Print out

Stands >2006 Stands >The The Stand of Moharam 15 1426H /February 14, 2005 A.D.
 

Role of criticism in Islam

Sayyed Fadlullah: We say to all Muslims that the Messenger was able, through his sublime manners, his great patience and his unique wisdom to turn his most vicious enemies into friends. They have to inspire this attitude in all their political and emotional stands so as not to turn their friends in the world into enemies, which might as well be the main objective those have insulted the Prophet wanted to reach.

Asked in his weekly seminar the following question:

To what extent are the Islamists allowed to deploy the emotional side of man to accomplish certain political or religious goals? What is the Islamic position towards this issue?

The Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah, said:

Man is created of mind and emotion, and God wanted man to live a balance between the demands of these two extremities. He should use his mind to create and discover without letting anybody appropriate this right and release his emotions in all humane fields to feel and interact with the sorrows and pains of others.

Yet, it is the mind that assumes leadership in organizing the movement of the emotion that should not be allowed to overwhelm manís personality so as not to be led by reactions and improvisations. This formula gives the emotion on the one hand a dose of rationalism and balance, and gives the mind a dose of emotion to become lenient and merciful.

Thus, we do not want the emotion to surpass the limits of the mind and the constraints of religion, as in many ceremonial occasions of various religions, especially that of Ahsoura where expressions of grief could emerge in ways that are not only unfamiliar or unnatural but also undermine the great aims of Hussein's upheaval.

Furthermore, criticism should always be practiced especially towards all non-infallible persons whether religious men or others who assume political roles. Constrictive and targeted criticism enriches thought, corrects wrong ideas and leads experiments towards success.

Therefore, as we refuse the exploitation of religions to silence the others, we also refuse to employ them to arouse emotional reactions, since support of religion cannot be achieved by emotional reactions that are against the religion itself. On the other hand, it is not wrong to appeal to the Muslimsí emotions to support their issues, as in the case of insulting the Messenger. On the contrary, we feel that such an emotional interaction is a proof of the importance of Islam and the Prophet (p.) and their presence in the nation's conscience, which might not be as strong among the adherers of other religions.

Religious scholars and leaders as well as Islamic institutions should strive to guide the emotions of the public in a way that serves the nation's interests and does not distort the reputation of Islam and Muslims.

Noble emotions should not be mobilized to serve wrong practices that hurt Islam and the Messenger, as we are supposed to benefit of these atmospheres that were created by the Western media to introduce the real image of Islam and to benefit from this negative offensive to introduce to the Western nations the virtues of mercy, forgiveness and tolerance in the Prophet's personality that are unique in their superiority and humanitarianism.

We say to all Muslims that the Messenger was able, through his sublime manners, his great patience and his unique wisdom to turn his most vicious enemies into friends. They have to inspire this attitude in all their political and emotional stands so as not to turn their friends in the world into enemies, which might as well be the main objective those have insulted the Prophet wanted to reach.

As we refuse any external insult to our sacred symbols, we call on the Muslims to be responsible and not offend or insult the other's sacred symbols or the symbols of other sects. We do not want to forbid certain wrongs and then commit them.

That is why we consider the insult that has targeted these symbols to be unlawful. It also incites sectarian strife that the Arrogance seeks to ignite in several Islamic countries including Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Therefore, we have to fear Allah in what we say or do, since any action that destabilizes the Islamic unity is a criminal action that affects and hurts the entire nation.