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Ghazali’s Advice to the Youth: “Ignoring Ignorance”

“Ghazali’s Advice to the Youth:

Ignoring Ignorance


 ثم اعلم أن مرض الجهل على أربعة أنواع: أحدها:يقبل العلاج والباقي لا يقبل أما الذي لا يقبل أحدها من كان سؤاله واعتراضه عن حسده وبغضه فكلما تجيبه بأحسن الجواب وأفصحه وأوضحه فلا يزيد له ذلك الا بغضا وعداوة وحسدا فالطريق ألا تشغل بجوابه…

“Thereafter, know that the disease of ignorance is of four types: one admits of a remedy whereas the remaining three do not. As for what does not admit of a remedy, one of them includes he whose questioning or arguing is out of envy and hatred. Whenever you answer him with the best, clearest and most evident reply, it only increases him in hatred, hostility and envy. The thing to do is not to indulge him by responding to him…”[1]


  • Some of our youth just love arguing. They also love disputing – especially when they have not acquired the relevant knowledge to discuss rarefied issues. Sometimes, commitment to juridical or even theological views borders on a worrying fanaticism – fed by zeal and even hatred. Whenever a more wise and learned individual presents reasoned arguments and evidence-based responses, it only serves to compound their hatred. This Imam al-Ghazali rightly identifies as a sickness and rightly identifies it as having no cure. The only thing to do is ignore…You cannot argue with ignorance.

With Allah is all success.


[1] al-Ghazali, Ayyuha ’l-Walad, p.45.


One thought on “Ghazali’s Advice to the Youth: “Ignoring Ignorance”

  1. Pingback: Ignoring Ignorance | Siyasah Press

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