Who Cares About the Truth!?
11 July, 2015
The title for this blog post came from something that happened to a friend of mine on social media, some time ago. Something was falsely attributed to a well-known individual, and when the brother pointed out that this statement that was being shared was false, one user replied, "Who cares about the truth!? If it sounds good..."
At least the person who wrote that was being honest, which is more than I can say for those who have an unhealthy attachment to certain speakers, regardless of what they say or do.
I wrote the previous post because Nouman Ali Khan made a public statement which had huge consequences when it was shared around the English-speaking world. It was not a small mistake, or a slip of the tongue, but a prolonged statement of several minutes, comprising of an error of the utmost severity. Having said that, I was very careful to adhere to the following points of etiquette:
- I checked that the statement was not taken out of context, and that the clip was not edited to make the speaker say something that he didn't say.
- I wrote the post with reference to that specific statement only, rather than turning the post into an exposé of everything that the speaker has previously said.
- I wrote the post as an advice, without using offensive terms. Nowhere in the post did I curse him, abuse him, or call him an innovator or deviant - regardless of what I personally think of him (perhaps the closest that I came is saying that this particular statement of his was foolish and deceitful, which it was). I did not speculate that the speaker was from the Qur'aniyyoon, as others did. I simply advised him to fear Allāh, explained to him his mistake, asked him for further clarification, and advised him once again to fear Allāh and correct his teaching. I consider that to be an example of good etiquette when responding to a person's mistakes, and this is how I would be happy for a person to respond to my own mistakes, as 'Umar (may Allāh be pleased with him) said, "May Allāh have mercy on the one who brings my faults to my attention."
- I wrote the post in such a way that it was factual, and without presumption. For example, I did not presume that he was referring to Kitaab at-Tawheed, as is commonly believed, since he didn't mention the book by name.
- The first person that received a copy of the post was Nouman Ali Khan himself, via his Twitter account. I didn't post something that he was not aware of, or unable to respond to.
- Soon after he wrote a response to the issue, I updated the post and put a link to his response above my own. Even though I do not believe that he has properly responded to or rectified the statement that he made, I was still willing to give his response precedence for anyone reading the article.
After all of this, I found people making the most outlandish statements, without the least concern for the truth. There was nothing more than the zealotry of the pre-Islamic period, about which Allāh said:
"When those who disbelieve had put in their hearts zealotry - the zealotry of the time of ignorance..." [48:26]
This is the zealotry of a person who does not accept the truth because of something which prevents him from doing so. The likes of the person who wrote:
Whoever disagrees with Nouman has disagreed with the Qur'an.
What kind of exaggeration is this! By Allāh, I would not say this about Abu Haneefah, Maalik, ash-Shaafi'ee, or Ahmad (may Allāh have mercy on them all). Whatever I think of Nouman Ali Khan, I would not for a moment imagine that he would be content to be spoken about in this way.
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
"...and beware of going to extremes in the religion, for those who came before you were destroyed because of going to extremes in the religion." [an-Nasaa'i: 3057]
That's why I'm writing about this attitude that has become so prevalent of blindly following a person, without any regard for the truth. I could replace Nouman's name with any one of a number of speakers whose followers have raised them to such an extent that words can barely be found to describe.
When a statement was transmitted from Shaykh Wasee'ullah 'Abbaas (may Allāh preserve him) about Mufti Menk, the responses were disgusting. It didn't matter if the Shaykh Wasee'ullah was right or wrong, or if he was misquoted or not, but the vile words of abuse hurled at one of our senior and respected scholars served as a sickening reminder of the sheer idolatry that exists for the smallest students of knowledge, and the evil methodology of cutting the people off from the real scholars.
Then again..."who cares about the truth!? If it sounds good..."