INTELLECTUAL CHECK (2): CORRECTION OR CONDEMNATION, WHICH WAY FORWARD?
The intellect is the sense of rational thought, inference, and understanding of matters. For a knowledge enthusiast to reach the state of intellectual, one must have passed through the stages of learning, questioning, listening, reasoning, and understanding which serves as the core values for one to be among those entitled to scholarship or the intellectual minds. Thus, a knowledge enthusiast become intelligentsia by passing through the aforementioned stage.
Mistakes and flaws are inevitable in Human’s living, deeds and sayings. This is owing to the fact that nobody is perfect regardless of his intellect, and as such, on would be found in one deficiency or the other. Noting the deficiency or improper reasoning of others is what calls for criticism. Criticism is thus, an intellectual check on others’ reasoning on certain knowledge. When there is a need for criticism, it is of great honour to present it in form of admonition that will also make the other party reason along with the matter presented. This is because, the inference that has already been taken as conviction in the mindset of the acquirer is hard to detach.
It is a normal circumstances of mankind to exhibit their imperfect nature, in erring or making an incoherent inference on some matters of life. Ethical conduct also demands for adjustment in such incorrect inference.
“O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell)…” [Surah At-Tahrim 66:6].
While criticising an act, correction method should be applied, rather than condemnation. Admonishment is thus required. This should be presented intellectually and softly so as to interest the victim to reason along with the critics and in order to fulfill the intention of correcting.
On the contrary, irrational presentation of the corrections might amount to condemnation, and this might be conceived as an attack on the reputation and intellect of the person criticised. Condemnation won’t make things better either.
More so, correcting some errors publicly seem improper, as this may result to a corrupt technique on the action of the admonisher. Then the person whose act is to be modified or corrected feels humiliated and disgraced and might eventually give up beneficial and productive activities that led him to be corrected in first place.
The religion of Islam is rooted on knowledge and fact, so that the psyche may be enhanced through proper reasoning and practice of such knowledge.
Knowledge which serves as the basic of the religion is now seemingly becoming a thing of play among those who called themselves scholars of the generation.
The thought that you have the knowledge of the religion than others is a sign of arrogance, and this is very bad to one’s reputation. I began to wonder what has got the Ummah in terms of intellectual reasoning, when one personality began to ridicule the scholarship of another, and in the name of correcting an act. I do not see any wisdom in a scholar that condemns the personality of other scholars instead of correcting them by advice, just because those people are involved in ‘what they feel is accepted, according to their understanding of the deen (religion)’. Is there anybody above mistake? Have they not been wrong before? Were they born with knowledge?
Correct an act of a person if you can, rather than rubbishing the personalities of others. Doing the former is an act of helping others, when you feel they are going overboard on the aspect of the deen. Rubbishing a personality is inappropriate, as this is like assuming yourself as being flawless of nature. You do not gain any good deeds by condemning another persons’ (scholars/students) personality, you can do better than that. Doing that is a bad skill to be developed by a person who claimed to have understood the religion of Islam. And I ask; where is the understanding in tainting the reputation of another’ while it’s a clear fact that mankind are perfect creature of Allah, who are weak in nature.
Things can be done in a better way than worsening a situation that should have been tactically corrected by a student of knowledge or intelligentsia.
Honestly, these acts of condemnation displayed by the (supposed) scholars of the religion is not worth causing hullabaloo and pandemonium among the learned minds of the Deen of Islam. Condemn an act done by a person privately and logically but do not condemn the personality of such person, because doing can be dangerous to Muslim brotherhood as hatred, enemity, aversion will start to reign and spread among the inhabitants of this felicitous religion.
Read about the prophet life and you will be perplexed to learn more on a virtuous way of making things right instead of allowing the situation move to the worst case scenario. Even those to be corrected can be referred to the Hadith and platforms where you have sourced your claim so they will know you are not enforcing the correction, rather you are awakening them to injunctions of Allah and his prophet.
Prophet Muhammad would not publicly condemn the personality of those with him, but the Noble prophet will only try to correct the act in a tactic manner that people would not be suspicious of the person that committed such act. Is that not the most perfect example we should follow?
“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad SAW) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” [Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:21]
The evil doers already did their best, with the destructive role played during the era of the crusade; that made some among the people of the book collaborated with the enemies of Islam to destroy the knowledge base (Bait Al-Hikmah – House of Wisdom) in the “Islamic Golden Age”. They thought they could extinguish the light of Islam. Alas, their efforts were lost:
“They intend to put out the Light of Allah (Islam, this Quran, and Sunnah) with their mouths. But Allah will complete His Light even though the disbelievers hate (it).” [Surah As-Saff, 61:8]
If the act of using physical weapons couldn’t extinguish the bright light of Islam, are we going to bow for another deception of the chief deceiver of intellectual weaponry among the scholars of the religion? That should not be.
Indeed, the act of one scholar condemn another needed to be shotput in the canal of forgetfulness and clear all those acts of superiority complex of one party to another. You may have the knowledge of the religion, but never think you are better than the other, hence condemning the act they feel to be in line with their understanding of the deen. No man is an island of knowledge. Better correct than condemn.
As the Creator has willed it to be; we are in the ere of “Information Communication Technology” (ICT), which makes communication and acquisition of knowledge easy for the knowledge enthusiast, and also allow constructive reasoning and practise. Although, this same technology also serves as the avenue for the ease spread of lies, deceit and (erring) innovation to the perfectly established religion is Islam, and this makes some deviate from the Straight path laid down in the Pristine Source, and as such, they practise the act that is alien to the progress of Islamic propagation and Muslims lifestyle. The practise shown publicly is what calls for criticism, when other intellectuals feel there is mixed up from the act of another scholar. Hence criticism becomes a techniques to put things in a constructive way and not to make it complicated by offering condemnation, with destructive criticism.
Scholars of the deen need to do their assignment well, and reason on how to make better discovery in Dawah methodology. Doing this will not only brighten increase the scholars knowledge, but will also enhance the psyche in reasoning on mankind development.
Islam is beautiful and everything has been set in the pristine source only for the reasonable minds to discover, and this will not be achieved by condemnation, but through in-depth reasoning on the injunctions of Allah and the instructions of His Rasul, Muhammad (ﷺ). The Scholars of the era can make better reformation and progression in the deen and lifestyle of Muslims, by making more research and learning more on logical correction methodology.
“Say: “Are those who know equal to those who know not?” It is only men of understanding who will remember (i.e. get a lesson from Allah’s Signs and Verses). [Surah Az-Zumar, 39:9]