We have a lot of sectarian problems at the moment and these are adding to the confusion of this time. Just imagine that you are an outsider and you see groups of Muslims attacking each other. It’s certainly not a pretty sight nor does it attract one to the religion.
I am criticised a lot for stepping back and not involving myself and sometimes not even voicing my opinion. I simply do not wish to be involved in fighting people or even refuting people unnecessarily. There are times when people need to be refuted because they are causing tribulation. But does that have to be done every time we speak? In every Khutba? Even during Ramadan when we need spiritual advice instead we a treated to a barrage of abuse aimed at particular groups.
I for one agree with the reliable opinion of the Hanafi school and the reliable opinions of the Maturdi and Ashari school of doctrine. (Most people are a mix of these schools of doctrine even thought they claim to be otherwise!) Yet within these schools sectarianism has occurred and I refute those who insult their Prophet whether intentional or not but I do not make it my lives work!
I prefer taking a step back from all this tribulation and refrain from comment. The average person is now repeating the mistakes of their Imams and purposely chasing those people who they think are wrong. It is almost relentless and the zeal in which these average people are chasing scholars for their ‘errors’ is something repugnant. They also attack people who know the scholars and their students. In the most Unislamic way imaginable with swearwords and speech full of hate. Where has their Islamic manners gone?
No one likes to be told that they are doing a bad job or that they do not know what to do. Yet groups of people who do not know their own Aqida correctly are attacking those who know their doctrine much better than them.
Some groups claim that some things are disbelief when they are clearly not and it is only their group who think it is! This is problematic because the Awwam (the average person) should not be doing anything but concentrating on their worship. This basic fact is something they have failed to do. Many do not know what breaks their ablution nor do they know what breaks their prayer but because they are Muslim they think this gives them a divine right to correct scholars.
Who made you a Qadi?
If someone pronounces a word of disbelief then the case is brought before a Qadi/Judge who asks the person if he realises the ramifications of his words. If he does not recant then he is imprisoned a scholar is brought to him to explain the issues and he is given time to reconsider. Only when he does not after a given period is the apostate killed. Just like if someone committed treachery to the Crown who that person be killed if convicted. Now that we do not have judges we have people who do their own vigilante style court in which they apostate who they hate and give excuses to those they love!
So when one of their own imams commits apostasy on the pulpit because he has tried to respect the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) by disrespecting the other Prophets. He is given an excuse but when others do the same, then that person is attacked and hounded. This happens in more instances than you can imagine.
We have misguided loyalties in that we think we are defending Islam but instead we are defending the politics of our group and not Islam at all. We also think that everyone is astray except our group and we claim to be Ahl-Sunna wa Jammah. Well, your group has only been around for a hundred or so years, how can it just be you that are right? So does that mean that there was no Ahl-Sunna until your group came? How can that be right? The Ahl-Sunna wa Jammah was not a specific group of people from a certain place. Rather is it the corpus of rulings and the followers of the scholars from the beginning of Islam until its end. Those that fit into the four schools of Fiqh and the Ashari and Maturdi schools of doctrine.
A popular singer once wrote love is blindness and it truly is when people are not willing to look at their own errors yet jump upon the errors of others like lions after their prey. Our love has made us blind and this misleading others.
What do we do then?
Overlook, like we used to and we refer case or situations to scholars who will correct scholars. When this is done then the scholar who corrected him should not make the discussions public. They should discuss the problem and come to a resolution then put the issue to bed. It is sinful for the average person to be debating about issues of Islamic doctrine, period.
Most of the time it is because the misunderstanding of Islam in the head of the average person and not because the scholar! When you do not know the issue do not speak but because our Naafs does not like to think we do not know anything about the religion that we were born with, we speak, we scream and we shout.
Your job as an ordinary person is to perfect your worship and try to implement Islam into your life as much as you can. Your job is not to post slander on internet sites about scholars. If we have to then speak to someone close to the scholar and do it with the appropriate Islamic manners.
Even if you look at the life of Sheikh Abdulqadir Jilani (may Allah show him mercy) a Christian woman misled him and he left everything. So what was the response of his devoted students? They did not attack him for anything. They could have attacked him for various things that was said to have occurred but instead they kept calling back and they kept supplicating.
Eventually, Sheikh Abdulqadir saw the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) in a dream who had interceded for him then advised him to return to his teachings. Which he did and the Christian woman, when she realised that he had left her, went after him and became Muslim. Note that his students did not attack him but rather they accepted the situation and tried to help him. (See secret of the secrets). This is a true murid but I wonder what people now would do? Would they attack him? Deliver speeches against him? Write books against him? The Awliya sometimes do things that we cannot understand and we should refrain from reacting until we know all the facts.
They said about Imam As-Shafi that he used to perfect his ablution and he was one of the great scholars of this nation, so do you think that you are better than him? Are you even present in your ablution? Are you even doing it right? Is it merely the movement of water over the skin?
If there are scholars who keep making the same ‘mistakes’ then leave them to it; that is better for you than attacking them. Some people are from the family of the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) and they should be advised in the most polite manner possible, and if you cannot do this then refrain.
The disrespect that we have witnessed and experienced from those overzealous brothers is unimaginable, if I did not know better I would accuse those brothers of hating the Ahl Al-Bayt and this claim would be far from unfounded. We have many issues that are not dealt with because of this issue such as community problems.
We have women leaving their Muslim husbands to live with non-Muslim males because he treats her better. We have couples who have problems with their marriages and there are very little support systems available to them, apart from government organisations. The illegal use of alcohol and drugs is rampant amongst our youth, yet who is doing anything about it? We have men abusing their wives and people are absolutely silent. Is it any wonder that people are not flooding into Islam when they see people like us?
I would dearly love to see the conditions of Muslims improve in this country because we have so much potential. We have so many opportunities that we have clearly wasted. Why don’t we have big open event about love for the Prophet and invite non-Muslims to it?
We have a responsibility to call to Islam, whether they accept is another matter but we should be calling. So the average person should be busy calling to Islam and not calling scholars names. We are not judges we are just ordinary people and just by being a Muslim does not make you an authority on Islam, no one can claim that.