Praise be to Allaah.
your protective jealousy towards the religion of Allaah, and we value your
attitude in defending it against its enemies and doubters. But this will not
prevent us from advising you and directing you towards that which is better
for you and for the religion of Allaah.
may be summed up by telling you not to get involved in dealing with specious
arguments and refuting them until after you have gained a strong knowledge
of the rulings and laws of Islam, and until your faith has become strong and
certain. This is not something that is mustahabb or recommended, rather it
is obligatory in your case and in the case of everyone who wants to get
involved in dealing with specious arguments and refuting the followers of
innovation, misguidance and deviant religions. There are a number of
important reasons for this:
1 – Protecting
the religion and laws of Allaah from zealots who do not have any real
knowledge. These people see the specious argument but their answer misses
the point, and sometimes their response is so weak that it may reinforce the
specious argument and weaken truth.
2 – Protecting
the Muslims who are eager to refute them from being misled by these specious
arguments and their proponents. Many of those who get involved in this field
enter with little knowledge, and the specious arguments penetrate their
hearts and they can find no answer to them, so they become confused and
begin to doubt. Examining specious arguments too much weakens the heart.
(may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
al-Islam (may Allaah have mercy on him) said to me, after I had posed some
questions to him, one after another:
Do not make
your heart like a sponge for questions and specious arguments lest your
heart be filled with them and they start to affect your thinking and your
behaviour. Rather make it like a sealed bottle, so that the specious
arguments will bounce off its surface and will not settle in it, then you
will be able to see them clearly and ward them off because of the resolve
you have. Otherwise if every specious argument that crosses your mind
settles in your heart, it will become an abode for specious arguments. – Or
words to that effect.
I not know
that I benefited from any advice to ward off specious arguments as I did
from this advice.
al-Dhahabi narrated that Sufyaan al-Thawri (may Allaah have mercy on him)
of an innovation should not tell it to his companions lest it reach their
on that by saying:
Most of the
imams of the salaf issued similar warnings; they thought that hearts were
weak and that specious arguments could easily penetrate them.
3 – Taking
care of one’s time and not wasting it on stubborn arguers, and not wasting
time on one aspect of knowledge which should be preceded by other kinds of
knowledge. It is not right to refute those who attack Islam until after one
has learned the Qur’aan and saheeh Sunnah, which takes a lot of the
knowledge-seeker’s time. Some specious arguments may be answered from the
point of view of language, others from the point of view of Tafseer, or
hadeeth, or logic. What zealous beginner can master all of that?
4 – Choosing
the right way to call people to Islam. Calling people to Allaah needs
knowledge on the part of the caller, and it needs wisdom so that he will
handle matters appropriately. Some of those who are called may be
open-minded, easy going and close to the truth, and some may be stubborn, so
the caller needs to know the appropriate way to deal with each of them, and
be strict with some and gentle and kind with others.
(interpretation of the meaning):
(mankind, O Muhammad صلىالله عليه وسلم)
to the way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine
Revelation and the Qur’aan) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way
that is better”
“And argue not
with the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), unless it be in (a
way) that is better (with good words and in good manner, inviting them to
Islamic Monotheism with His Verses), except with such of them as do wrong”
How can the
beginner know the appropriate way to deal with these people? How can he
implement it? When should he give up? All of that needs the caller to have a
considerable amount of knowledge and wisdom, and this cannot be found with
the majority of zealous beginners.
answer to the brother’s question may be known: should he remain in the chat
rooms even though he sees them reviling Allaah, may He be exalted, and His
Messenger and His religion, or should he leave? Does what is mentioned in
the verses quoted in the question apply to him? There is no definite answer
to that, unless we know the state of the chat room and the state of the
caller, and the state of the specious arguments, and whether he is allowed
to respond and comment, or is he only reading and not taking part? If we
know all that we can form an idea of the appropriate answer.
We have seen
some of our zealous brothers who are eager to engage in da’wah entering chat
rooms on “Pal Talk” where heretics revile the Sahaabah and label them as
kaafirs, and they insult the Muslims in immoral speech, but they prevent the
Muslim brother from commenting verbally or by typing. What point is there in
staying in those evil rooms?
In this case,
what is mentioned in the verses quoted in the question is applicable; this
is unlike one who listens in order to compile and document their words or
one who listens in order to refute them when it is his turn to speak. In
those cases, what is mentioned in the verses quoted in the question does not
general advice, and we ask Allaah to cause it to be of benefit.
It is not
permissible for a person to read a misguiding book of the Jews, Christians,
mushrikeen or innovators, unless he has deep knowledge that can protect him.
But if he is a beginner in seeking knowledge, then it is not permissible for
him to start by reading these books of falsehood, because he may be
influenced by the falsehood contained therein. We advise these people to
leave these books alone until they have fortified themselves with sound
shar’i knowledge before they look into those misguided books. If a person
wants to protect himself against a flood, he builds a barrier and implements
other means before the flood comes; he does not do that after the flood
comes. So we say: First of all, fortify yourselves with shar’i knowledge and
let it take root deeply in your hearts, so that you will be strong and it
will not matter what you read and you will be able to refute the specious
arguments and false notions of the people.
(47/question no. 7)
also question no. 22029 and
83621 for the ruling on reading the books of Ahl
al-Kitaab and debating with them via the Internet.