Engage, Not Just Condemn


It is great to identify problems, but the issue I have is that, especially in the West, we have fallen into a “culture of condemnation,” in which in order to be exempt from criticism, we simply must condemn “Issue X” or “Issue Y,” and therefore, we have shown, through mere words, that we are “acceptable” or “good” through our condemnation.

I am sorry, I think that is terrible and lazy; it is easy to condemn something, it is far more difficult to change something. Great, you identify a problem, but the larger question is: are you prepared to take the necessary steps to change it?

This is also true for the behaviour by many Muslims that profess to be on a rightly guided path compared to everyone else, then promptly go about condemning others because that’s easier than engaging meaningfully around the specific issue at hand.

It’s also easier to dismiss everything a recognised scholar says just because of where he comes from, or who he may be affiliated with, than it is to understand that scholar’s perspectives and focus on unwrapping that.

The easiest of all is to assume that your level of piety, your level of understanding, or your level of sincerity in practice is greater than anyone else that does not subscribe to your exact school of thought or interpretations, while emphasising the advice about hating for the sake of Allah, and completing neglecting the advice of good manners in speech and moderation. 

When faced with the arrogance, condescension, and inconsideration of the majority of Muslims I see these days, both on Tumblr and in real life, my heart sinks, not only because of how steeped we are in our individual piety without any consideration for our collective responsibility, but also because I see more effort applied towards forming divisions and intolerance rather than establishing understanding and unity amongst all who profess the Shahadah. 

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