Imagine that you are sitting in a lecture session by an up and coming Shaykha, you know, one of those rare Muslim women of knowledge. And this Shaykha is giving a beautiful lecture, full of Islamic wisdom and advice…and you feel your soul uplifted, you feel your Imaan boosted just by listening to her, because you know that because of her words, her knowledge of Allah and Rasulullah Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam, you will leave the masjid motivated to be a better Muslim. It’s a beautiful feeling, perhaps this might be what it feels like to be high on some designer drug…but this is better, because the side effects can only be good: instead of killing brain cells, you are growing heart and soul cells.
And then, to conclude her session, the Shaykha makes a duaa, and while you are in the middle of this masjid, surrounded by a whole community of women who know you, and think they know the truth about who you are, you realize that her duaa to Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala is actually aimed at you. And you realize that she has been listening to one of your acquaintances repeat a tired old lie about you, and not only did she believe the lie, she went one step further: she cast a judgment…and now she is publicly humiliating you before your friends and before Allah.
She did not bother to (since the matter concerned her so very deeply) ask to hear the other side. She did not bother to stick to her topic. She did not even bother to consider the impact her action would have on somebody whose imaan might not be as strong as it could, on somebody who is struggling to find a) true guidance, and b) a saheeh role model. No no no…stopping to consider what she was really doing was beneath her. Because, she, the Shaykha, knows everything she needs to know, because she, the Shaykha, knows that all that glitters certainly must be gold.
She, the Shaykha, did not even know that 2 hours before her duaa of humiliation, she was eating a dinner prepared by her victim. I wonder what tasted better to the eminent Shaykha, the flesh of the sister who was gossiped about and then so thoroughly humiliated, or the sister’s cooking.
Are we in a time when our scholars are leading in ignorance? If this is the state of our ‘ulema, are we better of without them? How on earth do we, as Muslims who are seeking knowledge of our amazing faith, have any kind of faith in those who are supposed to be the inheritors of our Nabi Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam? The worst kind of jaahilyaat surely comes from those who are supposed to know better.
May Allah forgive us all, and may He have mercy on those of us who are being led by scholars of ignorance. Ameen.