How to Give a Guided Refutation to Deviants
But those who disbelieve, dispute with false argument, in order to refute the truth thereby
I pray that Allah forgives my errors in this article and makes the good in it beneficial for me and every reader in this world and the hereafter. I seek the blessings and peace of Allãh upon the leader of mankind, his household, companions and all those who follow his path till the day of reckoning.
Refutation of Deviants
The recent war of words between our brothers in the Sunnah and many deviants has been of great concerns to my humble self. Indeed, arguing with them is not only tantamount to wrestling with a pig, it also leads to publicizing them and giving them cheap popularity.
The deviants have nothing to offer but if you keep arguing with them, you will end up wasting your time and leaving the common Muslim in confusion. Some might even be enticed by one or two of the deviants’ distortions and doubts.
Like Ibn Rummee said:
في زخرف القول تزيين للباطلوالحق قد يعتريه سوء التعبير
There’s beautification for falsehood in sweet words, but the truth might be afflicted with poor expressions.
And like one of our scholars once said about being busy with the deviants:
Don’t get yourself busy with the partisans. In fact, always making them your subject of discussion shows that you are not wise.
Busying oneself refuting innovators is a big waste of time. Yes, refutation was done by our past predecessors. But like my friend Akinjobi Shakir once said:
how many of our pious predecessors’ books were based on refutations? Obviously only a small percentage of them.
Sheikh Mashhoor Hassan Aal-Salmaan: A Model for All.
In this era, one of our scholars that has done great benefit for the Ummah is Sheikh Mashhoor Hassan Aal-Salmaan. Sheikh Mashhoor, popularly known as Abu Ubaydah, is a prominent student of Sheikh Albany.
The life of this sheikh is a lesson for us all. Many evil speeches were said about him, many accusations were levelled against him. He was called many names, but he remained patient and continued teaching and spreading knowledge. He didn’t respond to any of the accusations, rather he continued teaching, writing and annotating.
Today the works of Abu Ubaydah undoubtedly outnumber the works of many -if not all- of his contemporaries.
That is the Grace of Allãh which He bestows on whom He pleases. And Allãhis the Owner of Great Bounty.
Sheikh Mashhoor’s research and compilation of Imam Bulqeeni’s heritage -which a whole country couldn’t do- is enough to tell you the truth of our story.
Persistent Refutation; a Plot of Shaitan
Therefore, being busy with refutations is a plot of Shaitan to gradually dissuade the student of knowledge from the path of learning and the path of Dawah. Like many scholars have said: whenever a slave tries to get serious with an act of worship, Shaitan opens a door of misguidance for him.
There are many doors of misguidance shaitan opens for the students of knowledge, one of them is being busy with refutations. He wastes his time on refutations, gains little time from reading and spreading refutations and consequently, has little to give students. Well, he has a lot of refutations to teach. Unfortunately, refutation is not knowledge. We ask Allaah for safety.
Persistent Refutation; Not Pristine Islam
As Imam Ahmad said The aim of seeking knowledge is to raise ignorance from one’s self and from others. Thus, benefiting the ummah with knowledge of the pristine teachings of Islam, sound creed and correct understanding of issues. Being busy with refutations gradually moves one off this road.
A person just starts getting serious with Islam today and you are telling him that there are some people in Iran who worship graves. They insult the Sahabah, wives of the prophet (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him)… This person doesn’t even know the importance of the sahabah, so he can’t comprehend what you are saying to him.
Rather, teach him tawheed, teach him the sunnah, teach him fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence; ablution, prayer, fasting, zakat, hajj etc.), teach him good manners, teach him the way of our pious predecessors. Don’t busy him with names of this deviant scholars, those deviant people, whatever deviant speeches etc. he doesn’t even know the truth yet and you are teaching him falsehood.
That is not the way of our scholars. For example, if a student wants to study Aqeedah or tawheed (creed of Islam), what is the first book our scholars recommend for him? Is kashf Shubuhaat (clearing the distortions), the first book they recommend for him? No. Why? He doesn’t even have the truth yet so why teach him doubts. The same thing applies to other fields of Islamic knowledge.
Ways People Make Refutation
About half a decade ago, our teacher, Abu Muhammad Al-Edewee, mentioned to us three ways people make refutation. I remember that this was in one of our sittings on Sheikh Salih Fawzaan’s Kitaab tawheed. Only one of these three ways is in line with the pristine teachings of Islam. The explanation was in Yoruba language but you will have it in English. AlhamduliLLaah.
Attacking The Refuted Person’s Personality:
When a person does or says something wrong or offends you. If the next thing you tell him is you short man, you illiterate, or insult his race, tribe, etc. You have fallen into this category.
This form of ‘refutation’ does not only leave the issue unanswered, it is also a form of transgression. That is because it is not his tribe that offended you, neither is it his stature nor race that committed a wrong act. In fact, you are actually insulting the creator of this person for creating him in this appearance, colour, tribe etc.
Leaving the Issue and Discussing the Tissue:
Perhaps, the major cause of this is bad intention of the person who wants to make a refutation. He already has some grudges against the person who erred so he sees this error as an opportunity to fulfil his evil desires.
Unfortunately for him, Shaitan will make him think that he is fulfilling a religious obligation. We ask Allaah for safety.
So he may mention some of the person’s past faults. Many times some people may lie in order to get their full from the person they are ‘correcting’.
Addressing the Issue Only:
This is the way of our righteous predecessors; the Sahabah and those who followed them. They do not go beyond bounds in rectifying a person. They only address the person’s mistake(s). This is because their refutation is not to seek fame or cause damage to the refuted. Rather their refutation is due to their mercy on him. If the people leave the person’s (the refuted) error as a result of the refutation, it is good for him(the refuted) and good for them (those who left his error).
How it is good for them (those who left the error) is clear. But how is it good for him(the refuted)?
On the day of Qiyamah, he will have fewer burdens to carry. Allaah the exalted says (interpretation of the meaning):
They will bear their own burdens in full on the Day of Resurrection, and also of the burdens of those whom they misled without knowledge. Evil indeed is that which they shall bear!
I beseech Allãh to make this piece beneficial for the writer, readers and everyone who shares it in this world and the hereafter. Aameen.