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Fatwas Part Seventy-Nine
The Permissible, Obligatory, and Prohibited Types of Argument within the Religion of Islam


The Permissible, Obligatory, and Prohibited Types of Argument within the Religion of Islam


Published in September 12, 2018

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy





 We tackle in this article the types of arguing and debating initiated by human beings.


Firstly: the permissible type of argument:

1- It is any ordinary arguing for or against any daily-life topics within any ordinary matters and affairs; i.e., topics that is not related to religion; ordinary arguments among any people should be without quarreling, verbal abuse, and insults.

2- Each soul will argue for itself on the Last Day within God's permission: "On the Day when every soul will come pleading for itself, and every soul will be paid in full for what it has done, and they will not be wronged." (16:111).


Secondly: the obligatory type of argument:

1- It is the call for monotheism; i.e., preaching Islam: the Religion of the Lord God (which is the Quran): "Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good advice, and argue with them in the most dignified manner. Your Lord is aware of those who stray from His Path, and He is aware of those who are guided." (16:125).

2- This is the Lord God's Quranic command to Muhammad regarding how to address the polytheists: "Say, "Who provides for you from the heaven and the earth? And who controls the hearing and the sight? And who produces the living from the dead, and produces the dead from the living? And who governs the universe?" They will say, "God." Say, "Will you not be among the pious ones?" Such is Allah, your Lord - the True God. What is there, beyond the Truth, except falsehood? How are you turned away?" (10:31-32).

3- Noah argued with his polytheistic people and most of them rejected his call for monotheism: "..."O my people, I am to you a clear warner. Worship God and reverence Him, and obey me. And He will forgive you of your sins, and reprieve you until a stated term. God's term cannot be deferred once it has arrived, if you only knew." He said, "My Lord, I have called my people night and day. But my call added only to their flight. Whenever I called them to Your forgiveness, they thrust their fingers into their ears, and wrapped themselves in their garments, and insisted, and became more and more arrogant. Then I called them openly. Then I appealed to them publicly, and I spoke to them privately. I said, 'Ask your Lord for forgiveness; He is Forgiving. He will let loose the sky upon you in torrents. And provide you with wealth and children, and allot for you gardens, and allot for you rivers. What is the matter with you, that you do not show respect to God's Greatness? Although He created you in stages. Do you not realize that God created seven heavens in layers?  And He set the moon in their midst for light, and He made the sun a lamp. And God germinated you from the earth like plants. Then He will return you into it, and will bring you out again. And God made the earth a spread for you. That you may travel its diverse roads." Noah said, "My Lord, they have defied me, and followed him whose wealth and children increase him only in perdition." And they schemed outrageous schemes." (71:2-20); ""O my people! I ask of you no money for it. My reward lies only with God. And I am not about to dismiss those who believed; they will surely meet their Lord. And I see that you are ignorant people." "O my people! Who will support me against God, if I dismiss them? Will you not give a thought?" "I do not say to you that I possess the treasures of God, nor do I know the future, nor do I say that I am an angel. Nor do I say of those who are despicable in your eyes that God will never give them any good. God is Aware of what lies in their souls. If I did, I would be one of the unjust ones." They said, "O Noah, you have argued with us, and argued a great deal. Now bring upon us what you threaten us with, if you are truthful."" (11:29-32).


Thirdly: the prohibited type of argument:

This is when one argues against the Clear Quranic Truth instead of obeying the Lord God within humbleness and submission.

1- Some prophet argued against God's command; e.g., Abraham, after hearing the angels bringing him glad tidings of Isaac, argued with them against the destruction of the people of Lot; Abraham is the only prophet in the Quran who was praised while being reproached by God: "When Abraham's fear subsided, and the good news had reached him, he started arguing with Us concerning the people of Lot. Abraham was gentle, kind, penitent. "O Abraham, refrain from this. The command of your Lord has come; they have incurred an irreversible torment."" (11:74-76).

2- Muhammad made a mistake by defending a wrongdoer unawares and he did not verify the matter to get to know the real culprit. This case of injustice occurs in all eras as the affluent, corrupt ones protect the criminals of their ranks and families and frame the innocent ones; God has rebuked Muhammad severely for defending a criminal without having a proof for his being innocent: "And do not argue on behalf of those who deceive themselves. God does not love the deceitful sinner. They hide from the people, but they cannot hide from God. He is with them, as they plot by night with words He does not approve. God comprehends what they do. There you are, arguing on their behalf in the present life, but who will argue with God on their behalf on the Day of Resurrection? Or who will be their representative?" (4:107-109). 

