Making Judgments

All praise and thanks is due to Allah Most High and may His salaat and salaam be upon the noble Messenger Muhammad and all those who follow his way until the Last Day,aameen. A general issue of concern regarding learning Islam is that of passing judgments on matters not only without having really read or understood them for one's self, but without any substantiated evidence that the material is indeed incorrect or objectionable. We find it regrettable and somewhat surprising that Muslims who consider themselves knowledgeable enough to make so many important decisions in life, raise children, work in professions, even teach and the like, would not only pass judgments but even encourage others to avoid even looking at or considering the words of certain authors or publications without having read anything for themselves or having gotten any specific direction from scholars of Islam regarding that material pointing to what is clearly objectionable or incorrect in them according to the criterion of the shari’ah of Islam. They instead do so based on the say-so or opinions of others who themselves may be viewing the matter incorrectly or due to prejudices or misconceptions, and who may themselves misinterpret or misrepresent what they read. No doubt if one finds any author or group having established themselves as not bringing forth good information from substantiated Islamic sources or otherwise or who advocates that which is clearly against established Islamic belief and practice or truthfulness, that those who are not well-grounded or sure of their Islamic knowledge should avoid reading or listening to such material if only to protect themselves from perhaps falling into error and confusion. Indeed even great scholars of the past would neither read, sit with or listen to certain individuals known and established to possess deviations no matter if they wanted to even relate a hadeeth of the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam). This is sound wisdom and the exercise of reasonable caution. It can indeed be a sensitive matter, especially if one considers that if people are not well-grounded that they are dependent upon the word and assessment of others and thus the level of trust one puts in others' judgments is crucial. What is objectionable is the uncritical following of unsubstantiated statements of opinion made about any person or entity and then this ill-word circulates until it seems an unsubstantiated "fact" by virtue of its wide circulation with the result of cutting off many people who could otherwise benefit from useful and important information. We should certainly’ always read carefully and even critically and if anything objectionable or shortcoming is found (i.e. inaccuracy or not suiting the criterion of Islamic shari’ah), it should be brought to the attention of the writers or publishers of that given material - me included. Perhaps the error or shortcoming will be corrected and many will then benefit. At the least, the burden of ordering the good and preventing the evil will have been lifted from the one who is indeed able to do so, and the resultant action or reaction to that rests with Allah. It is certainly preferable to what may amount to the major sin of backbiting, slander or spreading doubt and sowing undue suspicion which hurts far more than it helps and that may instead place a burden of having blocked the road to benefit and/or knowledge from others who badly need it, and Allah knows best. Be smart, be safe, but be fair. Abdul-Qaadir Abdul-Khaaliq

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful