Is it appropriate to discuss about religious (Islamic) issues?

Details of the Question
We discuss about Islamic issues with friends. Is it appropriate?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

First of all, it is not appropriate to discuss about fard and haram parts of Islam. It is not permissible to speak about the issues of belief in the form of discussions.

Which one do we do?

MUNAQASHA (QUARREL): To ask questions with the intention of disputing and to bicker each other.

MUNAZARA (DEBATE): To talk and discuss in accordance with the rules of debate.


MUARADA (DISPUTE): Not to attack the evidence put forward by the opponent but to introduce another evidence that proves the opposite.

MUDHAKARA (NEGOTIATION): To remind things to each other regarding the issue.

MUNAZAA (CONFLICT): Squabble, contention, struggle.

MUTUAL talks are given different names based on the intentions, styles and degree of sincerity of the parties. The most common ones are quarrel, debate, negotiation, dispute, conflict and exchange of ideas.

The most unfruitful and useless ones among them are quarrel and conflict. Unfortunately, they are the most common ones nowadays.

Negotiation and exchange of ideas have similar meanings. In negotiation, people talk about an issue mutually and remind things to each other. In exchange of ideas, new forms of an idea that occur in the spiritual worlds of different people are put forward and people aim to reach a result.

Debate is a scientific/academic discussion made based on certain rules.

In dispute, instead of refuting the view of the other party, one defends his own view directly. That is, one does not deal with the sentences of the other party one by one and does not analyze and criticize them; instead, he defends his own view and refutes the view of the other party by proving his own view.

In quarrel, people ask questions with the intention of disputing and bickering each other. The intention is to overcome the opponent at any cost and to leave that place as victorious. It does not matter which party is right and what the listeners learn. The closest one to this blind fight is conflict; that is,squabble, contention, struggle.


The most dangerous and harmful quarrels are offending, destructive and harsh ones. In those quarrels, one party, say, defends belief and the other unbelief. When the aim is to overcome the other party, the person who defends unbelief enters a way that is impossible to return. Such an excessive discussion can harm both parties and brings about doubt and hesitation among the listeners. Therefore, the following is stated in Risale-i Nur Collection: “It is not permissible to argue over questions of belief.” (Mektûbât, 42) Later, it is emphasized thatsuch matters “are permissible to discuss moderately and fairly, exchanging ideas”. (Mektûbat, 45)

“Moderately” means cold-bloodedly. It is clear that no result will be obtained from the discussions made in a harsh and nervous environment.

“Fairness” means to show the virtue of accepting a reasonable idea without any prejudice.

If these two basic conditions are applied, a quarrel is transformed into an exchange of ideas. Its benefits are indisputable.


Alaaddin Başar (Prof.Dr.)

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