Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu
When I became a Muslim eleven years ago, I had a very positive view of Muslims. At that time I just LOVED all Muslims. Naively, I thought that they were all good, all caring, all respectful, and were united.
Naturally, that view has somewhat changed. Over the years, I have met some lovely sisters mashaAllah and I have met some not-so-nice ones. But one thing that still bothers me to this day, is the lack of respect Muslims have when they differ on opinions or follow different figures of knowledge. Eleven years ago it was so bad that I questioned whether I should remain in a religion where everything is haram and Muslims constantly warn one another against this sheikh and that sheikh. It was a very negative time for many.
In 2010, things have changed somewhat but there still seems to be a ‘which-sheikh-do-you-follow’ mentality. Or if you mention a brother’s talk you listened to, or someone that you take knowledge from, then it creates a bad air as the sister believes that you are taking knowledge from someone deviant. I have seen this type of scenario cause Muslim sisters to separate who once had a wonderful friendship.
To me (and this is my personal opinion), as long as the Sheikh is upon the Quran and sunnah and his aqeedah is that of Ahlus Sunnah wa jamaah – then we take the good and leave the bad. But it should not cause us to separate from our sisters or to view them negatively. Of course, there are some paths in Islam which are clearly ‘dodgy’ and some that actually are borderline kufr. And here, we should display hikmah (wisdom) and gentleness in correcting.
Also, what gives us (Muslims who have a tiny bit of knowledge to criticize and criticize and criticize others?!) Sisters claim, that when ‘warning’ against certain brothers that this comes from their Shuyookh. But perhaps not every sister values the opinion of that sheikh. And also, I’m sure certain shuyookh would ‘warn’ in a very different manner than many Muslims do.
I want to share a beautiful story of the people of the past who clearly understood how to deal with others who have different opinions to them:
Imam Malik one day entered the Masjid after Asr. Towards the front of Masjid An-Nabawee he drew closer and sat down. Rasul Allah had commanded that anyone who enters the Masjid should not sit until he first prays 2 rakas as a salutation of the Masjid. Imam Malik was of the opinion however that Rasul Allah’s forbiddance of praying after Asr took precedence and so he would teach his students to not pray the tahiyyatul Masjid if they entered between the Asr and Maghrib time.
At that moment that Imam Malik sat down, a young boy had seen him sit without first praying the 2 raka’s of Tahiyyatul Masjid. The young boy scorned him, “Get up and pray 2 rakas!”
Imam Malik dutifully stood up once again and began praying the 2 rakas. The students sat stunned: What was going on? Had Imam Malik’s opinion changed?
After he had completed the salah, the students swarmed around and questioned his actions. Imam Malik said, “My opinion has not changed, nor have I gone back on what I taught you earlier. I merely feared that had I not prayed the 2 rakas as the young boy commanded, Allah may include me in the Ayah…
“And when it is said to them, ‘Bow (in prayer)’, they do not bow.” – al mursalat 77/48.
Imam Ahmad held the opinion that eating camel meat nullifies ones Wudhu, an opinion that the majority of scholars differed from. Some students asked him, “If you find an Imam eating camel meat in front of you and – without first making Wudu – then leads the Salah, would you pray behind him?” Imam Ahmad replied, “Do you think I would not pray behind the likes of Imam Malik and Sa’eed ibn Al-Musayyab?”
So, as people who do not have knowledge with the likes of the above mentioned, let us not start labelling, start bickering, judging and hold negative feelings in our hearts with those who differ with us.
With the time that we are living in, it is time for us to unite upon the fact that we are all Muslims who try to adhere to the Quran and Sunnah.
And Allah knows best.
Wasalamuu alaikum
Umm Raiyaan xx