Ethics of Disagreement

Discussion in 'Islamic Discussion' started by Abdul-Raheem, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. Abdul-Raheem
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    Abdul-Raheem Signing Out.....

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    _______________________________________

    Ethics of Disagreement


    Very often, people philosophise and agonize about the state of the Ummah. It is true that what happens in other parts of the world, affect us directly: we are concerned; we voice our feelings and assist according to our means. However, what we sometimes forget, is that whilst we are thinking globally, we fail to act...locally!

    We, too have pressing issues at home. Disagreement and dissension, is capable of breaking up any society - and THIS is an issue that we need to face squarely!

    Unity above everything

    Prophet Musa (A.S.) once became extremely upset with his brother Harun (Alayhis salaam), who was also a Prophet. He grabbed him by his hair and pulled his beard. Musa (Alayhis salaam) held Harun (Alayhis salaam) responsible for allowing the Bani-Isra'il in following 'Saamiri' and going back to worshipping the idols, during his absence. Harun (A.S.) sadly replied: "O son of my mother, do not seize me by my beard or my head. Truly, I feared but you should say that I caused a division among the Bani-Isra'il and did not respect my word " (20:94)

    This verse shows that Harun (A.S.) was extremely concerned with the unity of the Bani-Isra'il. He was waiting for his brother to come back and calmly resolve this problem, thereby avoiding dissension.

    Disagreements and differences between people are natural. All of us are different in one way or another. We come from different backgrounds and upbringings, we speak different languages, we belong to different ethnic backgrounds, and have variegated levels of education. We may therefore have different perceptions, opinions, and approaches. Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala says: "If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single community, but (His plan is) to test you in what He has given you; so strive as in a race in all virtues. The return of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which you dispute." (5:48)

    From this ayah we see that being different is by Allah's design. Differences among people cannot be and will not be eliminated. Therefore, we have to make our differences and disagreements work to the advantage of the Ummah. Can we prevent dissension and enmity by learning how to disagree? To differ and disagree is only natural, But the WAY we differ, is a matter of attitude and discipline.

    Types of disagreement

    There are three types of disagreements. The first is normal disagreement, IKHTILAF. It is used to describe a situation in which people genuinely cannot agree on issues. The second disagreement is dialectical in nature, JADAL. The aim of this kind of disagreement is ultimately to win an argument. At best, it is fruitless and serves no higher purpose. The third type and worst type of disagreement is dissension, SHIQAQ. This is when parties hold beliefs that are mutually exclusive. Each party has no room for the other's opinion. It is when pride and arrogance subverts the rational mind to the lowest of the low. It may even lead to violence.

    We have seen evidence of dissension in our society: family and business squabbles that dissipate the energy and resources of people; institutions of learning that bicker on irrelevant issues; road rage incidents that lead to death amongst neighbours; pamphleteering amongst organisations; malicious slandering etc. These are some of the symptoms of unacceptable disagreements that we see around us. They lead to disunity. They can be caused by selfishness, pride, arrogance and ignorance; or by blind loyalty to groups, parties or leaders. Allah warns us about these kinds of disagreements and gave us the examples of nations before us who destroyed themselves through dissension. Allah says: "And do not dispute with one another, lest you lose heart and your moral strength desert you..." (8:46)

    Imagine the situation of a group of people who are trapped at the bottom of a deep pit. Either they can argue forever about who can jump high enough to reach the top until they get exhausted and die, or they can stand on each other's shoulders and by mutual co-operation reach the top. The Sahabah (R.A.) differed among themselves on a number of issues, starting with choosing the successor to the Prophet (S.A.W.). They differed on strategy in political matters, on interpretations in fiqhi issues. BUT they continued to have respect, love and reverence for each other. The founders of the different fiqh schools, although disagreeing on many issues, even so had great respect for each other.

    Can we be the same? Can we disagree and remain united? I believe we can. The first and foremost guarantee of our unity, is setting our objective wholly and sincerely to please Allah. We need to train our hearts to reject pride and jealousy. To remain ONE community, we need to subordinate our desires to Allah's desire.

    Some of the pitfalls we need to avoid:


    Generalizing and stereotyping: "This person or that organization is like this," or "they are all the same."

    Doubt: Be careful about your assumptions. "Who is behind this?" "Where do they get their money from?" and so on, planting the seed of doubt and mistrust.

    Jumping to conclusions: "He is the culprit." Hear the whole story, get information, hear all sides before judging any individual or group.

    Speaking about what you do not know: Speak only after thorough investigation. Allah says: "Do not pursue that which you have no knowledge of."

