Argumentation without Knowledge

“Realise brothers that argumentation without knowledge causes the loss of much good and leads the ones arguing to invalidate a path from one of the paths of the sharī`ah. . . We have taken an oath that we would not open the door of argumentation without knowledge with anyone. Acting in that by the words of the Prophet, ‘No one argues about the religion except an infidel or an apostate in the religion.’

We qualified the blameworthiness of argumentation by our words, ‘without knowledge’ in order to exclude those who argue with knowledge about the religion of Allāh `azza wa jalla. For that type of argumentation is obligatory.

However, no servant attains the rank of knowledge and is called someone who can argue with knowledge except if he knows all of the paths of the sharī`ah. It says in the prophetic tradition, ‘Verily the sharī`ah came in three-hundred and thirteen paths. There is not a single path from among them which a servants takes except that by means of it his Lord will enter him into Paradise.’ this has been related by at-Tabrānī and others. For if a person knows all of these paths and he sees a path which contradicts these paths, then he has the right to argue concerning it. However, if he is ignorant of even a single path, then it is not possible for him to enter into dispute or perhaps he will invalidate by his arguments one of the paths of the sharī`ah; or perhaps he refuses to act by it and loses much good. As a result he becomes counted among those who reject the sharī`ah.”

[Excerpt taken from Shaykh ‘Uthmān ibn Fodio’s, Najm al-Ikhwān]

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