Alhamdulillah was Salaatus Salaam ala Rasool Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam
This might be a bit of a controversial topic to many, but I thought it would be beneficial for people in general. Specially for muslims in communities where the sectarian strife is rampant. My post will not discuss the groups rather just advice I got from a couple of Yasir Qadhi‘s lectures. Usually in the cities where sectarian strife is rampant, from what I have learned through talking to people, is that the people that get caught up in this are the new reverts or the brothers who decide to become a bit more religious and want to learn more about their religion. As far as my city is concerned, as far as I know, this doesn’t seem to be an issue out in the open, there isn’t much of ideologically segregated politics or partisanship. It migth happen with a few but the majority aren’t affected by it too much. Alhamdulillah.
I remember Yasir Qadhi being asked the question on how to determine the Truth or the correct belief between all these groups. And it was asked twice and both at lectures that happened to be at ISNA Conferences. The first was at the South Central Regional Conference in Dallas on July 4th weekend, 2005 and the second was at the ISNA National Conference on the MSA side in one of the “From Trees to Forests..”, Executive Leadership Training Conference sessions, which just happened this year – September 1st – 3rd, 2006.
At the ISNA Dallas conference in 2005, Yasir Qadhi was on a panel of 3 speakers, in a lecture about controversial topics in da’wah. Something about how to address non muslims with these controversial topics, etc. etc. One speaker was Sr. Ameena Jandali, from ING, and the other speaker I cannot remember his name. So Ameena Jandali goes first and speaks and Yasir Q. was second. Ameena Jandali had a bit of a apologetic slant to her talk, she had the opinion that we need to portray Islam as a good religion, it is a civilized religion, and it is just as good as their religion and it is humane etc. etc. Basically show Islam in an apologetic fashion. While on the other hand Yasir Qadhi had a different approach, it was basically the intro in the “Debunking the Male Bias Myth” talk and he related it to the sphere of da’wah. So since both of these speakers had almost diametrically opposed approaches to this issue, someone from the audience (a kid) asked the question on knowing what is right and what is wrong in regards to Islamic beliefs and methodology.
Ameena Jandali choose to go first and started speaking and gave a little spiel on following a shaykh, a traditional one with an ijaaza, and also to follow your heart etc. etc. The advice was good but it obviously sounded very sectarian and it was evident she was trying to hint at something, but thats just my opinion.
Then Yasir Qadhi got up and took his attempt at answering the question, and basically he gave the brother a few pointers. I might be a bit bias in saying his answer was not sectarian, but then I was his ride that weekend, so I probably had my bias. So basically Yasir Q. said,
1. If you want to know the truth, make du’a to Allah () because only Allah () can guide
2. The second thing that he mentioned was that it is not just sufficient to rely on one’s heart, Allah () has blessed us, the muslims in general, with an intellect, with a mind, and it us our job to use it and apply our intellect to judge between the stances, beliefs and ideologies presented to us by different people.
That was basically all I remember from the answer from over a year and a half ago. But this same question in a different fashion was addressed by him again in a session at the MSA Executive Leadership Conference, this past September in Chicago. And again he mentioned two points-
1. Hidaaya is form Allah (), this is the spiritual aspect of it.The Prophet (SAW) wanted his uncle, Abu Talib to become a muslim but his uncle died upon kufr. And Allah () also says in the Qur’aan,
…إِنَّكَ لَا تَهْدِي مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاءُ
Innaka laa tahdee man ahbabta walakinna Allaha yahdee may-yashaa
Indeed, [O Muْammad], you do not guide whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills….
[Surah al Qasas (28) V. 56]
Also that the Prophet (SAW) when he would pray qiyaam/tahajjud at night he would first praise Allah () and then ask Allah for the truth. He would say, “Oh Allah! The Lord of Jibraeel, Mikaeel, and Israfeel, guide me to the truth in that which mankind differed!”
2. The other point like previously mentioned was very simple. Just like our ‘aql, intellect, leads us to Islam as the truth, it can also lead us to the truth between all the sects and groups in Islam. All one needs to do is keep an open mind and receptive to ideas.
I thought this was really good advice and wanted to share it with everyone. And I think this is one of the reasons I read almost anything and everything I find. Most of the time I look past the names of the authors or speakers, and just listen to or read their articles, books, audio lectures, etc. Obviously I don’t read each and everything, somethings I know for sure no matter what people write or say I am not going to waste my time reading it unless its a huge issue. For example article that justify worshiping other than Allah (), come on, that is something I would want to waste my time reading, because I have no doubt in my heart concerning the fact that Allah is the only one worthy of worship. Also dont bother reading stuff by ‘Progressives’ and even the shee’ah or submitters/Qur’aaniyoon. And alhamdulillah this has served me well till now, and seem satisfied with what I do in this matter.
I wanted to add another pointer given to me by someone else,
3. Avoid committing sins. There is a very simple reason behind this. When we commit sins what happens?? We are earning Allah ()’s Displeasure. And when we do this what happens? This means that our du’a has a smaller chance of it being accepted. How are we going to expect Allah () to Bless us with His Guidance when He is Displeased with us? Secondly committing sins can also be a reason for us to become arrogant and due to our arrogance it becomes very easy for us to reject the truth. And also due to this arrogance we might start looking down on people and stop taking their words of advice and hearing what they have to say. Which all results in the possibility of rejecting the truth. I made a post earlier about “Reasons for Kibr” which was taken from a halaqa I attend based on Ibn al Qayyim’s book, “The Disease and its’ Cure“.
Allahu ta’aalaa ‘Alim…Allah Knows Best