And they compare and comapre…

–          I like to listen to Amr Khaled

–          I prefer Tariq Swaidan

–          But you know Amr Khaled has a very special and smooth way in conveying ideas

–          Yeah but Tariq Swaidan is more convinciong for me

–          I prefer Amr Khaled

–          I don’t like Amr Khaled at all, I think Tariq Swaidan is much better

And so on. This attitude is killing us! Why should we keep comparing people to each other? Each one has his own way in calling for Islam and conveying his thoughts. And you know what’s funny? When scholars are asked about each other, they express nothing but respect to their colleagues. Still, there are exceptions.

The other day I saw something on the net that really ticked me off.  There was an Imam speaking about Amr Khaled, throwing very disturbing insults on him. Regardless that I wasn’t convinced of his case, how could I possibly be convinced by someone using such bad language? Being a committed Muslim doesn’t mean shouting and raging around. Even if you believe someone is being wrong, there’s always a way to deal with it without disrespecting that person.

I believe that if someone succeeded in doing something on the ground of reality, they should be acknowledged. You can’t convince me that just because Amr Khaled uses colloquial Arabic then he is completely worthless. Look at all he people impressed by his lessons over the years. He paved the way for them to start learning more from other scholars from whom they can explore Islam from other and maybe more profound aspects.

There was also that video in which they portrayed Amr Khaled as the ultimate ignorant liar!! That was very outrageous! Do you know what they used as an example? That he is against female circumcision and thinks it’s not an Islamic tradition, which I believe to be true; for I’ve done some search on that and found that there’s no such thing in Islam that calls for this practice. Yet, those people decided to attack him and show him as an ignorant person, instead of using that beautiful endowment called reason.

If we just could stop lurking in the shadows for each other, stop hunting for mistakes, stop deeming others ignorant or misguided just because they have different opinion from ours and seek to understand, not necessarily agree, but understand… If only we could stop focusing on our differences and starting seeing the bigger picture, the clear undivided one, as a whole, a nation, not a collage of scattered denominations, if we just try to understand what Prophet Muhammad –peace be upon him- meant when he said: اختلاف أمتي رحمة… If we could only do that, and focus, maybe we will snap out of our “status quo”.

Islam is the ultimate blessing, not only a religion but a way of life. A way of living with others, a way of accepting others and accepting that we could be wrong sometimes. Let’s not let our personal ego give a distorted picture of what Islam really is, we had more that enough of that, and it’s time we changed it. It’s time we got things straight again.

Originally Posted on Monday, July 16, 2007 on http://oeliwat.jeeran.com/archive/2007/7/269423.html

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