Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|07/04/01 at 13:59:23|
|Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Raheem|
Beloved Brothers & Sisters,
Assalam alaikum wa rahmatullah.
I write having just read some of today’s posts on the Board. I am deliberately being non-specific so no one feels like they are being targeted by what I am about to say. A couple of posts particularly left a nasty taste in my mouth having read them. Sadly it is the presence of such unislamic and reckless words, said with the carelessness that tends to accompany such diatribe that has resulted in me no longer inclining towards posting on the Board (though it’s not the only reason, and nor does it mean I never will), as reading such invective leaves me with an ugly taste within, and I desire no part of such company (though that does not apply to those who are innocent of this). A shame, because it was once so much more, with a distinct absence of fitnah-inducing contributions left unchecked to reside freely, polluting the atmosphere of the Madina. Perhaps it is par for the course with a new generation of contributors, who were not privy to the congeniality that evolved previously (not to say an air of fraternity is not existent now, it clearly is). Yet still, I almost feel like a stranger in my own home. Forgive me for that enormous liberty, I know it was never my place, I just got so comfortable. How could one not, it was so cosy. :) But now, it is as if unstated rules which came to be understood over time by many of us, through experience, are unknown to some of those who are new here. We used to respect boundaries despite knowing we had differences on issues, and few became the occasions when a thread would be allowed to enter into the realms of controversy. That is not to say no one does now, or that even most don’t. Nevertheless, I have come to know a feeling of estrangement from this community now; a feeling I can’t seem to shake. :( Still, I cannot halt the march of time, though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the nostalgia of old. Of times past and bonds grown. I sensed a definite troubling undertow in some of what was posted today. I hope it does not foreshadow a downturn in the quality of this Board. Insha’Allah it won’t.
No doubt those who write what they do truly believe it, and don’t intend it maliciously, yet it’s effects occur regardless of their sincere intentions. What I saw today was someone inveighing against a whole set of Muslims, and doing so in generality, a’uzubillah. Wherefrom such a right to trample over other Muslims? Truly the People of Allah (awj) – and we pray that we might one day we of them – fear for their words. And rare is the occasion when they level a charge to other Muslims of being afar from their Lord (awj), explicitly or implicitly. Particularly when doing so would itself risk distancing their own proximity with their Creator (awj). Indeed one from amongst the Muslims of this age I have heard about used to always speak soooo s_l_o_w_l_y, almost belabouredly. He was known for it. When it was enquired by a newcomer why this man spoke like this, and if it was due to some medical condition the enquirer was told it was actually because he pondered over the possible consequences to his akhira of *each & every* word he uttered, lest it be a cause for the Scales weighing against him one day. Do we approach such muhasaba with ourselves? Do we pause before we posture? It seems often not. We are content to judge others when we ourselves are not yet all we should be, and much less than we seem. Verily Allah (awj) knows what the hearts conceal.
I appreciate (some of) you may enquire as to which posts in particular I found reprehensible, but I don’t wish to be drawn down that road. Not because the possibility of disagreement doesn’t exist (i.e. you might agree with what was written), but because if it did transpire that others felt that it is alright to say such things with impunity, then to me this would smack of inconsistency, bias and prejudice. Bias is fine, but on a Board where there exist Muslims of different persuasions, objectivity must be retained, and at the forefront, if constructive discourse is to be pursued. If we are to adpot a policy of preventing the vilification of some – as *has* been the policy of the past, and rightly so - then that should be consistent for others too, even if we don’t see eye to eye with them, *as long as they are of the Muslims still*. There was nothing in the tone that was untoward, but the substance itself was manifestly flawed.
Undoubtedly those with deaf ears to this will feel free to continue with such unfit for consumption ramblings (whereas the ishara [sign] will be enough for the one endowed with hikmah [wisdom]), assuming the lofty mantle of knowing what they are talking about; in the process dismissing a significant set of their Brothers/Sisters; n’auzubillah min thalik. Such a mindset sadly typifies many who like to puff the chest of their own views under the guise of something worthy of the attention of others, in the delusion that such notions are knowledge-based. How far from the truth might that be? Allahu ta’ala a’lam. I wonder how many from amongst those who think it is acceptable to espouse such unjust and unfair conjecture have to their credit any *serious* seeking and pursuit of the Sacred Knowledge, for can it be other than the absence of the sweetness of that suhba [accompaniment] of the Salahin [upright/righteous] - which alters the characters, and refines the sentiments, bi’ithnillah ta’ala - that allows such distasteful attitudes, narrowmindedness, judgementalism and downright self-righteous self-aggrandizing to manifest from a Muslim? I know this for I am culpable myself. This is why I try to prefer silence to display. Especially when it concerns the honour, reputation and rank of the Muslims, for the sanctity of this can be broken but in exceptional cases. Else we have what we have here: a breach of the Prophetic boundary of a believer being safe from the tongue of another believer, wal iyadhubillah. And how repugnant is that?
