And Abu Eesa knows this of me and from me – he can testify that I have expressed this to him and to others who joke in such a manner multiple times.
Our Prophet , when his servant `Anjasha urged the camels his wives were riding to hurry up, said, “O `Anjasha! ” Words can hurt more than the jostling of a camel, and I believe that Muslim men need to follow this advice with their tongues, and their actions, and be careful of harming society’s fragile vessels if they wish to achieve the pleasure of Allah.
It is as if the human situation is such that groupthink is the default. Anyone who thinks otherwise, after reading the conversation, either does not speak English as a mother language, or is blinded by rage. (Yes, there were jokes about the role of women and IWD, which will be discussed in a later point, but there was not a joke about violence towards women).
Yet, the flagrant lie that he joked about such vicious topics continued (and continues) to be perpetrated, even by respectable bloggers and academics online.
Abu Eesa’s controversy quickly spiraled out of control and escalated to a global online topic in less than 48 hours; it was as if this was the subject of conversation around the online globe for an entire week.
I wish that, in the future, even a fraction of this power could be utilized to highlight other projects and causes that we can all agree about.
Secondly, while nothing new, the harm of casual conversation and useless chatter and made-up gossip was demonstrated once again.
Allah warns against such casual smearing in the Quran (‘Why did you speak with your tongues that which you have no knowledge of?Everyone who is connected to the Western world’s blogosphere is painfully aware of the internet fury that is abuzz for the last week, involving a very dear friend of mine, Ustadh Abu Eesa Niamatullah, who has come under fire for some jokes posted on his Facebook page.I have not gotten involved until now for two primary reasons.Jokes are like salt to one’s food, and should be used in miniscule quantities, with great wisdom.One of the first pieces of advice that a dear mentor, Ustadh Yusuf Estess, gave to me before I started preaching, was the following, “If a joke offends one person, then you’ve offended one too many.” I do not believe joking about women’s issues, or their intelligence, or belittling their role in society, helps anyone.Be truthful, and criticize him for the jokes that he actually said, not ones that you’ve heard others assume him to have said.