collections khutbah Etiquettes in Managing Differences of Opinion
Etiquettes in Managing Differences of Opinion

Islamic Religious Council of Singapore

Friday Sermon

13 May 2022 / 11 Syawal 1443H

Etiquettes in Managing Differences of Opinion

My brothers and sisters blessed by Allah (s.w.t.),

Let us continue our efforts to elevate our taqwa towards Allah (s.w.t.) by obeying His commands and abstaining from His prohibitions. May all our good deeds be rewarded by Allah (s.w.t.) Amin.

Brothers and sisters,

Differences of opinion are an unavoidable and inevitable occurrence in life. It can also be found in religious rulings, especially in diverse matters of our religion. This can be observed through the differences of opinion which have occured amongst scholars in understanding certain religious texts, which have led to the development of several school of thoughts in Fiqh as many of us may know. These differences of opinion are not deemed as something wrong or sinful. Rather, it is a natural occurrence in the creations of Allah (s.w.t.). Allah (s.w.t.) decreed in the Quran:

Which means: “Had your Lord so willed, He would have certainly made humanity one single community, but they will always choose to differ.” (Hud:118)

However, what needs to be reflected upon is how do we conduct ourselves in managing these differences.

My brothers and sisters,

Scholars have emphasised the etiquettes that should be understood and internalised by Muslims when facing differences of opinion. These etiquettes are the legacy of noble past scholars that we should strive to emulate.

The first etiquette that we should observe is: That a believer should not humiliate, shame, or ascribe unkind labels on those who do not share their opinions.

These are among the prohibitions Allah has decreed in Surah al-Hujurat. It is therefore uncharacteristic of a believer to insult or offend one another. Allah decreed in the Quran: “… And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames…” (Al-Hujurat:11)

Brothers and sisters,

The other etiquette that we should observe is: To avoid being fanatical and extreme in advocating that the absolute truth is only what we have studied from our teachers.

This is because a believer should be sincere in seeking the truth and acquiring knowledge. It is not right for a believer to be narrow-minded and restrict what has been eased by Allah (s.w.t.). Ascribring truth only to a selective few will obstruct a believer in extracting goodness and benefit from other scholars.

Let us reflect upon the character of our past scholars, such as Imam Al-Shafi’i in this matter. He said: “My judgement is right, but it is possible for it to be in error. And the judgements of those who differ are in error, but it is also possible for them to be upon the truth.”

No matter how certain we are of the truth we have acquired, it is possible that the knowledge we possess are insufficient. There is always a possibility that the prophetic narrations we know and have heard are interpreted differently by other scholars, thus contrasting our limited understanding. Therefore, let us open our hearts to deepen our knowledge and protect ourselves from all forms of arrogance and enmity.
Let us observe the humility of our Prophet (s.a.w.). Although he was guided by Allah (s.w.t.), the Prophet still supplicated for his knowledge to constantly be increased. Allah (s.w.t.) decreed:

Which means: Exalted is Allah, the True King! Do not rush to recite a revelation of the Quran before it is properly conveyed to you, and pray, “My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.” (Taha:114) May Allah (s.w.t.) ease our paths to observe the etiquettes of disagreement, and protect us from arrogance, as how our scholars have taught us. May we be among those who constantly uphold justice in every word and action. Amin ya Rabbal ‘Alamin!

أَقُوْلُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ العَظِيْمَ لِي وَلَكُمْ، فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُوْرُ الرَّحِيْم
Second Khutbah

الحَمْدُ للهِ حَمْدًا كَثِيرًا كَمَا أَمَرَ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَن لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَأَصْحَابِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ. أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَيَا عِبَادَ الله، اِتَّقُوا اللهَ تَعَالَى فِيمَا أَمَرَ، وَانتَهُوا عَمَّا نَهَاكُم عَنْهُ وَزَجَرَ.

أَلَا صَلُّوا وَسَلِّمُوا عَلَى النَّبِيِّ الْمُصْطَفَى، فَقَدْ أَمَرَنَا اللهُ بِذَلِكَ حَيْثُ قَال فِي كِتَابِهِ العَزِيزِ: إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَـا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسلِيمًا. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَ بَارِكْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ.

وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ المَهْدِيِّينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيِّ، وَعَن بَقِيَّةِ الصَّحَابَةِ وَالقَرَابَةِ وَالتَّابِعِينَ، وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ، وَعَنَّا مَعَهُم وَفِيهِم بِرَحْمَتِكَ يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِلمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالمُؤْمِنَاتِ، وَالمُسْلِمِينَ وَالمُسْلِمَاتِ، الأَحْيَاءِ مِنهُم وَالأَمْوَاتِ. اللَّهُمَّ ادْفَعْ عَنَّا البَلَاءَ وَالوَبَاءَ وَالزَّلَازِلَ وَالمِحَنَ، مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ، عَن بَلَدِنَا خَاصَّةً، وَسَائِرِ البُلْدَانِ عَامَّةً، يَارَبَّ العَالَمِينَ. رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنيَا حَسَنَةً، وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً، وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.

عِبَادَ اللهِ، إِنَّ اللهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي القُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ، فَاذكُرُوا اللهَ العَظِيمَ يَذْكُركُمْ، وَاشْكُرُوهُ عَلَى نِعَمِهِ يَزِدكُمْ، وَاسْأَلُوهُ مِن فَضلِهِ يُعطِكُم، وَلَذِكرُ اللهِ أَكبَرُ، وَاللهُ  يَعلَمُ مَا تَصنَعُونَ.