Saturday, 10 November 2012

Aala Hazrat's advice on abstaining from religious debates

Aala Hazrat's advice on abstaining from religious debates

Aala Hazrat's advice on abstaining from religious debates
A student of Imâm Râzi questioned an illiterate peasant: 'what is your faith?'

He replied 'I am a sunni muslim'.

The student asked, 'do you have any doubts about this creed?'

The man replied:'I seek Allâh's refuge. I am convinced that the creed of ahlus sunnah is true; I am sure of it as I believe that the sun is present in the afternoon'

The student broke into tears and wept so much that his shirt was soaked and said: 'I am still unsure as to which is the most correct creed.'

Therefore it is said that the initiates, but even the masters shouldn't read the books of the heretics. It is not permitted to look into them unless there is a need (like refuting them). After all we are human; who knows, something (from the heretic's belief) might settle in the heart – we seek Allâh's refuge – and may go astray and fall into perdition.

Imâm Hârith al-muHâsibi wrote a book refuting the heretics. And that was the first book refuting heresy. Imâm Ahmed (ibn Hanbal) stopped talking to him. Imâm Hârith said, 'Did I do anything wrong? After all I have refuted the heresies'

Imâm Ahmed replied: 'Is it not possible that the heresies you have copied in your book to refute may take root in the hearts of Muslims, and make them go astray?'

In the olden days many heresies were put down by the power of the sword. In these days we can do nothing but refute. In fact it is obligatory (farD) to refute the heretics. It is in the Hadîth: 'when mischief and heresy is widespread, and the scholar doesn't refute them (demonstrate his learning), then Allâh's damnation is upon him and the curse of the angels and men. Allâh will neither accept his obligatory nor superoragatory worship'.

A heretic met Imâm Sa`yeed ibn Jubayr raDiyAllâhu `anhu on the road. He said 'Sir, I want to ask you something'. The Imâm said, 'I don't want to listen anything'. The heretic said, 'But sir, please listen to just one word', the Imâm gestured placing his thumb on his little finger and said, 'I won't listen to HALF a word'.

When asked about it, he replied: 'He wanted to simply argue'.

Come to think of it. The superiors (akâbir), the most knowledgeable amongst them are so careful and wary of such matters. Whereas these days we observe the ignorant folk arguing with the arya samajis and wahabis. They don't seem to be concerned nor afraid of anything! (Only) that person who is a master of sciences, he who knows the pitfalls the nuances of argument, and he who has all the force and he who has all the weaponry with him should venture into refuting the heretics. Even then, where is the need for such a man should go in a forest full of jackals?

Yes, when there is a pressing need, he (such a scholar) is compelled. He should do tawakkul on Allâh and use his weapons.

[Akâbir ki to yeh Hâlat, aur ab ye Hâlat hai ke jâhil se jâhil chuTa paRta hai âryoN se, wahâbiyoN se aur kuch khawf nahiN karta. Jo tamâm funûn ka mâhir ho, tamâm pech jânta ho, poori Tâqat rakhta ho, tamâm hathiyar paas hoN, usko bhi kya zarûr ke khwah makhwâh bheDiyoN ke jungal meiN jaay? HaaN agar zarûrat aa paRey to majbûri hai, Allâh par tawakkul karke un hathiyâroN se kaam le]

Al-MalfuDH, Imâm Ahmed RiDâ, Part 4

****to paraphrase the Imâm raHimahullâh:

"Our elders were wary of argument and refutation. But these days everyone seems to find it easy and plunges in it, without a second thought.

Only such a man who has the mastery of sciences should venture into refuting the heretics. (he who has copious knowledge of fiqh, Hadîth, kalâm, logic, etc.) Not only that, he should also be adept at debate and distinguishing the weak argument from a sound one. He should have all the tools (his books and those of the heretics) with him. Even such a person shouldn't unnecessarily risk entering a debate unless there is a real need to. In such a case, it is a compulsion for him to refute."