Half of Knowledge...

BismiLlahir Rahmanir Raheem

Western society, as a whole, seems to belittle and even mock one of the greatest institutions of human existence - the family. We really don't seem to have a holistic concept of its value and thus we neglect its preservation in pursuit of societal ideals. Ironically though, the West values education even though the educational system itself is in serious disarray. I am a product of the dumb-downed educational system. Perhaps if I had remained in the corrupt country from which I emigrated, I may very well have had a chance to develop sharper thinking processes that I could utilize now in adulthood, wa Allahu 'alim. But such is the past, what of the future?

Why is the family so important? I'll leave you to explore this question by yourselves. Instead, I'd like to bring attention to an area that draws parallels to this question, and it too is equally neglected leaving us, the Muslim community, in confusion. I'm referring to our essential Islamic education.

SubhanAllah... I'm not sure where to begin. I often wish I had a road map so I would know what it is that I need to know to be able to live in this world as one who utilizes her existence to the fullest. I'm eternally grateful for all that my parents have taught me. I often try not to take their lessons for granted. I can recall many occasions when I couldn't access their advice only to ask myself, "What would Mom and Popz tell me to do?" It has actually been quite efficient in helping me choose my next steps carefully. But my parents (may Allah reward them, elevate them, and grant them khayr fid dunya wal aakhira, ameen) have been limited in delivering the wealth of Islamic knowledge that is out there. I don't at all hold this against them because such knowledge has to come from those who have sat at the feet of teachers who continue the chain of sound knowledge from the time of the our beloved Prophet and Messenger Muhammad (salla Allahu 'alayhi wa salam).

We live in times when the ignorance of Islamic scholarship is the rule rather than the exception. As a community, we get into petty arguments (or heated discussions) when none of us have any substantial knowledge about the matter being discussed. I think it's time for us (starting with myself) to keep my mouth shut about matters that must only be discussed by those who know.

I recently had the opportunity, alhamduliLlah, to participate in a program (called Qurba) with the Razi Institute. Masha'Allah 'alayhim. The shuyukh just make me smile. May Allah preserve them and allow us to benefit from the knowledge which He has bestowed on them, ameen. In a five-day program located on a beautiful college campus, we were introduced to the basic structural premises of the major Islamic sciences. We had the opportunity to witness how these sciences interact, and it truly is no simple thing. It is complete ignorance for any of us to believe that our deen can be understood and implemented by simple consultation of the Quran and sunnah while neglecting the Islamic scholarship that flourished after the death of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. It's an absurdity that I can no longer exert the energy needed to make any sense of it.

I left those classes feeling that my brain was fried. I struggled to get a grasp of the larger picture knowing that I have many holes in the foundation of my basic Islamic education. SubhanAllah... how little we know, oh how little we know. It is no exaggeration to say that those of us who read Islamic books and attend Islamic conferences and listen/watch Islamic lectures at home have been exposed to but a grain of sand in the depths of an ocean of knowledge.

In God's great generosity, He has allowed me to be settled close to a community that is glowing with Islamic scholarship, those who are striving to equip us with Islamic principles that will facilitate us in our lives as we strive to come closer to our Lord through sound Islamic teachings and practice. I just hope that He will honour me and my loved ones to be among those who can benefit from the presence of these gems, insha'Allah wa ameen.


"نصف العلم في كلمتين ـ لا ادري"

2 comments:

UmmUmarNY said...

MashaAllah Farzeen, WELL SAID!!!! I just came out from reading this 'other blog' and the discussions and arguments were so heated up... reading your was a breath of fresh air and explained everything I wish I could have these other people read and understand!!!

Farzeen said...

Assalaamu'alaykum Umm Umar :)

Despite my inability to digest everything that was presented to me during the Qurba program, it was a breath of fresh air for me, and something that I seriously needed. Being exposed to people who speak with knowledge is...simply tranquil to say the least, alhamduliLlah.

"Do you think that you will enter the Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity and were so shaken in spirit that even the Apostle and those of faith who were with him cried: 'When (will come) the help of God?' Ah! Verily the help of God is (always) near!" [2:214]

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"Be mindful of God, and God will protect you. Be mindful of God, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of God. If you seek help, seek help of God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that God had already prescribed for you. And if the whole world were to gather together to harm you, it would harm you only with something that God has already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the ink has dried."
--Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]