Finally I’m off from the peaceful hangover. The three days of the event was wonderful and now it’s back to reality. The reality of whether the stuff that our minds absorbed during the last week can be put into practice? I point at myself when I am saying this and I hope it inspires others to do the same Insha Allah.
Be not the scholar, be yourself!
Each of the speakers who attended the event had earned a reputation of their own. Zakir Naik continues to be an acute student of comparative religion; Yusuf Estes is undoubtedly the Muslim who presents Islam as a better alternative with due empathy towards the Non-Muslim and Yasir Qadhi the expert on Seerah.
The only common element that bonds them together is the craving to continue the learning process inspite of being an icon of respect in the eyes of the common man. Each of these wonderful people may have been inspired by someone or something at some point in their lives. The reason they built up an identity unique to themselves was because their hard work was invested NOT towards being that someone, rather they channeled that inspiration towards worshipping Allah and molding their own lives according to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) – the best human example a mortal could follow.
Get out of your comfort zone!
In the time of prophet (PBUH) the companions used to study the Quran in parts. They used to memorize up to approximately 10 verses at a time while additionally learning its thafseer (interpretation) and Sabab un Nudhool (purpose of revelation). Each of these three elements was mastered and the lessons learnt were enacted in their daily lives before they began study of the next 10 verses.
It is not a complacent attitude that transforms a common man into a scholar. We each should strive on our own to extract the guidance of the Quran flavoured with the examples set forth in the Hadith to ensure a reputable place in the next world.
I wish to dwell upon a wise thought that Bro Abdur-Rahim Green shared with us during his lecture on the stages of scholarship.
A human being falls into one of the following categories.
The Ignorant: One who knows nothing on a particular subject and feels the urge to brush up his knowledge on that particular subject.
The Half Baked: The one who knows a little on the subject and assumes he knows everything on that subject.
The Realist: The one who knows a lot on the subject but feels that he does not know nearly everything covered in that subject of study.
The Scholar: One who has covered innumerable grounds in the particular subject and realizes that he actually knows nothing on that subject; thus he begins the act of refining what he has learnt.
Where do WE fit in?
Hear the scholar but be not his following.
This is a highly dangerous phenomenon that has plagued the Muslim Ummah. The Muslims have adapted the attitude of clinging on to the opinions of the scholar in place of finding out the actual teaching written down in the Quran & Sunnah. Scholars are only human and humans are prone to error. It is prudent to research upon the teachings of the scholar and check its compatibility with Quran and Sunnah before giving it the green light.
Abu Hurayrah – radiallaahu ’anhu – said that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam said: “The Jews split-up into seventy-one or seventy-two sects. The Christians split-up into seventy-one or seventy-two sects. And my Ummah will split up into seventy-three sects.”
The society is degenerating and we are decomposing with it by inducing Un-Islamic attitudes into our lives. I recall an Eid prayer about three years back. Two different Muslim organizations had booked the same open ground and the congregation was in two distinctly different ends of the turf. Each group began throwing subtle punches at the others ideology within the sermon itself.
Where does the present Muslim fit in with his allegiance towards so called Islamic Movements when in principle they sometimes differ from the actual ethos of Islam? It is good to be with a band of brothers and sisters who sincerely work towards the cause of Islam and I have nothing against it. The movements we make up should be merely a second identity and should not override the supreme identity of being Muslim.
And hold fast, all together by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah’s favour on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth Allah make his signs clear to you: that ye may be guided.