Recent discussions evolved around “the Quranic Islam” seem to have
a deep effect on the tradition and methodology of the Islamic thought
and gain importance due to different approaches pointing to even areas
in belief. The Quranic Islam which may be called as ‘mealcilik’ (interpretationalism)
and can be defined as an understanding that denies all
Islamic sources but the Quran, have caused considerable discussions in
the field of divinity and also extended out of this field and brought up
certain problems into society.
This understanding which causes religious discussions not only in
the fields of worshipping and practices but also in the tenets of belief has
its deep historical roots going back to the school known as the “Quraniyyun”
(the Quranists) in the eighth century. This tradition is based on
the denial of the Sunnah and the Hadith traditions; it puts forward very
different ideas concerning ‘ibadah’ (worship) and ‘salat’ (prayers) and has
very non-traditional views about adultery, drinking alcohol, gambling,
and inheritance. The proponents of this school claim that everything is
mentioned in the Quran and other sources- including hadith and the
sunnah- than the Quran must be ignored. Thus prophethood which is
a fundamental source of religion besides the Book is opened to discus-
sion and the role of the prophet Muhammad as the One who perfected
religion is disregarded.
The fact that the Quranic Islam receives considerable interest in societies
where the tenets of Islamic belief and morality have weakened
brings up to our agenda many questions concerning many fields. As
Bediuzzaman suggested in his famous motto “the true Islam and the
integrity befitting Islam”, the questions that how can we apply a true
form of Islamic morality and tenets of belief in life; how can the correct
Islam be made available to humanity and Islamic societies that struggle
with many problems are just a few that need to be answered. Besides
these the issues of the abrogating and abrogated verses, the allegorical
verses, the traditions and practices of the prophet and “ijtihad” (decision-
making in the Sharia) become current and the question of how
Islam should be considered as a whole needs an answer. Considering
under the light of prophethood, hadith, sunnah, madhabs, and their
practices, Bediuzzaman’s approach become very important and His ideas
and position need to be considered and evaluated in the tradition of
the Islamic thought.
Bearing in mind all these points we decided on “the Quranic Islam”
as the topic of our issue number 133 and planned to discuss the topic
under the light of the following concepts and questions:
“the Quranic Islam, ‘Quraniyyun’ (the Quranists), ‘mealcilik’ (interpretationalism),
religion, the Quran, prophethood, hadith, sunnah,
evidence of sharia, revelation, ibadah (worship), madhabs (sects), ijma
(agreement), kiyas (comparison), ijtihad (decision-making), reasoning,
narration, the abrogating and abrogated verses, the allegorical verses,
responsibility, Islamic symbols, ‘ukubat’, practicing legal issues, belief,
true Islam, ahl al-bid’a (people of heresy), heretic practices, superstitions,
dissolution, immoral life, Christianity, Europe, regression, Islamic
world, deism”.
Though it is desirable for a believer to embrace the Quran and take
it as a guide as a general principle, what is meant exactly by the Quranic
Islam? What is the historical background of this phenomenon,
which thoroughly excludes a fourteen-century long Islamic interpretation?
What is the relationship between the Quranic Islam and the
other understandings that had influence on it? How should we evaluate
the approach that regards the Quranic Islam as a psychological result
of Muslims’ encountering the Western philosophy and getting defeated?
How can we consider within a historical perspective some Muslim
thinkers’ accepting and surrendering to the ideas claiming that Islam
prevents progress? What is the extent of the influence of Western mis-
sionaries, scientists, and politicians and orientalism over the appearance
of the Quranic Islam? Even though it is evidently explained that the
prophet was assigned with annunciation of the religion and obeying
the prophet was clearly ordered in the Quran, how should we consider
the rise of such discussions? Moving from the Quranic Islam, what can
we say about who can interpret the Quran and how can the Quran be
interpreted? What can be said about evaluating these phenomena with
the method of historical criticism? How can we consider Bediuzzaman’s
definition of the true and valid Islam formulated by his famous motto
“the true Islam and the integrity befitting Islam” within the context of
the Quranic Islam? What makes Bediuzzaman different at this point in
the tradition of Islamic thinking?
As we invite you to read with interest the essays in this issue, we also
hope to address in the next issue with the papers presented at the 11th
Congress of the Risale-i Nur.