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Advice to Those Who Debate with the People of Innovation but Are Ignorant

Al-ʿAllāmah ʿUbayd ibn ʿAbdullāh al-Jābirī

During a tele-link with the noble scholar, Shaykh ʿUbāyd ibn ʿAbdullāh al-Jābirī, we asked a question in regards to the ignorant debater, one who debates the people of innovation while he himself is not well-grounded in Islamic knowledge, an issue that is becoming prominent in the West.

A question posed to al-Shaykh, ʿUbayd al-Jābirī:

Q: What is the case about a person who ascribes to the correct ʿaqīdah, salafīyyah, however he has some ignorance, and along with this ignorance he goes and approaches the people of innovation, in the case we are talking about, the Ashāʿirah, specifically those who are known to be callers to the way of the Ashāʿirah.  His ignorance leads him to mistakes in the basics of ʿaqīdah, like he affirms two ears of Allāh, without having a text to do so, but in the heat of the argument, he makes grave errors and affirms for Allāh attributes that we have no evidence to affirm. What advice would you give us for those who enter into such arguments about religious affairs, not being firmly grounded in Islamic Knowledge?

“Imām Mālik said, ‘Is it the case that every time a person comes in front of us who’s more argumentative and more of a debater than the previous one, we are going to leave that which Jibrīl came with, to the prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam), to follow that?'”

Published: March 1, 2010
Edited: February 3, 2023

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