3- Some frightened companions of Muhammad before the battle of Badr argued with Muhammad against God's True Promise of victory mentioned in the Quran, which is the Absolute Truth made clear by the Lord God: "Even as your Lord brought you out of your home with the truth, some believers were reluctant. Arguing with you about the Truth after it was made clear, as if they were being driven to death as they looked on." (8:5-6).

4- God says in the Quran: "The Hajj is during specific months. Whoever decides to perform the Hajj - there shall be no sexual relations, nor misconduct, nor arguing during the Hajj. And whatever good you do, God knows it. And take provisions, but the best provision is piety. And be mindful of Me, O people of understanding." (2:197). Ordinary, permissible type of arguments are prohibited during Ihram within pilgrimage, which is the occasion for attaining piety; by the way, Ihram is not having on laughter-inducing pieces of white cloths that show one's nakedness; Ihram is to adhere to piety within obeying God's commands about pilgrimage (e.g., not to hunt, not to have conjugal sex, and not to argue with anyone about anything). More details about this topic are found in our book, in English titled "Pilgrimage between Islam and the Muhammadans", found on this link:


Fourthly: the most prohibited type of argument is to argue against God's Verses (i.e., the Quranic Truth) and to argue about the nature of the Lord God as the Divine Being:

1- The call for Islam/monotheism is preaching Quranic facts in the best manner possible; preachers of the Truth must avoid those who insist on rejecting the Quran. God has said the following to Muhammad: "We did not reveal the Quran to you to make you suffer. But only as a reminder for him who fears." (20:2-3). When he was grieved because of disbelievers in Mecca and then in Yathreb, God has commanded him to stop being saddened:  "O messenger! Do not let those who are quick to disbelief grieve you..." (5:41); "What of him whose evil deed was made attractive to him, and so he regards it as good? God leads astray whomever He wills, and He guides whomever He wills. Therefore, do not waste yourself sorrowing over them. God knows exactly what they do." (35:8); "We know that what they say grieves you. It is not you they reject, but it is God's Verses that the unjust ones deny." (6:33); "Whoever disbelieves - let not his disbelief sadden you. To Us is their return. Then We will inform them of what they did. God knows what lies within the hearts." (31:23); "So let their words not sadden you. We know what they conceal, and what they reveal." (36:76). Of course, within True Islam; i.e., the Quran, there is no penalty for those who reject the Islamic faith or deny the Quran; this penalty for apostates/rejecters is found only in the Sunnite religion of Satan. Muhammad is commanded in the Quran to remind, warn, and preach others ONLY by reading the Quranic verses and nothing else; he is commanded to address believers only who gathered around him.

1/1: The Quran is a Reminder only to those who fears the Lord God and His warning: "...So remind by the Quran whoever fears My warning." (50:45).

1/2: The Quran is a Reminder only to those who believe in the Lord God without seeing Him, and NOT to those stubborn disbelievers who insist on rejecting the Truth; there is no hope in their being guided: "It is the same for them, whether you warn them, or do not warn them - they will not believe. You warn only him who follows the Message, and fears the Most Gracious inwardly. So give him good news of forgiveness, and a generous reward." (36:10-11).

1/3: Thus, Muhammad reminded by the Quran only those who will benefit from this Quranic guidance because they believe in the Quran a God's Word: "So remind, if reminding helps." (87:9).

2- The monotheism of (There is no God but Allah) is a natural instinct ingrained or inculcated within all human souls, even if disbelievers/polytheists cover or drape such innate instinct by taking up other gods/deities; they cannot remove the monotheism hidden and latent within their inner souls/hearts/minds. The call for the monotheism of (There is no God but Allah) wakens up this innate instinct inside those who seek guidance to avoid Hell; in contrast, those who insist on misguidance/polytheism will never be guided by the Quran; their case is hopeless, especially if those misguided ones are misguiding others at the same time and have their followers, etc. Hence, such polytheists hate the Quranic Truth and tend to argue against the Clear Verses of the Lord God to refute them and make their myths replace/supplant the Quran. this is the worst type of prohibited arguments.     

