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The Manners of Scholars - The Ethics of Disagreement and Tolerance

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  • The Manners of Scholars - The Ethics of Disagreement and Tolerance

    Salam,

    What is up with us youth nowadays who think just because we have google and watched a few youtube videos that we suddenly know better than people have spent their whole lives studying Islam. This is not about disagreeing with scholars - of course one can always disagree - but even disagreement has a certain manner and etiquette (adab al ikhtilaf - the ethics of disagreement). No one says you have to agree 100% with everything a scholar says - but at least respect them. Too often we easily throw harsh words around about certain scholars we do not agree with - of course you have the right to disagree but not slander.

    This is for those who think a few youtube videos, google and going to a few ''seminars'' gives them authority to pass judgement....




    Question - Speaking Ill of Scholars
    http://spa.qibla.com/issue_view.asp?HD=1&ID=4254&CATE=94

    Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim Alhamdulillahir Rabi'yal 'alamin wa salatu wa salamu 'ala rasul'illah Sayiduna Muhammad wa 'ala ahlihi wa sahbihi wa salaam

    Several years ago, I wrote an article for Q-News on internet slander, and in the course of researching it, asked Shaykh Faraz Rabbani how our beloved scholars feel when they are attacked and slandered online. His response, which has always stuck with me, is that the shayukh only care about how Allah thinks of them. Subhan'Allah. Many of you have been honored to sit in the presence of our shayukh and teachers, and witnessed their humility, their kindness, and, most importantly, their constant dhikr of Allah ta'ala. Islam has traditionally stressed seeking knowledge with the shayukh. Not just for what they can tell you is contained or meant by the words in a book, but because you learn just as much by observing their mannerisms. Our beloved Messenger, sallalahu aleyhi wa salaam, said that he was sent to perfect character. Our scholars are his inheritors, and we have many examples and narrations throughout history until today of our shayukh and teachers, men and women, striving to observe the highest etiquette and to model it for their students.

    The scholars of this diyn, the men and women who have put their lives into studying it, so that they might pass the knowledge on to others, deserve a certain amount of respect from the rest of us. Not because they are worth more as human beings, but because they have done something, sacrificed of their time, perhaps sacrificed a more financially lucrative way of life, in order to serve the Ummah and the rest of humanity. This doesn't mean you're going to get along with every scholar, or that your personality will mesh with his, it's just simple adab. Your parents are due a certain amount of adab, as are your fellow Muslims, as well, regardless of gender or status.

    Those of us born and raised in the West have been inculcated in a culture that encourages a certain degree of iconoclasm. A popular sticker commands us to "Question Authority." There are some in the Ummah who believe it is their God-given right to question everything a scholar teaches, even if, or especially if, the questioning is done in vulgarity, poor taste, or with a certain degree of hostility. They say that the followers of Traditional Islam don't want us to question anything, but to blindly follow the teachers and accept what we are spoon fed, and they say that this gives them the right to say whatever they want, however they want, about those teachers, as well as their students.

    Does the seeking of sacred knowledge in a traditional setting demand blind following on the part of the student? It does not. It does demand, however, that we enter into the student-teacher setting with love and respect, just out of regard for our mutual status as Muslims. Questioning and asking for clarification, in this atmosphere, is far from "wrong," it is encouraged. The great scholar and companion Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) was asked how he attained unto so much knowledge and he said, �By a questioning tongue and an ever-sharp mind.�

    It is an oft-repeated proverb that we owe our brother and sister Muslim seventy excuses for bad behavior. Whatever you think you see or hear him or her doing, you give them an excuse. And then another, and then another. You inquire about the matter quietly, in private, so that they are not humiliated or slandered. You allow for the possibility that you did not see or hear what you thought you saw or heard, because you allow for the possibility that you are not as perfect or intelligent as your nafs wants you to believe you are. You allow for the possibility that shayukh and teachers make mistakes, misspeak, have bad days, and get angry just like any other human being does. We all know that when we make mistakes or say things that are misunderstood, we don't want to be humiliated in public for it. How can you expect the consideration of seventy excuses to be given to you if you don't extend it to others first?

