Islam is said, by many, to be the perfect religion. If this is so then why do we find differences of opinion on modern issues? Why are there changes to the religion to deal with modern issues if innovations are haram?

I understand that there are differences between the two eras, when the Religion was revealed and now. I understand that Islam was delivered over the course of many years and therefore may even contradict itself in a few ways, that is to say the later rulings could contradict earlier ones. But why do so many people claim it is 'perfect' if its rulings cannot be transferred from one era to another?

People use the following quote for their argument

"This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion" (Al-Maidah 5: 3)

If I recall correctly the Prophet(s.a.w.) announced this to his followers, which when you think about it who does 'you' refer to. Does it mean the entire Muslim Ummah until the Day of Judgement or just the ones he was talking to. If the latter that would make perfect sense, as every culture would have different expectations, needs and limitations. Beheading of murderers may have made sense then due to the effort needed to keep them imprisoned and likelihood of innocent deaths if he escaped. Where as now it would make more sense to keep him locked up. this is just one example, there are of course several more.

My question is 'If Islam is perfect and innovations are haram, then why do changes still occur?'

Regards, B.M.

  • 1
    Just for clarificatio: fatwa is not an innovation ,it is just finding islamic rule of an issue based on existing rules(quran and hadith)
    – Tachyons
    Oct 18, 2012 at 0:49
  • I think the questioner is confusing matters of ijtihaad and innovation.
    – Abdullah
    Oct 18, 2012 at 7:39
  • Perhaps I am confusing matters. But the question would still stand because either way there are changes to the religion. Changes would mean that Islam isn't perfect.
    – BM1
    Oct 19, 2012 at 10:27

1 Answer 1


Mathematics has ten digits: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Other numbers are derived from this set, the perfect and independent set !!!

Out of these numbers, if I ask you to find a combination of numbers which when added together gives 17, the answers are unlimited.

  • 1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1

  • 1+9+7

  • 5+7+5

  • etc.

Some trickster among us may just raise up his voice and say "1 and 7". When asked how, he would say "Add 7 next to 1 and you'll get 17". The solution is Great!! Innovative!! but against laws of mathematics. This is Bid'ah. Though the former solution is not so great, not so innovative, it respects the laws of mathematics and hence is considered a valid solution to the problem. Any new law that is introduced in Mathematics must be derived from the basic laws.

Just like Mathematics, there are a set of Basic Rules & Regulations that a mufti (Scholar who gives fatwa) must comply with. Those rules and regulations are The Holy Qur'an and the Sahih Ahadith which are by any means, most perfect. A fatwa is a ruling derived from these rules and regulations. So, you cannot call it Bid'ah (innovation). It is a derived ruling (Ruling in the light of Qur'an and Ahadith).

For every kind of society or era, new rulings must be derived due to various factors like culture & financial diversities, geography, governments and technologies. Rulings must only be derived, not created. If a ruling (fatwa) is found non-compatible with even a single Ayah of the Holy Qur'an or a hadith, it can always be challenged just to make sure (the perfectness of) the Principle Rules and Regulations of Islam are not tampered with.

Last word: what you consider as changes are actually rulings derived from The Holy Qur'an and the Ahadith. Fatwas are derived rulings, not innovations.

ۚ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ (And Allah is the All-Knower, the Wise)


  • 1
    Mathematics have ten digits (only in ten-base numeric system) and infinite numbers. Oct 19, 2012 at 16:07
  • @AhmedHan, updated... Oct 19, 2012 at 16:09
  • I can understand what you're trying to say, but it's not really an accurate metaphor. It's not a bad one, but someone can easily put up a similar counter-metaphor.
    – Muz
    Oct 19, 2012 at 16:21
  • @Muz, any better one ... I have a very low vocabulary... Oct 19, 2012 at 16:23
  • +1 I like how you're trying to answer this
    – user206
    Oct 21, 2012 at 3:33

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .