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Friday, November 20, 2015

The state of knowledge





Years ago, I remember someone say that most students of knowledge were wasting their time studying in Syria. The students were merely 'hanging out' with the scholars and not actually studying. This came as a shock to many people including myself. 

Now, the doors of Syria are closed the students go to Yemen. Not only are the same problems coming to the fore but it is worse, because they are taking advantage of Ahl Al-Bayt. Studying is not for the barakah of it.




The UK


The main problem is that the student of knowledge, who studies for a few years, thinks he knows it all. Then he begins to call people deviants because he does not look beyond his own opinion. There are many things that have a valid difference of opinion. Therefore, if someone has a narrow mind, then they cannot be a student of knowledge. Do not except anything from him but a narrow-minded opinion! 

I met someone who had studied in Tarim, Yemen but was ready to insult and slander members of the Ahl Al-Bayt. He displayed aggression and insults to them, as something normal that you should aim towards Ahl Al-Bayt. Even though he had been studying in Yemen with the same people!

Another instance was when a student knowledge opposed something then called everyone deviants when there was a clear difference opinion.

Another instance was someone studying for years without studying a single book of belief! 

Another example was a Dars Nizami student was asking about the basics of wudu when he was studying Usul Al-Fiqh. He had been studying for five years at that point.

This is not only shocking but its proof that they are not studying the correct system or the correct manners. Students of knowledge who take on knowledge without action are part of the problem. Only those scholars who act upon their knowledge are blessed everyone else are part of the problem.

Many students are unfortunately not intelligent people and in most cases they are those who are forwarded to speak. Sacred knowledge should be for those who are intelligent but in any case, their intelligence should grow with knowledge and not narrow.




Reached what?


Thinking that one has reached knowledge after studying for three, four or five years then one is sadly mistaken. Just because one has access to the books of another school does not give you license to access other opinions of other madhabs, then spread this knowledge! Send them to the experts of those schools or else you seek to expose yourself to the sins of others. You do not know what is the reliable opinion and picking something out of a book is like what a wahabi does. You will be surprised how many Sunni's do this Wahabism!

To comment on a subject, one must know that the major opinions of that subject. Which ones are reliable and which ones are not. Rather than, my school has this opinion and who cares about anyone else's opinion. Many times, have I seen junior students being narrow minded, how could this be? A student of knowledge must have an open mind and not be narrow-minded. If he does this then he has failed to knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is about acting not merely information. Wisdom is about knowing when to speak, to remain silent and when to apply knowledge or not.

Knowledge cannot be applied without understanding the full picture. If someone is Shafi and the dominate madhab of the area is Hanafi. Then applying the Shafi school in that area is not applicable to anyone other than yourself. Send the person asking the question to the Hanafi's. This applies to all schools. Even between theological beliefs! One must know where the opposing opinion is coming from. Rather than say this is an opinion of deviants! Knowing the main differences of the Maturdis and Asharis is not difficult. This is something that can be read in one text!



Teachers


Most students of knowledge are hell bent on following their teachers, even in the mistakes they make. Most teachers are not qualified to teach. They make basic mistakes in knowledge and they are often very narrow minded. Not even aware of the major differences in their own schools never mind the opinions of the various schools. Who wants to find out? Who wants to admit that they are wrong! Who wants to admit they did not make the correct decision when they did not gather the knowledge correctly! Many teachers cannot explain the statements that they read in the books that they have studied! Many are just entrenched in cultural norms and back up their respective backgrounds. Worse still, they declare everyone a kafir except those who agree with them. True scholarship means giving the benefit of the doubt to all other scholars. Rather than declaring everyone, other than himself, misguided. 

Most teachers just read the text and do not explain it. They just read the book then qualify the student with a paper, pretending that taking knowledge is just listening to a book? When you cannot understand what you are reading? You have questions in your mind that cannot be answered, ever, because of your teacher does not know. Teachers are afraid of being exposed for not having knowledge and are threatened by teachers who are better than them. You will be surprised to learn that many teachers are no good, I am not joking.
 
Most people are enemies of sacred knowledge or in another way, most people are enemies of the knowledge that was given to the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him). This is the sad state of those in power of the masjids. Many of them are misguided and misguide others.

Therefore, it is highly unlikely that you will find a good teacher in a masjid, because of the masjid committee. Dumber and dumber are not going to chose someone knowledgeable. Why? Because they are a threat to their power and anyone who is threatened, act like wounded animals. So they get substandard teachers from 'back home' who will accept £150 per week, because a proper teacher would never accept such a wage. This is why those people who have studied under a dars nizami course in the UK are merely beginners. I do not mean to insult anyone but I mean to provoke thought. Also do not expect those who have studied abroad to be better but how long have they studied and what.

There are many students of knowledge but most of them are not sincere. How can I say this? Well, their actions make this very clear that they are just for the show and not for Allah the Exalted. Their insincerity means that they could study for years and not get anywhere. Part of this is the teachers, the systems and the students themselves.


Solutions


The ideal solution would be for people to recognise actual knowledge. Rather than recognise emotions and think its knowledge! Just because someone is famous does not mean their opinion is correct. Every scholars opinion is subject to being accepted or rejected.

Depending on this is their opinion acceptable or not. Alternatively, whether it is within the bounds of the madhab that he follows and one of the two aquida groups, he claims to follow. If it does not fit in then it is rejected it is as simple as that. Following one scholar alone in disagreement to all the rest, is the path of misguidance. Why? Because sometimes a scholar will make an opinion in a certain time and place that does not apply in other places and times. Islam is not based on the teaching of one scholar alone. Does their opinion fit into their madhab of fiqh and aquida? If it does not then it is rejected and it does not matter how famous they are!

