By Nader Azzam
There’s a stark difference between an atheist and an anti-theist. An atheist simply lacks belief in a deity while an anti-theist goes on the offensive and is angry (for some reason) and makes it their life mission to prove theists are not only wrong, but also stupid. Excuse my English, but I’m just keeping it real.
I’ve been itching to write about the nature of online debating for some time. I said online debating, not online dating. Focus! Stay with me.
It’s OK to partake in civil discourse if you sense the individual is sincere, even if you completely disagree with one another as long as it remains cordial. This is part of real dawah. What I advise against, is arguing with anti-theists. They’re usually verbally abusive and raunchy. It’s a waste of your time. Trust me, I’ve wasted plenty of time trying to explain context while bobbing and weaving through curse words and name-calling, so I’m talking from experience here!
A Typical Online Scenario
1. They insult your intellect or mock Islam and/or the Prophet ﷺ trying to get you to react emotionally.
2. It works, and they bring up the same old, played-out, copy and paste, boring Internet arguments that have already been refuted a thousand times over. (The Prophet’s ﷺ marriage to Lady Ayesha, war, slavery, apostasy, vague hadiths etc.)
3. They post incomplete references that they know are taken out of context, but that’s part of their plan.
4. When you inform them that they’ve forfeited their opportunity to continue the “discussion” due to the constant barrage of insults, they claim that you don’t have the answers. Guess what, folks? They don’t want answers. They never did. This is a one-way conversation and you’re on the listening end of it. it’s just a ploy to get you to re-engage. It’s tantamount to calling someone a chicken to egg them on (pun intended). They question your intellectual prowess without realizing they are spiritually bankrupt.
It’s no wonder these folks keep talking about God. After all, one of His attributes is, The Irresistible.
All We Need to Know
Mockery is equated with ignorance in the Qur’an.
“Remember when Moses said to his people, ‘God commands you to sacrifice a cow’, they said, ‘are you making fun of us?’ He answered, ‘God forbid that I should be so ignorant’”
Ignore foolish people.
“Be tolerant, command what’s right, pay no attention to foolish people”
Allah will perfect His light.
They want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it.
Use wisdom and beautiful preaching.
“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.”
I know, easier said than done. Been there, done that. It’s quite easy to get emotionally invested when an individual chooses to insult someone or something we love, but if we recognize what they’re trying to do before we allow them to do it, then perhaps, we can minimize the emotional impact and disengage sooner rather than later.