Difference of Opinion

The question posed by numerous ‘Islamic Scholars’ throughout the development of this ‘Project’ was, “who are you?” I was unsure what this meant until further questioning indicated I was being asked to respond with either, ‘I am a Hanafi or Shafi or Maliki or Hanbali’. I felt obligated to research this topic further due to my lack of knowledge within the area and a responsibility to provide authenticated recitation of ‘salah’ (prayer) within the ‘Islamic iPrayer’.  I concluded that there are and will be legitimate differences in opinion of content in ‘salah’ (prayer), which are all based on  authentic  interpretation of the texts of the Qu’ran and ‘Sunnah’ (Practice of the Prophet, pbuh). We must respect all opinions based on evidence from the Quran, and Sunnah.  All the great ‘Imams’ said that if any of their ‘opinions’ or teachings contradict ‘Allah’s’ (swt) word, i.e. the ‘Qur’an’, or the sayings of the ‘Prophet’ (pbuh) i.e. the Sunnah, then that particular ‘opinion’ of theirs should be rejected, and the text of the Qu’ran and‘Sunnah’ of the ‘Prophet’ (pbuh)  should be followed. A detailed discussion on this topic is out of the scope of this basic learning device/teaching aid except to encourage students of Islam to seek knowledge and not let misunderstanding about difference of opinion get in the way of teaching the fundamental aspects and pillars of the deen. This is especially the case for young people growing up in an increasingly materialistic environment and one which at the same time has created an atmosphere hostile to Islam in recent years. The students of knowledge are well aware of the difference of opinion arsing due to many factors,  eg. interpretation of the text in Arabic where we see more than one meaning, differences due to the methodology, criteria in evaluating the Sunnah and difference of opinion amongst the Sahabah.  My humble request is to view the Islamic iPrayer as a learning device/teaching tool for the basics of salah (prayer) and its sole purpose is to assist and develop the basic rules and actions of prayer.

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