Friday, 16 March 2012

Don't force Islam on me!

The time has come when people hate to be corrected, and they get offended when someone advises them, even in a nice way, that what they are doing is wrong and that they should follow the Islamic ruling and please Allah swt and His Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). And they make many excuses for not heeding the advice.

One of them say 'you can't enforce your beliefs'. But the question should be asked 'is it really enforcing beliefs?' Since when has advising or persuading someone that they're wrong become 'enforcement'?

Enforcing beliefs on others would be where you threaten a person with death if they don't accept your beliefs. They are "forced" into one choice, they can't carry out any other act. As long as a person has the choice in this world, without having himself killed, its not considered 'forcing a belief'. After all, a person can even be in jail, and still believe in a certain thing, since belief is what you believe in the heart.

However if the case is of stopping a person from doing a certain act, then if the person is prevented by force (like put in jail), then one can claim that beliefs are being enforced in the realm of action. Nevertheless we should remember that every day actions or the prevention of actions are forced upon us. For example a person X wants to break the speed limit repeatedly or tries to murder, so he is arrested and forced to not break it or do murder, when he is in jail. And this is considered as "enforcing belief in the realm of actions" by the legal scholars, lawyers and government.Thus the claim that "no one can enforce beliefs" is blatantly false.

In fact the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) gave the Islamic command to stop people from doing haram (the unlawful in Islam) when he said:

"Whoever amongst you sees anything objectionable, let him change it with his hand, if he is not able, then with his tongue, and if he is not even able to do so, then with his heart, and the latter is the weakest form of faith. (Muslim)

So commanding the good and forbidding the evil are obligatory upon Muslims, although it needs wisdom and can have a different ruling. Please see the fiqh/ruling of it (1).

If people do that, then we would see less evil in the world, and more people dong good, since knowledge would increase amongst people, and the paths of good would be supported, whilst the paths of evil stunted.

In one of the Prophetic Hadiths, there was a person who just worshipped Allah swt, but didn't fulfill the command of encouraging the good and forbidding the evil, and the community disobeyed Allah swt, so he was destroyed with the rest of the community.

Nevertheless, in advising someone, you should wish the best for someone and try to be least offensive to the person. If the person doesn't want to listen, then in many cases we can't do anything about it nor force the person. But in some situations you can take action, such as if the person is committing adultery in your house, or bringing in drugs, then you can kick the person out if he doesn't listen.

Furthermore by commanding, we show people the seriousness of what they're doing and in fact trying to save them from the punishment of hell. It shows that we are concerned and care for the person, that we are real friends. It’s like if our friend was about to stab himself or fall into the fire, we would try to stop that person but if we didn’t we’d be blamed by people for not doing anything right?

The person corrected/advised should thank the person giving advice, like one who thanks another person for saving his life. But if the person corrected, gets angry and says stuff like “you think you’re better than me, don’t enforce your beliefs” etc, then this indicates a disease in the heart of the person corrected, and the disease should be removed. A person should be sincere, humble and ready to accept his/her mistakes. But the disease here is stubbornness, blindness, arrogance, pride, love of dunya and so on.

Imam Shafi'i said when he was asked how he attained such great character and he responded by saying “I listened to my critics and took their criticism seriously”.

1)     1) Fiqh of commanding the right:

No comments:

Post a Comment