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When Blind Loyalty Leaves Us Blind


The other day I was with one of my friends and he got into a heated confrontation at a shop. His face looked liked he was turning into the hulk. If he didn’t walk away, he was surely going to duke it out. As someone observing and hearing the back and fourth verbal exchange, it wasn’t really worth it to get involved. Or as we say ” it’s not that serious”. Yea, a guy threatened my friend that he was going to beat him up and teach him a lesson. But I knew deep inside that wasn’t likely to happen.

Anyway, after my friend left to avoid a messy situation, I eventually caught up with him. He asked me “Why didn’t you say anything?, you’re supposed to”. In the midst of moments like this, we (humans) tend to side with those whom we’re close to. After thinking about it some more, I told him, I personally decided I wasn’t going to get involved with a foolish argument. It’s not worth the energy. Plus we just got out of Jumu’ah, so chill. Yea he’s close to me, but hey, that doesn’t necessarily mean I need to blindly participate.

Had the confrontation gotten physical, then obviously I wouldn’t just stand there like a statue. There’s a big difference between arguing with someone who you think is an idiot vs getting into a fight.

Now my friend quoted something that was very relevant. It was the hadith in which the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said “When one of you becomes angry while standing, he should sit down. If the anger leaves him, well and good; otherwise he should lie down”.

Alhumdulilah, good thing he stood up and left. Anyway, back to blind loyalty. We’re often put in situations where we will be tested on how we react. As believers, we should be taking the high road. I know it’s tough, put that’s the standard we need to put ourselves at. I’m the first person that needs to practice this.

But this deeper understanding needs to be instilled in our hearts, that just because we’re friends or family,  doesn’t mean we can’t be wrong and that we have to side with each other on every single issue. In this context, I felt my friend might have overacted in his verbal assault and it wasn’t worth adding more fuel to the fire.

As Muslims, we need to be unbiased and look at issues as they are. This brings me to my next topic, which is social equality. I recall the story of when Imam Ali (RA), during his caliphate, lost his armor and then he found it with some Jewish man who claimed it was his. Imam Ali (RA) brought the case before the judge who judged for the Jew based on the evidence he had. Imam Ali (RA) simply submitted to the judgment.

The example used above is in the context of Islamic law but the point is clear. That just because Ali (RA) was Muslim and the judge in court was Muslim didn’t result in Ali (RA) winning the case.

It’s common sense but favoritism, blind loyalty, these all are prevalent in our society in many different environments. We need to do a better job of being just, and coming to conclusions based on fairness & critical examination.

There’s no doubt that until you’re in a situation, it’s hard to say how you’re going to react. But we ask Allah (swt) out of his infinite mercy to keep us cool, calm and collected. More importantly, to keep us conscious of justice and looking at issues as they are before picking sides. Ameen!

I’ll end with a statement from Imam Tahawi (R) which sums up everything, “Only a fanatic follows another blindly!”

May Allah (swt) forgive me for any of my wrongdoings. Sometimes when you write, your mind can get very clouded and and shaytan can get in the way of flushing out your thoughts in a clear and correct way.

Jazak’Allah Khair everyone for your comments/feedback.