Dakwah preacher is not always right


Aishah and Anas narrated that the Messenger of Allah said, “You know best the affairs of your worldly life” (Narrated by Muslim)

Rafi ‘bin Hudaij was narrated that the Prophet said, “I am only a human being. When I command you with something regarding your religion, accept it. When I command you with something from my own opinion, then I am only a human being.” (Narrated by Muslim)

Points of Reflections

1. The above two hadiths refer to the Prophet’s suggestion pertaining pollination technique. He was passing by Medinan farmers when he saw them pollinating date trees in accordance to their traditional practice. He suggested to them not to continue the practice because it would not bring good harvest. They followed his suggestion only to experience later bad harvest. They came to the Prophet to complain on the matter. The Prophet then uttered the above hadiths.

2. The hadiths teach a lesson on humility. Despite being the Prophet who was guided by revelation, he did not hesitate to acknowledge that he has no monopoly of wisdom and by doing so, he showed example that, even a prophet has limitations in terms of knowledge.

3. Right opinion must be gotten from expert in the area concerned and each field has its own expert that must be consulted.

4. Long involvement and experience does not make a person all-knowing in dakwah and always right.

5. Like an individual, wisdom also is not the exclusive property of any dakwah organisations.

6. Similraly, having acquired deep understanding in religious sciences does not make a person expert in all areas.

7. Solution of a problem is not just in the hands of dakwah activists and organisations. Often, solving a problem requires proficiency in many fields which implies the need for contribution and participation of various parties and expertise to address the challenges and problems facing the community.

8. Do not be ashamed to admit weakness or error. Dakwah activists and religious leaders must strive to purify themselves from personal ego that prevents them from admitting mistake and weakness.

9. The view of a man, except the prophets in matters of religion, can be right or wrong and thus can be accepted or rejected. What is acceptable today may be not in the future and what is seen incorrect in a situation, may be true at other times or in other situations.

7. The hadiths also teach openness in giving and accepting opinion. The Prophet was open to the farmers’ complain and differing view and the farmers were open to express themselves.

10. The hadiths teach us right method in making decision and evaluation that they shall be constructed on right knowledge from right expert and not on conjectures or blind-following.