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Difference of Opinion: A Cause of Weakness?

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    Difference of Opinion: A Cause of Weakness?

    Anybody who is aware of my past history in this forum will be aware I hold a number of opinions on Islam which are quite contrary to the conventional wisdom. I sometimes agree on a great number of issues which most Muslims discuss but I also agree to disagree with them on a few matters. Of course, I don't disagree for the sake of disagreeing, but always for the reason that I genuinely feel that the basis for that contrary belief, which I hold, is more logical and accurate. Which gives rise to the issue of differences of opinion.

    People make a big deal about this issue of unity. The manifestation of disunity and proliferation of problems is there for all to see. Obviously we don't disagree much on simple things like prayer and the like but on other issues difference of opinion is seen by some to be the main cause for this disunity. So some see the difference of opinion amongst the Muslims as a major source of weakness and an obstacle on the path to unity.

    I would like to invite your opinions. Is it wrong for Muslims to differ?

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    They shoot partypoopers, don't they?

    #2
    It's not wrong for Muslims to differ on subjects which are not clearly defined in Quran and Sunnah - but there can be no discussion where it is clearly defined.

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      #3
      Difference of opinion among different sects of Islam is rather good as it incite them to do better according to the Quran and Sunnah.

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        #4
        >>>I would like to invite your opinions. Is it wrong for Muslims to differ? <<

        Different doesn't always mean wrong. And alot of times, the differences arise from the way people see things and interpret them. I mean your interpretations of what lays all around you is influenced by your perspective, your background, your teachers, your knowledge, your upbringing, etc..

        I remember one time I was talking with my father, and I asked him about the four schools of thought. He told me to imagine a vase full of flowers placed in the center of a room. Then to bring in four artists whose task it was to paint a picture of that vase full of flowers. The artists took positions around the vase and began painting. When they were finished, and placed the four images side by side, the pictures all depicted the same subject, but they were all different. Yet, they were still all correct. The difference was that each artist had viewed the vase of flowers from a different angle and each had sketched what they had seen. Not everyone sees things the same way as you or I, but that doesn't always mean they are wrong.

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          #5
          >>>but there can be no discussion where it is clearly defined.<<

          Yes, I agree with you there.


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            #6
            A sect is formed when there is a change in belief not in action. As I have stated in my post on sectarianism if you have a difference of opinion then it doesn't mean that you are part of another sect.

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              #7
              very beautifully put.

              i couldnt find the hadith, but isnt there one where the Prophet pbuh said that if there were 1,000 flowers, let them bloom. (i'm paraphrasing with respect to differences of opinion).

              i cant find it.. can someone else?

              -mehndi

              Originally posted by Girl from Quraysh:
              >>>I would like to invite your opinions. Is it wrong for Muslims to differ? <<

              Different doesn't always mean wrong. And alot of times, the differences arise from the way people see things and interpret them. I mean your interpretations of what lays all around you is influenced by your perspective, your background, your teachers, your knowledge, your upbringing, etc..

              I remember one time I was talking with my father, and I asked him about the four schools of thought. He told me to imagine a vase full of flowers placed in the center of a room. Then to bring in four artists whose task it was to paint a picture of that vase full of flowers. The artists took positions around the vase and began painting. When they were finished, and placed the four images side by side, the pictures all depicted the same subject, but they were all different. Yet, they were still all correct. The difference was that each artist had viewed the vase of flowers from a different angle and each had sketched what they had seen. Not everyone sees things the same way as you or I, but that doesn't always mean they are wrong.

              Comment


                #8
                If we look at the past history, we see that the originators of the four madhabs did not differ among themselves. The Imaams use to tell their followers to follow the other Imaam. They were humble and more fact oriented towards their learning and teaching of Islam.

                Allah says in Quran that do not divide your selves in to sects, he does not like that. But, I believe that this sectarian dilemma came upon Muslims as a "azmaish" from Allah to see if we can stay firm on the tradition of Mohammed and Koran.

                I hope, we Muslims can unite with each other and shun our differences in order to fight the greater threat to our security and well being of future of our childern. Ameen.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Girl from Quraysh:

                  I remember one time I was talking with my father, and I asked him about the four schools of thought. He told me to imagine a vase full of flowers placed in the center of a room. Then to bring in four artists whose task it was to paint a picture of that vase full of flowers. The artists took positions around the vase and began painting. When they were finished, and placed the four images side by side, the pictures all depicted the same subject, but they were all different. Yet, they were still all correct. The difference was that each artist had viewed the vase of flowers from a different angle and each had sketched what they had seen. Not everyone sees things the same way as you or I, but that doesn't always mean they are wrong.
                  Very pertinent. Then it should logically follow that there is nothing sacrosanct about these Madhabs. They are actually a compilation of the understanding of humans like ourselves of the Qur’an and the Sunnah – humans who were not infallible and who never claimed to be so, humans whose opinions were a mixture of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. These scholars themselves have never presented their individual or collective opinion to be binding on other Muslims. Their stress has almost always been on the line of reasoning through which they have arrived at a particular conclusion rather than on the conclusion itself.

                  There is one narrative I found, when looking at the material on this topic, ascribed to the prophet in which the Prophet (SAW) witnessed the companions disputing, but did not rebuke them for doing so. The incident relates to the dispute regarding the 'Asr prayer on their way to Bani Qurayzah. The Prophet instructed the companions to go and fight the Jews. He said, "Do not pray until you get to Bani Qurayzah". On route to Bani Qurayzah the time for 'Asr was drawing to a close. A dispute ensued. One group understood the prophet's command metaphorically, thinking that the Prophet (SAW) meant hurry up. A party of the believers prayed there whilst the others prayed after 'Asr time when they arrived at Bani Qurayzah.

                  When they next met the Prophet (SAW) they asked him who was right and who was wrong. It is important to note the response. Only one of them could have been right, but the Prophet (SAW) did not point out who that was, rather he said, "Whoever performs ijtihad and errs will receive one reward. Whoever performs ijtihad and arrives at the correct answer gets double the reward."

                  Had it been haraam to differ, the Prophet (SAW) would have rebuked those differing from the correct opinion and praised those who were right.

                  So I guess difference of opinion is not necessarily a bad thing. I agree with you. Keeping the above in mind, what is it exactly that defines unity or disunity among Muslims? Is it agreement on the basics? Or is it the common agreement that people may have different opinions on any one issue? Or is it something else entirely?

                  ------------------
                  They shoot partypoopers, don't they?

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