On Dealing with Extreme Beliefs and Divisions in Community

Answered by Sayyidi al-Ḥabīb `Umar bin Hafīẓ (may Allāh preserve him and benefit us by him).

There is a new mosque in our community which follows a somewhat extreme methodology. This has caused divisions in the community and confusion, especially amongst new Muslims. What is the best way of dealing with these problems?

These problems should not stop you from embodying the attributes which you are obliged to embody. You should remain steadfast in performing your duty of showing mercy and compassion to others, even if they are mistreating you.

You should give them greetings of salām even if they do not give you those greetings.

If the opportunity arises to clarify the message, this should be done in a manner that does not arouse people’s egos. Otherwise remaining silent on issues that cause argumentation is better. You should expend extra effort in showing new Muslims good character and inviting them to your homes whenever possible and visiting them in their homes. You must be patient with these waves that come for their time is short. Do not be affected by their refusal to return the greeting of salām or by their being cold. If they insult you, do not disturbed by this, for this is a sign of weakness.

You should also clarify the beliefs of the Ahl al-Sunnah in the best way without causing friction, so that ordinary Muslims realise the soundness of the methodology of the Ahl al-Sunnah. One way of doing this is to distribute booklets or pamphlets which clarify the positions of the Ahl al-Sunnah on controversial issues and their evidence for those positions. These issues should not, however, be our main focus. Rather we should focus on attaining the realities of faith, attaining good character and preparing for the next life.