Monday, February 26, 2007

The Danger of "Know"

Last night I had my first ING presentation, to the youth group at a local church. I really enjoyed it--it was mostly youth with a few adults and I think alhamdulillah everyone was able to benefit. There were many good questions throughout the presentation and I got to talk to a few people afterwards. Hearing later that I had been impressive with my amount of "knowledge" inspired me to reflect on what knowledge is. I still try to learn more about Islam (although it must be said, cursory readings and short articles no longer quench my thirst--I need deeper, more substantial fare.) And it occurs to me that the more I attempt to learn about Islam the less I think I know. Am I forgetting? No, not really, but I am becoming less confident with what I "know."

A year ago I might have known the "correct" way to do something, or particular rulings, because they were what I had been told. Since then, I don't know the correct way anymore--I know a few different ways which could possibly be correct--and according to different people it might be one or the other. So now not only the rulings but the reasons behind them and practical applications also become important and the more fearful I become of telling anyone what is right or wrong. What if I am wrong??

The more speaking/presenting I do the more I feel like I want to be a teacher. I just enjoy it. And the more I study Islam, the more I want to do that, the more I want to know about this beautiful faith. And not just know, but apply to myself, to become a better person. A few months ago when I thought I wanted to study Islam I was afraid I had the wrong intention--that I wanted to do it to impress people and that thought scared me--to do it for the wrong intention. But last night showed me, for one thing, how important it is to explain Islam to non-Muslims, and more interactions with Muslims lately have shown me the value in educating Muslims who are falling into tremendous ignorance as regarding their faith.

My hope then, I suppose, is that I do not become afraid of knowledge as I acquire it, or that I retreat by having found something unpleasant. And also that everything I learn can benefit me or someone else, and that it may be used for that end, and never for harm.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

assalamu alaikum sis,

very beautiful article mashaAllah...

it's true sis...the more we know , the more we realize how little we know..

but i's dangerous to teach if we are not sure, yet when we are sure we have to make da'wa no matter how little the "authentic" knowledge we have.

sis the way to make sure we are on the right path, and that our knowledge is authentic is to follow the advice of Muhammad(saws) in the authentic hadith : "You must follow my Sunna and the Sunna of the rightly-guided, upright successors after me."

so sister any scholar must provide evidence from the way of sahaba and their understanding of islam and only then we consider his opinion as based on authentic knowledge. that's the criterion.

very famous examples of such scholars are: sheikh al islam Ibn Taymeyyah and his student Ibn al Qayyem and all those who followed their same way which is following the undertsnding of sahaba.

"I have left you upon clear proof , its night is like its day, no one deviates from it except one who is destroyed, and whoever lives long from amongst you will see great controversy. So stick to what you know from my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly-guided caliphs - cling to that with your molar teeth"[Ahmad (4/126), Ibn Maajah (no. 43), al-Haakim (1/96) and others - Hasan

may Allah guide us all and keep our faith true and firm.

wassalamu alaikum