Every now and then, I come across an article, a blog or someone talking about how there should be a new modernized version of Islam.
Some go as far as taking out verses from the Koran that talk about war, while on the other side of the spectrum some seem to limit it to making things like the hijab optional, and of course there are many thoughts in between those two.
Some countries are taking steps forward with some of these ideas, with some of them taking out certain Koranic verses from school curriculums, some others trying to make the hijab unfavorable, …etc.
But, in my opinion, I think the whole approach is very wrong.
What we need is not a new and modernized Islam, what we need is a new and modernized understanding of Islam.
We have to understand that our time is very different from the time in which Islam came, the rules are different, the society is different, the circumstances are different, everything is different; And so the understanding and the application of Islam’s laws and teachings should be different too.
We have to understand why a certain Koranic verse came, in what situation, under what circumstances, and to solve which problems, then draw realistic parallels with our life today and see if that verse’s teachings apply to our new situation, circumstances and problems.
Islam, through the Koran and the teachings of Prophet Mohamed (PBUH), came with a set of general laws and teachings that will apply for all ages, but it also came with some specific laws and teachings for specific situations. It’s wrong to generalize those for all ages too, because they don’t necessarily apply. It’s up to us to understand their reason and then draw the lessons that could help us in our new reality.
We should not allow ourselves to be like the people who pick a verse out of the Koran, take it out of context, without understanding it, and then say that Islam is a religion of this or that. Everything has a reason and a lesson behind it for a certain time, place and situation. We have to understand that and our children have to understand that too.
So what I guess I’m trying to say is that it’s not Islam that needs modernizing, it’s us and our way of understanding, analyzing and drawing lessons from it.