Prioritising Knowledge And Giving Back
Channel: Abdul Nasir Jangda
File Size: 11.18MB
Salam Alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh
just wanted to stop by I understand that you have a normal weekly session you have here secret station. But
regardless, it was my intention to visit Ibrahim college and visit here, Mashallah get to meet some of the teachers and scholars who that are involved here and also get to visit some of the students here hamdulillah.
I just wanted to say just a few brief words about seeking knowledge. And that might seem very cliche or played out or something that's pretty standard. But nevertheless, just I wanted to share a few things that I go out of my way to emphasize over and over again, time and time again, to our students that we have there in the states as well. And this was something that was imparted to us from our teachers, as well. And that is it's very important to understand. You know, we live in very interesting times, I oftentimes tell students and whenever you're involved in a more serious
environment of seeking knowledge, it always seems like we're so far behind, there's so much more to learn, there's so much more knowledge that we need to continue to seek. But there's something that I feel young people need to understand. We are in the midst of a revival, we are very much in the midst of revival that might seem like we're giving ourselves a lot of credit, a lot of props. But that's something we need to understand very clearly. And if there's any doubt about that, sit down with your parents sit with your grandparents, and ask them, talk to them, interact with them and see what the level of knowledge was at the time that they were growing up. Now, I'm not just talking
about here, us in the UK, or the Western world. Of course, you know, Islam is rapidly growing in increasing a place like Ibrahim college, you can't even fathom something like this 30 years ago in the UK. But at this I'm not just talking about here I'm talking about even in the Muslim world, the countries where our parents or grandparents came from, even over there. Our I think a lot of times people fail to understand that our grandparents generation, or our grandpa great grandparents generation, many of them did not even know how to read the Arabic script. They couldn't even read the Quran by looking at it.
And so we have to understand that we are very much in the midst of a revival. Knowledge is increasingly whether you want to attribute it to the internet, or to just a growing desire, or zeal for knowledge, a greater understanding of the importance of sacred knowledge that is present in the world today. All of these factors work together. But nevertheless, the end consequence or the result is we are in the midst of a revival, the beginning stages of a revival. Knowledge is being sought Arabic is being learned the Quran is being memorized on every corner of every street. It is rapidly growing and increasing.
But that comes with a certain amount of responsibility. Because what ends up happening is when you're in the moment, when you're in that moment, right then and there, where it's just just this huge boost
and burst of energy in terms of the value and the demand for sacred knowledge. When you're in that moment, you can lose sight of the bigger picture. And you can get caught up in the moment, which is good to a certain extent. But we have to understand that there's a lot at stake.
And a lot will be built upon what we are able to achieve or produce and that future generations will be directly dependent upon us.
And so in this pursuit of knowledge, as I like to call it,
we have to keep a few things in mind. Number one, we have to constantly remind ourselves, we can't the very first lesson I have to I have to emphasize here is quality over quantity. It is not how much you know, but how well you know it.
Quality over quantity, across the board in all areas. From all aspects quality over quantity. We have to remember this, we have to remind ourselves of this. And again with the easy access to information and knowledge in terms of technology. That's a very hard lesson to remember. It's very, very difficult to remember. So quality over quantity.
The second thing is we need to have prioritization in terms of knowledge.
We have to prioritize what we are seeking first and making sure that we get quality in terms of where we go deep. We
Gain depth in what is most important, what is most important, I'm going to say this categorically. And if somebody disagrees, then they disagree and I will apologize to them and take them out to dinner, and buy them a coffee to make them feel better. But I won't apologize for my stance.
prioritization, the priority in terms of seeking knowledge is two things. The Book of Allah Quran, and the life of the prophet SAW some serum.
That's it. And I will not negotiate this with anyone.
Because we've seen we've seen cycles in the Muslim community, I myself, have come from Muslim communities, where when this was not the, this was not what was most important, this was not the foundation, people lost sight of the objective. People got caught in all types of a mess. So Quran the book of Allah if you do not have a relationship with the Quran, a well rounded, healthy relationship with the Quran, which begins with knowing how to recite it properly, whether you call that you know, guide our text read or my cottage or paid off, just knowing how to recite the Quran properly, continuing to focus on memorization of the Quran, growing day by day in terms of your
memorization with the Quran, but then it goes further to understanding the message of the Quran.
