Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The Art of Arguing
True to the name of this blog, I am always digging for knowledge. After all, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) commanded for us to "Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave." However I have found that it is all to easy to slip into the mode of seeking conflict rather than truly seeking knowledge. Far too many times I will read an enlightening hadith or book written by a renowned scholar, then all of a sudden I think I am qualified enough to teach this precious new information to others. Then when someone disagrees with me, I feel the need to defend my point view to point where I find myself in a debate on a subject that I probably no very little about. Is it pride that drives me to the point of arguing with my fellow Muslims and beloved non-Muslim family and friends? Do I harvest an insatiable hunger to be right all the time? Surely I cannot be that egotistical? Well, I won't be that hard on myself, but I noticed that sometimes I can get so wrapped up in proving a point, that I myself is not willing to accept a different point of view. What happen to agreeing to disagree? I've discovered that when it comes to matters of religion, people are very sensitive because it is hard to admit that we have been serving our Lord incorrectly, whether through dress, prayer, or understanding our holy books. Ego also plays a part- a man doesn't want to be corrected by a woman, or an Arab by an Indonesian, or a parent by a child, or a teacher by a student, or an American convert by an Muslim-born immigrant . . . and the list goes on.
I think we can all learn to teach to and learn from each other with a greater sense of sensitivity and wisdom: maybe we are both right or perhaps we could both be wrong. Whatever the case, always seek refuge with Allah from the whisperings of the shatan before entering a discussion. Ask Allah to purify your intentions so that we are not just intentionally starting an argument for the sake of being right.