As for the differences in the schools of law, this has arisen from differences in ways of understanding the theoretical principles shown by the Shari‘a’s owner. Principles called “the essentials of religion,” which are not open to interpretation, and those called “incontrovertible” cannot be changed in any way and may not be interpreted. Anyone who does change them quits the religion and is included under the rule: “They renounce religion as the arrow flies from the bow.”1
The people of innovation have found the following pretext for their irreligion and deviation from the straight path. They say: “The French Revolution was the cause of a sequence of events in the world of humanity; the clergy and spiritual leaders and the Catholic Church, which was their Church, were attacked and eliminated. Later the Revolution was condoned by a lot of people; also, the French made greater progress. Is this not so?”
T h e A n s w e r : Like with the previous comparisons, the differences here are clear. For in France, the Christian religion and particularly the Catholic Church had for a long time been a means of domination and despotism in the hands of the upper and ruling classes. It was the means by which they perpetuated their hold over the ordinary people. And since it was through the Catholic Church that the patriots were oppressed, who among the common people were awakened and were called “Jacobins,” and the freedom-seeking thinkers were persecuted, who attacked the despotism of the upper class tyrants; and since for nearly four hundred years the Catholic Church had been an imputed cause, through revolutions in Europe, of overturning the stability of social life, it had been attacked, not in the name of irreligion, but by the other Christian sects. A feeling of indignation and enmity arose among the common people and the philosophers as a result of which the above-mentioned historical event took place.
However, no oppressed person and no thinker has the right to complain about the religion of Muhammad (UWBP) and the Shari‘a of Islam. For it does not injure them, it protects them. Islamic history is there for all to see. Apart from one or two incidents, no internal wars of religion have occurred. Whereas the Catholic Church caused four hundred years of internal revolutions.
Furthermore, Islam has been the stronghold of the common people rather than of the upper classes. Through enjoining the payment of zakat and prohibiting usury and interest, it has made the upper classes not despots over the common people but servants in a way! It says: “The master
Bukhari, Anbiya’, 6; Manaqib, 25; Maghazi, 61; Fada’il al-Qur’an, 36.