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Beware of Time-Wasters!

Updated: Sep 9, 2018

There's an amazing hadith found in Musnad Ahmad, Tabarani, Ibn Maja, Tirmidhi and others... It says, "No people have gone astray after having been upon guidance, except that they were given argumentation."

​ما ضل قوم بعد هدى كانوا عليه إلا أوتوا الجدل

If you've been around Muslim life long enough, you can sense when a time-wasting black-hole is developing. It's very tempting to go in swinging. Most youth do simply out of lack of experience. But for those who've been around the block, what is the point of experience, if you simply keep falling for the allure of the black hole. 

Whenever an issue comes up, our stance is that we just state the position---insist on it no matter what---and move on. One of the signs of misguided groups is that they're always arguing. In contrast, the path our ulama have put us upon---may Allah guard them and protect them---is one in which we're really just too busy for nonsense. We have Quran to review, and still more to memorize. We have to brush up on our Arabic regularly. Fiqh needs to be delved into. Sound aqida needs to be taught. Hours of dhikr need to be logged. And on top of that, there is charity to be given, youth-work to be done, janazas to attend. Before all of that we have families to take care of. And then suddenly, it's Ramadan and all of that goes on hold and we put our souls through the car-wash.

Through masajid, retreats, trips abroad, etc, life as a Muslim makes you meet so many different types of people, that it broadens your experience and polishes your akhlaq. People are always changing. One year they're into something knee deep and another year, they've balanced out. One becomes more forgiving, calm and over-looking. With every year that passes, and every drama that comes around, reaches its high point and then and rolls away like a receding wave, you come to realize what really matters in life and in deen. And that causes a person to side-step jidaal, argumentation. State your point---you may have to state it often---then move on and leave off arguing.

Imam Malik was approached by a man who asked him for a debate. Malik said, "What happens if I win?" The man said I will follow you. Malik said, "And if you win?" The man said, then you follow me. Then Malik said, "What if a third person comes and defeats both of us?" The man said, then we both follow him. Malik concluded: "Constantly changing your beliefs is not a sign of steadfastness. I know what I am upon and I have no doubt. You however, are upon doubt. So leave me alone and go debate someone else filled with doubt." (Tartib al-Madarik) One of his students said, "Shall I not try to argue with them to prove to them the truth?" Malik replied, "Just state the position and leave it at that. If he wants to follow it, he will." (Tartib al-Madarik)

Those who will last the test of time are those who have something to offer. Something objective, meaty, beneficial, balanced and diverse. May Allah make us from those people, both as students and transmitters. And may Allah keep us away from argumentation, the sign of misguided people and groups. Ameen.

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