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Written By: Mufti Faraz al - Mahmudi (student of Mufti Ebrahim Desai Saheb)

 

During Islamic lectures and discussions, sometimes things go out of hand into arguments and abusive speech. This article outlines the proper etiquette one must adhere to in such situations:

If you have trouble understanding some of what has been said in meeting, hold your questions until the speaker has finished. Gently, politely, and with proper introduction, ask for clarification. Do not interrupt a person’s speech. Never raise your voice with the question, or be blunt to draw attention to yourself. This is contrary to the proper manner of listening, and stirs up contempt. However, this is not the rule if the meeting is for studying and learning. In such a case, asking questions and initiating a discussion is desirable if conducted respectfully and tactfully and only after the speaker finishes. Khaleef Al-Ma’mun said: “Discussion entrenches knowledge much more than mere agreement.”

Al-Haitham Bin Adi, a known scholar, historian, and a member of the court of four Caliphs: Abu Ja`far Al-Mansur, Al-Mahdi, Al-Hadi and Al-Rashid, said: “It is an ill manner to overwhelm someone while speaking and to interrupt them before they end their talk.”

If a colleague did not understand an issue and asked a scholar or an elder to explain, you should listen to what is being said. The repeated explanation may give you additional insights to what you already know. Never utter any word belittling your colleague, nor allow your face to betray such an attitude.

When an elder or a scholar speaks, listen attentively. Never busy yourself with a talk or discussion with other colleagues. Do not let your mind wander elsewhere; keep it focused on what is being said.

Never interrupt a speaker. Never rush to answer if you are not very confident of your answer. Never argue about something you do not know. Never argue for the sake of argument. Never show arrogance with your counterparts especially if they hold a different opinion. Do not switch the argument to belittle your opponent’s views. If their misunderstanding becomes evident, do not rebuke or scold them. Be modest and kind.

Muslims Should not dispute over non-Fundamental principles of Islam

“And obey Allâh and His Messenger, and do not dispute (with one another) lest you lose courage and your strength depart, and be patient. Surely, Allâh is with those who are As-Sâbirin (the patient ones, etc.).” [Surah al-Anfaal 8:46]

And if your Lord had so willed, He could surely have made mankind one Ummah [nation or community (following one religion only i.e. Islâm)], but they will not cease to disagree,- Except him on whom your Lord has bestowed His Mercy (the follower of truth – Islâmic Monotheism) and for that did He create them. And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled (i.e. His Saying): “Surely, I shall fill Hell with jinns and men all together.” [Surah al-Anfaal 11:118, 119]

The Companions only differed when it was inevitable, but they used to hate disputes, and would avoid them whenever possible; as for the muqallideen, even though it is possible in a great many cases to avoid differing, they do not agree nor strive towards unity; in fact, they uphold differing.

The Companions (radi Allaahu ‘anhum), despite their well-known differing in non-fundamental issues, were extremely careful to preserve outward unity, staying well-away from anything which would divide them and split their ranks. For example, there were among them those who approved of saying the basmalah loudly (in prayer) and those who did not; there were those who held that raising the hands (in prayer) was recommended and those who did not; there were those who held that touching a woman nullified ablution, and those who did not; – but despite all that, they would all pray together behind one imaam, and none of them would disdain from praying behind an imaam due to difference of opinion.

Once the Truth is Made Known, The Difference Must Cease

Imaam Muzani, a companion of Imaam Shaafi’i said, “The Companions of the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) indeed differed, and some of them corrected others. Some scrutinised others’ views and found fault with them. If all their views had been correct, they would not have done so. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radiallahu anhu) became angry at the dispute between Ubaay ibn Ka’b(radiallahu anhu) and Ibn Mas’ood (radiallahu anhu)about prayer in a single garment. Ubayy (radiallahu anhu) said, ‘Prayer in one garment is good and fine whereas Ibn Mas’ood (radiallahu anhu) said, ‘That is only if one does not have many clothes.’ So ‘Umar (radiallahu anhu) came out in anger, saying, ‘Two men from among the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alaihi wasallam), who are looked up to and learnt from, disputing? Ubayy (radiallahu anhu) has spoken the truth and not cared about Ibn Mas’ood (radiallahu anhu). But if I hear anyone disputing about it after this I will do such-and-such to him’.” [Ibn 'Abdul Barr in Jaami' Bayaan al-'Ilm (2/83-4)]

Notice in the above hadith that the Muslim who knew the truth was permissibly angry at those who were wrong. The problem we see in the ummah is when one of us acts incorrectly out of ignorance and becomes very angry, insulting, or causing embarrassment to another muslim when in fact he is wrong all along.

