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Explain the Muslim idea of Religious Authority.

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Introduction

Jo Batty Part A - Explain the Muslim idea of Religious Authority Revelations are the way in which we receive knowledge of God and this is done through the Holy Books. In the Christian tradition there is an understanding that the Bible is a medium of revelation (Prepositional view), this is where the truths recorded by God are recorded, there is also an understanding that revelation is the way in which God acts with human experience through history (non-prepositional view) In Islam religious authority comes from God via the Qur'an through the process of tanzil. The Qur'an tells them about God and gives them guidance 'this is the book in its guidance is sure without doubt'. The Sunnah and the Hadith are also sources of authority. The Sunnah, which is the life example of the Prophet Mohammad, is a source of authority because he was a wise and trustworthy man who settled tribal disputes. The Hadith is also a source of authority because Muslims look to Mohammad because he showed true obedience to Allah's commands. ...read more.

Middle

Lesser Jihad is the struggle of the Muslim community to remove haram from society. Evil will always exist in society and a Muslim must resist this by showing true dedication to Allah's commands. In Islam Allah is the main source of religious authority and to help Muslims to show they are showing their authority towards God, Muslims believe that Allah allows evil and suffering in the world to see if they do what is right. Muslims have free will and believe that everything is pre-determined and that Allah knows the present, the past and the future of every creature but this does not mean that man has and freedom of will, its just that they have the choice to obey or disobey Allah and that this will show on the day of judgement whether they will go to Heaven/ Hell because all their actions are judged. Religious authority from the Qur'an is seen to govern every aspect of life for example women in Islam are seen as the most important in the family. ...read more.

Conclusion

The other basic beliefs of Islam such as Tawhid are also seen as authority. Tawhid implies that everything is created by Allah; it is the belief in Allah with all his powers. It is a source of authority because this is one way a Muslim fulfils Allah's commands as it reveals Gods loving and caring nature. From a non-religious perspective a philosopher would look to reasoning to emphasise human freedom to make moral choices. They would argue that all of humanity relies upon their conscience to decide what is right and wrong, and for many this authority does not come from God. However from a Christian perspective this higher level of consciousness comes from God. In Islamic terms we gain our conscious awareness from Quranic teachings about Akirah which gives us focus for this temporary life on earth, from taw hid which reveals the qualities of God that we should aim to develop in our own hearts (such as love and compassion), and Al Qadr which ultimately points to a pre-determined path which only God knows about he does not dictate. ...read more.

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