Code of Conduct #3 Knowledge
Channel: Ismail Kamdar
Series: Ismail Kamdar - Code of Conduct
File Size: 32.44MB
Salam Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh Alhamdulillah wa Salatu was Salam ala Rasulillah. So welcome back to Lesson three where we will look at the second of our 12 principles which is L knowledge. You cannot do Dawa without knowledge. You think this is obvious, right? You think is obvious. You cannot do Dawa without knowledge. But we live in a time where every buddy has their own YouTube channel, their own blog, and people are out there talking absolute nonsense from a position of ignorance.
And this is very dangerous. It is extremely dangerous to be doing Dawa without knowledge. I'm not saying you have to be share holy Islam, I'm not saying you have to be the most knowledgeable scholar in the world. I'm simply saying, study, learn the religion, know what you're talking about.
It doesn't take that long, to gain a minimum level of knowledge that is needed to do Dawa. Right.
And the main lesson that I want people to learn from this chapter, from this video, is that if you are engaged in Dawa, you should be a student of knowledge for life. You should be studying Islam, and you should be dedicated to studying Islam for life. It shouldn't be a one off thing, it shouldn't be, Oh, I did a one year course in Islamic Studies, or Yeah, I did a couple of short online courses, I read a few books. Now it's not like that. Maybe at the beginning, you start like that. But you have to dedicate yourself to life long learning,
this is necessary. Without this, you are not going to be an effective die.
In fact, if you remain ignorant, and even worse, if you are ignorant of your own ignorance, meaning you think you know, but you don't know, you are not intelligent enough to know that you don't know. And you think you know, you know things, you can cause great harm and damage to the data. Because people who don't know what they're talking about, they will miss represent a religion, they will miss interpret the religion, they will lead people astray, they will push people away. And we see this almost every day online.
Almost every day online, some young kid who has just read one or two books about Islam would start their own channel or their own blog, or go on social media and start talking like Dr. Shefali Islam. Right, like they have the knowledge of all knowledge, like their opinion is final. Whatever they read in that one book is called a it is definite of knowledge. There's no way somebody else is writing and that book is wrong. And they will be harsh, and they will be fierce and you'll be overzealous about this little bit of knowledge that they have.
And in the process, they do great harm to the Dawa.
And so, if you are going to be doing Dawa, you must do it from a position of L of knowledge. And this means a couple of things. Number one, you should have a minimum level of knowledge. Before you get involved in Dawa work, you should at least have some knowledge of the fundamentals before you get involved in Dawa work. Number two, you should have a systematic way to study Islam over your entire lifetime.
And number three, it means that when you talk, you only talk from a position of knowledge and you are humble enough that if you are asked a question, and you don't know the answer, you simply reply. I do not know.
Many people can't do this right. Many years ago, one of my friends joined the Dawa organization very prestigious our organization. And he came to me for advice. He was looking perplexed. I've seen what happened. He said the Duat at that organization told him that you should never say I don't know.
Always have an answer.
He says What am I genuinely don't know. He said make something up.
Muslims must look intelligent. We must look like we don't know.
I told him this is terrible advice. You make something up you literally changing Allah's religion. That's terrible advice. What kind of a die II tells us to do art to speak without knowledge.
And without the organization didn't last very long. Maybe that's a good thing, if that was the approach.
But just think about this do art giving such terrible advice.
To speak always, even if you don't know. While this contradicts the actual teachings of Islam, the great scholar and shall be Rahim Allah said, the statement I do not know, is one half of knowledge. Half of knowledge is saying, I don't know.
Maybe we have many stories of this in the past of a man traveling all the way from North Africa to Medina to ask Imam Malik questions, and to more than half of the questions you want. Malik just replied, I don't know.
And he said, I traveled all this way. How am I going to tell my people?
And then you know, Malik told him tell you people Mollica to know, tell them I know, right? You don't have to know everything. Right? You need to be humble Muslims, especially most of them involved in the hour, need to be humble. We don't know sometimes.
