The Universality of Islam…for Muslims

Islam is far too universal for there ever to be only a single interpretation on how to implement its teachings and principles. I think we indulge in excess of the worst kind when we try to impose a single view of what Islam is supposed to be about. There are fundamentals of belief that is unquestionable, but the implementation of the practises offer variations across different schools of thought, with each believing they’re more accurate than the next.

Given the universal appeal and tone of Islam, why is it unfathomable for so many to accept that the differences were in fact intended to show the breadth of practicality that Islam offers, rather than to narrow it down to a single view based on chronological order of how it was experienced during the time of Rasulullah (SAW)? It goes without saying that if something was specifically forbidden after it was previously allowed, then the prohibition must obviously be upheld. But if it wasn’t specifically prohibited, and in fact was just done differently at different times under different circumstances, why can’t we simply accept that its in fact the principle of what was being practised that was consistent and not the acts of the ritual itself?

I’m being deliberately vague because the important point I’m trying desperately to establish is that the principles matter more than the rituals. It must. Islam is a way of life established on principles and precedents with sound logic and immense wisdom inherent in its philosophy. But we lose all this the moment we become cult-ish ritualists who believe that there can only be a single way of worshipping Allah and following the Sunnah, and that in doing so, we have to choose a madhab or school of thought and place ourselves in broadly accepted pigeon-holes in society so that we don’t unnerve people by challenging contemporary wisdom about how it all fits together. 

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