    There was an article released on an internet site recently that slandered several scholars and a group of students, singling out one particular sheikh. These men and women may not know and may not care what was said about them in ignorance, but those of us who know and love them do. It's in our human nature to want to protect the ones we love, and to defend them when their honor or person is threatened.

    The damage that has been done to their reputations, especially that one individual, may never be undone. By Allah, I know the scholar who was singled out. I know him as nothing less and nothing more than a pious, friendly, open minded individual, who makes friends across political, ethnic, and "madhab / no madhab" lines, who loves children and is able to make special connections with them, who wasn't afraid to marry a strong, intelligent woman, and who loves to cook and sing for his students. He travels thousands of miles every year just to teach a little of all that he has learned, so that others might turn around and teach their husbands, wives, and children. He makes a special effort to teach the knowledge of the Qur'an and the art of reciting it. Although English is not his first language, we see him striving to make sure we understand the finest points of detail. He teaches with humor and patience. I have never seen him treat or talk to a woman with anything less than utmost respect and honor. I was awed when I saw him weather a tragedy that would crush many of us with dignity and strength of 'iman, seemingly more concerned for others than he was for himself. Mash'Allah, it is an uplifting experience to be near someone who has that much nur al 'iman -- the Light of Faith -- in their face. Wallahi, he lights up a room when he walks into it. Mash'Allah, may Allah protect him and preserve him.

    Slander, backbiting, and tale bearing are all serious matters about which Allah subhannahu wa ta'ala has given grave warnings.

    "Those who slander such of the Believers as give themselves freely to (deeds of) charity, as well as those who give according to their means, -- and throw ridicule on them -- Allah will throw back their ridicule on them: and they shall have a grievous chastisement." (Surat al Taubah, 79)

    The Messenger of Allah (sallalahu aleyhi wa salaam) also had very strong words for those who engage in this talk. For example:

    "The most prevalent kind of usury [riba] is going to lengths in talking unjustly against a Muslim's honor." (Abu Dawud)

    "O community of people who believed by their tongue, while belief has not entered their hearts: Do not backbite Muslims, and do not search for their faults, for if anyone searches for their faults, Allah will search for his fault, and if Allah searches for the fault of anyone, He disgraces him in his house." (Abu Dawud)

    Our reputations are sacrosanct in Islam. Unfortunately, it is so easy to wag the tongue, and many of us do not understand the damage that can be done with one sentence, one conversation, one article, until it's too late. May Allah ta'ala forgive us all for the damage we have caused, inadvertently or otherwise.

    Umm Zaid

  • #2
    Re: Slandering Scholars

    Originally posted by 2nd Reflection View Post
    Salam,

    What is up with us youth nowadays who think just because we have google and watched a few youtube videos that we suddenly know better than people have spent their whole lives studying Islam. This is not about disagreeing with scholars - of course one can always disagree - but even disagreement has a certain manner and etiquette (adab al ikhtilaf - the ethics of disagreement). No one says you have to agree 100% with everything a scholar says - but at least respect them. Too often we easily throw harsh words around about certain scholars we do not agree with - of course you have the right to disagree but not slander.

    Umm Zaid
    its crazy, there are guys who go off to madinah to study, fail miserably, then come back as a self-appointed scholar, and manage to attract a small following lol. i think most of it is a result of childishness and too much emotion. for some people, a bit of knowledge makes them feel empowered and better than others, too much arrogance.
    Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children...

    -Quran (57:20)

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Slandering Scholars

      Look no one is saying you have to agree with scholar - they are only human - but they are Muslims deserving of dignity and we should love them for the sake of Allah.

