– I wish to ask about polemical debate. As our elders stress a lot about the harms of debating and you can also feel a sudden negative effect after debating with someone even though you feel you were on haq. Should one completely abstrain from discussing anything at all. Normally a debate starts off as a simple innocent conversation. I used to think the point at which one should pull out from the debate is when arguments begin to repeat. But now I feel that by that time the spiritual harm is already done. What should be the course of action in this.
e.g. In my community, our Islamic organization split into two groups. As I understand both sides have respectable people and no one is completely wrong. There were weaknesses on both sides. Today at prayer someone started taking the side of one of the groups and criticizing the other. I tried to explain the point of view of the other side but it turned into a debate and I still feel the negative effect on my heart.
Should one completely stay out of controversial issues even though you feel you have a valid point and you should convey it to the other person.
Indeed. Involvement in polemical debates is always spiritually detrimental. There are many reasons for it, including,1. it directs one’s attention from Allah2. one tries to defend his opinion and nafsaniyet comes in3. specially for people like us, blameworthy character traits like, anger, hasad, arrogance, etc. come into play. and many others. All of them cause this negative effect on one’s heart. It is best to avoid it upfront. Moreover, if one is stable enough to control his nafs (beyond our status) the negativity of other’s heart is reflected and carried over to his own heart ruining it’s serenity.
Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)