(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2260; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 957. )
I recently came across this hadith again. I had heard of it many times, but it seemed to stick with me the last time I read it.
I realize that I do go on a lot about modernizing Islam and how much I dislike it, but it just seems like such a serious thing to me. If we look at what this hadith is saying, we can see just how important it is NOT to change things in Islam to suit modern times. If it were ok to do that, then the analogy of holding a burning coal would not apply.
As Muslims in modern times, (note I don't say 'modern Muslims') we have to hold on to Islam with such a firm grasp. The corruptions of the world have made it very difficult to do so. This is why we need people of Knowledge to remind us of what is the straight path, rather than where we can cut corners. In a previous post I had talked about the following hadith:
Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr bin Al' As: I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "Allah does not take away the knowledge, by taking it away from (the hearts of) the people, but takes it away by the death of the religious learned men till when none of the (religious learned men) remains, people will take as their leaders ignorant persons who when consulted will give their verdict without knowledge. So they will go astray and will lead the people astray."
This is a big problem today. Many self proclaimed Imams and scholars are not on the right path. They obtain huge followings of people that trust them to know the truth. 'So they will go astray, and lead the people astray'... I have a feeling that these people have no idea what they are doing. They are not doing it on purpose, they just have not learned the proper thing, and therefore spread it on to others.
So let us all realize that we need to go back to Quran and Sunnah. We need to follow the way of the Prophet and his companions. Modern interpretation is not needed. One final hadith to insert here...
“Islam began as something strange and will revert to being strange as it began, so tooba (glad tidings) to the strangers.”