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Ways to Respond to Religious Doubts

Tuesday, 29 May 2012 12:25
Published in News

A doubt raised and provoked is an illness that needs to be treated/ Causes of Reduction of Religious Doubts

Ayatollah Hadavi Tehran, the president of the Porch of Wisdom Institute and lecturer of advanced jurisprudence and legal theories said that responding to religious doubts and spurious arguments requires expertise and knowledge of religious issues as well as the audience. “One of the ways to reduce misgivings and religious doubts is to provide proper religious education on the basis of the needs of all castes and age groups,” he stated.

Speaking to Mehr reporter concerning the difference between a doubt/spurious argument and a religious question, Ayatollah Hadavi Teharni said, “As for a question, it is possible that it may arise in every individual’s mind because a person asks a question to know about something. In fact, asking a question is a sign of intelligence and troubled mind, it means you need more information. One may ask questions about different things including religion issues. One may ask questions about a religious subject about which he has little or no knowledge. It has been emphasized in Islam that you should ask those who know when you yourself do not know. " فسئلوا اهل الذکر ان کنتم لا تعلمون" As for a doubt or a spurious argument [shubha], it is a deliberate attempt to conceal a reality. When a reality is concealed, it gives rise to doubts in the minds of some susceptible people.”

“In fact, spurious or specious arguments originate in some non-divine motives but it is not always true to say that whoever has a spurious argument has a non-divine motive; rather a spurious argument is created by an evil hand and it is possible for a believer to face a doubt but the causes that lead to emergence of a doubt are not healthy causes as they are meant to corrupt the minds of the audience,” he added.

Ayatollah Hadavi Tehrani said, “Once a doubt [shubha] is created in a person’s mind, although they may have been created by others who may have satanic or evil motives, it is then essential to respond to that doubt and that it is necessary that the illness which a person is suffering from be appropriately cured. We must note that a question which comes naturally is not an illness keeping in view that a person has been encouraged to ask where he does not know. Contrary to it, a doubt is an illness from which even a believer may suffer. It is an illness that needs to be treated and cured. The treatment is the duty of those who have sufficient expertise and ability to respond and solve the doubt appropriately.”

Speaking about the best method to respond to religious doubts and spurious arguments, Ayatollah Hadavi Tehrani said, “In order to respond to a doubt, it is not possible to introduce a general or common method; what is necessary is that an expert or a capable individual should deal with it. If a person lacks the necessary expertise and knowledge in religious matters and he does not have a good understanding of the audience or the causes of the doubt properly, he will not be able to tackle the treating process appropriately. As well, he should have good command over religious and Islamic discussions and a precise understanding of the cause or origin of the doubt so that he may be able to embark on solving and responding the doubt. Same is true with a question. That is to say, he who embarks on answering a question must be a person who should have special and technical knowledge about the question.”

He added, “To prevent a doubt from developing and coming into being is to prevent an illness. It is possible to endeavor to purge the atmosphere of society from impurities so that there are less and less people having doubts. But we cannot totally prevent doubts occurring and growing because the causes that lead to the occurrence of doubts or in other words the breeding ground for illness exist in society. However, we can take some intellectual and psychological measures to reduce doubts in the society. One of those measures which we can take is to provide proper religious education in primary, secondary and intermediate schools and other educational environments. If religious education is provided by appropriate people with the language suitable for children, teenagers and youngsters, a part of the intellectual problems of society will not be created.”

“The media, TV and radio, magazines and newspapers should be able to continuously and incessantly present precise and accurate awareness and education to the cultural atmosphere of the society so as to vaccinate the entire society against doubts and misconstructions,” Ayatollah Hadavi Tehrani added.

The president of the Porch of Wisdom Institute said, “The more efforts we put into responding the doubts, the more the doubts decrease and the less would be the number of people in whose minds a doubt may arise. We cannot totally uproot the doubts but it should be noted that when someone is faced with doubts, we should not behave with him in an antagonistic, aggressive and striking way. Just like someone who is suffering from an illness and cannot do some normal things, we should behave with such an ailing person like a kind and compassionate doctor so that he may be able to cure his illness.”

Ayatollah Hadavi Tehrani highlighted the role of emotional relationship in ideological discussions saying that the same emotional or sentimental relationship which is effective in a medical treatment is also effective in ideological discussions. “A strong emotional relationship with a person who is faced with a doubt will pave the way for solving and responding his doubt,” he reiterated.

He also said, “One of the Shiite websites which deals specifically with responding to questions and spurious arguments is which features 16 languages and incorporates more than 15 thousand answers to questions. The website is expected to be uploaded with a new template and design and with other three languages in the coming month. This website is for the time being a unique reference website which deals specifically with answering to questions on Shia or Islam-related topics. It is at the top of all other websites which deal with responding spurious arguments.[1]

Office of Ayatollah Mahdi Hadavi Tehrani


[1] - Related links:

- Mehr News Agency

- Radio Maaref website

- Port for Answering to Religious Questions

- Rasekhoon