Interpreting Qur’an without the Required Qualification
Time and time again, you maintain that every Muslim has the right to subscribe to whatever interpretation of anything contained in the sources of Islam, which he/she finds to be most rational and compelling. Very well, but does Islam require that we constantly assent to the opinions of scholars, exegetes, and religious leaders when reading the Qur’an? Or can we read it on our own, and develop our own interpretations, even if we do not possess the qualifications of scholars, when reading the Qur’an?
The answer to this question is absolutely vital for me.
Consulting and referring to scholars of the field of one’s interest is not really a requirement of that field, but is actually required by one’s common sense and experience. Just as it is not required by books of medicine that unqualified ailing people should consult physicians and doctors rather than experimenting their own – non-existent – medical skills upon themselves, similarly it is not a requirement of religion that a common man should avoid making judgments and unqualified interpretations about religion. A person may, however, ignore this requirement of his common sense, but would then have no one except himself to blame for the consequences, whether from the perspective of the life of this world or from that of the hereafter.
I hope this helps.
May 12, 2003