Strength in Silence
Someone once asked the Prophet, peace be upon him: 'Which land is most beloved to Allah, and which land is most despised by Him?'
The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: 'I do not know until I ask the angel Gabriel.'
Thereafter, Gabriel informed him that the most beloved places are the mosques and the most disliked are the marketplaces. [Musnad Ahmad, Musnad Abî Ya`la, and Mustadrak al-Hâkim]
In stark contrast to the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him), the Companions, and the eminent Islamic scholars throughout the ages, we find many laymen who are quite willing to speak with authority on every matter, great and small, regardless of how well informed they are.
Many people speak hastily before giving the matter sufficient study. Had they only done their research, they would easily have seen how wrong they are. Alas, some people are just not prepared, mentally or emotionally, to deal with difficult issues and to research them with the required degree of thoroughness and rigour.
The media has emboldened the general public even further. Many people now regard it as a weakness when a scholar remains silent on an issue or admits he does not know the answer. They feel ashamed themselves not to have an opinion about everything, even if it is a singularly difficult question of Islamic Law or a tenet of religious belief. Every topic has become the same – politics, economics, ancient and modern history – and it makes no difference how much specialization is required to do justice to the matter.
'Allah Knows Best – The Value of Being Impartial' - Salman al-Oadah