Short Answer: Some people say you should not ask questions. However, the reality of Islam is, you are supposed to know what you are doing and why. This presupposes you have found out. Hence, one is required to ask questions. Muslims should do things from knowledge and not from blind following. However, this leads me to ask; are you surfing just to pass the time, or is there an ulterior motive? Do you have a lot of spare time? Or, are you looking for specific answers to particular questions? Are those questions related to today’s problems in society etc? You say you are asking questions about Islam so, I, respectfully, wonder why you don’t search the Quran or the ahadith for answers? In this way, you would increase not only your knowledge of Islam but also, possibly, your practice of Islam.
Thank you for this question. I am sure there are many Muslims doing practically the same thing.
Some people say you should not ask questions. However, the reality of Islam is, you are supposed to know what you are doing and why. This presupposes you have found out. Hence, one is required to ask questions. Muslims should do things from knowledge and not from blind following.
The Prophet (peace be upon him – pbuh) encouraged his followers to ask questions but not to go beyond certain limits. Islam is rational; it must make sense, and is accepted once the questions have been answered. In other words, there is a limit to what questions can be asked and when.
Once a person says the Shahadah, enters Islam and accepts Allah as the One True God and Muhammad pbuh is His prophet, it becomes binding on him to accept and obey the commands. In other words, there is no argument or debate, or vagueness about commands. Therefore, they should be followed. There may be extenuating circumstances e.g. health, and then clarification is sought by asking questions. But note, the questions are being asked for clarification; and the reason is to understand, so as to be able to improve one’s practice of Islam.
So, the first questions when you want to surf should be, Am I questioning a command? Is that command established as being authentic? If it is, what do I expect to gain from exploring it?
If the command is understood and authentic then, simply obey it without question.
Allah tells us:
“O believers! Do not ask questions about things which if declared to you may trouble you, and if you question about them when the Qur’an is being revealed, they shall be declared to you; Allah has pardoned this, and Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing. A people before you did ask such questions, and then became disbelievers on account of them.” (Quran 5:101)
If you recall the reason for the title of the second surah/chapter in the Quran was from the questions being asked about a heifer. In this narration the heifer went from being any heifer to a very specific heifer. There is wisdom in not asking questions when the command and its authenticity have been established.
What is the reason for asking questions? Usually, it would be to gain knowledge. In fact, Muslims are told, Gain knowledge from the cradle to the grave.
So, it is a never ending process. When the Prophet pbuh referred to knowledge he meant beneficial knowledge, knowledge which could be put to a useful purpose. This rules out simply asking questions just to test the person’s knowledge etc. There has to be a reason for the question and it is, to put the information gained to a beneficial practical purpose. Just asking questions out of idle curiosity is really a wasted exercise; as the information gained is, most likely, not put into practice.
This leads me to ask; are you surfing just to pass the time, or is there an ulterior motive? Do you have a lot of spare time? Or, are you looking for specific answers to particular questions? Are those questions related to today’s problems in society etc.
Passing the time is one thing which should be avoided. Remember the hadith, five before five; where we will be asked five things on the Day of Judgment. One of which is, time and how we spent it. Also, Allah swears by time in Surah al-’Asr, showing how important time is for us. So, we should avoid wasting time. Dhikr is one way of passing time beneficially and the remembrance of Allah e.g. reading the Quran is the best form of Dhikr.
You say you are asking questions about Islam so, I, respectfully, wonder why you don’t search the Quran or the ahadith for answers? In this way you would increase not only your knowledge of Islam but also, possibly, your practice of Islam.
Are you aware of the Quran available for download from King Saud University, Saudi Arabia which has a very good search engine?
(I was at King Saud University from 1986 – 1997 and knew some of the people working on this project.)
Also there are hadith and Quran viewers which can be downloaded for free and which have powerful search tools. It would be beneficial to use these tools for searching Islamic sources. I realise these may not cover all your interests but they will help with themes from the authentic Islamic sources.
I don’t know if you have thought what you could do with the knowledge you could gain from surfing the Internet, but one might think of writing a book, maybe for children.
Nor do I know the topics you surf but if they are topical, then why not discuss your findings in a group; family or friends? Why not talk to the youth in your community and discuss their problems? Of course, it is easy to say things, especially for someone else to follow up. Another approach could be to look up passages (or short surahs) in the Quran , and commit the passage to memory complete with understanding; and, of course, act on it.
This would have the added benefit of seeking knowledge – beneficial knowledge that is – from the authentic sources, understanding that knowledge and utilising or spreading it..
Let us remember, that Allah has told us that wisdom is the height of knowledge. It seems you are on your way, and if I may say so, you might not have quite reached your destination. It seems you are capable of doing more than just surfing and, God Willing, you will.
I pray you find this answer beneficial and please keep in touch.
And Allah knows best.
I hope this helps.
Salam and please keep in touch.
(From Ask About Islam archives)
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