And it's okay to admit you don't know. Now some people will say but if I'm doing Dawa, to a non Muslim, and he asked me a question, and I say, I don't know, this will look bad. Well, not necessarily. So for example, let's let's do a case study. Just say you're a young person, right is your first year of doing Dawa. So you go out there, you're like all zyliss excited, you start talking to a non Muslim about Islam. And he brings up an issue you haven't studied? Any, for example, maybe he'll tell you,
Islam allows child marriages? What do you have to say about that?
And you've never researched the issue.
Now, a lot of people today, under pressure, feeling like they always need to have something to say, they will just make something up, they will just make something up. And I can guarantee on this topic, because this topic is so nuanced. And so
it requires a lot of knowledge to understand the Islamic position, why it is the way it is? And what are the actual details of it.
So people, if they're going to talk on this without knowledge, they are going to say things that are wrong, no matter what their answer is most likely going to be wrong.
Likewise, they may tell you like, Islam has a concept of offensive jihad. Right? And then you will get those guys who say no, no, Islam is peace. We only defend ourselves. Well, guess what? You changing the religion. Yeah, right. And some people genuinely don't know about the concept of
jihad of expansion, which is a part of our religion, it's something that, again, there's actually very logical explanations for why these things are part of our religion. But many people just don't know. They simply do not have the knowledge to answer the question properly. So whatever you say, is going to be wrong. And you're going to give that person misinformation. So the right thing to do is if someone raises question, what you should look at them and say,
I don't know about that. I haven't studied that. Let me researching it back to you.
You see, this is a very honest and humble way of doing things. And this is the way of Islam. This is the Islamic way. You don't have to win every argument. You don't have to appear to be super knowledgeable all the time. It is fine, even when dealing with non Muslims to say, I haven't researched this, I haven't studied this. Let me do my research. I'll get back to you with an answer. It's fine to say that right? And honestly, if they are sincere, they will appreciate you for that. And if they are not sincere, who cares what they think of you. So this is very important that we do not speak without knowledge. You know, ALLAH SubhanA. Allah says in the Quran, he mixes he has the
list in the Quran of things that are haram, which include fascia, and sin. And in the end of that list, and that you say about Allah, that which you do not know, speaking about Allah's religion without knowledge is a major sin.
Right, in other words, Allah says, do not occupy yourself with that which you have no knowledge of, and the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, Whoever speaks about the Quran without knowledge, let him take his seat in the hellfire. And even in the verse of Dawa. What did Allah subhanaw taala tell us? Who has he sabini Oh Ilahi Oliver zero. See, this is my way. I invite you Allah would clear knowledge. I invite to Allah Allah Akbar sera would clear knowledge. So Allah subhanaw taala. Even in the Quran, when he talks about Dawa, he talks about knowledge. He says you should call to Islam with clear knowledge. Meaning if you are not clear about a topic, say I do not know. And then go and
do your research. Don't just sit there and don't know for life. Go and do your research. I can guarantee you whatever the question is, there's an answer out there for it. This is Allah's religion, and Allah's religion is the true religion. And the true religion is always proofs. There's always evidence is always an argument that you can find
To explain why it is the way it is, but you have to do the research. And that means you have to seek knowledge. And you should never in your life will reach a point where you think I know it all. I've done enough, I've studied enough, I know enough, I'm just going to do that.
A Muslim should never reach a point in their life where they think that they are done. They don't need to study any further. Now, if you are doing Dawa, you should be a student of knowledge for life. Because really, there is so much of Eylem and knowledge out there. It's never ending. It is literally never ending. You can read Islamic books for the rest of your life. And they'll always be something new for you to learn. That is the depth of our religion, which is part of the miracle of Islam. Part of the miracle of Islam is how deep it is that this knowledge is never ending.
The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said that seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim. So if seeking knowledge and this Hadees in general means seeking knowledge that you need to practice Islam, if that is an obligation upon every Muslim, then if you are involved in Dawa in seeking knowledge that facilitates your Dawa is also an obligation upon you. And the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, the believer is never satisfied with learning that which is beneficial until he arrives in paradise, meaning the believer is always seeking beneficial knowledge the entire life. A Muslim is a student for life, always seeking more and more beneficial knowledge.
That journey only ends when we get to Paradise.
