Supporting the Aforementioned by that the Religion is Easy 2

July 16th, 2005

Those who contradict the truth in this case say that their reliance on the shortest distance is based on accurate mathematical calculations, that is, the spherical triangular calculations and the calculation of angles based on the science of mathematics and geometrical shapes. Our response to them is that we are not religiously ordered with the calculations that you have done to determine al-Qiblah. Moreover, not every Muslim can withstand performing it. Allah, the Exalted, did not oblige His slaves with that which they cannot do. Allah said in the Qur’an in Suratul-Baqarah, ‘Ayah 286:

َلا يُكَلِّفُ اللهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا

Which means: {On no soul does Allah place an obligatory except that it can bear.}

The matter of directing oneself to al-Qiblah is among the prerequisites for the validity of the prayers which are obligatory on every Muslim who is pubescent, sane, and tahir. To oblige a layman to learn such complex calculations is a burden that Allah did not include in the Religion. Allah said in Suratul-Hajj, ‘Ayah 78:

وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ

Which means: {Allah did not obligate you with difficulties.}

We do not know how those people require that of every Muslim! Do they want to stop the Muslims from endeavoring to determine the direction of al-Qiblah knowing that in the Religion it is obligatory on them except for he who is blind, unable, or the like? Do they want the Muslims to follow them without thinking or understanding such that they would answer the one asking about the direction of al-Qiblah with complex calculations based on the shortest distance without any basis from the Religion? The result would be that the Muslims would not understand a thing from it except for a number.

Have those people not yet recognized yet that calculations are not relied upon in our Religion? It is a case of al-’ijma^ that the beginning of the great worship of fasting Ramadan is determined by sighting the crescent or completing 30 days of the month of Sha^ban. It is not determined by calculations, even if the calculator was outstanding in his field. This is by the virtue of the saying of the Prophet that was related by al-Bakhariyy, Muslim, and others: “Begin fasting at your sighting it and end fasting at you sighting it.” Also it is the lunar year that is relied upon in the rules of the Religion. All this is so because of the facility of the Religion and its easiness.

Al-Wansharisiyy in al-Mi^yar al-Mu^rab said: “The agreement of those who calculate is not regarded because their methodology in determining al-Qiblah was not ruled in the Religion of Muhammad.” He also said: “Using instruments to be guided with to al-Qiblah was not reported about the pious Salaf. Hence it is not obligatory to use, and it is not permissible to make such instruments supersede the religious signs.” The same was mentioned by Khyaruddin ar-Ramliyy al-Hanafiyy in his book Al-Fatawa, and others.

This is so because the religious judgments are not based on the instruments of astronomy and engineering. The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, rejected that by his saying: “We are a nation (most of us illiterate) that do not depend on writing or calculating.” Al-’Islam is an easy Religion for every member of its nation to apply its rules, whether he is an illiterate layman or a skillful scholar. Also, wherever one was; on land, in sea, in the air in cities, in deserts, in woods, or in caves, religions judgments are based on the texts of the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and on what the scholars who are entitled to deduce have deduced. If this had not been the case, then this Religion would have been governed by writing and calculating similar to the case of those false religions. However, the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ^alayhi was sallam, had rejected that. Furthermore, in their calculations, ^Abdullah al-^Abdaliyy and those who followed him relied on that earth is a perfect sphere. Either intentionally or out of ignorance, they did not acknowledge that the shape of the Earth, in truth, is oblate. The oblate shape of Earth was known to the Muslim scholars a long time ago and as was established by the later western astronomers as well.

Entry Filed under: Supporting the Aforementioned 2

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