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11/26/08

Dealing with Differences

After reading some of the comments made in the Jilbab fard/not fard discussion, I wanted to share this article on how I think we should deal with each other when we have different points of view on certain Islamic topics


"Islam teaches that wudu is done this way." The man said confidently.

"But you're wrong," the young man replied. "That's totally against the laws of Islam."

"But it says in a hadith that." The older man started saying.

"That's a weak hadith!" The younger man interrupted.

"Oh Yeah! What's your daleel (proof)? I read in a book that the blessed prophet said to..."

By this time both men were fuming. The young man screamed, "I read in a book, too, that..."

But before he could finish his sentence, the older brother pushed him and he pushed back. A fight would ensued if some quick-thinking brothers nearby didn't break it up.

The two brothers eyed each other angrily and left in opposite directions. Those who remained just shook their heads in silence. Here were two brothers ready to fight over a difference of opinion.

The funny thing was, they both were right. They just didn't know how to handle a difference of opinion. The blessed prophet once remarked:Difference (of opinion) in my Ummah are a blessing."

He didn't mean that Muslims should argue about everything or be divided, rather, he was pointing out that it was good for Muslims to think, to reason together, to discuss things and that if they disagreed over something, that it was all in the pursuit of knowledge. If anyone uses differences of opinion to form competing groups, then they have done wrong and may find themselves in trouble on the day of judgment!

Allah is very harsh against those who make divisions. He said, "And be not like those who split up their way of life and become mere sects, each group rejoicing in what it (claims) it has." (Qur'an 30:31-32).

Also he said, "As for those who divide their way of life and break up into sects, you have no part of them at all. Their affair is with Allah. He will tell them the truth of what they did in the end." (Qur'an 6:159).

Once the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), said that the Jews divided up into 71 sects, or groups, the Christians into 72 and that his community would eventually be divided up into 73. Then he said they would all be in the fire except one. When the people around him asked which one was going to Paradise, he replied that it was the one which would follow his example.

We are blessed as a community in that we have our original book and the complete record of the life of our prophet. If anyone comes and says, "This or that is Islam," we can easily check and verify whether or not it's true. If it doesn't come from the Qur'an or Hadith, then it can't be Islam. So we must use those two sources to explain what Islam really is. Sincere people seek to learn and practice the truth and Allah guides those who seek him. Anything else is opinion.

On many occasions Muslims have disagreed over what something means or what to do. The key is to follow the Islamic manners of how to deal with differences. We don't have to agree all the time, but we don't fight over disagreements as if we were enemies. And if we are truly wrong and realize it, we must not stick to a false position out of pride or fear of "losing."

An arrogant person refuses to accept logic and a proud and vain person never likes to listen to guidance. In contrast, the Qur'an states, "Those who, when they hear the signs of Allah being recited, humble themselves" So be humble where knowledge is concerned.

Before the battle of Khandaq, the Muslims had to decide what to do. Some wanted to go out and fight while others wanted to stay in the city and defend from there. The prophet listened to both sides and in the end, he agreed with those who wanted to defend from the city. He didn't barge in with his own personal preferences nor did the Shura, or group discussion, become heated and full of antagonism. People disagreed over an issue but united after a majority decision was taken.

Allah, the exalted, gave us a formula for dealing with differences when he said in the Qur'an that this book is Al Furqan, the standard to go by. And further he instructed us to follow the example of the blessed prophet (Qur'an 33:21)

If we have a disagreement, especially between the followers of one Madhab (School of Fiqh) and another, we must respect each other's opinions and present our evidence. In the end, even if neither side proves a point, we must be courteous and respectful. If we find our position is wrong, then we would be a fool to stick with something that is not true. Simply say, "Alhumdulillah," and thank the brother or sister for helping you to understand Allah's Shari'ah better. Khalifa 'Umar once said, "Allah bless the person who makes me a gift of my own faults."

I've seen countless showdowns between people with different opinions in which the end-result was ill will and hurt feelings. What's even worse is that such a display of rude behavior on the part of people who are supposed to know Islam makes other Muslims shy away from the Masjid and Muslim gatherings. It has an even worse effect on new converts and potential converts. Muslims handle their differences with proper adab, or manners.

When we have differences, we must not forget that it does not take away from our primary bonds of Iman. On one occasion, Khalid ibn Walid and Saad ibn Waqqas were having a heated argument. After Khalid left, a friend of Saad's started saying bad things about Khalid. Saad immediately stopped the man and told him, "The disagreement between us does not affect the bond of our Iman." (From: God-Oriented Life)

Once 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, who was the Khalifa, or political leader, went up to a person he disliked and told him to his face, "I don't like you." The person merely answered back, "Are you going to take away my rights?" Umar replied, "I don't like you, but I will respect your rights." Clearly, that is the best example for us to follow with regards to dealing with the differences among us.

15 comments:

Halal Honey said...

Very nice post Hijabee!!

Hijabi Apprentice said...

Thanks for posting this! I took the more passive aggressive route and posted a hadith on hypocrisy but still lol.

In all seriousness though the tone of the post and comments really saddened me. Sisters were ready to argue without proper adab regarding what is proper hijab/jilbab. Subhana Allah! I'd rather make sure my heart is pure and my ego is in check than to focus on how modest is modest enough.

Habayeb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Habayeb said...

sigh...i have stopped getting into such debates ...theres just counter arguments, more counter arguments and even more counter arguments...i totally feel if you think jilbab or abaya is fard carry on good for you! But if others go with the other opinion that its fine for them too! let each do their own research and that be it! If one sister posts something and you disagree just post once and move on! It even scares off new muslims or even born young muslims who are already struggling with the hijab.

Insha'allah we all could learn to be like sahabas.

Umm Ismail said...

Modesty Begins with the Lips And Jilbab is ment to covers one body. at the same time if u western Clothing that meets the Islamic dress Code and yr Covered. Allahu allim The point is proper Dress a Jilaba is Highly recommended and Easier for us Ladies but some ppl can't Sew nor have money like that. So they have make due with Loose fitting Clothing.

malizea the french hijabi said...

I was just wainting for that kind of post! I am so agree with habayeb " let each do their own research and that be it!" the ummah is so devided that's making me so sad!! let us respect to each other!! that's the answer... wallahoua'lam

Umm Travis said...

You have been tagged!

Check it out!

http://teabreakthoughts.blogspot.com/2008/11/when-in-musjid.html

hijabee said...

Thanks for your input sisters. I agree with you :)

Francesca Najea Lujan said...

As-Salaamu-Alaikum,
Thank-you for your studious and we-written post.
Ma'aSalama,
Najea

ADK said...

Thank you for the post.
May Allah (SWT) Reward you for this.
I didn't know Hadith about the sects.
This one is very interesting one. Thanks again.
Salaam.

hijabee said...

Francesca,ADK
Thanks for reading. Amin for your duas. May Allah reward you for reading

NATASHAAMINA said...

Thank you for this post :)!Very useful.

muslimahh said...

As always, great post!! :)

Ms.Unique said...

Masha Allah nice post sis .... agree with u ....

hijabee said...

Thanks Ms.Unique