When it comes to a person’s faith, questions that a person might have about the faith that remain unanswered have the potential to become doubts and those doubts if they remain unaddressed have the potential to become disbelief. And when a person approaches that stage, it becomes increasingly difficult to turn him back. Therefore logically our strategy, if we are to address one major aspect of the growing tide of doubt and disbelief among the younger generations, is to answer those questions and do so in a compelling, understandable fashion. The old cliches and hand-waving aren’t going to cut it anymore in this age of aggressive atheism and liberal secularism.
And least helpful of all is the attitude of some in our community that questions don’t even need to be answered because Muslims just need to believe and grow in their worship and understanding of the fundamentals of deen and the questions will go away as a side effect. This is a fantasy. In reality, questions don’t go away. They fester until eventually they become something more.
Look at the example of Allah Himself with His angels who had a very natural question when Allah told them He was going to make a Khalifa on earth, i.e., to create human beings. These were the angels, of course, who were speaking to Allah Himself so it cannot be said that they were in danger of doubt. Nonetheless Allah, in His mercy and all-encompassing wisdom, addressed their question in the most complete and compelling fashion soon after the question was asked. This is a powerful example for any leaders in the Muslim community as well as parents who want to raise Muslim children. Answering questions with ihsan is not optional. The viability of Islam, at least in the minds of our youth, depends on it.