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H OME quranic tasawwuf fiqh Q english Debatesanddisputations byAl­Imamal­Ghazali(radhiAllahu `anhu) Know

Debatesanddisputations

byAl­Imamal­Ghazali(radhiAllahu

`anhu)

Know,O'Reader,thataftertheHolyNabi ,theKhulafa

RashideenweretheleadersofthelearnedinthescienceofAllah.

Thereweretheeyesofknowledgeandwereexperiencedinthe

legaldecisions.Theydidnottakethehelpofjurisprudentsexcept

incaseswhereconsultationwasnecessary.Theydecidedonthe

strengthofIjtihadandtheirdecisionswererecordedintheirlives.

Aftertheirdeath,Khulafatwenttothosewhonotsoexperiencedin

legalmattersandadministrativeaffairs.Theywerecompelledto

seektheaidofjurisprudents.Atthattime,abandofTabi'eenwere

aliveandtheypersistedinfollowingstrictlytheinjunctionsof

Deen.WheneverKhalifscalledthem,theyfled.

ButsomelearnedmenusedtomixwiththeKhalifsand

consequentlybecamehumiliated.Thereforethereweredifferences

ofopinionandamongthelearnedmenandtheregrewdifferent

mathahibasaresult,andinsomecases,asectsprungup.

Therewereargumentationsanddisputationsovertheintricate

questionsofreligion.Theycomposedalsomanyworksonthese

subjects.Thisinducedthepeopletotaketocontroversiesand

disputations.

Thereareeightconditionsofdebates

1.Thefirstconditionisthatwheredebateforsearchoftruthisone

ofFardhKefayahduties,onewhohasnotalreadyfulfilledhispart

indutiesofFarzeAinshouldnotengagehimselfinthedebates

evenforsearchingtruth.

2.Thesecondconditionisthatoneshouldnotconsiderdebates

moreimportantthanFardhKefayahduties.

Hecommitssinwhodoesotherworksleavingasideamore importantFardhKefaya.Heislikeamanwhodoesnotgivewater todrinktopeoplewhoarethirstyandfacingdeatheventhoughhe hasgotpowertodoso,becauseheremainsthenbusyingiving lessonsofcupping. OncetheHolyNabi wasasked:Whenwillthepeoplegiveup enjoininggoodandforbiddingevil?TheHolyNabi said:When flatterywillgrowingoodpeopleamongyou,kingdomwillgoto themeanestofyouandtheologytothosewhowillbecorrupt.

3.Thethirdconditionwhichjustifiesdebateisthatthedebater

shouldhaveabilityandgivedecisiononhisownresponsibility

withoutreferringtotheopinionofal­Imamal­A'zamAbuHanifah

oranyotherImams.Hewhohasnottheabilityofindependent

interpretationshouldnotexpresshisopinionbutshouldreferitto

anImam.

4.Thefourthconditionwhichjustifiesdebateisthatthesubjectfor

decisionshouldbeaboutactualcasesthatcropup,forexample,

thequestionofinheritanceandnotaboutfuturecases.TheSahabi

(RadhiAllahuAnhum)alsoheldconsultationsasquestionsaroseor

werelikelytoariseinordertoarriveattruth.

5.Thefifthconditionisthatdebateshouldbeheldinprivatein

preferencetoopenmeetingsinpresenceofnotedpeopleandin

grandeurbecauseprivacyismoresuitableforclearthinkingandto

examinewhatisrightandwhatiswrong.

6.Thesixthconditionisthatthedebatershouldliketruthinthe

samespiritasalostthingissearchedfor.Heshouldnotmind

whetherthetruthisfoundbyhimorbyhisadversary.When

HazratUmar(RadhiAllahuAnhu)wasoncegivingsermon,a

womanpointedouttohimhismistaketowhichhesubmitted.At

anothertime,HazratAli(KaramAllahwajhu)wasaskedaquestion

byamanandhereplied.Whenthemanpointedouthismistake,

headmittedit.

