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IslamQA: On believing that Islamic clerics have ruined Islam

Assalamualaikum! I am a Kurd from Turkey,my family is Shafi,but I don't believe sects, imams,şeyhs or mollas I think they ruined our religion,they are not Allah or the prophet? Why does everyone believe them? Isn't that a sin? Because Allah sends us the Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad,the Quran is our guide, why should I live according to their rules? And their rules are disgusting. Am I wrong? I want to be an independent Muslim, but my family looks at me like I am a sinner.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

If you are not satisfied with what you hear from the clerics (imams, mullahs, etc.), maybe that means you are intelligent enough to seek knowledge on your own and to surpass them in understanding. Become a scholar yourself. Like you said, clerics are humans and have all kinds of failings. If you are dissatisfied with your local clerics, either you can study Islam for yourself, or try to find better clerics. For example, scholars who have PhD degrees from Al-Azhar University or al-Qarawiyyin University are often open-minded and modern and they could be very different from the ones you are used to. You should not lump them all together.

It is not a constructive thing to be hostile toward them. They perform an important service for the community. Not everyone has the free time to read the Quran and the dozens of volumes of hadith and fiqh books. There is a need for someone who performs this service for the community so that they can tell people the details of practicing Islam properly. Most people do not know how to research questions like how to divide the inheritance or whether this thing or that may break one’s fast. There is a need for clerics to answer such questions.

And God knows best.
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