By Edeward Sell
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Additional resources for The Faith of Islam
Its golden age was in the past.
At first sight it would seem that if there can be Mujtahidín who are now able to give authoritative opinions, there may be some hope of enlightened progress amongst Shía'h people—the Persians for example. There is doubtless amongst them more religious unrest, more mysticism, more heresy, but they are no further on the road of progress than their neighbours; and the apparent advantage of the presence of a Mujtahid is quite nullified by the fact that all his decisions must be strictly in accordance with the Qurán and the Sunnat, or rather with what to the Shía'h stands in the place of the Sunnat.
The obeying the least of the orders of the Prophet, however trivial) is far better than doing some new thing, however advantageous and desirable it may be. There are many stories which illustrate the importance the Companions of the Prophet attached to Sunnat. "The Khalíf Omar looked towards the black stone at Mecca, and said, 'By God, I know that thou art only a stone, and canst grant no benefit, canst do no harm. '" Abdullah-Ibn-'Umr was seen riding his camel round and round a certain place. " Ahmad-Ibn-Hanbal, one of the four great Imáms, and the founder of the Hanbalí school of interpretation, is said to have been appointed on account of the care with which he observed the Sunnat.
The Faith of Islam by Edeward Sell