Recently, I found a site which promotes liberal thinking of Islam. I believe the blog is created and maintained by muslims writers as well. The problem of this liberalism movement in Islam is it is thought as against the very basic teaching of the religion itself. Some of the thinking are against the fundamental teaching as unanimously agreed among the muslims themselves.
Islam is a religion and it is not an ideology derived from a man. It is beyond what is some others claimed Islam to be. They claimed Islam as mere Muhammad (PBUH) teaching. As a religion, it is about God and the creation. It is about God and His message.
An issue raised in a site that question the validity of muslim obeying God without questioning. It refers to the sacrifice made by the the Prophet Ibrahim a.s after he received an instruction from God. The site questions the validity of muslims to obey God without questioning based of the lesson learned from the story of Prophet Ibrahim who decided to sacrifice his son Ismail, also known as a prophet himself.
As a Prophet of God, Ibrahim a.s did receive true messages from God himself. As a Prophet of God who is appointed to deliver God's message to his people, the prophet is the person who knows God more than his people. Religion itself is about the relationship of the creation and its creator. Which is based on the principe of good against evil.
Religion promotes good and prohibits evil. In order to do that, it defines what is good and what is evil. The definition of terms are derived from God's message through his prophet. This, makes the prophet a truthful person, incapable of lying. Not because of his own capability of doing so but through the power and guide given by God, the sole creator of the universe. God Who sent the prophet.
As human naturally recognises what is good and what is bad, a prophet sent down by God, has the higher capability of knowing what is good and what is bad. Since he received the message and he teaches others on what is good or bad. But what had come to Prophet Ibrahim a.s was beyond this basic understanding of what is good and what is bad. The basic teaching is to kill a human without valid reason, is evil. It is a murder. Moreover if that involves one's own son.
But here, it distinguishes between action made by human and action by God. An act by human is based on his own knowledge and capability. It is incomparable to the action of the God Himself. God has absolute knowledge and capability of taking action. Incomparable to any others of the creation itself.
Therefore, a true message from God contains absolute truth. As true and false or good and evil still defines the basis of the message, it may not appears so before the eyes or minds of mere mortals. As the level of understanding may not be able to comprehend such underlying truth. In the case of Ibrahim a.s, the test is upon him and his son to perform an instruction from God, to sacrifice Ismail a.s.
Bear in mind that this test is not ordinary test for ordinary man and both who are tested are prophets of God themselves. As they came to a conclusion that it was really an instruction from God, Ismail a.s willingly said to his father, Ibrahim a.s, urging him to perform the instruction.
This case shows that both Prophets are willing to comply with the order although it seemed beyond reasonable thinking of normal human. This is because both prophets knew the supremacy and absoluteness of God' knowledge. If they defied the order out of the excuse of "unthinkable" it is the same as if they did not recognise the supremacy and absoluteness of God's knowledge. The ignorance of prophets of God of this concept of supremacy and absoluteness in itself is "unthinkable".
Lackness in supremacy and absoluteness is equal to deficiency. Deficiency is not a characteristic of absoluteness and perfectness. Something which is not absolute or perfect is not attributed to God.
The teaching of Islam, tells us the reality in our world. The levels of prophethood is not as the same level as ordinary man, therefore their level of knowledge and tests imposed by God are different to others. Apart from the story of the sacrifice of Ismail a.s there is also the story of Musa a.s and his journey to learn exotic knowledge from a person bestowed with such knowledge from God, later known as Khidr.
The story is another example where the level human knowledge are tested. Even Musa a.s (Moses) as a prophet, primarily accused his mentor, Khidr, of committing evil and doing "unthinkable" act. Since he committed damage to other's property, then a murder but later on willing to do charity to people who were unwilling to entertain them as guest. This is to show that human capability of understanding the reality is limited and as God exists, His knowledge is absolute. (Please read from the Al-Quran for further reading and on the exegesis by scholars of Islam).
In the case of sacrifice of Ismail a.s, later on as it was told in the Al-Quran that he was replaced by a lamb through God's instruction. The replacement is a sign that the test was passed successfully with flying colours by both prophets. It is shown that by complying with true instruction from God, the end result would always be good. By abandoning the imperfect understanding of human mind and to comply the instruction of the Supreme Creator and relying on His Knowledge is the supposed way of the creation.
But of course, even to the logic of mind, this concept only applicable if the relationship of the creation and it's creator is recognisable and ascertained. In other words, this concept is applicable when one can realise that there indeed a Creator of the universe, the Creator of the universe indeed sent message to humankind as to communicate with them, there are selected people who understand and capable of delivering the message and the message is delivered as it is without corruption. All these have to achieve up to the level of certainty. God exists and His knowledge and action is absolute and perfect.
Thanks for reading.