7.Theseventhconditionisthatthedebatershouldnotpreventhis

adversaryfromgivinguponeargumentinfavororanotherand

oneillustrationinfavorofanother.

8.Theeighthconditionisthatdebateshouldbeheldwithsuch

personfromwhombenefitisderivedandwhoislearned.From

theseeightconditions,youwillbeabletodistinguishthosewho

debateforthesakeofAllahandthosewhodebateforother

purposes.

EvilsofDebates

Thefollowingevilsariseoutofmoderndebates.

1.Envy.TheHolyNabi said:Envyconsumesgooddeedsasfire consumesfuels.Adebatorisneverfreefromenvyandhatred. Envyisaburningfire.Onewhofallsinitgetspunishmentinthe world.HazratIbnAbbas(RadhiAllahAnhu)said:Acquire'Ilm whereveritisfoundanddon'tobeytheshayateenwhoareprone todisputes.

2.Pride.TheHolyNabi said:AMu'mincannothavekibr(pride) inhim.ThereisaHadith­e­QudsiinwhichAllahTa'alasaid:

"GrandeurisMycloakandprideisMymantle.Idestroytheone

whosnatchesanythingofthesetwofromMe."

3.Rancour.Adebaterisseldomfreefromtheevilofrancour.

4.Back­bitingwhichislikenedbyAllahuTa'alatotheeatingof

carrion(49:12).

5.Declarationofself­purity.Allahsays:Don'tattributepurityto

yourself.HeknowsbestwhofearsHim.(53:33).

6.Spyingandpryingintosecretsofadversary.Allahsays:Avoid

suspicion(Prynot).(49:12).

7.Nifaaq.Adebaterexpresseshisfriendshipforhisadversary

outwardlybuthecherisheshatredforhiminwardly.TheHolyNabi

(Sallallahu'AlayhiwaSallam)said:Whenthelearnedmendonot

translatetheirlearningintoaction,whentheyprofessloveforone

anotherwiththeirtongueandnursehatredintheirhearts,when

theysevertiesofrelationship,AllahsendsCurseuponthem,

makestheirtonguesmuteandtheireyesblind.

8.TurningawayfromHaqq.Thenosthatefulthingtoadebateris

torejectthetruthrevealedtohisadversaryandthushetakesto deceptionanddeceit.TheHolyNabi prohibiteddisputeabout uselessthings.He said:Ifamangivesupdisputationinmatters ofunlawfulthings,agardenwillbebuiltforhiminParadise.Ifa mangivesupdisputationsinmattersofHaqq,ahousewillbebuilt upforhiminthehighestParadise.AllahTa'alasays:Andwhois morewrongfulthanonewhodevisesalieagainstAllahandcalls

thetruthaliewhenitcomestohim.(29:68)Allahsays:Whois

morewrongfulthanhewholiesagainstAllahandtreatsthetruth

whenitcomestohimasalie(39:33).

9.Anotherfaultofdebateisshowandflatteringthepeopleinan

efforttowintheirfavorandtomisleadthem.Nifaaq(hypocrisy)is

thegreatestdiseasewithwhichadebatorisattackedanditisa

majorsin.

10.Deception.Debatorsarecompelledtodeception.

Thesetenevilsarethesecretmajorsinsarisingoutofdebatesand

disputations.Besidesthesemajoroffences,therearisemanyother

guiltsoutofcontroversiesleadingtoblows,kicks,boxing,tearing

ofgarments,etc.

Thelearnedmenareofthreeclasses.Oneclasscomprisethose

whoruinthemselvesandalsoruinothers.Anotherclassmake

themselvesfortunateandmakeothersalsofortunate.Such

learnedmencallotherstowardsgood.Thethirdclassoflearned

mencallruintothemselvesbutmakeothersfortunate.

FromJannah.Org,withpermission

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