Understanding The Prophet's Life


From Issue: 527 [Read full issue]

Divine Silence

"God has set some limits, so do not transgress them; He has commanded some commands, so do not ignore them; He has made some things unlawful, so do not commit them. He has also kept silent (sakata) about some matters as a mercy toward you, not because He has forgotten them, so do not ask about them."
-Baihaqi, Tirmidhi

Clear-cut approach regarding rulings related to belief (aqidah) and worship (ibadah) is associated with a methodology that is indeed strict but essentially confident in the field of interpersonal relations and social affairs (muamalat).Taking human interests into account, alleviating the legal burden, and simplifying the system of rules must be constant preoccupations when considering and implementing scriptural sources.

The divine Lawgiver's silence is a mercy, a grace offered to human beings so as not to make their burden too heavy, but it is also a positive and trustful recognition of their human and intellectual ability to devise their own ways of being faithful to the message through time and the variety of places. Here silence eases conscience and summons the intellect.

Compiled From:
"Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 69-70