      I remember Shaykh Qaradawi disagreeing with Shaykh Tantawi on the issue of the niqab very strongly - but never did Shaykh Qaradawi call the Azhari Shaykh a ''hypocrite'' - in fact when Shaykh Tantawi passed away he paid tribute to his dear friend and colleage even though they had strong disagreements.

      Here is a beautiful example of this love:

      The Manners of Scholars: Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi on the Passing of Shaykh Muhammad Tantawi
      WEBBTRANSLATORS | MAY 10, 2010 4:20 AM

      http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldv...ammad-tantawi/

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      • #4
        The Manners of Scholars - The Ethics of Disagreement and Tolerance

        The Manners of Scholars: Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi on the Passing of Shaykh Muhammad Tantawi
        WEBBTRANSLATORS | MAY 10, 2010 4:20 AM

        by Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi | Translated, with slight modifications, by Jinan Bastaki

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Slandering Scholars

          Originally posted by deen1984 View Post
          its crazy, there are guys who go off to madinah to study, fail miserably, then come back as a self-appointed scholar, and manage to attract a small following lol. i think most of it is a result of childishness and too much emotion. for some people, a bit of knowledge makes them feel empowered and better than others, too much arrogance.
          I just do not understand this methodology - the Salaf were so scared of speaking in public about matters of knowledge even though they were so wise because they feared God. They were so humble, gracious and kind - but these ''pseudo-Salafis'' have gone in the opposite direction unfortunately.

          The real Salaf are giants of generosity and wisdom...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Slandering Scholars

            Some people are too quick to label this and that scholar a munafiq. If they are doing open evil, then yeah they should be warned against, but saying they are a munafiq because of a particular view regarding Jihad or something...is just wrong.
            Allah is always watching [VIDEO]

            How To Weep For The Fear Of Allah

            Please remember to share these links with people you know so they can also benefit from them. :jkk:

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            • #7
              Yes don't insult our scholars for dollars especially people like al buti and hassoun they are great people mashallah
              Last edited by Abu Dhahabi; 16-08-12, 05:45 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: The Manners of Scholars - The Ethics of Disagreement and Tolerance

                how do we define scholars?
                .لا نريد زعيما يخاف البيت الإبيض
                نريد زعيما يخاف الواحد الأحد
                دولة الإسلامية باقية





                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The Manners of Scholars - The Ethics of Disagreement and Tolerance

                  Originally posted by AbuMubarak View Post
                  how do we define scholars?
                  We don't. The scholars define scholars. Just as we don't say that so and so is a Doctor in history just because he has read tens of history books. Rather, his professors declare him to be qualified to be a doctor in history and thus capable of teaching history and formulating expert opinions on matters related to his specialization. The classical scholars of this ummah have developed a system of studying the deen and recognizing someone as a scholar. That does not mean that there isn't anything beneficial to learn from people who have only studied for a couple of years. Also, not everyone is qualified in every area, as Sheikh Qaradawi mentioned in the article above that Sheikh Tantawi was untrained for the depths of Islamic jurisprudence. Take the good from people and leave the bad.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The Manners of Scholars - The Ethics of Disagreement and Tolerance

                    Originally posted by abdulsidd View Post
                    We don't. The scholars define scholars. Just as we don't say that so and so is a Doctor in history just because he has read tens of history books. Rather, his professors declare him to be qualified to be a doctor in history and thus capable of teaching history and formulating expert opinions on matters related to his specialization. The classical scholars of this ummah have developed a system of studying the deen and recognizing someone as a scholar. That does not mean that there isn't anything beneficial to learn from people who have only studied for a couple of years. Also, not everyone is qualified in every area, as Sheikh Qaradawi mentioned in the article above that Sheikh Tantawi was untrained for the depths of Islamic jurisprudence. Take the good from people and leave the bad.
                    if you are not a scholar, how do you define the good and the bad?
                    .لا نريد زعيما يخاف البيت الإبيض
                    نريد زعيما يخاف الواحد الأحد
                    دولة الإسلامية باقية





                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The Manners of Scholars - The Ethics of Disagreement and Tolerance