People should find out if their teachers are any good and if the teachers of their teachers are good! The thousands of dars nazami students in the UK but most do nothing in advanced studies. Most have questions that have not been answered so they are unable to answer the questions of others. Most of the dars nizami courses in the UK are so watered down that there barely seems to be anything left. They study from three to five years and do not get anywhere. Why? Because a dumb teacher runs a dumb program and what is the result of that? Dumb students and now these guys are Imams and scholars or teachers? Is this a joke? 

Many programs do not cover enough subjects in detail to make adequate progress, never mind good! Many students are wasting their time studying because of this and most of all: students do not know how to study. Most students are not serious in their studies and get put off by the slightest thing.

Before you enter a lesson, read the passage at least five times so you are familiar with it and then go to the lesson, not before. Some students do not put the requisite effort needed to become a teacher. So spend years unable to grasp the slightest thing.

The state of knowledge is very sad because those who actually know are hounded and subject to abuse. We live in a time of ignorance when it (ignorance) is held in high regard and everything else is belittled. Where emotional speakers are given precedence over those who know actual knowledge. No one is interested in learning the basics. They want to learn about strange or rare things because of their lack of knowledge they cannot understand simple matters never mind complex ones. Learn your basics because they are the foundation because without a foundation you have nothing. If you want to see if a teacher is, any good, then look at their students and find out if they have sound knowledge. Scholars should make scholars and this is a great indication for you. Students become like their teachers after a time. Rarely do you find famous scholars with excellent students. A student of knowledge needs a sound grounding in Arabic, fiqh, aquida, Usul Al-Fiqh and finally tafsir. He should not be narrow minded. He might have to change teachers when he finds that they cannot explain the basics. Smug and arrogant scholars are not those who you should learn from. The best scholars might wear clothes that you do not expect but do not allow yourself to be deluded about how the scholar looks. Look at the knowledge and not the clothes!


Intention


The intention of the seeker of knowledge has to be for Allah the Exalted. Not for the sake of their group or ethnicity. Only those who have a valid intention are truthful and thus successful. The latter group have lost (learned for other than Allah) even if their fame has spread across the land. An entertainer and a scholar are two different things. Entertainers are like magicians whose tricks amaze anyone but the learned. Real knowledge benefits, gives comfort and tranquility. People who are learning sacred law should become more intelligent and develop into a better person. If they are becoming more and stricter on others then they are focusing too much on the outward. Most of the important changes are made inwardly. Your faith is all inward with the exception of the affirmation of the tongue. We do live in a time where ignorance is knowledge and knowledge is ignorance. So these words might be falling on deaf ears. 


Sorry

I really feel sorry for students who have studied for years and have not learnt the character of the one they are claiming to follow! As well as the time, they have wasted studying with people who are not qualified to teach! It is a sorry state to be in but it could change. Who should come forward to teach correctly? The one with the most qualifications and not the one who agrees with the boys club (masjid) committee board. I know many students who have studied for years but have not got anywhere. Some want to study with personalities and go abroad for them but are shocked when the personality has no time for them. These types of students will not go anywhere. Scholars are available in an area but no one studies with them? How strange?

If you where to listen to the speakers about Ahl Al-Bayt you would think they would be devoted to him. Instead the opposite is true, they do not support or help the Ahl Al-Bayt, yet claim to support them? Its a fabricated lie, no one supports Ahl Al-Bayt, not a single person in any masjid committee or madrasa. I am not joking because I have seen this with my own eyes. I could even name the people here and you would be shocked, because you would be familiar with the personalities.

I see the same things happen up and down the country. 'Show boating scholarship' by having dars nizami of a person who not qualified to teach. Teachers and madrasas which are hell bent on taking your money and not hell bent of providing value for money. Then weeping before everyone about hiding knowledge when they are actually hiding knowledge! We do not need such fools and they should go back to their homelands. Where they could never teach anywhere except their own homes! 

I would recommend that everyone read the book of knowledge by Imam Al-Ghazali (may Allah show him mercy) and you will see who the true scholars are. Know there are things that you might not understand straight away but it will take time. Do not be fooled by those who have gone abroad for a few years or studied for a short time. Most who study for a short time are not an authority in anything, rarely is this not the case. Most students have a mindset that filters everything they hear except that which fits into their mindset. Consequently, they do not learn correctly and are fatally flawed.

Read the book of knowledge by Imam Al-Ghazali! Even if you have already done so, do it again. Things have not changed much since his times. Everything he wrote about rings true today. True teachers are humble and if they could teach you free, they would. Students need to be ready for intense periods of studies when they are learning. Students need to learn how to be a student. See link to advice for the seekers of knowledge. Read Talim Al-Ta'alam by Imam Zarnuji. Be a true student before dreaming about being a scholar. 

You are responsible for your own knowledge and when doors are open, you should enter. If you do not then you are responsible. We need a serious revival of the religious sciences now more than ever. If we do not have knowledge, we will not survive and its that simple...




Importance of knowledge click here

Advice for the seekers of knowledge click here

1 comment:

  1. As-Salaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullah Shaykh

    Inshaa ALLAH all is well. I enjoy reading the articles that you upload here. may ALLAH reward you.

    have a question that would like clarifying if you don't mind

    Is it permissible to touch and read Islamic texts in english without Wudu? I'm aware that you have to be in wudu when physically touching the Quran al Azeem

    Jazak ALLAH khayr for your time

    Asif

    ReplyDelete