And yes, that begins by reading translation.
We also need to kind of not be so paranoid and be afraid of our own shadows to the point that if somebody reads a translation of the Quran, then they're going to start doing Tafseer of the Quran. That's wildly incorrect.
We come from America, I'm not sure what the Dow was in years like, but I'm coming from America. Over there, you find you will meet 1000s of converts 1000s of converts. And when you ask them the number one reason why the majority of them accepted Islam was not because they met some awesomely fantastic Muslim, that just convinced them of the awesomeness of Islam. It's because they read a translation of the Quran.
So beginning by understanding the basic message of the Quran, that can be through reading translation, that can be sitting into doodles of shoe listening, sitting in the classes of teachers who teach the Tafseer of the Koran. And number three, that understanding the message of the Quran by learning the language of the Quran, the Arabic language and that's another thing we need to have focus in terms of when we learn the Arabic language. There our number one priority and objective must be understanding and interacting with the book of Allah.
If you learn how to order a shawarma and hail a cab, congratulations. But that's all I have to say to you. But if you can't interact with the book of Allah, then you failed. So we have to understand that's the objective. So number one is build a solid, well rounded relationship with the book of Allah with the Quran. And secondly, I did not say Hadith. I said Sierra
classical scholars, the earliest generations of Maha detune would not teach you Hadith until you knew the sila. And actually there was no question about knowing this era because the Sahaba to get on Radhika Allahu taala, on whom they actually say we used to teach our children Sita like we would teach them sutras of the Quran. That means my five year old daughter, when I start reading pseudos with her and start making her memorize who does from that age, I should also start teaching her about the life of Rasulullah he sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.
So Quran and Syrah that's the priority, that's the objective and I'll tell you something else. See, that's where our principle our principles, our ethics and our morality, that's where it comes from. It comes from the Quran, and from the life of Rasulullah sallallahu sallam, that when you study athlete or you study, Hadith, or you study fish, or food or whatever it is that you study,
what will keep you grounded? What will not let you forget what is important at the end of the day is the Quran in the life of the prophets allottee center.
So it's very important to remember these. So a couple of things number one was I said in terms of quality over quantity, number two is prioritization. And number three, the outcome.
And again, this can be said clearly enough, the outcome, the outcome, the end product of seeking knowledge,
is a person's conduct and character how a person lives their life. That is it.
It is not just simply knowing a lot, because I don't think it needs to be said here. I think it's fairly obvious. That doesn't mean anything.
We all know that means nothing. Secondly, it's not even in terms of eloquence or speech.
And that's a huge fitna today with YouTube.
YouTube is a huge fitness in terms of that. And I know I'm on YouTube, so I understand. I'm not some extremist. That is saying YouTube is haram. But what I am saying is YouTube can be very problematic for a particular
because what ends
happening is you look at YouTube, and it's all about catchphrases and viral videos and how many views. And so it seems like the end product, or the goal of the objective of seeking knowledge is to, is to just be eloquent and to get a lot of views and to cause, you know, huge ripples and waves across the Muslim community through a viral video. And that's problematic. You know, a lot of times what we find is, when we have students who sit down and learn with us, like in our more long term programs,
I almost have to kind of catch the students, I wait for about a week to go by. And you know, I see them furiously taking notes.
And then I try to remind them of something I say that if you're, if you're writing down whatever sounds like something good to say, during a speech, or that's an awesome line to drop during a football scene, you got a problem.
So the you have to understand that the end product of knowledge is who you become, how you live your life. I have a question I always ask to level
the famous in the Quran, or obesity near Alma, can you please translate that for me?
But does it translate that? Go ahead? Don't be shy.
Okay, there we go back and look at and at least try. What would you say again? Say it again, please.
Very good, closer. Very good. I like that. All right. Usually people say oh, well, I increase my knowledge. Which is wrong, because that's not what it means. That would be Robbie is either a me or ally increase my knowledge. As somebody says, This isn't Rob busy, they need to increase me Edelman through knowledge in knowledge by means of knowledge in terms of knowledge, but increase me it's very precise, ie the Quranic language is not Potato, potato, tomato, tomato.
