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How to Prevent Ignorance from Spreading

“When you do not know of a thing, say so plainly.” – Umar ibn Al Khattab (May Allah swt be pleased with him)

A few weeks ago I saw someone change the wording for the quote “ignorance is bliss”  to “ignorance is iblis (shaytan)”. At first I thought it was a clever and creative statement, but when I gave it some thought I realized that it’s more like “arrogance is iblis”.  It’s one thing if a person chooses to intentionally stay ignorant and another if a person never has had the opportunity to be exposed to the truth.

It’s always sad to hear some Muslims make statements that are very discouraging. For example, from time to time I come across some who say ” I don’t want to hear the truth, because if I do then I’ll be held accountable for not following it”.  In other words, they don’t want to change for the better.

Only fooling themselves, they rather go wild in their actions right now and pretend like they have forever to change.  Chill, that mentality will easily sway you away from the straight path. Yes some of these Muslims are humans after all, so we should make dua Allah swt forgives them and opens their hearts.

Even one time, I observed a person cover his ears as advice was being given on an issue of halal and haram . Well just because you cover your ears brother, doesn’t mean shaytan can’t still whisper in them.

Astaghfurillah. When the truth presents itself in any setting, as Muslims we should try to be as receptive and attentive to it as much as possible, not run away from it.

Part of doing that is clearing our mind of any bias and letting a person talk when he or she is telling the facts.

Of course all of us lack knowledge, but it should be in our best interest to seek more knowledge and apply it asap. I mean after all, if you haven’t been taught what’s right and wrong within the framework and guidelines of the Qu’ran and Sunnah then how will you make progress in self development.

Now we transition to another side of ignorance which is how it spreads. So how does it spread? To keep it simple, it’s starts on the individual level. If enough individuals speak without confirming what’s true then pass it to other people that essentially repeat this same cycle then falsehood will naturally spread like wildfires. That’s why I say “you aren’t keeping it real if you don’t got daleel”.

Other reasons for ignorance occurs when basic education isn’t prevalent in society, when influential media outlets spread lies and people follow it blindly. Allah (swt) makes it quite clear in the Qu’ran on how we should respond when news reaches us:

“O Believers, if an unrighteous person comes to you with information, you should verify it or else you might inflict harm on a people in ignorance and then end up regretting what you have done.”  (Chapter 49, Verse 6)

This is even more powerful in the age we live in. Where social media has the whole world communicating like never before. What I personally learned is just be patient and as information flows out, the smokescreen will clear up.

So how can we prevent ignorance from spreading? Here is 5 quick tips for myself and all of you insh’Allah.

  1. Don’t speak about a topic if you don’t have knowledge of it! Ask the people who know.
  2. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know”.  Imam Malik  (R) once said, “The shield of the scholar is, ‘I do not know,’ so if he neglects it, his statement is open to attack.” Sound advice which is also applicable to us common people.
  3. The last thing we need for any issue is confusion, when people are confused they can’t think straight and as a result can’t act according to the truth.
  4. Follow the instructions from Allah swt of confirming news before you tell others.
  5. Try not to jump to conclusions. Educate yourself! The first word revealed to our beloved Prophet Muhammad (S) was iqra “read”. The more we read from reliable and established sources of sound knowledge then we’ll prevent ourselves from spreading ignorance.

May Allah swt increase us all in true and beneficial knowledge for his sake, keep us away from falsehood and guide us on the straight path. Ameen!

Please keep me in your dua’s. Alhumdulilah, I really appreciate and thank all of you for supporting my blog.