Saturday, 12 April 2014

For Lay Muslims Who Insult Scholars...

الحكمة ضالة المومن أنى وجدها فهي له
Wisdom is the lost property of the believer; wherever they find it it’s theirs
This narration means that even if an Atheist says something wise, as a Muslim I can take it and apply it, and that’s someone who might have 98% of what they say be rejected, but that other 2%, if it’s good, as a Muslim I have a right to it, and I will take it. What about our scholars? These are people who had 98% of what they said be good. Unfortunately, because we like to personalize everything, and we “enjoy” character assassinations, if a scholar held unorthodox views in 2% of what they said, we’re more than willing to throw that and the 98% of good out to the ocean, and follow that with spitting at it.

It’s getting really annoying when I hear someone always talk about the maverick positions of Imam Ibn Taymiyyah, or those of Imam Al Ghazali, etc. If you took a little bit of time to look at how the scholars dealt with each other’s maverick opinions, it was always in beautiful discourse that sought excuses for each other by saying things like: may be the Shaykh missed this, or may be the Shaykh meant this other thing. They acted upon the narration of the Prophet peace be upon him:

التمس العذر لأخيك ولو سبعين مرة
Seek the excuse for your brother/sister even if it’s for 70 times
But nowadays, it’s NOT even scholars that are doing the criticism. It’s Muslims that are not educated in the Tradition, fanatical in their views, emotional in their attachment to particular scholars, arrogant in their attitudes, and unmannered in their discourse who seem to feel that they for some reason have the authority to even speak, let alone judge scholars and teachers that spent 20 to 70 years of their lives dedicated to studying the Tradition.

I think it’s time for these people to wake up and smell the qahwa!

Not everyone will have similar inclinations, and that’s the Divine wisdom in having different types of scholars. God made some people have more of a soft spot in their heart for Imam Ibn Taymiyyah’s character, while for others it was Imam Al Ghazali’s. It’s the nature of the world to have these difference, and Islam is big enough to envelop both types of scholars as well as others.

It’s upon the lay Muslims to understand that and to just realize that all these scholars have served Islam more than they have and to show them the respect they deserve, and to stop labeling them with negative labels to demean their legacy by calling this one a so-called “Sufi” as a way to say they had problematic issues in their theology, and that one a “deviant” as a means of insult because they held some unorthodox position in a certain issue. God says in the Quran:

ولا تنابزوا بالالقاب بيس الاسم الفسوق بعد الايمان – الحجرات 11
And do not call each other with negative names, becoming a profligate is a bad name after faith – Surah Al Hujurat 11

No comments: