Posted by: Dawud Israel | November 26, 2007

The Antagonism Principle

In any Muslim social setting there is something at play which can keep things level or can tilt them over too far. When a Muslim says something, whether it is regarding the religion or anything else in the presence of another Muslim, chances are the other Muslim will express an opinion that is exactly opposite–no matter how ridiculous the opinions may seem on either side. It happens virtually all the time and seems to rarely occur between non-Muslims. It’s as if Allah has placed this into Muslim mentality on purpose.

And this psychology makes sense when you consider the fact that Islam is a religion of moderation. If you are on a boat in the middle of the ocean and you go too much to one side–chances are the boat will tip over. But if you have someone on the far end with an equal load–the boat will stay level. There is this option but also the option of having both people come in the middle, but the risk of the boat breaking from too much weight can be great and so to go to opposing sides seems the most logical.

In the Ummah we have too many Muslims–too many different versions of Islam that to expect them all to go to one side–too far right or too far left is unrealistic. Even when we consider going in the middle which is without a doubt the best position it becomes difficult. How can everyone be in the middle when the crowd has grown too large? There will be equal loads on the far right, far left and in the center. And in a sense they will all be in the middle or at least contributing to the stability of Islam.

So does one simply argue with the Muslim who takes the opposing position non-stop until they agree? No. 90% of the time they will never agree. Chances are they are accepting a view that makes most sense to them and if you contest and argue against them it is as if you are arguing with who they are. The boat will shake too much and some may go overboard and drown.

If you are 100% confident about your position and have total yaqeen (total certainty)–than the best way to persuade someone to that position, is to be quiet and let them come to that understanding on their own through time. It is more of a matter of own personal development than anything else. They will have to go through their own process, their own efforts and own time to fully understand and more importantly appreciate the value of Islam among other things. It may take them years but they will come to see things as you do eventually.

If you do not have yaqeen than you will be hostile–how can you accept that there is another way without doubting your own? When you do have total yaqeen this is not an issue at all, because with that yaqeen comes a confidence so strong it seems you have total lack of fear from other Islamic viewpoints.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdik ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk. Ameen.


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