And Imam Malik Rahim Allah said, It is not befitting for anyone with knowledge to give up studying Imam Malik centers, it is not befitting for anyone with knowledge to give up study. Meaning when you choose to study Islam and to teach Islam and preach Islam, you are making a commitment to be a student for life.
And in my own lifetime, I noticed the difference between those who have committed to being a student for life and those who just do the bare minimum and then stop.
And at a very young age, I remember my teachers telling me that what we are teaching you is the bare minimum, you need to keep studying for the rest of your life. But unfortunately, most of the people who I know who started studying Islam, at some point, usually after graduation, they close their books, and they never study again.
And within a decade or two, they become irrelevant to the society because they haven't been sharpening their mind they haven't been improving their skills, improving the knowledge just stayed at one level for life. And
that's not a good thing. Especially if you're doing Dawa. Especially if you are involved in Islamic work, you have to keep sharpening your mind by by learning more and more and more.
So at the very minimum,
I would advise people who are doing Dawa,
to at least begin with some kinds of one year foundations of Islamic Studies type of course, just learn the basics. And the Dawa training course, right? Do the foundations of Islamic Studies and the Dawa training course, whoever you do, it would that's up to you. There are many of these courses available online and in many communities around the world. But let's start with that.
If you are serious about growing your knowledge to a scholarly level, then commit to at least four years of formal Islamic Studies, at least a bachelor's of Islamic studies. But don't stop there. Don't stop there.
You should do at least if you really want to be scholarly, try to get in at least 10 years of formal study
and then remain a student on the side for life.
Now again, in my case, I'm trying my best to do this as well. And none of us are COVID. But I do try to do this. I started studying Islam when I was 13. And I did seven year Alimi a program. Then I studied with a Western University for a while. And then I studied in a Islamic University for four years. So seven, what 12 years, right a formal study. But besides that, I have made sure that every year I'm studying online courses, I'm still studying with local Shijo I'm reading books, I'm listening to podcasts, I'm doing whatever I can to learn more to one of the habits that I've developed and that I try to encourage all of my students to develop as well is the habit of reading
a lot of books. See I discovered about a decade ago
If you can read like 50 books a year,
that is the equivalent of researching for a full PhD every year.
So, I have committed to reading 60 books a year. And I've been doing that for many years now Hamdulillah. And
I found this to be very beneficial, because it forces me to read every single day, it forces me to look for new books end up discovering some amazing gems that other people aren't reading, which are full of beneficial knowledge. It makes sure I'm always increasing my knowledge every single year. And not just this, but reading itself. I have noticed when I've studied the biographies of successful people in success, I mean, both Dean orbignya type of success. One quality they all have in common is that they read a lot. They read a lot.
You know, if you look back at the biography of AF mudita, to him of Allah. He didn't even finish high school. He had no university qualifications. But he had one habit that changed his life. He loved to read.
And he used to work in a supermarket. And he discovered in the owners.
I think it was in the basement or something. Some Islamic books on comparative religion show when the shop was quiet, he would sit and read those books. And that's where he started. That's where his knowledge started from. And he just read and you read and you read, and he grew to the man that he grew into. If you look at Malcolm X, when he was in prison, you know, what's the what's what's the picture you get of him, when you think of Malcolm X in prison, you imagine him sitting in the library and reading because when it was reading books, I mean, the man read the entire dictionary, right? It's reading books that not only shaped his knowledge, but even the eloquence with which he
So this is something that that again, our times, a lot of people don't read.
And, you know, on that point, you know, I love to write books. That's my, my passion. And a lot of times when I write books, people tell me things like, Well, what people don't read anymore who you're writing for? Well, firstly, I don't really believe that people don't read anymore. Because almost every day somebody messaged me to say they read one of my books, and they benefited from it. Number two, I want to change this culture. I believe if we produce books worth reading, more people will start reading. But number three, to an extent they are right now people used to told me that if you focus on online courses and videos instead of books, more people would benefit from you.