Right, it's it's not one or the other.
If it was a light increase, my knowledge would have been rubbish, Robbie's It is me. But that's not what it said, Allah made the object for all of Zid what not an alien, but me the person, the person making the particular rubies in any ailment.
Because if knowledge doesn't make me a better person, I failed.
It's all about who I become how I become.
And you know, it's very important a responsibility of authority, but as a progress, and I guess you can say this is the fourth point, but it ties up to the third point, we also as a community, it will be very important for us to also not get sucked into the culture of where we just endlessly, you know, we will always be too lovely. And we always seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave, everyone knows that. But at the same time, we also have to understand where we don't become selfish, or we don't become self centered. How can we be self centered? Initially, students need to focus on learning. But there there will come times, there will come moments where you'll be called upon, or
an opportunity will present itself to do something good for your community,
to do something worthwhile, good for your community, it might even be in your own home, your own younger brother, or sister or a niece or nephew, the kids that live in your apartment building.
The kids that live on your street, the young girls in your neighborhood, their opportunities will present themselves, there will be a need in your community. And it'll be very visible to you. And it'll be very apparent, and maybe even somebody will nudge you and say,
What are you gonna do about this.
And it's very important to realize that opportunity in that moment, to give something back.
And that's where the Baraka and the blessing in one's knowledge comes from, is when you do give back
when you do give back, but guess what, the quality of what you give back will be dependent upon how much you benefited from your knowledge to begin with. Because people won't be impressed by the fact that you have the ability to talk on a hadith for 45 minutes, people won't be impressed by the fact that you can quote, you know, 18 different scholars on this one particular issue, but people will be affected by people will be affected by the way you interact with them the way you deal with them the way you talk with them.
You know, a lot of times when you have the opportunity to sit here and study from Alabama to study from scholars who have you know, some seniority, who have some miles on them.
They've been working for a while. They've been teaching and working in the community for 15 years, 20 years. A lot of times we don't recognize that we don't realize that, like my own students who sometimes interact with me, just because of my own personality. I
You know, I, I was born and raised in the same area that I still live in till today. So they don't sometimes realize that, you know, we've been working and teaching in the community for almost 15 years now. So a lot of times when you interact with them, and you have so much respect for them.
And you know, you come and put the water on the table, and you sit down from before, and you're nice, and you're quiet, and you're taking notes, and everything's organized, you're holding the door open for them, you're making sure everything was taken care of from before. And all of a sudden, when you decide to start working with some of the youth in your area, you know, you're expecting for this whole tolerable end setup, or no, oh, no, you have to clean up, you have to show up from before you have to set up and you have to clean up after these kids.
That's what you have to do.
I still distinctly remember the times when I had to, you know, when I started getting working on to youth in my community in my area in my neighborhood. And I would actually have them over at my house. Because even the masjid in our area did not want us to be there. I think y'all know pretty well about that stuff. But I'm not gonna talk about that today. So the armature didn't even want us here. So I used to host them over have them over at my home at my house.
Some of these young men didn't even know how to use the restroom properly. And my family lived in that home. So when they would leave, when I would go to drop them off, I would actually have to go and clean up the restroom. Because they had actually soiled like, you know, there was then use the restroom properly is all I'll say.
So that's that's work in the community. So you have to remember to give back has to remember to do what you got to do. But what I was saying was, what will actually have an impact on people is how much you benefited from your knowledge and how much you benefit from benefited from your knowledge will be will be manifest in your conduct and in the way you treat people. The way you deal with people. You know, there are again, I don't know what the culture here is like but in America, because again, we're in the midst of that revival seeking knowledge is starting to catch on and knowledge is starting to spread. We have increasingly we have this dilemma in the community, where
there'll be a young brother, a young sister, who is excited about seeking knowledge, they start coming to the classes, to the courses to the seminars to all these programs. But their family is not on the same wavelength wavelength as them know what I'm talking about. You know, I'm talking about, they're the extremists in their family. Now you know what I'm talking about? Right? So we have that dynamic, increasingly that the situation is, is you find it more and more in our communities.
