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Tyrion
10-31-2010, 04:25 AM
:sl:

I was just wondering... How many of us are actually willing to listen to and learn from those we disagree with? The reason I'm asking this is because of something I just realized while surfing youtube... I've never really paid attention to Shia scholars on youtube, for obvious reasons... However, I recently stumbled across one Shia speaker who says some absolutely brilliant things about God and other philosophical issues. Yes, he's Shia and I will never agree with certain things he says, but I've realized that I can really benefit from a lot of what he has to say. This got me thinking about the issue of completely dismissing someone and their ideas before actually listening to them...

Also, I've been noticing something similar lately from my family and friends, and people in general... It seems like if a person has one set of beliefs that don't agree with ours, we will dismiss everything that person has to say, regardless of it's merit. Something similar happens when someone makes a mistake, and the rest of what he has to say is ignored because of that one mistake.

I've noticed a few examples of this on this site as well. There have been a couple of times that a particular scholar has been brought up (I won't mention his name, because it seems like whenever it's mentioned the thread gets deleted...) and people absolutely freak out. All the good he has to say is ignored, because of some ideological differences.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you one to fall into this, or do you actually try to listen to everyone and take the good from what they say? How do we improve ourselves in this regard, and how do we (politely) let people know when they've done something similar?



I know this post is kind of jumbled and unorganized, but I just wanted to quickly write down some thoughts in the hope of starting some kind of discussion. :p
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Alpha Dude
10-31-2010, 09:48 AM
Wa alaykum salam,

I think that you are being 'nice'/trying to build bridges which is a praiseworthy attitude in itself, but I'd advise that you don't be misled by eloquence.

Would you really take benefit from someone who curses the sahaba? Even belittling the sahaba is a major crime (which most shia I believe would do by default, even if it's a 'scholarly'/not blatant insulting critique), which would attract the anger of Allah.

So the question becomes, without necessity, should we want to listen and learn from someone who is likely earning major sins because of their current views?

In fact, they are the ones in need of educating. Not to mention the problem of being misled in terms of knowledge.

Really, there is no shortage of proper Sunni Islamic scholars that we need to go out and reach others who have flawed understanding.

We have to keep in mind that not every single understanding of Islam is correct. There will be some people who have a flawed undertanding that will be ending up in hell (for a period of time). So no matter what good they can say in this world, their aqeeda from the outset will take them to hell.

So I say avoid but that does mean we can't be peaceful and tolerant to such people.

Some people may be knowledable enough to know where the shia are going wrong in their speeches whereas others may not. In light of this, why would you want to promote anyone into seeking knowledge from people with dubious understanding? If they get misled, that would be on your shoulders.
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Eric H
10-31-2010, 10:09 AM
Greetings and peace be with you Tyrion; and thanks for starting this thread.

I have learnt a lot about Christianity from Muslims, atheists, and from people of other religions. Being a Catholic we tend to have very much the same stance throughout the church, and although I have heard views from many Catholics, and priests, they tend to come from the same angle.

In fact, I would say being on this forum for a few years has been a blessing, I feel I have a greater understanding of my faith, many of you have helped.

My main reason for coming on this forum, is in the hope that we might have a greater interfaith friendship and understanding, and I feel it can be achieved.


In the spirit of praying for a greater interfaith friendship

Eric
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Asiyah3
10-31-2010, 11:44 AM
:wa:

In my humble opinion we should learn beneficial worldly things from anyone.

We should disregard everything a person says contrary to Islam.

I wouldn't learn religion from misguided people. We should take our religious knowledge from pious and righteous Muslims.
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Woodrow
10-31-2010, 02:46 PM
I will only say.

Iblis is very knowledgeable and does know the truth of many things we do not understand. Iblis most likely knows more about the Qur'an than any person living today and does have a much greater knowledge of Allaah(swt) then you and I have. But, would it be wise to seek out Iblis or any shaytan as our guide and teacher?

True even those we disagree with often have words of truth we can learn from. But, we should not seek them as our source of information about Islam. If we know a person knows 10 things and 9 of the 10 are true, Do any of us really have the knowledge and wisdom to separate the one lie from the truths. Study others for the purpose of understanding them, but do not use them as a source to learn about Islam, To learn about Islam stick to the Qur'an and Ahadith using the Tafsir of recognized, trusted Islamic scholars. In other words learn about Islam from Islamic sources. If the need of learning the beliefs of another arises, learn from their sources, but do not use those sources to learn about Islam, even if what you read is in agreement with what we believe. A non-Muslim source is not a good source to learn about Islam.
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Tyrion
10-31-2010, 05:49 PM
Originally Posted by Woodrow
I will only say.

