Monday, 13 February 2012 12:57

The Approved and Disapproved Varieties of Ra'y (Personal Opinion) in Islam

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While Islam emphasizes confirmity to the direction of the Qur'an and Sunnah, one finds in the same sources a parallel emphasis on rational inquiry exercise of personal opinion and judgement. This essay looks into the evidence in suppport of this statement and the extent to which Islam validates the freedom to formulate and express an opinion. It also examines the methodology and criteria that ascertain the validity of personal opinion and distinguish the acceptable ra'y from which is not tolerated. This essay also highlights how the detailed classifications of ra'y by the Ulama reflects a concern for latitude and tolerance on the one hand, balanced on the other by respect for authority and values which are deemed essential to Islam.

The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, Vol. 7 (1990), pp 39-64.

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