Just recently a situation occurred on campus concerning the Ismaili faction of Islam. There are quite a few Ismailis (Agha Khanis) on campus and they have become active members in our Muslim Students Association where I think that a lot of them have learned a lot and also corrected some of the wrong things within their particular sect. Now I realize that there are definite things wrong with them, but in order to educate them we cannot shun them away when they reach out their hand, or should we?
A brother at an Iftari1 gathering got into a discussion about the issue of Ismailis and basically told one of the female Ismailis that he could not help think that she was going to hell every time he looked at her. Islamically, can he make a statement like that?
Are we, by any authority through the Qur’an, allowed to decide who goes to heaven and who goes to hell? I am just a little confused because although I may not feel Ismailis are on the straightest of paths, I felt as though this brother committed shirk2.
Please help me with my confusion.
It is very unfortunate that we, Muslims have generally become more interested in deciding about the dark future in the hereafter of our brethren rather than be thoughtful of our own bleak future there. I assure you my brother, if I am thrown into hellfire, it shall be no consolation for me to find that one of my neighbors is there too. I should therefore, concentrate on cleansing my own soul of the wrongs that I have already committed and earned, rather than decide about the position of others.
Even if I find someone doing or believing what is absolutely wrong, I should call him or her to the way of God, with great wisdom. I should never hurt a person’s ego. Hurting a person’s ego can become a great hindrance in his willingness in submitting to the Truth. I remind you, my brother, of God’s command:
Call to the way of your Lord with (great) wisdom and solicitude and argue with them in ways that are most gracious. (And remember that) your Lord knows best those who have strayed from His path and (also) those that have received guidance. (Al-Nahl 16: 125)
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