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Celia McMichael, 'Everywhere is Allah's Place': Islam and the Everyday Life of Somali Women in Melbourne, Australia, Journal of Refugee Studies, 2002 (doi) quotes a Somali refugee in Melbourne, Australia, saying she "read the Qur'an literally":

The Qur'an says you can't make bad comments about things. But for us, those kinds of things have become natural. We might say 'Amina doesn't really look good, she is short'. But you can't say those things! It is a sin if you say that people are ugly. And we shouldn't complain, but here people just say that it is cold, the weather is nasty. We are not meant to say those things; we are not supposed to criticize the nature of Allah, because it is Allah's creation. In one of the verses the prophet Mohammed says, 'if you can't say anything good or worthwhile, then don't say anything at all'. For us, those of us who don't know the verses of the Qur'an and what it actually says, we are really in trouble. It is' like someone who doesn't know the way.

This seems a bit over the top to me, and I'm curious as to whether this is a usual scholarly stance, or is more this person's interpretation.

Question: Is it wrong to criticize the weather?

  • please do add the complete ayah stating, criticism is bad. I would need it for a better answer – Seeker Feb 28 '17 at 7:11
  • I don't have one; I'm just quoting from the paper by McMichael who quotes a Somali Muslim refugee in Melbourne 15+ years ago. – Rebecca J. Stones Feb 28 '17 at 7:34
  • then do give a reference to this paper, until it is studied properly, an earlier answer wouldn't be proper. – Seeker Feb 28 '17 at 8:07
  • What is quoted above is not a Verse rather it is a Hadith, and does not relate to the given context. – Aboudi Feb 28 '17 at 20:21
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Depends on what you mean by criticism, according to Shaykh Google Bin WWW, criticism is defined as:

The expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes.

If this is what is meant then it goes against Islamic belief, as indicated by the two verses below, going by this definition implies that God has attempted to create something but failed while attempting to do so:

He is the One Who has made perfectly everything He has created: He began the creation of human beings with clay, And made his progeny from a quintessence of the nature of a fluid despised: But He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit…(32:7-9)

Allah has created every [living] creature from water. And of them are those that move on their bellies, and of them are those that walk on two legs, and of them are those that walk on four. Allah creates what He wills. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent (24:45)

However if you go by the Cambridge dictionary definition below then then I don't see why would criticisim be contrary to Islamic belief:

The act of giving your opinion or judgment about the good or bad qualities of something or someone, especially books, films, etc.

For example you may ask, would living in the Arctic be good, which my response would be, well the weather makes it terrible there. Here I have not claimed that there is a fault I just gave an honest advice.

Criticism is not wrong or frowned upon however this depends on the intention and purpose, as criticism can be made to aid a good cause an example would be Abraham's () criticism of his father's beliefs:

[Mention] when he said to his father, "O my father, why do you worship that which does not hear and does not see and will not benefit you at all? (19:42)

One must review his intention before critiquing something, if one is arrogant enough to criticise God and his commandments then this is undoubtedly a sin, on the other hand if it made in a good intention, then there is no harm in this (God willing)

  • I'm guessing "Shaykh Google Bin WWW Criticism" is a copy/paste issue, rather than an unorthodox name for a shaykh. – Rebecca J. Stones Feb 28 '17 at 23:59
  • @RebeccaJ.Stones , Not quite sure what you mean by a "copy/paste" – Aboudi Mar 1 '17 at 17:43
  • I mean, in the first line it says "Shaykh Google Bin WWW", which seems to be a bug (unless there is actually some shaykh with that name?). – Rebecca J. Stones Mar 1 '17 at 23:33
  • @RebeccaJ.Stones, Oh, It isn't a bug, I was just trying to be humorous. The name isn't technically incorrect in my opinion. – Aboudi Mar 8 '17 at 14:17
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Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala! is free from error.

He can change the error to punish us for our sins (applies to non-believers and believers), to test us, to cleanse us because of our sins which is a bounty (applies to believers) OR it could at times simply be a result of our own deeds as have done our planet wrong ourselves with all the pollution etc.

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