Modern Islam acording to

Grand Ayatollah Hosseini Nassab


“Modern Islam” at a glance

In Modern Islam, law, i.e., Shari’a, is explained and interpreted

based on high human ideals, which are the essence of the religion

of Islam. These ideals include rationality, justice, freedom, mercy,

chivalry, tolerance, empathy, ethics, human dignity, spirituality,

peace, rule of law, human rights, and attaining high moral states.

To derive Shari’a law, in addition to the Scripture and Tradition,

independent reason is applied to ensure that such a body of law is

compatible with human nature and rationality.

In that light, if a scholar or jurist issues an edict which stands in

contradiction to the principles of rationality, justice, natural

human rights, freedom of thought and expression, and high moral

states, then such an edict is deemed anti-Islamic, and following it

is considered a rejection of the high values of the Noble Qur’an.

In Modern Islam, the precious kernel of religion, which is Sacred

Devine Law, remains invariant; nonetheless, its directives are

interpreted and explained as the sacred law maker in Islam is

responsible for guiding humankind in the current period.

In Modern Islam, the general rules of jurisprudence, which are

constructed within the edifice of Shari’a, play an essential role in

understanding Islamic Shari’a law. These rules include tolerance,

no-harm, no-undue hardship, the assumption of correctness of

one’s deeds, respect for denominational beliefs, respect for

property, assumption of purity of things and of being halal, i.e.,

permissible to eat, unless otherwise ascertained, suspending

criminal sentences in the case of doubt, executing a directive

despite undue doubt, diminished responsibility, and responsibility

to fulfil one’s commitments, among others. Such rules guarantee

the generative nature of religious knowledge and the guidance

that the Devine Law brings for the present generation.

In Modern Islam, the Glorious Qur’an, as the Word of God and

the Final Testament, is considered the most important source of

law. Nonetheless, its interpretation should be consistent with

reason, human nature, invariant findings of science, and the

absolutely authentic narrations from the infallible Imams, which

are confirmed by rationality, justice and other mentioned human

values. Any interpretation or understanding of the verses of the

Qur’an, which contradict reason, human nature, morality, justice,

self-evident knowledge, and the invariant findings of human

sciences, is considered invalid.

In Modern Islam, narrations, which meet the criteria of

authenticity from the point of view the Principles of

Jurisprudence, the Science of the Narrators of the Tradition, and

the Science of Interpreting Narration, can be referenced as long as

they are consistent with the general spirit of Islam encompassing

rationality, justice, human rights, human dignity, and others

mentioned human high values. 

In the event of a contradiction between a narrated hadeeth and

principal human values, principles of reason, and Devine human

nature, it will be determined that such a hadeeth does not meet

the main condition which is required for its validity, the reason

being that the infallible Imam’s words should never contradict

human nature, justice, rationality, and other sacred Devine and

human values. 

In other words, in addition to the requirements of the

aforementioned sciences to assess the validity of a hadeeth, it is

also required that the hadeeth should be consistent with the

general spirit of Islam, which is based on rationality, justice,

human rights, and morality.

In Modern Islam, there are four dimensions for jurisprudence:

1. The spiritual dimension 

2. The economic dimension 

3. The social dimension

4. The governance/public administration dimension 

The fourth dimension, i.e., the principles of public administration

and rules pertaining to governance, is determined based on the

present social context, and may vary in different times. Such

principles and rules include those concerning court judgments,

sentences, retribution , restitution, compensation, testimony, and

armed struggle, which depending on the time the Traditions were

issued, and extenuating circumstances may be reconsidered in

accordance with contextual factors, human values, and in

conformity with general jurisprudential rules.

The proud example of the infallible Imams in this matter is clear

evidence for this (contextual) approach (to jurisprudence),

instances of which will be presented in this publication.

In Modern Islam, the process of development of a community

should be all-encompassing, including its economic, social,

cultural, and political dimensions, while maintaining a balance

among them.

In Modern Islam, the economic regime is grounded in a theory of

economic development in which economic growth transpires in

tandem with distributional justice. Its ultimate goal is to eradicate

poverty and provide social welfare and justice for all members of

the society.

Economic freedoms granted to create wealth for individuals and

partnerships should also ensure protecting the under-privileged in

the society, since a large gap between the poor and the rich

always results in social disintegration and disorder.

Governments are responsible to create social justice by striking a

balance between accumulation of wealth and ensuring the under-

privileged, senior citizens, orphans, poor children, individuals with

disabilities, and women without protection, and other vulnerable

sectors of the society have a share in this prosperity. 

If governments fail to do so, the public should rise to the occasion

and endeavor to spread social justice. In an Islamic society there

should be no poor person in need of food, medication, healthcare

, clothing, and shelter.

In Modern Islam, government is established based on democracy,

meritocracy, justice, tolerance, moderation, rationality,

independence, rule of law, legitimate freedoms, human dignity

and rights, accountability of the statesmen, equality of all citizens

before law, and providing for the basic needs of the

underprivileged sectors of the society. 

Otherwise, institutions of religion should part ways with

government in order to preserve the sanctity of the Devine


In Modern Islam, women, together with men, are active in the

social, scientific, cultural, political, and economic domains.

Women, as men, contingent upon the requisite conditions, have a

share in rising to the position of high guardianship, to the

leadership of the Islamic society, to become a religious authority,

and to the high positions of the country’s administration.


Book of "Modern Islam in Farsi: