أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللّهُ مَثَلاً كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْعُهَا فِي السَّمَاء
Are you not aware how God sets forth the parable of a good word? [It is] like a good tree, firmly rooted, [reaching out] with its branches towards the sky. (Qur’an 14:24)
Welcome to the Sila Initiative’s series Modern Questions, Grounded Answers.
The articles in this series answer hypothetical questions related to Muslim practice and belief. Our intention is to provide a clear alternative to the individualistic worldview held by much of society today.
As Muslims, we are called on to submit (islam) to Allah in all our matters and in all our relationships. In contrast to this, liberal and feminist thinking pushes us to ask for our individual right to free thinking and action.
This disparity in approach causes modern Muslims to ask: What place do my needs and inclinations have in the face of the absolute authority of God? Where does the right of my parent/spouse/child/teacher end, and mine begin? These questions pervade our thought and have come to cause doubt and uneasiness in many areas of our lives.
The Q&A’s in this series have both a theoretical and practical element. They help us see the historical and intellectual reasons for why basic Islamic teachings—particularly those related to relationships and society—seem foreign to us today. Along with providing this theoretical awareness, the Q&A’s also give practical advice on how we as modern Muslims can still adopt a balanced and beautiful attitude of godly submission despite modern calls to unbridled freedom.
We hope to post new answers on a periodic basis, and pray that you will benefit from them. May our iman grow strong, hearty, free of blemishes, and bearing fruit, with its roots deep and its branches far reaching in the sky. Wa billahi tawfiq.