Iblis is very knowledgeable and does know the truth of many things we do not understand. Iblis most likely knows more about the Qur'an than any person living today and does have a much greater knowledge of Allaah(swt) then you and I have. But, would it be wise to seek out Iblis or any shaytan as our guide and teacher?

True even those we disagree with often have words of truth we can learn from. But, we should not seek them as our source of information about Islam. If we know a person knows 10 things and 9 of the 10 are true, Do any of us really have the knowledge and wisdom to separate the one lie from the truths. Study others for the purpose of understanding them, but do not use them as a source to learn about Islam, To learn about Islam stick to the Qur'an and Ahadith using the Tafsir of recognized, trusted Islamic scholars. In other words learn about Islam from Islamic sources. If the need of learning the beliefs of another arises, learn from their sources, but do not use those sources to learn about Islam, even if what you read is in agreement with what we believe. A non-Muslim source is not a good source to learn about Islam.
Oh, don't worry. My Islamic knowledge will always come from those who are learned in Islam. I used the Shia speaker only as an example, but I'm mainly talking about general knowledge that isn't really Islamic. Even with the Shia speaker, I've avoided those lectures in which he talks exclusively about his version of Islam (unless I want to learn about Shia thought) and focus more on his debates on philosophy and things like that.

Originally Posted by Bedouin
Some people may be knowledable enough to know where the shia are going wrong in their speeches whereas others may not. In light of this, why would you want to promote anyone into seeking knowledge from people with dubious understanding? If they get misled, that would be on your shoulders.
Agreed. I find that I can take certain things from lectures like this, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend the speakers for that reason. Not to say I have the knowledge to know exactly what points are wrong, but I try to be careful and choose only the lectures that deal with general things, like the general idea that God exists, etc...



You all make good points though. Still, I know enough not to take religious knowledge from him, but surely it can't be wrong to take other things from him? Arguments concerning the existence of God, and other philosophical issues that don't really differ between Shia's and Sunnis... As long you're careful and make sure to double check anything that sounds iffy, I don't see a harm.

Also, let's not get hung up on the Shia speaker. Like I said, that was only an example, and I know better than to learn Islam from him. What I was saying was, even if someone like him has these beliefs that we would never agree with, when he or anyone else starts talking about something else (not related to Islam), then it's only fair to listen and to try and take something from it. (while being careful, of course... And only if it's in line with Islamic teachings :p )

Thanks a lot for all your replies.
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M.I.A.
10-31-2010, 06:10 PM
in my experience the things people say are always open to being misinterpreted by those listening.. it is very rare that a person can speak on there views without stumbling or being open to rebuttle... or in the worst case having there words changed by others and then passed on.
i myself am always being made a fool out of by my own tongue lol.

you should be aware of this when listening to somebodies oppinions and views and use your own judgement accordingly. the more common ground we can find between people the easier it is to live together and find a common understanding.

also proof read your posts.
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Alpha Dude
10-31-2010, 06:18 PM
but surely it can't be wrong to take other things from him? Arguments concerning the existence of God, and other philosophical issues that don't really differ between Shia's and Sunnis... As long you're careful and make sure to double check anything that sounds iffy, I don't see a harm.
Yeah, I see no problem either.

As long as you don't promote them to others without giving a sufficient warning that they hold wrong views when it comes to Islam.
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IAmZamzam
10-31-2010, 08:17 PM
There is absolutely nothing wrong with studying or quoting the words of people who disagree with you, so long as those words themselves are not antitheistic or anti-Islamic. If you don't believe me, read The Screwtape Letters. There is a great deal of useful theology there for even non-Christian theists.
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Tyrion
11-02-2010, 12:47 AM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
read The Screwtape Letters. There is a great deal of useful theology there for even non-Christian theists.
Sounds interesting. I've been looking for some new reading material, so perhaps I'll check it out. Thanks :p
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Zafran
11-02-2010, 01:29 AM
Salaam

I dont think there is a problem from learning from people we disagree with - but we have to be careful.