3- It is prohibited to agree to argue with such disbelieving people who reject the Quran.

3/1: About arguing with the People of the Book:

3/1/1: "And do not argue with the People of the Book except in the best manner possible, except those who commit injustice among them. And say, "We believe in what was revealed to us, and in what was revealed to you; and our God and your God is One; and to Him we are submissive/Muslims."" (29:46).

3/1/2: The Quran mentions examples of types of arguing with the People of the Book:

3/1/2/1: About (There is no God but Allah):

3/1/2/1/2: "Say, "O People of the Book, come to terms common between us and you: that we worship none but God, and that we associate nothing with Him, and that none of us takes others as lords besides God." And if they turn away, say, "Bear witness that we have submitted."" (3:64).

3/1/2/1/2: "And they say, "None will enter Heaven unless he is a Jew or a Christian." These are their wishes. Say, "Produce your proof, if you are truthful." In fact, whoever submits himself to God, and is a doer of good, will have his reward with his Lord - they have nothing to fear, nor shall they grieve." (2:111-112).

3/1/2/2: About Abraham and the monotheistic religion of Abraham:

3/1/2/2/1: "O People of the Book! Why do you argue about Abraham, when the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed until after him? Will you not reason? Here you are-you argue about things you know, but why do you argue about things you do not know? God knows, and you do not know. Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a monotheist, a Muslim. And he was not of the polytheists.The people most deserving of Abraham are those who followed him, and this prophet, and those who believe. God is the Ally of the believers." (3:65-68).

3/1/2/2/3: "Or do you say that Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes were Jews or Christians? Say, "Do you know better, or God?" And who commits graver injustice than he who conceals a testimony he has from God? God is not unaware of what you do." (2:140).

3/1/2/2/3: "And they say, "Be Jews or Christians, and you will be guided." Say, "Rather, the religion of Abraham, the monotheist; he was not a polytheist." Say, "We believe in God; and in what was revealed to us; and in what was revealed to Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus; and in what was given to the prophets - from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we surrender." If they believe in the same as you have believed in, then they have been guided. But if they turn away, then they are in schism. God will protect you against them; for He is the Hearer, the Knower. God's coloring. And who gives better coloring than God? "And we are devoted to Him." Say, "Do you argue with us about God, when He is our Lord and your Lord, and We have our deeds, and you have your deeds, and we are sincere to Him?"" (2:135-139).

3/1/3: About food legislations: "All food was permissible to the Israelites, except what Israel forbade for himself before the Torah was revealed. Say, "Bring the Torah, and read it, if you are truthful." Whoever forges lies about God after that - these are the unjust ones." (3:93-94).

3/2: When they would argue after the Quranic explanation reached them, supplicating the Lord to curse the liars is due; e.g., after explaining that Jesus, like Adam, was a mortal human being created of dust, God says the following: "And if anyone disputes with you about him, after the knowledge that has come to you, say, "Come, let us call our children and your children, and our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves, and let us invoke God's curse on the liars."" (3:61).

4- It is prohibited to argue with those who reject and refuse Quranic legislations: "...The devils inspire their followers to argue with you; but if you obey them, you would be polytheists." (6:121). Satan and devils whisper into people to engage into such arguments to make believers like polytheists. this is a very serious issue; we must avoid such argument with Quran-haters to avoid being among the polytheists.

5- This worst type of arguments is the trap into which most people fall; this occurs in all eras and within history of prophets.

5/1: About arguing regarding God's nature: "...Yet they argue about God, while He is Tremendous in might." (13:13).

5/2: "...the human being is a most argumentative being." (18:54).

5/3: "We send the messengers only as deliverers of good news and warners. Those who disbelieve argue with false argument, in order to defeat the truth thereby. They take My Verses, and the warnings, for a joke." (18:56).

5/4: Prophet Hud told his people of Aad the following: "..."Condemnation and wrath have befallen you from your Lord. Are you arguing with me over names, which you and your ancestors invented, for which God sent down no authority? Just wait; I am waiting with you."" (7:71).

6- Many polytheists argued a lot with Muhammad, as per these Quranic verses.

6/1: The hated the Quran and argued against its verses and facts; e.g., about Jesus: "And when the son of Mary was cited as an example, your people opposed. They said, "Are our gods better, or he?" They cited him only for false argument. In fact, they are an argumentative people." (43:57-58).

