Channel: Fatima Barkatulla
In this talk, Ustadhah Fatima Barkatulla highlights the importance of building Islamic institutions for a stronger future for the Muslim community in general and in Britain in particular.
Cambridge Islamic College – 2016
© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.
shaytani r rajim Bismillahi Rahmani Raheem al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa Salatu was salam, ala Philadelphia, you will mousseline Nabina Muhammad, while early he was a big mine, I've been asked to briefly speak about on the topic of Islamic education, a key to our future success.
And when I was thinking about this topic,
I was thinking about the crisis that's unfolding, that we see unfolding around the Muslim world. And
I believe that one of the legacies of the colonial dismantling of the traditional Islamic institutions across the Muslim world is the crisis that we see.
You know, when Muslim institutions are dismantled,
then we see the general Islamic literacy and tarbiyah of the oma drops. And so non scholars begin to interpret them, or poorly equipped individuals, you know, it's easy for them to lead people astray.
At a time when so much ignorance exists, we usually find two extremes becoming prevalent. And I think we can see this in our times.
And both of these extremes are actually rooted in extreme ignorance. There's the extremism we see in the form of groups who spread corruption and facade, and killing upon the earth. And they justify it with warped and shallow understandings of Revelation. Often, when you look into their backgrounds, you find that their Islamic education is very, is negligible. Or it's very superficial, or emotional driven, or influenced by activists, not scholars.
And there's the other extreme,
the extremism of those who are vocal in calling for a reinterpretation of Islam,
who say Islam needs to be reformed,
who will in order to fit in with the popular narrative of our times, twist and change Islam to accommodate the accepted narrative of the day. So both of these extremes, and I believe that they're rooted in the ignorance of, you know, Obama, of the masses, and the dismantling of traditional Islamic institutions, that were institutions of excellence.
What the traditional institutions did,
was to teach Islam in a structured, holistic fashion. So, you know, we have this idea of
privilege in seeking knowledge. So seeking knowledge in stages in a structured way, not studying about one thing before another, laying the foundations properly. And that's something that the institutions used to do. This allowed great minds to flourish, it gave students the opportunity to accompany great scholars, and to just have the space to think because when students have the space to think, and to express and to explore, this is when genius can and flourish. And this is why those institutions produce the likes of the 13th century scholar, Imam, and Noah, we, we know that your mama know he studied in Damascus, in the Rwanda Institute. And when he was brought back at the age
of 18, by his father, there were over 300 such institutions in Damascus for him to choose from, for Subhanallah, you see that, you know, these Islamic institutions were flourishing. And they were not just the choice of, you know, for poor people. They weren't just for dropouts, you know, they weren't just for people who are not succeeding, or excelling in life or in their studies, but they were actually the institutions of choice.
Also the 18th century scholar sharp when he left dabbling in India, he also studied in his father's institution, which was called the rahimian and then later he became a teacher. And we see that often these great scholars would actually outgrow the very institutions where they studied and go beyond.
Thinking of those institutions and, and flourish.
Also, you know, even in recent times, the likes of
Abu Hassan Ali nadwi Rahim Allah, we see that his intellectual excellence, his eloquence really was rooted in his, you know, the foundational education he got in, in a total dilemma in India.
So, I hope I've kind of built a case, for, you know, the building of Islamic institutions, I feel that the future of Muslims in the UK has got to be in building these strong Islamic educational institutions that just as our parents generation built mosques, you know, that was their kind of lasting legacy, we now have to take the baton from them, you know, and we have to do the next take the next step. And that is to build places where we can train the scholars of the future.
We want knowledgeable, pious leadership, to take the community forward in the tough times that may lie ahead. We want scholars who have wisdom, who understand the context that we live in, and the society that we live in.
And, you know, brother Faisal asked me to just kind of give you a little introduction to my own background in seeking knowledge. So you know, I was a humble I was a straight A student at school. And my teachers were quite disappointed. And I wanted to study Islam.
And I went to a gold school in Barnet, not not too far from here.
And when I decided that I wanted to study Arabic and Islamic Studies, there was really nowhere in the UK that my parents could have, you know, considered. So I had to go abroad, I went to Cairo to study, and it really was not an easy environment for, for a goal to live in.
I don't think it's an easy environment for anyone, actually.
And when I came back, and I couldn't stay there,
in the long term, so after a few years, I came back. When I returned to the UK, I could have studied at a university like, you know, so, so, one of the other Western universities, but I was really looking for a classical Islamic education. Because I felt that, quite frankly, if I was to go to those universities, I would be trained to be an orientalist. You know, I would be trained to see the see the Quran as, as literature.
I would be taught by people who, in many cases, didn't even believe in Islam. So how could they? How can I learn from them? And how could I learn from their spiritual insights? So I was pleased to find institutions like Cambridge Islamic college, here, built based on traditional models. And I think we have the opportunity today to be stakeholders in in the future of this institution.
So inshallah to round up, I'll say that, you know, I think it's I think we've had enough of kind of shallow thinking. We've had enough of the hotheads the sloganeering the pamphleteering. The chanting the empty symbolism.
We don't want internet scholars we don't want, you know, no more Facebook, and Twitter, all of these. We want to build a generation that's imbued with wisdom, that has depth that are bold and confident, who are sincere and pious, who are analytical, who are beacons of light for their community. Now, the Prophet sallallahu Sallam when he described a scholar or the island said, the superior the superiority of the island over the arbit is that of the full moon in comparison to the other stars when the full moon is there. And you know, when the full moon is in the sky, you don't even see the other stars, you don't even notice them. And that is because the RBI, even though he's
worshiping and he's benefiting himself, his benefit is really primarily for himself. And the island is somebody who the whole community can look to the island is the one who protects the who protects Islam in times of difficulty and people are confused. In times like ours, you know, we always look to the scholars to to really
Get guidance as to how we should be thinking how we should be responding.
So these are the sorts of people we want to raise and we want to build in Charlotte in the future.
There are voices in our times, that continue to tell us that in order to change our community or to change the future of Islam, we need to destroy, we need to be disruptive.
And we need to fight we need to clash.
But we know that to truly change the future for the better, we need to build so inshallah I hope that we will together build something lasting, something that really has a lasting effect for generations to come and inshallah with that I will finish subhanak alaikum I will be handig shadow Allah Allah in the interest of firaga