peace
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Ummu Sufyaan
11-02-2010, 02:03 AM
Originally Posted by Tyrion
:sl:

I was just wondering... How many of us are actually willing to listen to and learn from those we disagree with? The reason I'm asking this is because of something I just realized while surfing youtube... I've never really paid attention to Shia scholars on youtube, for obvious reasons... However, I recently stumbled across one Shia speaker who says some absolutely brilliant things about God and other philosophical issues. Yes, he's Shia and I will never agree with certain things he says, but I've realized that I can really benefit from a lot of what he has to say. This got me thinking about the issue of completely dismissing someone and their ideas before actually listening to them...

Also, I've been noticing something similar lately from my family and friends, and people in general... It seems like if a person has one set of beliefs that don't agree with ours, we will dismiss everything that person has to say, regardless of it's merit. Something similar happens when someone makes a mistake, and the rest of what he has to say is ignored because of that one mistake.

I've noticed a few examples of this on this site as well. There have been a couple of times that a particular scholar has been brought up (I won't mention his name, because it seems like whenever it's mentioned the thread gets deleted...) and people absolutely freak out. All the good he has to say is ignored, because of some ideological differences.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you one to fall into this, or do you actually try to listen to everyone and take the good from what they say? How do we improve ourselves in this regard, and how do we (politely) let people know when they've done something similar?
i agree with what was said here:
I think that you are being 'nice'/trying to build bridges which is a praiseworthy attitude in itself, but I'd advise that you don't be misled by eloquence.
and to add, you should be careful about who you take your knowledge from, even if they seem good. the reason being is that you may develop and type of love and respect for them when which may lead you to accept and support the wrong type of thing they preach, without even realizing it. your love and respect from them will bind you to ignore the falsehood.

if you are a beginner to seeking knowledge, debate, etc stay away from these types of things becuase you probably are at a level where you cant differentiate the falsehood between the truth and so you will confuse yourself and may accept things that are false without realizing it and reject things that are truth without realizing it.

that was the best type of advise I've ever received from someone when i was ready to embark on some type of knowledge/debate, when i wasn't even well grounded and aware of my own beliefs and it really makes sense becuase really thinking about it, i probably would have gotten myself confused and believing the wrong thing...wal3ayatho billah.
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glo
11-02-2010, 06:57 AM
Thank you for starting this thread, Tyrion.

I think it takes great courage to engage with the thought processes and values and beliefs of those who have different views to ourselves.
Courage, because it means we have to seriously consider and try to understand where they are coming from and dare to allow those thoughts and feelings to enter into our own minds ...
Many people discourage that kind of thing and even consider it to be dangerous. So you have to make up your own mind.

It can be hard to discern for ourselves which of the beliefs and values of others is worth hanging onto and which we may put away as false and worthless.
I think it requires much thinking, much studying and certainly much praying!

But I totally agree with you that we tend to throw the baby out with the bath water, and that that's a great loss to us all!

If I took counsel only from my Christian friends and ignored the Muslims, atheists etc in my life, my life would be all the poorer!
I have learned to appreciate the views and thoughts of others, and to use them for my own benefit and growth.
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Pygoscelis
11-02-2010, 08:39 PM
If you shield your eyes and ears from all ideas not "your own" how are you to learn anything? How are you to even know what you truly agree with and disagree with if you don't let yourself consider all views? If you only listen to a designated source and agree with all he/she/it says how can you claim to be thinking for yourself?

I say keep an open mind behind a critical eye.

Surely you must have faith that if you honestly and earnestly consider and weigh these things in your own mind Allah will guide you to the right answers?
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جوري
11-02-2010, 08:50 PM
Originally Posted by glo
But I totally agree with you that we tend to throw the baby out with the bath water, and that that's a great loss to us all!
that is because the water is so murky by then no one can find morsels in the midst of so much smut.

__________________________________________________ _______________________________________________

I do however I agree with the OP.. I mean how else can you appreciate what you have, understand and share it on a scholarly level if you don't learn of all that there is to learn negative, positive, faulty, inane or ridiculous? Only problem arises is when you have little knowledge of any topic and then gauge in it as the adage goes little knowledge is more dangerous than ignorance-- and unfortunately the majority of people tend to hover in that place.. the ignorance of ideals they've formed by age 18!

:w:
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