RECOMMENDED READING: “Gradualism in Applying the Shari`ah”


The Islamic portal OnIslam has posted Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi’s reply to a question about how to apply “gradualism” in the implementation of Islamic Shari’ah law. The posting begins:

Name of Questioner: Kathy Reply date: 2011/11/24 Question: Sometimes, we hear that some scholars call for not changing what is evil (munkar) under the pretext that this falls within the scope of gradualism (sunnat at-tadarruj) that is known in Islamic Shari`ah. What are the guidelines in an attempt to apply gradualism in Islamic Shari`ah? consultant: Yusuf Al-Qaradawi Answer In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear questioner, we commend your pursuit of knowledge and your eagerness to seek what is lawful and avoid what is not. We earnestly implore Allah to bless your efforts in this honorable way.

Gradualism is one of the laws of nature that Allah Almighty has created. It is also needed in applying the rulings of the Shari`ah to make a change in people’s life. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stayed in Makkah for thirteen years struggling to shake the false beliefs the Makkan people had adopted. Then, for other ten years, Allah Almighty revealed to him (peace and blessings be upon him) the laws that the Muslims would live by. Gradualism played an effective role in that regard. That was shown, for example, in prohibiting alcohol, riba (interest), and other vices.

The opposite of gradualism is to enact and enforce the rulings of Shari`ah immediately. But mind that, if we are to observe gradualism in applying the rulings of the Shari`ah in this age, this does not mean that we are to be sluggish and delay achieving that aim for too long. Gradualism refers to the importance of preparing the Muslim people to sincerely and enthusiastically adopt the rulings of the Shari`ah in all their walks of life, so as to guarantee that such a matter would last.

Responding to the question, the prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, states the following:

Gradualism in applying the Shari`ah is a wise requirement to follow. In doing so, we will be following Allah’s Laws with regard to physical nature and teachings of Islam. Gradualism was observed in enjoining the obligations of Islam such as Prayer, fasting, et cetera, and in forbidding the prohibitions as well.

Read the rest here.

Qaradawi, a virulent anti-Semite is often referred to here as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide. Based in Qatar, Sheikh Qaradawi has reportedly amassed substantial wealth through his role as Shari’ah adviser to many important Islamic banks and funds. He is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas and his fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens were instrumental in the development of the phenomenon. A recent post has discussed a video compilation of Qaradawi’s extremist statements.

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