I would like to advise us all on this simple but extremely vital point concerning truth-seeking in general. Of course, I must apply this to myself before anyone else, therefore this is for all of us to reflect upon – including myself.
There is nothing in this world that will bring more value than knowledge, especially if it is acted upon. I implore us all to find and feel the need to engage in real learning, real knowledge seeking but not simply to prove, attack or feed the ego through other various applications of this knowledge. It is incumbent on us all, male and female, to seek knowledge and apply it. I don’t just mean pure Islamic knowledge; I’m talking in general. Whatever we do, we must do it with conviction and the only way we can do so is by having knowledge of that action or thing (whatever it may be).
On social media websites I see a lot of discussions taking place, which is good and beneficial for us, but a lot of the time these discussions descend into useless bickering and closed-mindedness. Whenever we enter discussions let us hold a mindset that promotes us to find new learnings and one which grows our knowledge to find a more holistic truth through the understanding of differing views and perspectives. Do not try and prove this – prove that – all the time. Proving has it’s time and place, mainly in defense of an ‘attack’ or a question of validity, but if there is no necessity to prove then why not keep an open-mind to back and forth discussion? This way learning is much more proactive as opposed to reactive, though a reactive stance does not at all incur learning.
On a personal note, if you discuss with me just know I will only speak (if evidence is required to contribute) if I know the topic well enough. Otherwise I will simply listen EVEN if it goes against what I believe or hold to be true. Why? Because the person speaking has attained the knowledge through using his or her valuable time and effort, and I highly respect that. What we should strive to do, instead of spewing out whatever leaves our mouth in reaction, is to go away and research the topic in some depth and then come to a conclusion (note: it is still an opinion!). This will enable us to discuss the topic with some level of authority, but always bearing in mind to keep an open-mind.
Please. Respect the fact that a person may have spent significant time researching and discussing before he or she has reached his or her stance or view on something. If you have not done the same then, I’m sorry, you are not on equal footing. We cannot simply think “Ah yes but I believe this so I will disregard everything you have just said because it doesn’t sit well with me”. What kind of truth seeking is this? How are we so sure that what our parents believe is closer to the truth than any other persons truth? The Qur’an clearly states this point:
‘And when it is said to them, Follow what Allah has revealed, they say: Nay! we follow what we found our fathers upon. What! and though their fathers had no sense at all, nor did they follow the right way.’ [2:170]
The reason for this post was because I witness a lot of reactionary responses by Muslims and people in general to many different topics, not just Islamic ones, and well it does not at all seem to me that this is what Islam had taught or teaches us.