To Debate or not to Debate?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

argue

Narrated by Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) : The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The most hated person in the sight of Allah is the most quarrelsome person.” (Bukhari)

 

There’s an amazing Hadith found in Musnad Ahmad, Tabarani, Ibn Majah, Tirmidhi and others… It says, “No people have gone astray after having been upon guidance, except that they were given argumentation.”
ما ضل قوم بعد هدى كانوا عليه إلا أوتوا الجدل
If you’ve been around Muslim life long enough, you can sense when a time-wasting black-hole is developing. It’s very tempting to go in swinging. Most youth do simply out of lack of experience. But for those who’ve been around the block, what is the point of experience, if you simply keep falling for the allure of the black hole.
Whenever an issue comes up, our stance is that we just state the position—insist on it no matter what—and move on. One of the signs of misguided groups is that they’re always arguing. In contrast, the path our Ulama have put us upon — Allah guard them and protect them — is one in which we’re really just too busy for nonsense. We have Quran to review, and still more to memorize. We have to brush up on our Arabic regularly. Fiqh needs to be delved into. Sound Aqidah needs to be taught. Hours of dhikr need to be logged. And on top of that, there is charity to be given, youth-work to be done, Janazahs to attend. Before all of that we have families to take care of. And then suddenly, it’s Ramadhan and all of that goes on hold and we put our souls through the car-wash.
Through Masajid, retreats, trips abroad, etc, life as a Muslim makes you meet so many different types of people, that it broadens your experience and polishes your Akhlaq. People are always changing. One year they’re into something knee deep and another year, they’ve balanced out. One becomes more forgiving, calm and over-looking. With every year that passes, and every drama that comes around, reaches its high point and then and rolls away like a receding wave, you come to realize what really matters in life and in deen. And that causes a person to side-step jidaal, argumentation. State your point—you may have to state it often—then move on and leave off arguing.
Imam Malik (Allah have mercy on him) was approached by a man who asked him for a debate. Malik said, “What happens if I win?” The man said I will follow you. Imam Malik (Allah have mercy on him) said, “And if you win?” The man said, then you follow me. Then Imam Malik (Allah have mercy nn him) said, “What if a third person comes and defeats both of us?” The man said, then we both follow him. Malik concluded: “Constantly changing your beliefs is not a sign of steadfastness. I know what I am upon and I have no doubt. You however, are upon doubt. So leave me alone and go debate someone else filled with doubt.”
(Tartib al-Madarik)
One of his students said, “Shall I not try to argue with them to prove to them the truth?” Imam Malik (Allah have mercy on him) replied, “Just state the position and leave it at that. If he wants to follow it, he will.”

(Tartib al-Madarik)

It was narrated that Hudhaifah (Allah be pleased with him) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah(ﷺ) say:‘Do not acquire knowledge in order to show off before the scholars, or to argue with the foolish, or to attract people’s attention, for whoever does that will be in Hell.'” (Ibn Majah as weak)
Those who will last the test of time are those who have something to offer. Something objective, meaty, beneficial, balanced and diverse.
Allah make us from those people, both as students and transmitters.
And Allah keep us away from argumentation, the sign of misguided people and groups.

Ameen.

Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah(ﷺ): “Do not argue with your brother, do not joke with him, and do not make a promise, only to not fulfill it.” (Tirmidhi as weak)
Dr Shady Elmasray (Hafidhahullah)
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Making the Sunnah a Part of Life: a Three Point Plan

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Importance of Sunnah

Allāh ta‘ālā has commanded us to follow and emulate the life of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam in the Glorious Qur’ān:

Say (O Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam): If you really love Allāh, then follow me, and Allāh shall love you and forgive you your sins. Allāh is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful. (3:31)

Similarly this has been emphasised by Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam in numerous ahādīth:

Hold fast to Kitābullāh and my Sunnah… (Al-Hākim)

Indeed adopting the ways of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam is the key to our success in both worlds. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has stated: 

Whoever loves my sunnah, loves me, and whoever loves me will be with me in Jannah. (Mishkāt) 

Regarding the importance of the Sunnah, Imām Mālik rahimahullāh has commented,“The Sunnah is like the Ark of Nūh ‘alayhis salām; whoever boards it will gain salvation and whoever stays aloof from it will drown.” (Tarīkh Dimashq)

Making Sunnah an Objective

In order to emulate the beautiful way of our beloved Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam in every aspect of our lives, first and foremost we must make this a conscious objective. Without making this an objective, the goal will only remain on our tongues. When a person aspires to achieve something, he can only succeed when his aspiration becomes an objective, which he is passionate and determined to fulfil. Merely wishing and dreaming without any effort does not bring any progress or success.

Learn the Sunnah

After this objective becomes embedded in our hearts and minds, it is inevitable that we will want to strive to attain this. In this regard, it is essential that we first learn about the Sunnah. There are many good and authentic books from which we can learn about the ways of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. A few are listed hereunder:

  • Ash-Shamāil At-Tirmidhī authored by Imām At-Tirmidhī rahimahullāh, with commentary by Shaykh-ul-Hadīth Mawlānā Muhammad Zakariyyā rahimahullāh;
  • The Sublime Conduct of Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, a translation of Shamāile Kubrā authored by Muftī Muhammad Irshād Qāsmī hafizahullāh.
  • Uswae Rasūle Akram sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, authored by Hadrat Dr. Abdul Hayy ‘Ārifī rahimahullāh.

One effective method of learning is to allocate a time of the day wherein we will learn the Sunnah. Fixing a time will ensure that we do not fall into the trap of deferring this important task. For example, allocate a time to study after supper or before going to sleep. If we can also involve our family and study the Sunnah together that will be far better, as not only will the Sunnah become a part of our lives, it will also come into the lives of our family. We do not need to allocate a lengthy period of time; if we merely aim to learn one Sunnah a day with the intention of practicing upon it, inshā’allāh, very soon we will begin to emulate the life of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. Therefore, start immediately to learn and practice one new Sunnah a day.

Bringing into Practice

After learning the Sunnah, make a concerted effort to bring this Sunnah into our lives. The following three points will assist in bringing the Sunnah into practice:

a. Increase the love for Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam by reading and contemplating about his features and excellences. Ponder over his efforts, sacrifices and favours upon the Ummah.

b. Associate with and sit in the company of those whose lives are in accordance with the Sunnah, as this will have a positive effect on our lives.

c. Make du‘ā to Allāh ta‘ālā to assist and grant us the ability to practice. If we are struggling to bring a particular Sunnah into practice, turn to Allāh saying that you are weak and feeble and unable to make that genuine effort needed, however, He is all powerful and He is able to change this.

By making an effort in this manner it will surely bear fruit inshā’allāh and very soon we will be able to see a transformation in our lives. 

May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us all the ability to practice. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 24 No. 9, Sep 2015)