And I realized this, like, if I have a book on a topic, and I have an online course on the same topic, more people end up doing the online course. Right? Because nowadays, we tend to learn more from listening to somebody speak than reading a book. And that's why I decided to package these together to have the videos and the book. So even people who don't usually read the book, maybe they read it if this video is attached to it. But really this needs to change. If we want to be a great OMA once again, we have to revive the culture of reading. This is why I read a lot. This is why I write a lot. This is why I speak about reading a lot. This is why I speak about writing a lot. This
is why I speak about books so much. Because books are our legacy. As Muslims books are our legacy. Think about Islam. Think about the history of Islam. You think about you got sahih al Bukhari, we got the, you know, the works of ANOVA we we've got the works that even the Neo Ghazali what are these, these are books, books are our legacy. Our whole religion is built upon books. Allah's final revelation came in the form of a book. The Quran, is a book that contains Kalam, Allah, the words of Allah. This shows how important books and reading are in Islam. So as Muslims, we must have a habit of reading and this is something I'm going to preach and preach and preach. When people listen to me
or not. I really hope that we see a revival of reading and in any beneficial reading culture amongst Muslims in our lifetime, because I really believe this is the one habit that if you can keep this up for life, you will be a student of life. If you can always be reading new books, and deeper books and more complicated books with each passing year, then your knowledge and your thinking skills and your creativity are going to get stronger and stronger with each passing year. And you can reach a level level of knowledge that is on a completely you know that that's like completely beyond your imagination. If you keep up with this habit, so read, read a lot and don't just
Read within your field. You know, I know most of us want to specialize in one field. So maybe it's comparative religion, maybe it's philosophy, maybe it's Dawa techniques, maybe it's dealing with atheists, maybe it's fake, maybe it's someone chooses the field is specialized in it, that's fine, that's good. But read outside of your field as well. Right? This helps you to think more broadly, this helps you to see things from different perspectives. So make sure that you that you read broadly, so like if you reading 50 books a year, and you specialize in comparative religion, maybe read 25, comparative religion books, five zero books, five Hadith books, 5/5 books, five psychology
books, buy business books, something like this, so that you hone in on that field that you're specializing in. But you also diversify your ability to think about other things outside of your field. And to talk about them productively, right. So make sure that you do this. So reading is a very important skill. For every one involved in the dollar, we should read a lot. Other things you could do is attend classes, outside of
your regular classes. So
your regular classes will stop at some point, right? If you're going for, to do a bachelor's in Islamic Studies, or foundations of Islamic Studies program, after a couple of years, it's going to be over. But like if you know of a scholar in your community, who has deep knowledge, try to have access to their scholars regularly. Even if it's a one on one class, even if it's just five people and that teacher once a week. But that regular access to a person of knowledge. That is something that is a goldmine for you, that is something that can really make a huge difference in your life. And if you don't have people like that in your community, at Hamdulillah, we live in the age of the
internet, they are online courses, right they are video series just like this one, but much more intelligent and knowledgeable people than myself, that you can be studying with. Take advantage of that, learn from them, spend time with them.
Try to develop these habits and to stick to these habits for life. Because this is what's going to make you exceptional. This is what's going to take you to the next level. And also this is what's going to protect you from saying the wrong thing.
Be very wary of speaking without knowledge. When you speak without knowledge. You are changing Allah's religion, you are giving people wrong information. Someone may convert to Islam based on wrong information later on, they realize that you told them a lie that you misrepresented the religion and they may end up apostate and because of you.
I believe it is better that people have an honest, clear picture of what Islam is and what Islam teaches.
And that they accept that and they submit to that wholeheartedly, then for them to have a distorted view of Islam based on somebody's half knowledge.
