that is probably because of your servitude to the word. being adroit with words is not directly proportional to comprehension, as it has been unfortunately demonstrated in your case. your analogy - the imaginary dialogue - is also flawed; like tariq ali basing his hatred of islam on some foolish man of religion he had encountered in HIS childhood. this counterfeit experience, he tries to pass off as a universal truth. i am sorry for drawing parallels here, but what option do you leave us when you show scant respect for our elders as a rule? [though you suddenly seem to develop a great esteem for imam ibrahim nakha'i because he allowed nabidh!] --- imam shafi'yi's poem is thus:kullu'l `ulumi siwa'l qur'ani mashghalah illa'l Haditha wa `ilma'l fiqhi fi'd deeni al-`ilmu maa kaana feehi qaala Haddathana wa maa siwaa dhaaka waswaasu'sh shayaTeeni all sciences other than that of qur'an is an indulgence and except Hadith and the knowledge of religion even within that, true knowledge in that is when it is [accompanied by] 'it was narrated us..' other that, everything else is a whisper of satan. you should belch at your incomprehension. i pity your students who endure your poetry lessons - the meaning is contorted in your version of the verse because you have skipped lines. in the above lines, imam shafiyi did not deny 'other' knowledge; he simply said that 'as far as i am concerned all branches of knowledge other than qur'an and hadith are a mere indulgence.' even though he says 'fiqh' here, he uses it both as a branch of knowledge [fiqh] and in the literal meaning: 'understanding'. he simply valued qur'an, hadith, fiqh and islamic knowledge in general more than anything else. and the final line about everything else being 'a whisper of satan': sad that an english teacher fails to understand figures of speech. i can imagine someone teaching shakespeare:'all the perfumes of arabia': oh that? shakespeare was a liar. how did he ever count the number of perfumes in arabia? if he did not enumerate them, then how could he say 'ALL'? and is he [the bard] a fool? it is common sense that nobody washes blood with perfumes. show her the basin mate.. ----- the rest of your argument needs to go down the drain with lady mac's handwash... as usual, your incomprehension coupled with your disdain for reason makes you hallucinate. and to find an excuse for a 'proof', you just quote whatever suits your whims. and not content with it, you twist it.