It is a struggle that you
will always have to endure. All scholars base their opinions on their relative
education, experiences and opinions. The diversity should be understood as an
asset rather than a liability. In my opinion, it would not be desirable for all
scholars to present a unanimous opinion; in doing so, one would artificially
withhold a diverse set of opinions that could potentially cater to the
intellectual, moral and spiritual needs of different segments of society. If it
were decided that one opinion be presented to the general public as the only
opinion in conformity with Islam – no disagreements, no arguments – then we
would naturally run the risk of discomforting and even repelling many Muslims
and non-Muslims who may genuinely disagree with the given edict. So instead of
allowing room for debate, we will be curtailing thoughtful discourses, and
presenting opinions as facts.
Please do not be disappointed by
the wide array of opinions you may be confronted with on various issues. They
are a blessing in disguise.
The important thing for scholars
to ensure is that every time an opinion is given, it ought to be accompanied
with all arguments in support, because it will be on the basis of these
arguments that a common, intelligent person will choose the opinion that he/she
finds most convincing. If one opinion doesn’t appeal to your intellect, he
should be able to look for others.
And the important thing for you
to ensure is that you should not deem one opinion as more suitable on the basis
of its convenience to yourself. Rather, you should look for arguments that
appear to you to be closer to the letter and spirit of Islam, as you sincerely
understand it. It is true that people’s interpretations vary; that should again
not be treated as a problem; it should be appreciated as a natural result of
diversely creative and capable human intellects.
Keep your mind and options open.
Always be true to yourself, so if you should need to revise your understanding
in the face of more convincing opinions and arguments, do not hesitate. This
life is a trial, and our struggles encompass all areas of our functioning:
intellectual, spiritual, moral, and practical.