman to travel alone - it's not a religious requirement. But today some governments and men use this to control women's movements. I'm hoping this new look will help Islam and not cause a backlash, since the Turks have a secular reputation.

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