Archive for May, 2014

agree-to-disagree

Allah says in Quran: “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah as just witnesses; and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just, that is nearer to Taqwa (piety).” (Qur’an 5:8)

“Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity.” (Qur’an 60:8)

So, Islam teaches us that we need to be fair in everything with everyone, friend or enemy & Allah is saying in this verse, even if you have problem with some people, you have hatred with them, like people of Quraish, who have oppressed you for so long, deprived you of your freedoms, you still need to be just with them & that is tolerance.

There are two types of tolerance:

1- Tolerance between Muslims & non Muslims

2- Tolerance among Muslims.

The first type of tolerance (it is my opinion & i could be wrong on this) is the criteria that holds to people who are in position of authority & i don’t think, that it is a priority to talk about now, because as Muslims we are not in such position of authority. I mean when you look at Muslims driven out of their homes & their land is invaded & you tell them to be tolerant, doesn’t really make a lot of sense, but if we want to look how tolerant Muslims were in their dealings with non Muslims, we have to go back & look at history when Muslims were in position of authority. Lets see how they performed, how they acted. This is not an exaggeration but an objective opinion based on the facts, that the Muslims are not only tolerant but they had the best track record of tolerance in the world.

If you look at how the Muslims dealt with other groups when they were in position of authority, you would find out by “fair” studying that it is the fact of history that the Muslims were the most tolerant people in the history of the world. Look at how they dealt with the minorities in Spain, Jews & Christians, Catholics. Look at how they dealt with orthodox with the Hindus in India, with Jews all over the Muslim world, they were settling in every urban Muslim center.

So, i think we need to emphasis more on the area where we have a serious lack & i.e tolerance between ourselves. Because when we are talking about tolerance with others, history can clearly show.

There is a book “worriers of God” . It’s about Salahuddin & Richard Lionheart, he talked about the crusades conflict. The writer says in the book that Salahuddin was at fault & he committed a very serious big mistake & i.e that he was too nice with his enemy, he was too tolerant & that ended up causing his demise because whenever he would surround a crusader fortress he would let them go & then they would all gather entire & that became a strong hold which then overtook all of the coastal cities in Palestine. So, its not the matter of, whether we are tolerant or not, in some cases we have too much of it.

I think we need to emphasis more on the issue of tolerance among ourselves, because that is an area where we have to be honest with ourselves & have some critical look at our conduct. That is where we need a lot of improvement.

Now what is the reason of this intolerance that we could have among ourselves? “The reason is that we are different.” There are two proposed solutions, one is to eliminate the differences that we have among ourselves. But

1- This is impossible,

2- Whenever this is attempted, it could lead to more problems, why because you attempt to unify the people on what you believe is the right way.

Differences are there to remain & this is a fact that we have to face, so we should not try to eliminate differences but we should try to deal with them. Differences existed among the companions of the Prophet peace be upon Him, even among the angels.

The Sahaba,(companions of the Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h) they had a rainbow of opinions, the two advisers of Messenger of Allah (pbuh) which were Abu bakr & Umar, almost on every issue they had difference of opinion of night & day. That was because, as human beings we develop our perceptions on life based on our knowledge & experience, that is how we view the world. Every body has a certain outcome to events, that is why we will have a unique way in viewing events.

Abu bakr’s way of conceiving things was very compassionate, he was very lenient, while Umar ibn khattab was very strict. So the Prophet used to tell Abu bakr, you are similar to Jesus & Ibrahim, & Umar ibn khattab is similar to Musa & Noah. Even the Prophets of Allah had different opinions, different ways in viewing events & we will have that too. We shouldn’t be very upset about it.

Imagine if there was one opinion of Imams in every aspect, how difficult our life would be? Because of these difference of opinions, its giving the Muslims a religion that is flexible for every time & age & that is the strength of Islam & we need to turn these differences into an advantage.

So, the solution to the problem of intolerance is to learn how to live with differences & this is called Fiqh ul Khilaf. We need to learn this fiqh.

Causes of Intolerance.

i- First cause of intolerance is not understanding the Fiqh of Priorities. This is a very important fiqh.

Some people came from yemen to ask Umar ibn Khattab a question. He asked: “Did this happen?” The answer was “No”. Umar ibn khattab said: “Go back to yemen, when it happens then come & ask me & i will bring you the council of the people of the badr to give you an answer.”

Look at the practicality of the companions. we don’t want to deal with hypothetical issues, we are busy we have a lot of stuff to do. Don’t bring me these theories to discuss.

So, here there is a serious problem in priorities, this might be an extreme example, but believe me in our lives there are many other live examples like it, where we don’t have our priorities straight. We should not get into discussions about minor issues, when the Ummah is facing some serious problems. There are millions of Muslims that lack the basic understanding of foundations of Islam.

We are wasting our time discussing details when we have serious problems. The Palestinian issue should be something about which we are considered day & night. We should participate & support this uprising & let them know that the american people & Muslims around the world are with you. These are the priorities we need to deal with.

ii- Second is lack of knowledge, that is also a problem.

iii- Third is Jealousy.

Solutions of Intolerance.

The key to the solution is in our hearts. One day, The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was seated in a gathering with the companions when He looked towards the entrance & said, “A man of Paradise is coming.” At that instance someone who seemed to be very ordinary entered the mosque.The next day the Prophet repeated the same words & the same man came in, The third day the Prophet repeated the same again & the same man showed up. One companion was curious as to why the Prophet had said such a thing about this man, so he followed the man to his house & got permission to stay in his house as a guest. The companion stayed three nights with him but never saw him praying at night, and whenever he went to bed, he would remember Allah and rest until he woke up for morning prayer. When three nights had passed and he did not see anything special about his actions, he asked him, “O servant of Allah, I heard the Messenger of Allah say three times that a man from the people of Paradise was coming to us, and then you came. So I thought I should stay with you and see what you are doing that I should follow, but I did not see you do anything special. What is the reason that the Messenger of Allah spoke highly of you?” The man said, “It is as you have seen, except that I do not find fraud in my soul towards the Muslims, and I do not envy anyone because of the good that Allah has given them.”

Many of the times we magnify problems of others just like it is mentioned that Jesus said: “You are able to see a hair in the eye of your brother but you fail to see a log in your eye.”

The problems of others are magnified & we think we are giving advice & doing a good deed when we have greater problems. The issue is that we are not concerned with ourselves. We forget that Allah said, “All of you will face Allah on judgement day, alone.”

And some people they are trouble makers, you can’t do anything about them. Like Al Hatiya, he is a famous poet. He was a very evil person, he tried to make trouble with anybody. One day he decided that he wanted to go & curse someone, so he went out of his house to do some evil acts. He didn’t find anybody to pick up a fight with. So he went & looked in the mirror & said, “Allah has given you such an ugly face, may Allah make it even uglier.”

The Prophet (peace be upon Him) said: “There are some people, who are keys of good & locks for evil, & there are some people who are locks for good & keys for evil.”

We should carry the keys of good with us all the time, have effective righteousness, because it all comes out from our hearts. If the heart is clean then we will be much more tolerable with others.

~ Anwar Al Awlaki

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