And a lot of times you'll asked like, how do I you know, how do I share this with my family? How do I give Dawa to my family? Like the families a project? You know, we're going to make a website or we're going to print some pamphlets and must stand up in the home Alhamdulillah Muhammadu? who wanna sir You know, who want to start feeling Who? And then I'm going to slap you, right? Because that's preposterous. I tell them, you know, what's gonna, what's gonna affect your family, show them that what you have is, hey, it's good, it's beneficial, remove their apprehension, take away their fears, is that when you go home, without your mother having to ask you, you're washing dishes.
You're vacuuming, sweeping the living room.
You know, you're washing your own clothes.
You're folding and putting up your clothes.
You don't think your mom's gonna notice that? Of course, you didn't notice that she never picked up his clothes in his entire life. What's wrong with him? Without having being asked? He's doing this
and then he then just keep it and then you don't again, you don't have to. You don't have to capitalize. It doesn't have to be another PR stunt that as soon as she's looking at you, and she's like, oh, Mashallah, thank you for watching the digit. Al hamdu, Lillahi mahamadou. When asked to calm down, take it easy. Keep it going. One week, two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, six months will go by six months will go by and your family will see that this is a better human being a better person. The kids in your neighborhood will realize he's a lot nicer. He doesn't punch us anymore. You know, he doesn't yell at us anymore.
Everything and then eventually that connection will be made. Well this has to do with that.
And that's how you do your job. These are just a few points and again, maybe what I'm saying you already know.
And I don't doubt that Mashallah.
But these are things that we definitely are concerned about in our communities. And I thought I'd share that here with everyone here today. May Allah subhanho wa Taala accept from all of us. May Allah subhanho wa Taala give us the ability to seek knowledge that is beneficial
and make our knowledge beneficial to us and make us a source.
benefit to our communities?
You know? So the sisters question is that those who are studying like a little bit more intensively? Would it be recommended for them to start doing community work while they're studying or first focus on their studies, and try to finish and then go over to community work. There's no one, you know, standard answer in that situation.
That's why it's so important to have a good relationship with your teachers and your mentors. And really consult with them about you personally.
You know, I can tell you, in my own personal circumstances, even when I was studying overseas, I was traveling from the United States and setting in Pakistan. And I would visit back during the month of Ramadan. And in fact, even when I wanted to maybe stay back or just go for Ramadan during Ramadan, and I didn't necessarily want to go back to the States. Go back to Texas to Dallas, where I was from.
A lot of my senior teachers and she, you were like, no, go back. Even if it's for six weeks, seven weeks, whatever the break time is, you go back, and don't just go back and sleep a lot. But they said, go back and do work in your community, be leading to that are we giving give doodles every night in the month of Ramadan, give, if you're home for six jumar and six, Fridays, give hotbar six times six Fridays, give 600 buzz,
do some youth work, do a couple of youth teams do a couple of youth sleepovers in the masjid, like just do work do activities, because maybe it was myself or they knew where I was coming from or my circumstances. But they felt that it was important for me to get that work in even while I was studying. And I definitely saw the benefit of that when I graduated, I came back to my community, I felt like I hit the ground running, I still had a lot to learn, a lot to learn. But I still felt like I hit the ground running just because I had that yearly internship, if you will, for six weeks for seven weeks, I was on the ground working.
So it really just depends on your circumstances. But that's a question for your teachers to really answer. But I will also tell you this as a teacher now. And as a mentor to young to lobular and many young workers in the community, I'll tell you very honestly, it also depends on the student, the advice we give is based on the student. So when I see a student that has a concern, and is bothered by what the circumstances or the situation the problems in their community are, and they actually come with that with that, you know, that concern for their communities and passion for wanting to help their communities, those of the students that are more likely to say, yeah, you need to start
getting involved. And if I do feel that there's studies are sacrificing at a level to where it'll be detrimental for them in the long term. Then I will rein them back in and I will say whoa, slow your roll. You need to slow down now.
You know, so it just really depends on the student actually but understand that the advice given to the student is based on the student as well. So does not rely on for coming and being patient and listening. I definitely appreciate your time and your attentiveness and your courtesy and respect me Alice Connaughton accept from all of us, so Pamela he will become the Hispanic Columbia