ARGUMENTS Q17.36, Q27.80-1, Q88.21-2

I have had my fair share of arguments especially as a student. Those days, one will argue and shout herself hoarse! Now, I’ve realised that we cannot all share the same views and that changing a person’s mind is only possible if his/her mind is open to change.
Oftentimes, arguments stem from arrogance; the belief that ‘my view is the only right one’. It’s normal to disagree with each other but it is more peaceful to agree to disagree than to enter into a disputation that leads nowhere.
When we argue, we should realise that:

• Your view is not the ONLY right one besides, your opponent also feels his/hers is correct.
• Most times, arguments are counter-productive and time-consuming eventually making both parties cling stubbornly to their opinions
• Very rarely is an argument borne out of a sincere and humble need to correct
• There must be etiquette involved in debate for it to be beneficial

So, before you embark on that trip to nowhere, here are some tips:
• There is no point arguing with someone who cannot reason
• Have a respectful conversation with no insults, sarcasm, arrogance or lousy attitude
• Do not raise your voice
• Air your views and listen to your opponent’s
• Do not lie or speak on what you have no knowledge. Use data and facts to drive your point across
• Gracefully but purposefully refute lies
• Avoid extremism or exaggeration
• Leave your mind open. It is an act of an educated mind
• Pray to Allah to guide both of you to the Right Path

We should recall that just because someone is taking another route to our destination does not mean they won’t get there. As the African saying goes, ‘The market has many entrances.’ Let us look outside the box and be tolerant enough to listen to others’ opinions even if we do not agree with them. You don’t have to act on views you do not believe in.

May Allah open our hearts to discern and accept the truth.

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