Qaradawi and speaking the language of the age

Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has long argued for the ‘ulama and religious leaders to combine Islamic and modern forms of knowledge, in order to ‘speak the language of the age.’ In 1963, he put to Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Al al-Shaykh, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia that:

لا يعيش الطالب معزولاً عن عصره، وحتـى إذا قدر له أن يشتغل بالدعوة أو بالفتوى كان عالماً بوقاع من يدعوهم ويخاطبهم بلسانهم، لبين لهم، وعالماً بوقاع من يفتيهم، وتعلم سماحتكم أن المحقق ابن القيم قال: الفقيه الحق هو من يزاوج بين الواجب والواقع… ولا يسعنا إلا أن نعيش عصرنا

“the student should not live disassociated from his age. If he is destined to preach or issues fatwas, he should be knowledgable about the world of those whom he preaches and he should be able to speak to them in their language… As Ibn al-Qayyim [1350] has said, ‘a true jurist is one who joins the “obligatory” to the “actual”… we cannot but live in our own age…”

(For the full text in Arabic see Qaradawi, Ibn al-Qarya, 2:503 and see also Muhammad Qasim Zaman, Modern Islamic thought in a Radical age: Religious Authority and Internal criticism, pg. 150-151)


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