FALSE LABELS IN ISLAM
We have come across some ridiculous posts lately, with Muslims demeaning other Muslims, accusing them to be of certain Islamic groups, and falsely accusing prominent shuyukh to be of particular denominations. Some have escalated to a point that if you happen to like a specific scholar, then you are automatically pigeon-holed to belong to a particular Islamic denomination. These accusations even extend to entire establishments and even mosques.
This is the state of utter ignorance in the ummah today. So-called Muslims spread hatred, cause division, disrespect and insult scholars (here we are referring to mainstream scholars whose legitimacy of knowledge is generally accepted in the Muslim world). They label these scholars without the right to do so, only because they originate from a different geographical region or because they have a different interpretation of certain Islamic rulings. Before this, the disputes on the “correct path” was on which Mazhab was superior, and now, there are new catchphrases flung about to demonize other Muslims and scholars.
They probably don’t even know what these labels mean, because they make accusations based on ignorance, hatred and hearsay. They issue sweeping derogatory statements about others without data or research. When asked to pinpoint what exactly it is their “target” is doing wrong under Islam, they usually cannot answer, because their conclusion is based on nationalism, racism, political ideology and cultural tradition, not authentic Islamic knowledge.
When they hear an opinion they don’t like, even if the situation is hypothetical or irrelevant to them, they scream that this person must be from a particular denomination, instead of respecting the scholar’s view and obeying him. In the alternative, they should provide evidence in Qur’an and Sunnah to disprove the scholar’s opinion, but they usually can’t. It is not enough to just disagree, they then publicly discredit the other person!
Then the same so called Muslims complain that the ummah is disunited!
Meanwhile, the enemies of Islam are having a good laugh and clapping their hands at our collective lunacy.
How far from the values emulated by Rasulullah SAW and his Companions (RA) … they would unite the ummah at any cost, even at the expense of their own egos.
So some pointers, based on Islam – as an adab, scholars are to be respected. You are not allowed to insult scholars, as a sign of basic manners. You can disagree with them, because they are human and make mistakes, but disagreeing has its etiquette. Disagree politely with Islamic evidence, not by attacking and name-calling. However, if you are not even familiar with the Qur’an and Sunnah, save yourself the trouble. You will likely showcase your ignorance and embarrass yourself.
If you are still not convinced by the scholar’s view, then move on! Find another scholar. Keep searching and verifying, but remember that Allah knows your intention. If you are merely looking for a scholar who will concur with your views, then you are searching to feed your desires, not for the sake of Allah. We know of someone who wanted to attend a Christian funeral in church, and when the scholars discouraged it, he interpreted their answers his own way, and went anyway. We also know of people who have declared the triple talaq too hastily and then after that search for multiple scholars until they find one that confirms that the marriage is still valid. However, whatever your motivation is, if you don’t agree with a scholar, find another one! There is no need to smear his reputation or treat him like the enemy.
Do not label other Muslims. Usually these labels are not even factually correct, but invented from ignorance. Previously, people were labelled by their Mazhab, and recently, labelled by other names of groups that no one, not even the accuser, knows the meaning of. These ignorant acts merely spread paranoia, hatred and discord between Muslims.
Don’t think that only your way of Islam is right, especially when you don’t have an in depth understanding of Islam. You may have read a textbook on Fiqh written by a respected scholar, but another respected scholar may have written a better textbook! Just reading one scholar’s tasfeer does not make you an expert on the Qur’an because there are many other sound tafseer in the market. So, continue to seek knowledge, but until you are a qualified scholar, you do not have the right to issue opinions or fatwa on Islamic matters. In fact, anyone with basic knowledge of Islam wouldn’t want to!
Do not cause division between the Muslims. This is a vile act, hated by Allah and His Messenger.
Don’t think that your Islam is superior. The most knowledgeable people are the humblest, whereas arrogance can lead one to jahannam, despite his good deeds.
Sadly, an ignorant person will never admit his ignorance. Ignorance and arrogance come in a pair. When one thinks he knows it all, he will stop learning. That lack of continued Islamic education will breed more ignorance and in turn, more arrogance. If this cycle continues, the heart may even be sealed by Allah from comprehending the truth, and without realising it, everything he says is nonsensical if measured against the Qur’an and Sunnah (even though he thinks he is devout and wise). One does not reach this level overnight, but once there, only Allah can break the cycle. So please don’t reach this level! Remain humble and continue seeking knowledge.
Please abstain from causing division. Respect our scholars and our fellow Muslims. We are supposed to strengthen the ummah, not weaken it.
If you are unsure if your actions are right or wrong, or whether a particular scholar is correctly guided, just turn to Allah in humility, and ask for guidance to show you the way, and to protect the scholar from mistakes. If you are sincere, Allah will guide you. Continue learning about Islam from authentic sources, don’t spread mischief, label others or cause fitnah and division within the ummah.
I fully agree with the writer
I fully agree with the writer. Fuelling disunity among the Ummah will worsen our predicament. If one cannot douse cold water on, then keeping silent is an appropriate thing to do.
Jazakallah Khairan. May Allah prevent us from being such people. If you could spread this article to those who would benefit, we would appreciate it.