                      Originally posted by AbuMubarak View Post
                      if you are not a scholar, how do you define the good and the bad?
                      Everyone has at least some basic knowledge, a brain, and a heart. The brain and heart have a purpose. If a scholar tells you that Niqab is haram or that its OK to kill your neighbor just because you live in a non-Muslim country, obviously that should set off alarm bells in your brain and heart. First you should clarify with him exactly what he meant and if the matter still does not settle well in your heart and mind, then you should go to other scholars for clarification on the issue. The scholars and the ummah in general will never unite on falsehood. But that doesn't mean that the scholar is suddenly a kafir or puppet or something. He's mistaken in his opinion and other scholars will refute him and set him straight, as has happened throughout Islamic history.
                      Last edited by abdulsidd; 18-05-15, 07:54 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: The Manners of Scholars - The Ethics of Disagreement and Tolerance

                        Originally posted by abdulsidd View Post
                        Everyone has at least some basic knowledge, a brain, and a heart. The brain and heart have a purpose. If a scholar tells you that Niqab is haram or that its OK to kill your neighbor just because you live in a non-Muslim country, obviously that should set off alarm bells in your brain and heart. First you should clarify with him exactly what he meant and if the matter still does not settle well in your heart and mind, then you should go to other scholars for clarification on the issue. The scholars and the ummah in general will never unite on falsehood. But that doesn't mean that the scholar is suddenly a kafir or puppet or something. He's mistaken in his opinion and other scholars will refute him and set him straight, as has happened throughout Islamic history.
                        if a scholar says its ok to eat meat that Allah's name has not been pronounced, in spite of an ayat that clearly commands us to eat ONLY meat that Allah's name has been pronounced, and his daleel is that the country you live in is a "christian" country, in spite of the fact that there are no tenets of christianity being applied in any realm of that society

                        is that right or wrong?

                        or if a scholar says it is wajib to vote in the kafir country you live in?

                        or if a scholar sits with the enemies of the muslims and applauds his actions?

                        or if a scholar says that the nationalistic army of saudi arabia are the true mujahideen?

                        or if the scholar says that it is ok to celebrate christmas with christians because we too believe in jesus?
                        .لا نريد زعيما يخاف البيت الإبيض
                        نريد زعيما يخاف الواحد الأحد
                        دولة الإسلامية باقية





                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The Manners of Scholars - The Ethics of Disagreement and Tolerance

                          Originally posted by AbuMubarak View Post
                          if a scholar says its ok to eat meat that Allah's name has not been pronounced, in spite of an ayat that clearly commands us to eat ONLY meat that Allah's name has been pronounced, and his daleel is that the country you live in is a "christian" country, in spite of the fact that there are no tenets of christianity being applied in any realm of that society

                          is that right or wrong?

                          or if a scholar says it is wajib to vote in the kafir country you live in?

                          or if a scholar sits with the enemies of the muslims and applauds his actions?

                          or if a scholar says that the nationalistic army of saudi arabia are the true mujahideen?

                          or if the scholar says that it is ok to celebrate christmas with christians because we too believe in jesus?
                          Accept what your heart is comfortable with. I personally am not comfortable with eating non-zabihah meat in the USA, but I can understand where certain people are coming from and they have daleel to back it up. So I don't eat that meat, but I also don't criticize the brothers and sisters who follow another opinion.

                          As for the rest of your questions, I have yet to come across a scholar in my locality who has those opinions or actions. And if there was someone like that in my locality, I would take the good from him and leave those things that do not mesh with what I know of the Deen unless he can explain it to my satisfaction or I can get clarification from another scholar. The Deen is more than just politics or war, after all. I can study Fiqh of Salah with someone like that, but I wouldn't take his opinions on Jihad. Certainly, I would be wary of him, but I wouldn't completely stop studying with him if he was the only scholar in the area and I definitely wouldn't insult him. If the area has other scholars, I would go to study with them instead.

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