As you know Muslims are facing many challenges, pressures and criticisms from non-Muslims in the world. In light of this atmosphere, should we Muslim not be the most open and honest about our shortcomings and try to tackle them as opposed to being overly defensive and seeming to make excuses or cover our faults? The reason for this question is that if we seem to deny or gloss over obvious shortcomings it will not help us to overcome them. Perhaps some Muslims feel that to deal with our problems openly will assist the kufaar in their attacks on Islam. Please advise.
There are no weak points in Islam – praise be to Allaah – that the Muslim needs to worry about. Islam is the perfect religion of Allaah, and Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice”
One of the scholars said that this means, it tells the truth in its reports and is just in its rulings.
Allaah has blessed us by completing His religion and perfecting the blessing, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion”
If an Islamic ruling seems to a person to be a weak point, he should realize that the fault lies in his way of thinking, because some of the rulings of sharee’ah that are absolutely wise and just may appear otherwise to some people, either because of their whims and desires, or because it goes against what people are used to in their lives, that goes against sharee’ah. For example, some think that a man’s being the protector and maintainer of women is a weak point in Islam, because they are used to something which is contrary to that and which also goes against the fitrah (natural inclination of man).
An important matter which should be pointed out here is that it is not permissible for anyone to speak about the rulings of Islam or the tafseer of Qur’aan or the meanings of hadeeth, rather that should be referred to the scholars who are well-versed in knowledge.
What happens is that a question is put to an ordinary Muslim, and he cannot find an answer for it or he gives a wrong answer, or it leaves some doubt in his heart that he cannot rid himself of.
“if only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly). Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allaah upon you, you would have followed Shaytaan (Satan), save a few of you”
[al-Nisa’ 4:83 – interpretation of the meaning]
Hence we say that Allaah has protected the religion for us through the scholars and has enabled them to understand it correctly so as to refute hostile ideas and explain its wisdom to people. That is not for the ordinary people, rather it is only for the elite, namely the scholars.
Some of scholars used to challenge people to bring them a verse that contradicts another verse or a hadeeth, or a hadeeth that contradicts another hadeeth or a verse of Qur’aan, and they would explain to them anything that appeared to be a contradiction, and they used to openly challenge everyone on this matter.
Al-Daaraqutni – who was one of the imams of hadeeth – stood in Baghdad as a khateeb and said: “O people of Baghdad! No one can tell lies against the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) whilst I am alive.” These words indicate the depth of their knowledge and understanding of Islam, which was so great that the people of falsehood could not attack Islam or introduce into it things that were not part of it.
Hence our advice to this questioner and other Muslims, especially those who mix with kuffaar because of their work or because they live in their countries, is to strive to seek knowledge and to learn the correct rulings of Islam that are derived from the Qur’aan and Sunnah, whilst paying attention to learning the reasons behind these rulings, so that they will have knowledge with which to refute the specious arguments of those who seek to attack Islam, and this will enable them to call people to Allaah with proper insight and understanding.
And Allaah knows best.