6/2: They hated the Quran and advised/urged others to reject it; yet, they argued over the Quran and against it with Muhammad: "Among them are those who listen to you; but We place covers over their hearts, to prevent them from understanding it, and heaviness in their ears. Even if they see every sign, they will not believe in it. Until, when they come to you, to argue with you, those who disbelieve will say, "These are nothing but myths of the ancients." They keep others from it, and avoid it themselves; but they ruin only their own souls, and they do not realize." (6:25-26).

6/3: The Lord God has commanded Muhammad to avoid such deniers and disbelievers and wait for his judgment and theirs by God on the Last Day, when the disputes will be settled by Him: "For every congregation We have appointed acts of devotion, which they observe. So do not let them argue with you in this matter. And invite to your Lord; you are upon a straight guidance. But if they argue with you, say, "God is fully aware of what you do." God will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection regarding what you disagree about." (22:67-69).

7- God tells us in the Quran that arguing against the Truth is the main feature/trait of all disbelievers/polytheists in all eras.

7/1: There will be people within all eras, until the end of days, who argue about God and His Religion of monotheism without knowledge within God's Word or Book. This means that such disbelievers also seek to refute and undermine God's Quranic Verses, which are the only source of knowledge about the Lord God.

7/1/1: They follow their polytheistic ancestors (i.e., their books, volumes, and tomes) blindly and they reject the Quran as a result of this (as is the case with the Muhammadans now): "...Yet among the people is he who argues about God without knowledge, without guidance, and without an enlightening Book. And when it is said to them, "Follow what God has revealed," they say, "Rather, we follow what we found our parents devoted to." Even if Satan is calling them to Hell-torment?" (31:20-21).

7/1/2: They follow the devils and Satan who will guide them only to Hell: "Among the people is he who argues about God without knowledge, and follows every defiant devil. It was decreed for him, that whoever follows him - he will misguide him, and lead him to Hell-torment." (22:3-4).

8- This is the typical features of polytheists/disbelievers in all eras and locations; there is no difference between the Muhammadans and the disbelievers among the people of Noah; all polytheists/disbelievers in all eras argue against the Truth using false arguments: "None argues against God's Verses except those who disbelieve. So do not be impressed by their activities on earth. Before them the people of Noah rejected the Truth, as did the confederates after them. Every community plotted against their messenger, to capture him. And they argued with falsehood, to undermine with it the Truth. But I seized them. What a punishment it was!" (40:4-5).

9- The Lord God describes them as proud, haughty people: "Those who dispute regarding God's Verses without any authority having come to them - there is nothing in their hearts but the feeling of greatness, which they will never attain. So seek refuge in God; for He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing." (40:56).

10- The Lord God describes them as arrogant ones who deserve the immense hatred of God and all monotheists: "Those who argue against God's Verses, without any proof having come to them - a heinous sin in the sight of God and of those who believe. Thus God seals the heart of every proud unjust ones." (40:35).

11- The Lord God says the following about the Hell-torment waiting for them.

11/1: "And among the people is he who argues about God without knowledge, or guidance, or an enlightening Book. Turning aside in contempt, to lead away from the path of God. He will have humiliation in this world, and on the Day of Resurrection We will make him taste the agony of burning. That is for what your hands have advanced, and because God is not unjust to the servants." (22:8-10).

11/2: "Have you not observed those who argue against God's Verses, how they have deviated? Those who call the Book a lie, and what We sent Our messengers with - they will surely know. When the yokes are around their necks, and they will be dragged by the chains. Into the boiling water, then in the Fire they will be consumed. Then it will be said to them, "Where are those you used to deify? Alongside with Allah?" They will say, "They have abandoned us. In fact, we were praying to nothing before." Thus God sends the disbelievers astray. That is because you used to rejoice on earth in other than the truth, and because you used to behave with vanity. Enter the gates of Hell, to remain therein forever. What a terrible dwelling for the arrogant ones. So be patient. The promise of God is true. Whether We show you some of what We have promised them, or take you to Us, to Us they will be returned." (40:69-77).

11/3: They will never escape Hell-torment or get out of it; they are condemned for eternity inside it: "Those who argue against Our Verses know that there is no refuge for them." (42:35).



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