Academic journal article American Academic & Scholarly Research Journal

The Impact of Prophet Muhammad's Misconceived Sunnah on the Traditional Muslim's Lifestyle in Tripoli, Lebanon

Academic journal article American Academic & Scholarly Research Journal

The Impact of Prophet Muhammad's Misconceived Sunnah on the Traditional Muslim's Lifestyle in Tripoli, Lebanon

Article excerpt

Abstract. Within Lebanon, the Northern region has been seen as a sanctuary for Islamic extremism, ignorance, and females' oppression. The Northerners' efforts to attract other Lebanese citizens to Tripoli, known as the second capital of the Lebanon, have proven to be a failure due to the notorious reputation of the city. Yet, despite being touted as the citadel of extremism, Tripoli remains essential to the tourism economy and provides the fundamentals for the needy. Tripoli lacks the moderate religious education to attract tourists and especially other Lebanese citizens from different areas of the country. This study, bridging Muhammad's teachings (hadith or 'saying', and his life example, Sunnah) and their implementation, explores the contradiction of being symbolically valorized while remaining socially wrongly put into practice.

This quantitative study describes and analyzes the perspectives of Sunna Muslims in Tripoli, Lebanon, regarding the influence of the misinterpreted or orally transmitted Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on the ordinary Muslims' daily life, their families, and in particular on their women in Tripoli, Lebanon. The research design involves "in depth phenomenological interviews" (Seidman, 1991) and observations involving a sample composed of three Tripolian families, each one from a different social background: lower class, middle class and upper class. The research will have implications for Muslims who want to make a positive difference in implementation, and interpretations of the Sunnah and Shari'a or Islamic law.

1 LITERATURE REVIEW

1.1 Historical Stories or Sunnah?

Currently, shifts in religious perspectives and redoubled efforts to attract Muslims and Non-Muslims to Islam, the religion, signal a pivotal time of rapid change in the preconceived fallacies. The boundary between Muhammad (PBUH), the human being and Muhammad the messenger of God is being drawn, as some Muslim scholars determine the concept of Sunnah which God in his Holy Book, the Quran, calls 'Wisdom'. Consequently, all what has to do with legislation in Islam is related to Muhammad the messenger and not Muhammad the person. Muslim scholars are increasingly engaged in battles over the existence of legislation not only in Quran but also in Sunnah. My research analyzes these perspectives and focuses on how some hadiths are more of a history than a methodology, and how the promotion of these kinds of hadiths and Sunnah as a Modus Operandi shape the religious practices and everyday lives of the Muslims in Tripoli. The interpretation of many hadiths has been found by Muslim scholars to contradict the Quran and to mislead Muslims for political and personal purposes. Since the turn of the century, Muslim scholars have conducted many investigations in an attempt to find ways to define and measure attributes of "authentic" hadiths. Nevertheless, no consensus has emerged concerning either criteria for or quantification of that elusive quandary. Hadith, or saying, is linked in Islam with the pathway to God, and it is considered as second only to the Quran in importance. Hadith refers to anything that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is thought to have said, that is the thousands of transmitted and recorded sayings of the Prophet as remembered and passed down by his early followers. Sunnah, or the Prophet's life example, includes Muhammad's Hadith and the particular way in which he lived-the way he ate, dressed, interacted with people and performed his religious duties. In retrospect, Muslim Scholars preach that Sunnah represents the perfect life example for Muslims to follow. The accounts of Muhammad's Sunnah can be found in Hadith but are more commonly recorded in the biographical accounts of his life known as the Sirah. Muslims believe that Muhammad's Character provides the perfect example for them to emulate in their everyday lives. The imitation of the Prophet's practices is seen as an effective way of correcting personal character traits, and in doing so Muslims believe that they will attain God's reward. …

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