May Allah ta’ala Guide us all to know when to stay silent, and when to write, lest we erroneously ascribe concepts to others that patently do not exist within their milieu. As a result we end up slurring a large portion of the Ummah based not on how *much* we know, but how little. And for that one day we will surely be accountable to our Lord (awj).
To end with the powerful words from a giant amongst those who could truly have been said to *know*; Imam ash-Shafi’i (ra):
“idha naTaqas safeehu falaa tujib-hu
fa khayrun man ijaabatihis sukuutu
fa-in kallamtahuu farrajta `anhu
wa in khallaytahuu kamdan yamuutu
sakattu `anis safeehi fa DHanna annee
`ayeetu `anil jawaabi wa maa `ayeetu!”
“when the fool speaks to you, don't answer him.
he is better off, he whose answer is silence.
if you speak to him further, you are allowing him to express himself more;
and if you leave him alone, he will die in frustration..
and i kept silent in answer to a fool and he thinks -
that i am unable to answer him, tho' i do not lack an answer.”
As referenced – wallahu a’lam – in: Manaqib ash-Shafi`i by Imam al Bayhaqi: v.2/172; Manaqib ash-Shafi`i by Imam Razi: 124, Siyar A`alaam an Nubalaa by Imam Dhahabi: v.10/98, Adab ad-Dunyaa wad Deen by Imam Mawardi: p.246.
Sufficient is Allah ta’ala unto us…
"Say: You do not flatter me by your claim to Islam- rather it is Allah's favour upon you that He has guided you to believe, provided you are truthful." [49:17]
|Re: Sour Times|
|07/10/01 at 10:20:34|
Perhaps those of us that have posted "sour" messages, should be told- either by an individual message or as a public reply.
I say this because perhaps a person said insulting things, with out realizing it. There are so many different cultures that present on this forum.
I know I have said things that were insulting to others and did not realize it. I am greatful that someone took the time to tell me. Likewise I have seen others make faux paus, and was greatful that someone corrected them- I learned at the same time.
Sometimes I have even deleted a post of mine because the written word did not transmit the message I wanted and indeed portrayed one that was wrong!
If you do not grow up in an other's culture, you do not know their ways or how you could possibly offened them. For example: I used to take a course at night after working on my feet all day. There was no one in front of me, So I would rest my feet on the chair in front of me.
I found out years later that "exposing" the soles of your shoes was very disrecpectful. No one ever said anything and to this day I feel bad about how I "disrespected" the Scholar.
So Abu Khaled- I think you should stick around and help us "newbies."
Some of us have funky traits that need to be corrected!
|Re: Sour Times|
|07/17/01 at 20:07:43|
|Br Abu Khaled,|
I always enjoy your posts so much, they are always so well thought out and well presented, full of good food for thought. I am fairly new to Islam myself, and have spent my entire life, more or less, within the mainstream American culture...and I probably have not even seen the best that it has to offer, but some of the drawbacks. I really do enjoy this website. What at times seems unIslamic, perhaps, expresses thought's and feelings or fears that i have to deal with, myself, and it seems that the Islamic viewpoint is then expounded in a very non-confrontative, gracious manner. I can't tell you all how I appreciate that, how it makes learning easier. There are threads which are so entirely eastern in content that I can barely comprehend them...and I am thankful when other's bring up topics relevant to my own life, or further explaining some arabic terminology (like: kufar, for example) or sharing viewpoints on some practice such as body piercing...faddish, but common in our culture. I am from a family which argues issues at length--I really like the non-confrontational style of sharing many opinions here. It's very different from what I grew up with. Hmmn. No one is slamming doors or stomping out? As Elenore pointed out a while back, Madina is sort of a kind world. Hmm?
It may be different from what it was a while back, but it is warm and overall good for those of us less accustomed to such good manners. I haven't myself seen anything approaching argument yet, that was not satisfactorily handled by the admin. It's a good place. I also like your posts, Br Abu Khaled, and I hope to see more of them in the future. --Salaams--Sonny =:)
|Re: Sour Times|
|07/18/01 at 20:41:22|
I agree with Sonny,
Brother, to leave many people would be feeling the loss... some of us as muslims knowmore than others... that's how we develop. Sorry to sound selfish, but I think we need you...in fact we need every single person in Madina Board who really wants to get along with muslims and psread and learn about Islam.
I hope we will see you again, Insha'Allah. asalamu alaikum. abdullah,.
|Re: Sour Times|
|07/18/01 at 21:47:02|
Abu Khaled is an addict! ;) He's not going anywhere, so stop worrying about abu now children. :)
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