Published at Huffington Post
The authoritarian circumstances created a need to interpret the faith to suit them - a phenomenon that is intrinsic to all faiths. Scholars like Ibn Tamiyah, Ibn Kathir at the time of great violence like the Crusades and Mongol attacks and other social and political upheavals gave their personal views on civil, political and military aspects of the era. The mistake we have made is to give their word a near equivalence of Quran and the Prophet; we can judge them against historical relativism but should not regard their work as integral component of Islamic teachings. All said, we must admit that whatever their intentions might have been, the medieval scholars messed up the interpretation of Quran. Instead of building cohesive societies, they were inclined to forge exclusive authoritarian societies. A lot of their work is good, but it takes only a single drop of poison to endanger a pot full of water.