How can we prevent this angry act of ignorance in ourselves? Remember the salat. Think about how you are to correct the Imam if he errors in his salat by saying SubhanAllah (or clapping if female) – you only do so when you are SURE without a doubt that he actually made an error. Could you imagine embarrassing yourself because you weren’t paying attention and thought the Imam had made a mistake in the salat when he clearly had not. Now imagine the embarrassment one should feel when becoming cross, short, stern, rude, blunt, quickly excitable, or challenging, to a Muslim who came with truth and then… moments, days, or years later, this Muslim find out he was wrong and the cause of fitnah!

The Importance of Unity

And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah’s favour on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth Allah make His Signs clear to you: That ye may be guided. [Surah  Al-Imran 3:103]

The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah – the which We have sent by inspiration to thee – and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: Namely, that ye should remain steadfast in religion, and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than Allah, hard is the (way) to which thou callest them. Allah chooses to Himself those whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him). [Surah Al-Shura 42:13]

And obey Allah and His Messenger. and fall into no disputes, lest ye lose heart and your power depart; and be patient and persevering: For Allah is with those who patiently persevere. [Surah Al-Anfal 8:46]

Even though some people encourage division, one thing that we all have in common and cannot escape, is that we all eventually return to Allah at the time of death, on the Day of Judgement, awaiting Allah’s judgment on our souls!

But (later generations) cut off their affair (of unity), one from another: (yet) will they all return to Us. [Surah Al-Anbiyaa 21:93]

The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “I have left you upon clear proof, its night is like its day, no one deviates from it except one who is destroyed, and whoever lives long from amongst you will see great controversy. So stick to what you know from my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly-guided caliphs – cling to that with your molar teeth, and stick to obedience even if it is to an Abyssinian slave, since the believer is like a submissive camel, wherever he is led, he follows.” (Hasan – Ahmad, Ibn Majah, Al-Hakim)

Question:

Is it permissible to break your ramadan fast at an aftar hosted by a Non-Muslim? In our case, a Hindu family hosted an aftar at our local Islamic Center for the Muslim Community. We not only volunteered there but also had aftar there. Would the fast be valid? and if not what should we do?

 

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

 

Being hosted by a Hindu family for iftaar does not invalidate the fast. We assume the invite was accepted based on some wisdom and the food was Halaal.

And Allah Knows Best. 

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Caught in the net!

Question:

I work overseas and away from my wife. In my free time I do Da’wah work online. Some time ago I met a non Muslim woman online. I invited her to become a Muslim and Alhamdulillah she has accepted Islam. She is now totally committed to Islam and is currently giving Da’wah to her family.

After some time of chatting, we fell in love with each other. I am happy to have her as my wife and so is she. My wife has come to know of my contact with the woman after checking my messages on my phone. She was very upset and insists that I divorce her or leave that woman. I feel bad to leave that woman alone as I’m the only one who she can discuss Islam with and I love her. I thought her how to pray, fast, read Quran and all about Islam and Da’wah. If I stop talking to her it will devastate her and cause her depression. Can I lie to my wife that I stopped talking to this woman just to make her happy? Because I don’t want to lose her either and she is not flexible on this issue.

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Alhamdulillah, you were a means of the woman in reference to accept Islam. She trusted you and was guided by you. Now that you have overstepped this mark and used her conversion to Islam for your own benefit, you risk losing the rewards of your efforts. Furthermore, you ought to be a role model of a practicing and Allah conscious Muslim to her. She ought to look up to you to get closer to Allah. When you have fallen in love with her and broke the laws and limitations of Hijab, how do you expect her to believe and understand the rationale behind the laws of Hijab? How will she understand Taqwa and fighting her Nafs to please Allah when you yourself are actually exchanging love text messages to her? She knows you are married, she may be questioning the role of a married Muslim woman and how she can be cheated on. She may even lose trust in you due to your Haraam conduct with her. You teach her about Allah consciousness and go against what you taught her.

If you are honest about Da’wah and wished for the woman to accept Islam for the pleasure of Allah, take it one step further and tell her you fear Allah and your Nafs got the better of you. You should not have trespassed the limits of the Da’wah communication and you are sorry. Tell her you are making Tawbah to Allah and wish to obey Allah by breaking contact with her. Tell her this is the law of Allah. Do tell her you feel like a hypocrite telling her about Allah and going against Allah. Advise her to be steadfast on Islam and refer her to some Muslim woman who could assist her or refer her to a reliable Muslim woman website like www.idealwoman.org. If you do this, you will salvage the damage you have done and Insha’Allah also preserve the reward for her being guided through you. You cannot lie to your wife and continue your Haraam communication. Thank your wife for helping you abstain from Haraam and apologize to her for hurting her. This honest and repentant attitude requires courage but will ultimately please Allah.

And Allah knows best,

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

KHARWASTAN

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