One of the most off-putting/annoying/irritating habits I’ve noticed with some Muslim bloggers is when they try to make statements starting with phrases like ‘O you Muslims’ or ‘O you Shias’ or ‘O you Salafis’ etc. etc. etc.
Isn’t that slightly beyond aloof or condescending? That’s the way Allah (SWT) addresses His flawed and error prone slaves. We have not, and never will earn the right to address others in a similar tone. Even in the last sermon of Rasulullah (SAW), the most beloved and blessed Nabi of Allah referred to the Muslims as ‘O People’ and not once was there any indication of condescension or aloofness in his tone.
Yet these days, us humble ‘scholars’ assume a tone that smacks of condescension more often than not. Sweeping generalisations about the sins committed by ‘everyone’ is often the launch pad for the advice that is to follow. Why? If I reflect on my own interactions with others, I usually take that approach or tone when I’m deliberately trying to mock or ridicule someone by first highlighting what they’re doing wrong before telling them what they’re doing right.
Surely this cannot be the intent behind the scholars delivering the sermons these days? I need to believe that it isn’t, so why can they not just convey the message they wish to convey without the condescension and generalisations? Why must they lecture instead of talk to the people they wish to share some advice with?
I don’t know if it’s like this throughout the Muslim world, but in South Africa, regardless of which part of the country you’re in, there’s a standard tone, approach, structure and generalisation in the way lectures are delivered by 90% or more of the ‘scholars’. This disconnect is disturbing. The prophet (SAW) and his nominated leaders or governors could barely be distinguished in appearance from the common man during their time. When was the last time you saw a scholar blend in with the Ummah rather than trying to stand apart, in appearance that is!? It’s rare. Very rare.