: Oct 12, 2016

Ibn al-Jawzī (d. 597 AH) wrote a book that is considered a classic in its field, entitled, “The Devil’s Deceptions.” In it, he listed how Shayṭān deceived vari…

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Ibn al-Jawzī (d. 597 AH) wrote a book that is considered a classic in its field, entitled, “The Devil’s Deceptions.” In it, he listed how Shayṭān deceived various groups of people with specific tactics.

Of them, he writes, is the issue of refutations and argumentation amongst people of knowledge. “So much so,” he says, “that for some, it becomes their predominant quality and their main occupation. And they do not mix such (refutations) with reading the Quran, and listening to hadith, and reading about the Sira and early generations.” No doubt, he claims, some refutations need to be made, but the heart will never grow spiritually simply by removing wrong ideas. Rather, the heart is in need of its own spiritual food, and it requires beautiful reminders and heart-softeners in order to raise itself up and be prepared for the after-life. [Adopted from Talbīs Iblīs, p. 129].

Let this be a reminder to myself and all of us: those who spend most of their time talking about others build nothing for themselves or the Ummah. The best way to ‘refute’ someone is to show, in your own manners and methodology, a better way forwards.

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