A Systematic Study of the Holy Qur’an — PART II: PHILOSOPHY

Priesthood and Monasticism in The Qur’an

Qur’an does not believe in an intermediary between God and ordinary man. Every man is free to pray God without the involvement of a priest. There is no priesthood in Islam as it is there in other religions. Those who specialise in religious knowledge have also to perform all routine works in the same way as other Muslims do. They do not have to adopt celibacy or shun the comforts of life altogether. Islam does not believe in monasticism either; to give away the world and seclude oneself in exclusive worship of God is contrary to the spirit of Islam. If anyone wants to be a truly committed devotee of God, he has only got to perform all the activities of life in accordance with the injunctions of God and the life of the Prophet; for there are also rights of body on every individual which must be fully respected.

In the name of God, the Kind, the Merciful


Priests not to be taken as lords

They have grasped their priests and ascetics and Christ the Son of Mary as their lords in violation of God; and they had been ordained to worship none but One God. (9: 31)

Dishonesty common in priests

Persons of Commitment! The truth is that the majority of the priests and ascetics wrongfully consume the wealth of the people and misdirect them away from the way of God. Moreover, there are persons who hoard gold and silver and do not spend them in the way of God. So, inform them about a painful punishment as their fate. It will be on a Day when this (hoarded wealth) will be soldered in the fire of Hell and will be used to scorch their foreheads, flanks and backs. This is what you hoarded for yourselves; now have a taste of what you hoarded. (9: 34–35)

Monasticism an invention of men

Afterwards, We continued to send series of Our Ambassadors in their footsteps. In their continuation We dispatched Jesus the Son of Mary and presented Gospel to him and equipped the hearts of the persons who imitated him with compassion and mercifulness; still they invented monasticism. Moreover, We did not prescribe to them anything other than endeavouring for extraordinary pleasure of God; subsequently, they did not try this the way it demanded. So, We would give the persons who committed themselves their due reward, but the majority of them have remained rebellious. (57: 27)