we'll talk about this more when you come to the importance of courage and honesty in the Dawa. But let's just talk a little bit about it. Now a lot of people when they do Dawa, they, even when it comes to the controversial topics, they try to make Islam fit into the Western worldview. Right? So they try to make Islam seem like its feminists or its liberal or its,
you know, its humanists. In reality, Islam is its own thing. Islam is its own thing. It has its own worldview. It has its own way of dealing with these controversial topics. And it approaches them from very different angles from these other philosophies. You cannot make Islam fit into other philosophies. Rather, you can get people who have other ways of thinking to understand the Islamic worldview. So instead of trying to justify to a non Muslim why this is haram, or this is Hidalgo, this is obligatory in Islam, you rather get them to understand how the Muslims view the world. Right? The Muslims look at things from the perspective of Allah created us, he knows what is best
for us. And he sent us the prophets and the message, and he knows what is right and what is wrong. And our job is to follow that. Right. This is the Muslim worldview. And of course, what Allah wants us to do, may be very different from what we want to do. And we may think something is good for us. But Allah and his infinite wisdom knows that it's bad for us, and therefore he has prohibited it. You see, this is this is the Islamic way of looking at life and looking at the world. And too many do art
not skilled at explaining this. So they raised a lot of time in trying to rationally prove why Islam has positions the way they are, but they do it from a perspective that is incompatible with Islam. Instead, you need to learn how to
Present the Islamic world view properly. And this, of course, is done with knowledge. So you need to seek that knowledge. And the more you seek that knowledge, the more eloquent you will become and explaining this. And the more easy it will be to explain this, for every controversial question about Islam, there is knowledge you can seek that can help you to answer it appropriately. Anything, right? Just look at a few examples.
The issue of why does Islam allow a man to be intimate with his slave God? Right, this is a controversial point that the non Muslims keep bringing up. Right. And there's many ways you could approach this. Firstly, it's not just Islam, technically, every religion allows it. We just don't have slavery today. But if you're honest about it, every religion allows it, right? Number two, Islam allows it because it fits within the framework of a family. Right? The Islamic family is the man is the leader to provide the end the protector, the woman lives with him. And she has children and the children know who their mother is, they know who their father is to have access to their
mother, they have access to their father, and the mother focuses on raising those children. Well guess what? Marriage has the structure, but solar slavery, it also has the structure. And so both of these types of relationships are seen as legitimate relationships in the sight of Allah.
Right? That's all there is to it. That's all there is to it. And I know, this answer won't satisfy everyone. But guess what, you can't satisfy everyone at the end of the day, our religion is the way it is. It is what Allah knows what is best in terms of what is moral and what is immoral. And
the most you can do is explain the Islamic position. And it's up to them whether they want to accept it or not. Sometimes it takes them a long time to accept it, because they are so restricted by their worldview. Right, so people growing up in the west, to them, because of their worldview and their history, slavery is something evil and unacceptable. But their history of slavery is radically different from the Muslim history of slavery. And as long as you are unable to show them that they are looking at all slavery as the American slavery, right, that's the other perspective, we have to go into that in the Islamic world. Men treated the slave woman very well. He treated them almost
like wives, they, they fed them from what they ate, they coded them from what they were, they didn't overwork them. They were loving, they were romantic, they had really good relationships with their slave woman, it wasn't what they are imagining, you'll be imagining someone in handcuffs and chains being warped. That wasn't the Islamic way. In the Islamic State. If a man beat up his slave, the slave could take him to court. And if every if they can prove that they were abused, then the judge can this can force the man to free that slave, right? In the Islamic world, slaves have the rights, they could actually take the owners to court. So very different world, very different history. And
again, their worldview is based on their history. That's why you need to study their history as well. That's why you need to learn about their philosophies, their histories, their worldviews, and how to counter all of that from the Islamic perspective. All of this is knowledge. All of this is knowledge and knowledge is not restricted to just Quran and Sunnah. No, you need to know the history of the other religions and worldviews and movements, you need to know their philosophies, you need to know how they look at the world, how they think about the world, because you have to understand someone in order to reach out and to pull them back to the strength part. If you don't understand
how somebody got to where they are, then you're not going to be able to bring them back to where you are. Because you're now talking to different languages. They are processing knowledge in one way, you are processing it in a completely different way. And you're not understanding each other. So you need knowledge, not just knowledge of Quran and Sunnah, but also knowledge of how other people think, and why they think the way they think, and how to deal with the way they think.
So knowledge is central to Tao. And you cannot do thou without knowledge, I want to end with just some practical tips on how to excel at seeking knowledge. When it comes to seeking knowledge, I have noticed throughout my life, three types of students, the lazy ones, the ones who just learn the bare minimum and forget it afterwards. And somehow they become teachers and that's very dangerous for society.
