al-Raghib al-Isfahani #76 – Potential Pitfalls for Students of Knowledge
Channel: Tom Facchine
File Size: 6.88MB
Another important part of being humble as a student is being docile, right? This word is a very specific word. And it gets us something very important, which is that you're willing to be molded, you're willing to be changed, you're willing to be transformed. You're basically coachable. And that's the best compliment I've ever received from anybody is that I'm coachable. I'd rather people tell me that I'm coachable more than tell me that I'm intelligent, or I've accomplished this, or they like the way that I speak or whatever. Because if other people are saying that you're coachable, it means that you've got like this meta tool that's going to serve you in all these
different sort of areas. And that you'll benefit a lot more than if you're eloquent, but arrogant, for example, or your eloquent but nobody can teach you anything, because you think you've got it all figured out. And, you know, we can liken it to the earth, okay, you have some earth, that is, the soil is loose, and it's fertile, and it's ready to receive the rain. And so when the rain comes, it benefits a lot actually draws this distinction in the Koran. And you know, he gives it as an example for people's hearts who are soft and able to receive the guidance of revelation and benefit from it versus, you know, the Hard Rock, right. And so it's a bucket that doesn't benefit from the rain, the
rain just runs right off it. And whatever little dust had accumulated on the rock, it's completely wiped away. Okay, when it comes to the student, the student has to be that soft soil that's ready to receive the rain, it's ready to take all of it. And you can't be a hard rock or hard ground. That's the rain is just going to run over you and it's going to flood and go somewhere else. We see this a lot when it comes even to you know how people approach study of Assam, like a lot of people these days, you know, they want to learn Islam from YouTube. Right? Say well, okay, but there are certain limitations with YouTube that are very, very important. I'll give an example learning your deen from
YouTube is like walking into a pharmacy and just taking stuff off the rack. Okay. Why? Because when you try to educate yourself on the deen for the YouTube, and I know, obviously, the YouTube channels like there's that that's a YouTube, I'm not knocking YouTube, but we have to understand it in its proper scope. What can it do for us? What can it do for us? YouTube is not, it's not your shake, and you will never go far just studying off of YouTube. Why? Because you still hold the reins, you're still in control of what you're deciding to consume? Yeah, the algorithm might throw you a suggestion, but you're the one that clicks the link. Okay, you need a shake, to tell you what to
study to say, No, you study this first and this first and this first. And they look at you and you say you know what, you've got this, but you need this over here, right? Nobody through YouTube and this whole like sort of self checkout, sort of model of education, nobody's nobody's doing that for you, you're doing that for you. And so the danger is, you're going to construct a silo, you're going to construct an echo chamber around you, where you're only possibly going to expose yourself to things that you're already aware of. Right, or things that you just happen to be tend tangential or adjacent to what you're already aware of. Again, it's like someone walking into a pharmacy and
saying, I need this, I need this, I need this and the doctor standing there, like that's not going to help you, you actually need this other medicine, completely different from what you took, and what you took might actually poison you. Right, it's the teacher's job to pace the student is the teacher's job to put them on a track on a trajectory, and to expose them to things when they're ready for it. And that's the shortcoming of YouTube. Right? YouTube won't tell you when you're ready to hear a certain thing or not. It's gonna throw you anything and everything. Right. And so one thing that might happen is that if you're exposed to certain things too early, either, you're going
to develop doubts, okay, and you see this, and this is a mistake that a lot of do and arola actually make, sometimes they go into too much detail in a very, very public forum, where the people, they don't have the level of faith where they're ready to deal with it. And so it actually shakes their faith and creates doubts and their whole sort of, you know, scheme, you need to know when to be exposed to something and you need teachers to help you to do that. Okay, the other thing that might happen if you're exposed to something too early, is that you might be tempted to show off, right, you have this really really minut factoid, you know, a certain scholar somewhere said this or
actually held that opinion, or that's, you know, sort of controversial and, and differs from the norm and stuff like that. And so now you you don't really have an education, you have this sort of entertainment, okay, this thing is just some sort of juicy little fact. But it's not connected to a structure or a structured way of learning, it's not going to benefit, right? It's just random and perhaps encyclopedic. So this is this is when you're exposed to things too early. And this is the danger of YouTube. The other extreme is being exposed to things too late. And this is the whole issue with gatekeeping and people that are jealous and people that are going to hold you back. I say
that you're going to study this one intro text 50 times before you even look at anything else. I see. That's extreme. That's extreme, right? If you're exposed to things too late, okay, then you're not developing. You're not developing. Is it possible Have there been setup and
know that man that out of their water, right have gone over a particular text that many times, yes. Okay. But if you're looking for a structured education, especially a structured education in the dean, this is why you need a teacher so that they're going to hit that balance. They're going to expose you to things at the right time. Not too early, right, but also not too late.
And in general, also, honey, he concludes with this, the beginner should not listen to doubts, right? The beginner needs to be shored up in their confidence and in their Yaqeen in their faith and their certainty, right? The scholar, the person who has arrived, and nobody ever really, truly finally arrived, but has at least obtained a certain level of erudition. That's the person that has to listen to doubts. Right? So you get some people, you know, they get caught up all this time. It's like, oh, you know, you shouldn't even sit with an innovator or listen to an innovator or shouldn't even take chocolate from an innovator. I've heard that said, right. I said, Well, who are we talking
about? If you're talking about the average person, the lay person, then yes, yeah, that person should not listen to the doubts or the innovations or the heresies or, you know, these different ideologies. Most people, most people should, should not do that. But you're always going to have a select group of people who actually explicitly listen to those things and read those things. Inshallah, I tried to know my limits, and I tried to have other mentors and scholars that helped me understand my limits, you know, but there are things that I need to go into in a scholarly way so that we can refute them so that we can respond to them so that we can contextualize them and account
for them within the Islamic framework. So doubts should be avoided by the beginner. And people who are specialists are the ones that actually are required to they're duty bound to listen to those doubts and to address them.