Sunday, May 9, 2010

Laish M3asseb ya Sheikh?

The amount of Islamic TV channels and programs has skyrocketed in the past few years, I don't know if this classifies as a good thing (because people need awareness and they want to learn more about Islam whether it's their religion or not) or as a bad thing (because who knows where the people in these channels get their info from, and who knows how accurate it is).

Religion is a very sensitive subject that should be addressed correctly, and any wrong, inaccurate, or vague word can easily be misinterpreted and send out the wrong message, sometimes a message that is the exact opposite to what you are trying to say.

The more important part of this is the style of the cleric/preacher/Mufti/daa3eyah/sheikh/Imam, whatever you wanna call him (I'll call him Mhaawesh here but you shouldn't) and I don't mean his clothing style or his hair and beard style, that's something I'd rather not get into at this point because I don't believe there's a uniform for a Muslim! I'm talking about his style of delivering the piece of information he wants the viewers to learn.

Let me explain further, suppose Mhaawesh here wants to talk about mercy, compassion, sympathy, kindness, or any other virtue, he wants to say that Mohammed (salla Allahu 3alayhi wa sallam) ordered us to smile at each other, he ordered us to visit our sick friends and relatives, to treat our children equally… etc. now what do you think is the best way for Mhaawesh to say such things? I'll tell you what: BY YELLING! Or at least that's what most of them out there are thinking.
How can you possibly talk about a religion of peace when you're yelling the whole time? Shouldn't you be doing what you're telling us to do before you appear on TV? At least smile at the camera for God's sake 7ajj Mhaawesh!

There's a big difference between talking on air as if you would be talking to a friend or a group of friends, and talking as if you're telling people off for doing something wrong. And if a non-Arabic-speaking person accidentally tuned in, what would they think Mhaawesh is talking about? Peace? Forgiveness? Being good to one another? I don't think so, and frankly, it's not the kind of thing I would want to spend my afternoon listening to, even when I do understand what he's saying, because if I wanted someone to yell at me I'd just tell my father about that time when guys had to lift my car up to get it out of the place I got it into, at least he'd be yelling for something I actually did.

And even in case Mhaawesh is talking about rules that should not be broken, punishment, sins… etc. this is not the way to do it, because a man of religion should be encouraging people to listen to him rather than scaring them away.

Try to see the difference between these two guys, with all due respect to all the shyoukh out there of course, the first one is an Imam in Morocco during Khotbat Al Jumaa (sorry about the video quality but you have to see this) and the second is Dr. Mohammed Rateb Al Nabelsi on a TV show talking about being thankful for God's blessings among other things.


Diya said...

really nice post i sadly agree with all you said, but i have to say there is many exceptional examples of really good do3at who deliver relevant balanced and heart felt lectures who deserved a more mentioning in your article and how whose angrey sha5es could do better learning from them :)

Haitham هيثم Al-Sheeshany الشيشاني said...

الدعوة تتلخص في الكيفية؛ في الأسلوب.
معك حق في ما ذكرتيه، هناك بعض الاستثناءات المضيئة و لكن للأسف الغالبية تندرج تحت ما وصفتيه.

لا يسهم ذلك في إبراز الصورة المشرقة -و الحقيقية- للإسلام.

شكرا ً.

kinzi said...

Ya Rand, great point, and to be honest, when I hear the imam yelling from the mosque, it is not attractive.

Our interim pastor sometimes yells to get a point across, which is hard for some people. Usually only when he is talking about yell-worthy things like laziness. That is where we get the term 'Bible Thumper',

Genki Dama said...

These guys were taught to shout as part of "fan al5etaba"!

On why there are many Islamic channels, it is because there is a demand on such channels and programs! Many of those channels were at first as far as it could be from Islam!

And yes, many of them are pure bullshit! Unfortunately, Arabs respect any one that looks like a Muslim scholar, and you know what, they are open to whatever they hear from them!

Rand said...

Diya I didn't want to get into the subject of who's a good one and who isn't, some people prefer certain styles and I myself have my own preferences, there are many good shyoukh out there, great ones too. but the scope of my post is too narrow to mention them all. Thanx for coming :)

Haitham There are many exceptions, but unfortunately, that's what they are, exceptions!

Kinzi you're right, every Friday I think about this as I hear the Imam yelling!

Genki Dama no fann al khetaaba is not like that, at the contrary, but they seem to think it's like that, so they think the louder the voice the better the speech!
Unfortunately yeah, many people do believe whatever these guys say, and therefore misunderstand Islam and the whole message of it, Arabs really need to learn research!

Ahmad said...

i'm proud to say that i have met many of the "cool shaikhs" out there,i mean take the shareea faculty in JU,we have dr. amjad qoursha,dr. wael arabiat ,dr. ameen alqudah who i personally know,all of them represent what a shaikh,da3ia or even any lecturer should be like. but we still need more of those i guess.

lulu said...

Well I think there are a lot of nice shiyookh on TV, and the most famous real ones of them always smile. like Mohamad Hussien Yacoub, Mahmoud al Masri. I dont want to include Mohamad Hasan in this, I like him so much but he doesnt smile. and hey check out one of the best shyookh I have ever seen, his name is Shihab el Deen Abu Zaho, u can see him today on el rahma, i am not sure when, but i sometime around 9. I can give u all the names of shiyookh who are really cool and make u feel like u dont want their programme to end

muslim on my ID said...

Prophet Mohammad himself shouted when making 5o6ba. So why don't we just admit it and say that Islam is inherently violent, loud and terrorizing.

Islam is based on terrorizing and making people shit in their pants. This is how we conquered the world: by the sword!

Rand said...

Ahmad with all due respect to the proffessors you mentioned, one of them (and I'm not saying who) gave me Netham al Islam in uni, and he made me drop it because he hated me, I couldn't figure out for sure the reason why he did but I'm pretty certain it's because I was the only one in the class not wearing a hijab at that time.

lulu yeah I'd appreciate it if u do give me some names.

MOMID you're back! hello :)
first of all were you at one of prophet Muhammad's khotab? because that's the only way to know for sure whether he shouted or not

and second, have you heard of the following Quraan verses...?
"ادع إلى سبيل ربّك بالحكمة والموعظة الحسنة وجادلهم بالتي هي أحسن ..."

"فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللّهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ وَلَوْ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لاَنفَضُّواْ مِنْ حَوْلِكَ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُم...ْ"

and many other verses that I can't list here because of limited space.
If he did shout and promote violence I don't think anyone would have listened to him, people are not that stupid to follow someone who promotes hatred blindly.

Marvin the Martian said...

I think you catch a lot more flies with honey than with vinegar. ;-)

Rand said...

Exactly! although some people might object to the metaphor :)

Tamer said...

Totally agree with you, that Moroccan khateeb made my day, i couldnt stop laughing :)

Rand said...

He did take it to a whole new level didn't he?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps one of the things we might want to focus on is not so much how the message is conveyed but in which channels. Never has it been easier to reach to so many people with so little effort. The flip side to this is that we have to learn to listen, listen carefully, reflect, form an opinion, voice this opinion, in such a fashion that fanaticism, in which every shape, size or form, can be met with something more dignified. Perhaps we are looking at the wrong thing?

Rand said...

That's the problem Frank, the majority of people seem to listen to anyone that looks like a Muslim scholar! And anything he says seems to be accepted without even thinking about about it, they do not form opinions or points of view, simply because, this person looks like a religious man.

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