    Some aspects we need to emphasize:


    1. Make your loyalty to Allah alone, and look for justice and truth.

    2. If a discussion gets heated, stop it immediately.

    3. Always keep in mind that your brother or sister has the right to his/her opinion, just like you do.

    4. It is always better to debate an issue without settling it, than to settle it without debating it.

    5. Do not leave an argument carrying a grudge.

    6. Conclude with a handshake, smile or a hug where permitted and appropriate.

    7. Assure the other side that your disagreement does not change your love and respect for him.

    Above all, let us not be from those who have broken the unity of their faith and become sects, each group delighting in what they follow (30:31-32).

    www.fisabilillah.org
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    :wasalam:
  2. NewMuslim
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    NewMuslim Slave of Allah

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    Assalamu Alaykum
    JazakAllahu Khair, brother.
  3. faiz_fauzi
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    faiz_fauzi Junior Member

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    This is what im talking bout.The disbeleivers need to focus on knowing and learning islam not the "khilaf"."Khilaf" is not meant to be argueued and fight over it but it is to lighten and provide choices for us.BUT UNION IS IMPORTANT.We have to unite to be strong,We have to unite to make our da'wah more efficient.So put the matter of disagreement behind and concentrate on unity.Because when we unite nothing can stop us and hurt us!and we will become stronger and stronger every single day!

    May ALLAH unite us and help us!

    JazakALLAHU khair bro Abdul Raheem Ali

    This is a good one!
  4. Saifu deen
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    Saifu deen Alhamdullah..

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    :salam2:

    Baraka Allahu feek brother for this beautiful post. I agree with you 100%....

    The Prophet said, "Even though I depart from the world, I leave you the Qur'an. That is your evidence. Please keep it close to you. The Qur'an will be a teacher and a learned one to the innermost heart''.

    The Qur'an has the capacity to cast out our arrogance,illusion. It can dispel man's love for earth, sensual pleasures, and gold. It can drive away lust, anger, miserliness, attachment, bigotry, envy, theft, murder, jealousy, falsehood, and the effects of intoxicants.

    Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: "Enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. For as long as you do so your society will be strong and happy; but when the Muslims would fail in this, their society will be dominated by oppressors and no matter how much they pray to Allah for deliverance from the oppressors, Allah will not answer their prayers and they will find no justice anywhere, neither in the skies nor in the earth."

    Thanks for your post brother AbdulRahman, I learnt something new today
    (Ikhtelaf, Jadal, and Shiqaq).. jazak Allah khairyran..

    :wasalam:
  5. MUHAMM7D
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    MUHAMM7D Muslim

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    :ma: very beneficial, Jazakallahu khayran akhi.
  6. JIRMA
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    JIRMA New Member

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    what a beautiful and beneficial advice and analysis brother abdulraheem
  7. oumyaquine
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    oumyaquine Fière de ma religion

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    :salam2:very usefull thread ,MACHA'ALLAH:blackhijab:
  8. Abdul-Raheem
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    Abdul-Raheem Signing Out.....

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    :salam2:

    Great to hear you all agree. Just to clarify though, this isn't my own analysis or thoughts, I think you should all know I'm a bit of an ignoramus :)

    Take care people
    wasalam
  9. Abdul-Raheem
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    Abdul-Raheem Signing Out.....

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    :salam2:

    Just thought I'd bump this thread up, not because I posted it but rather because I and many others do not like the way things are turning out on this forum. Debate is one thing, but when it breeds ill-feelings between people and consists of topics which we won't really benefit from discussing, then it really is pointless.

    So brothers and sisters, this is a reminder to me first and foremost so don't think I find myself above all of this; I've actually found myself playing a part in it recently. So I pray people take notice this time round as we may lose that beautiful connection that once made us all so eager to log in and be part of this wonderful community.

    Take Care all.....
  10. abubaseer
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    abubaseer tanzil.info Staff Member

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    Akhee may Allah reward you handsomely...Thank you very much for the reminder!!!
  11. wonnee3
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    wonnee3 Trying 2 plz ALLAH

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    As Salaamu Alaykum, Oh so,sovery true, we have gotten to the place where we don't even break fast @ the same time. i believe we were warned about tribalizim, nationalizim, if u r here aren't u supossed 2 b among the believers here? i c n my limited travels that we put each other down bcuz of u r this & i am that, then come 2 find out that where they r claiming has had some of the most horrid things done n the name of Islam, we should try getting over ourselves and get back 2 practicing ur deen.
  12. stiks
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    stiks Amatur-Rahman

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    jak, nice reminder

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