Why Do Not We Disagree With Each Other
By: Sheikh, Osama Hafez.. Several months ago, while I was supervising the Fatwa section of the Islamic Group website, I received a message asking whether listening to music and singing is permitted (halal) according to our religion. I answered in details that there is no clear-cut evidence shows it is prohibited (haram). Therefore, we will apply the rule that the norm concerning things is that of permissibility unless a text, Quran or Hadith, forbids it. Accordingly, music is halal unless it is used as a means of corruption.
I have sent the fatwa to be published but the brothers responsible did not allow it. I insisted on them to do but they were hesitated because the majority of our brethren adopt the other opinion, which I was espousing before, and publishing such a fatwa may cause dispute and show that we, as members of the Islamic Group, have inner disagreements.
I replied: why are you so annoyed? What will happen if we disagree somewhat over the "secondary elements" of religion, especially that they are disputable since the very beginning of Islam?
If I am wrong, I will take the reward from Allah as the Prophet teaches us that mujtahid (who thinks using the tools of fatwa to reach a judgment) will be rewarded whether his opinion is right or wrong as long as he has the good intention.
It is good to disagree over some points because this will open dialogues that will make us do more searching to reach the better opinion. Yes, we may agree or disagree but it is enough to have respectful discussions and more reasoning to reach the truth.
However, the fatwa was published later but the incident raised some points in my mind that I would like to demonstrate on you.
To be concerned about the other opinion is not the problem of Islamists only but of the third world as a whole. Everyone sees the "other opinion" as dangerous that threatens the unity of societies and that it is better to adopt the same attitude in everything.
The worst thing is the look of suspicion you will get if you are on the other side. Your religion, intention and loyalty will be questionable.
This way of explaining things is the reason of our regress and suffering. This behavior kills the creativity and forces people to accept the wrong for fear of being suspected in case of disagreement. Moreover, this increases superficiality in the society.
Add to this that lack of dialogue and fear of being different makes it hard to change opinions because they become as if holy; the thing that our society in general and the Islamic movement in particular suffered a lot. Many wrong ideas and opinions we were forced to pass and defend fearing to appear as different.
Yes, there are fundamentals that we cannot disagree over but there are secondary elements, which are more, that we may disagree upon. The more Muslims accept the other opinion, the more their countries will progress and vice versa.
We should learn from our righteous ancestors. They give us a wonderful example of accepting the counter opinion with respect and I will quote here Al Shafi'i words "my opinion is right still it may prove to be wrong and the other's opinion is wrong but still it may prove to be right".
Translated by: Fatima Suleiman
Back to Current Affairs