by Al-Imam al-Ghazali
Debates and disputations
by Al-Imam al-Ghazali (Radhi Allahu Anhu)
Know, O’ Reader, that after the Holy Nabi, the Khulafa Rashideen were the
leaders of the learned in the science of Allah. There were the eyes of
knowledge and were experienced in the legal decisions. They did not take the
help of jurisprudents except in cases where consultation was necessary. They
decided on the strength of Ijtihad and their decisions were recorded in
their lives. After their death, Khulafat went to those who not so
experienced in legal matters and administrative affairs. They were compelled
to seek the aid of jurisprudents. At that time, a band of Tabi’een were
alive and they persisted in following strictly the injunctions of Deen.
Whenever Khalifs called them, they fled. But some learned men used to mix
with the Khalifs ans consequently became humiliated. Therefore there were
differences of opinion and among the learned men and there grew different
mathahib as a result, and in some cases, a sect sprung up. There were
argumentations and disputations over the intricate questions of religion.
They composed also many works on these subjects. This induced the people to
take to controversies and disputations.
There are eight conditions of debates
1. The first condition is that where debate for search of truth is one of
Fardh Kefayah duties, one who has not already fulfilled his part in duties
of Farze Ain should not engage himself in the debates even for searching
2. The second condition is that one should not consider debates more
important than Fardh Kefayah duties.