Response to the Unanswered Question!


At the end of the Weekly Da'awah Enlightenment programme of MSSNUI which held on Tuesday, a question was thrown at the guest lecturer, but to the consternation of the sister and her cliques who asked the question, the lecturer left the question unanswered. As if that was not enough, neither the lecturer nor the moderators gave the reason why the question was not answered. This calls for concern for critical minds, right?

The question asked is: Is the scrub worn by female nurses in Nigeria an effects of the West on Islamic civilization? The question was asked after the position of lecturer that one of the negative effects of the West on us is the way many people dress unIslamic nowadays. Thus, if the question should be broached further, it means: Is the uniform of female nurses Islamic?

Worry less, I'm here to provide you with a response to this unanswered question. But, before I do, I think we need to jog our memories back on the principle of a Questioner and Questionee in Islam. If I'm not mistaken, it's a whole chapter in the knowledge of Fiqh in Islam called 'Adabul Mufti Wal Mustafit', roughly translated as 'The Etiquette of Asking and Answering Jurisprudential questions'.

One fundamental thing in the etiquette is that a Questioner should not ask a question to cause an uproar, rather he or she should ask to expand his or her frontiers of knowledge or to benefit others if he/she has already known. And, on the part of the Questionee, he or she is expected to say "I don't know", if he truly doesn't know the answer to a question. Giving a submission out of ignorance is not a peccadillo in Islam; it's a big sin.

A colleague beside me also wondered why the lecturer wouldn't answer the question and my response was: " Some questions are better left unanswered". Yes, they are, at least on the spot. Remember at times when the prophet (pbuh) would be asked questions and he would refuse to answer without stating the raison d'être; that's how people of knowledge seldom do. Imagine the guest lecturer answered "yes" to the question, there would be a sister who is a nurse that wears the uniform among the audience; how do you think she would feel? Your answer is as good as mine. Or, the lecturer answered "No"; it would be as shooting himself at the foot, as that would be contradictory to his initial position. "Speak good or rather keep quiet"- a sound Hadith.

I promised to respond to the question, and I think I just did that. If you're still not satisfied with my response then my answer to the question is Silence! Because only a fool rushes in where the Angels fear to tread.

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