‘Unity vs Uniformity’- Dr Sherman Abdul-Hakim Jackson


“The ability to accommodate justifiable differences is not just a politically expedient thing, it is not something we do just because we want to live together harmoniously. We don’t want to have to go into the masjid and get all of this drama, we don’t want to face each other and confront all of this tension. It is true, we don’t want these things. But that is not why as Muslims we accommodate justifiable difference. We accommodate differences of opinion as a matter of aqeedah.” Dr Sherman Abdul-Hakim Jackson

How do we accommodate differences of opinions in Islam? How do we maintain unity in the face of so many variegated opinions about the issues that confront us as Muslims in the modern world? In this extremely important discourse, Dr Sherman Abdul-Hakim Jackson highlights some essential points with regards to following the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the ijma’ of the ulema ! This was a lecture that Dr Jackson offered in Philadelphia.

Listen very carefully to this powerful discourse here:
Unity vs Uniformity



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  1. Dr. Jackson, salaams and thank you for such an eloquent presentation on unity and uniformity. Very clearly stated, I do pray more Muslims will take your advice and seek greater understanding by learning how to assess and evaluate fiqh materials and not believe in cut-and-paste scholarship has any value without understanding how such commentaries were formed and do they meet the scrutiny of scholarship…as you said, Imam Shafii’s commentary, “I am right with the possibility that I am wrong; and I believe my opponent is wrong with the possibility of him being right.” You’ve been an Islamic scholar that I have admired for years since Cairo in the late 1980’s. Keep up the great work and pushing people to think beyond the finger pointing and causing disunity.

    • Here’s a response from Dr. Jackson, Daayiee

      “Of course, that was some fifteen years or so ago, and I was not really prepared to give a talk on the subject — or on any subject for that matter. As such, naturally, I would modify what I said a bit: I think I would be more careful in my depiction of Imam Ahmad and the mihna, and I would also be more careful on the issue of commands, at least mentioning, e.g., that the majority of the ulama hold commands to indicate obligation and not recommendation. I would also have tried to give some more concrete examples instead of the very general examples I gave (though, given the people’s general level of Islamic literacy, maybe general examples are actually better). At any rate, I pray that Allah will protect the people from anything misleading that I might have said and that He will heal and strengthen our hearts and guide us to understanding and practicing this religion here in America to His satisfaction.


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