Then you have the average students, they learn what the teachers teach them, they pass the exams. They're competent at doing basic things right to that knowledge.
But as you will see with our next principle, which is your son, we shouldn't aim for to be average, we should aim for excellence. So how do you excel? How do you go above and beyond and become a truly excellent student of knowledge and in the process, a truly excellent day. Number one, study longer hours than everybody else.
If you notice, the average student is studying two hours a day, you should study five hours a day study more than everybody else. Number two, ask questions. The Prophet salAllahu alayhi wasallam said, the cure to ignorance is to ask questions. If you look at Ayesha Rajaratnam, and Abu Huraira, and many of the great scholars of the Sahaba, they asked a lot of questions and many of the Hadees that we know come from the questions that they asked. So ask your teachers questions. This is where a lot of the knowledge comes from the q&a. Number three, go beyond the textbook, go beyond the textbook, if you're studying a subject, and the teacher gives you one textbook on the subject, seek
out the top five or 10 books on that subject, and read all of them. So if everybody else in your class has read one book on the topic, and you read 10 books on that topic, Inshallah, you'll have more knowledge than them. And by the way, this isn't to show off or anything, this is just a science is just trying to do your best and know the subject best. Right? This is why you do it now. So you can show off to the other students. So if you really want to go deeper into a subject, there are many books on every subject. Too many people just limit themselves to the primer to the first textbook that they are given on that topic. And they never study anything beyond that. If you really
want to master a topic, you're going to read 20 3040 books in that topic. And that will put you on a level way above those who just read one number for a 10 classes outside of your core classes. So
yes, you may be doing a foundations of Islamic Studies program. You may be doing a bachelor's in Islamic studies, you may be studying the Alinea program, right. And by the way, I'm hoping to release another video in the near future where I compare the three strands of study that I did. I did seven years of the Alinea program one year in a Western University, which I was not happy with. And then four years with an Islamic University, I'd actually like to compare all three experiences, and give students of knowledge advice on what's the best way forward.
For studying Islam, based on my experience, Inshallah, that will be another video for the future. But the point I'm getting to, is that don't limit yourself to those classes, attend other classes outside of it as well. So maybe you are studying. But you notice that your teachers aren't teaching you few subjects or maybe Mikaze, to Sharia is missing from the curriculum, or Islamic history is missing from the curriculum, or psychology is missing on the curriculum. attend classes on those subjects outside on the site. So that you're not just learning what you learned from your core curriculum, but you're learning even more on the side. So find other teachers to teach you those
subjects. Finally, if you really want to be extraordinary at seeking knowledge,
then make sure that you are committed to studying for life which is really the main point that I was getting to today. Be a student of knowledge for life if you are truly serious about doing Dawa.
Remember that the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said whatever Allah intends good for, it gives them the understanding of this religion. So therefore if Allah is giving you knowledge, Allah is opening the doors for you to seek knowledge. And this is a sign that Allah loves you the sign that Allah intends good for you. And so used to take advantage of that and study the religion and use that knowledge in a way that is pleasing to Allah subhana wa Tada.
We end by saying that every caller must commit to studying for life. A creature who is lazy in seeking knowledge will cause more harm than good. He may preach nonsense in his ignorance, and chase people away from the religion. And he may be so ignorant of his own ignorance that he doesn't even realize what he is doing. And ignorant preacher is a dour hazard, and should be advised to seek knowledge if they refuse to seek knowledge. And if they are arrogant and self deluded, then they should be avoided. Why? Because in their ignorance and in the ignorant Dawa, they will drag you down with them, they will preach nonsense, and they will drag you down to their level. And when when
things fall apart. Anyone involved in supporting ignorant die will also face the consequence of supporting ignorance.
So make sure that you are a student of knowledge for life, that you're not lazy about seeking knowledge, and that the people you work with are also studying Islam for life and avoid working with people who think they know. But they don't know because they will end up causing more harm to the data. And in the process, they will end up causing harm to you as well, because they don't know that they don't know.
With that we come to the end of the session
Hope you found it beneficial in our next video we will discuss the concept of Sun striving for excellence desire for the Hadron Walker Dawa and you'll hamdulillahi rabbil Alameen wa salam alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh