Female Scholarship The Benefits, Importance and Challenges
Channel: Umm Jamaal ud-Din
File Size: 55.47MB
straight into it inshallah.
So today's topic is
pursuing the path of knowledge as a Muslim woman. And it's such such an important topic. And I think for both of us, it's such an exciting topic to discuss. But before we get right into it, I thought I'd just give our listeners a little introduction duction to yourself.
Introduce myself as well. So my name is Sarah, I am
going to be into the interviewer inshallah. And she helped him Jamal have been is
from your from Sydney. Yeah, that's right. Yep. from Sydney, Shahar has a BA in and also from Edina International University, and is currently in his second year of a master's in solid. How's that going for you?
Well, no, he had Hamdulillah. Last year, I really was questioning why I had done this, I just thought I've just taken on way too much for myself. That hamdulillah after surviving the first year, I feel like, you know, I'm in a better place now. I've got a lot of new skills. And yeah, from the largest, I think I really definitely stepped out of my comfort zone with the going into the Masters, a lot of writing involved solely in Arabic, I just want to add, so it was a real challenge. But Hamdulillah I managed to, you know, handle and do well, like Alhamdulillah I mean, Fabiola. What about yourself, like, please explain your background little bit about, you know, what you've done as
well, because I think we've all got different paths, I think it's really important for sisters to hear, like the various paths we've taken, you know, and as we get into the topic, you know, for a lot of women in particular, we've had to take often, you know, the lesser
the less common paths, you know, to knowledge sometimes, you know, I mean, because it's not always a straightforward process.
Yeah, cuz I understand you also studied at
Western Sydney University. So that's obviously a whole different place to Medina university, you will see that I actually did my Arabic degree, you see, because, as we'll get into it, you know, like, basically, I first applied it almost got off, because it was practically the only institution women could study at back in those days.
But unfortunately, the amount of red tape involved was just, you know, it just made it you, let's say, near impossible to get in, like I really have known very little sisters to ever study there. And you're from Australia, there's actually been no students, except that even males, you know. So once that door seems pretty much closed, I had to look for other avenues. And basically, it was, I thought to myself, like I just looked at, like, what does it take to be a scholar? Like, how do you take that path? And if we look at every scholar in history, I mean, they always start off with memorization of Quran and Arabic. So that's why I went down that path, I really just focus on that
path for many years. And then until I started, like, you know, studying, for example, you know, Moton, you know studying Islamic texts with with scholars and and then you know, just building up your Arabic over the years until you're able to actually do like a degree in Arabic. So that's probably in a nutshell, kind of the path I went but like that in between all that is like having mashallah hamdulillah five children, you know, raising them wanting them to memorize Quran, yeah. All these other things that have have taken place,
you know, in the process, so there's so much going on, on the side that you're trying to, you know, pursue this, this path? Yeah. Usually,
when we have interviews or any have discussions, the introduction, or, or kind of be like a formality, just let people know who you are, but for for this particular discussion, the introduction to yourself, and I'll introduce I'll say a few things about myself as well as soon
are really important to what we're discussing. Absolutely. This is what's gonna connect this this to this path, you know what I mean? They need to see that there are different alternative pathways you may have to take. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And so
just a little bit about my background, I studied in the UK in the UK and across the UK, many cities there's
something called the anomia course which is offered which is like six to seven year program.
And I would say it's very it's it's a starting point.
And studying the base, the, the sort of basics or I'd say that the foundations of
of Islamic sciences. And then after which somebody can go and specialize.
That's, that's where I studied
my traditional Islamic
But well, you're married, were you married when you did that. So I actually did that very, very young. I was only 11, when I started. But a few years were very much Arabic based and learning, getting foundations of Arabic, which I think I'm glad I did when I was so young, because there's so much memory work involved, and learning the languages when you're younger. And then the latter years were then delving into more of the site, the foundations of the sciences.
And so I, I finished very young to when I was 16.
And then I had a few years where I was teaching within the same program. And now I Inshallah,
trying to specialize
and try to study more, which I think we will come to this later, it's because I feel like I can do it now, which is 10 years later.
Because there wasn't really opportunity for me to do it, then. And only now I can see these opportunities coming up where I can do that from home or from, you know, within my locality as well. But predominantly online, which, which was never available, and then from then on out.
It's a lot harder, because I have, you know, a
child and family and
but it's but I think I'm glad I'm doing it went when I'm a lot older and can truly appreciate and understand
the knowledge and Sharla Okay, so I won't even go into all of that, which we've I think we've already kind of dive straight in. But um, why is this?
Important? Why do we specifically want to talk about women, when it comes to seeking knowledge?
Look, I think
that sisters in particular need to realize the transformational effect, that knowledge can have, you know, on their whole lives, and all the people around them, you know, their families, their households, you know, in particular, like, you know, modern day society, right. Um,
you know, generally speaking, a lot of the brothers tend to be quite busy with their work and stuff like that, like, I just have to say that, you know, I teach adult sisters, you know, that's my speciality, you know, so I teach
sisters from the age of like, 17 onwards.
So I see the transformational effect in their household, you know, what happens, and especially when they got children, they're passing on that knowledge. But a lot of the sisters I teach also teachers, so they're bringing that knowledge into their classrooms. And we know that, as I said, the brothers a lot of time are very busy. So they don't always necessarily have the time to dedicate, whereas sometimes women are able to, like, you know, sort of, we're good at multitasking, as they say,
that look, I don't know about how he's in the UK, but, you know, here in Australia, like, with all the *ty AP classes, we have, I would say that the women are the greatest number of attendees of those classes, you know, how is it in the UK? Do you find a similar sort of pattern? Um, I think, I think it just depends where and what, but I would say there is, there are a lot of classes directly for women. And I think that that in some part is because in the UK, many of them essentially don't actually have spaces for women for regular Salah.
So because men have access to that regularly, there is a special effort made for women to come to the masjid or to other places for classes specifically for them.
And it just I think it does depend on the locality where you are. In some cities, there's
the excellent involvement from both men and women and there's like big event. Yeah.
Yeah. In my city, I know there are a lot of classes for women, but there's a lot going on for men as well. And but where I grew up, it was predominantly classes specifically for women. And I think there is a lot more demand as well from women.
As you mentioned, because
maybe the men are already in the masjid or, you know, they're already involved in somewhere other and I think women specifically are demanding more and wanting more to seek that knowledge.
Yeah, so I with the UK
It's just it's just so different, depending on where which city, I was down there. Yeah, well,
look, I do think it's definitely been like, I know, for a lot of women, I feel like, um, you know, they're looking for that connection back to their back to the dean, you know, so that's why they take the path of knowledge to get that connection, you know. And then the other thing is to,
like, I find that it brings meaning into their life. You know, that's what, that's what knowledge does. And I'm always reminding my students, you know, like, for example, you know, the Hadith of the Prophet SAW Allah when I said, when he says, Men, silica body en el temi, Sufi men, Sal, Allahu Allahu be for the con Illa Jana, you know, like, whoever takes that path of knowledge, how Allah, Allah, you know, makes their path to gender easy for them. And it really does focus you on F hero, but that's what I find, you know, and even with my students, like, you see how they change, you know, how they, they become so much more like, they find the meaning in their life, they become much
more mindful of everything they do and say, and that's how I'm saying about the way it transforms them. And I'm sure your teachers Well, you know, and like, you see the sisters when they first come in, and you see how they change and how much the man is, you know, increasing due to taking the knowledge and, and that you see them struggle, strengthen and develop over the years, you know, and then and then tobacco and you see them passing on to their children as well, and families and communities, you know, a lot of the teachers i Teacher, you know, teachers as well. So they the passing that on to students, you know, but not just don't not the only domains, but don't try to say
like, they are very powerful domains. Yeah. And I think I think even within, within ourselves, something which
I sort of resonate with my students is, if, whenever there's, like holidays, or vacations, or you're unwell, from class or from study or from seeking knowledge, I feel like there's, there's, there's almost like a void, and I just can't wait to start teaching again, I'll start studying again. Because it becomes so much part of your life.
And it brings so much baraka to your life. Now, what, my entire week is just just amazing, or had a really bad week. Otherwise, when I go into the class, as a student, or as a teacher, it is just so uplifting. And I know it's not, this isn't just the case and foremost, that even in classes that somebody might be studying one off, or just attending classes.
I know somebody who's recently joined regular classes.
And they're just, it's, I'd say it's a very basic, very informal, and, but she she really
talks about how amazing it is and what it's brought to life and how she just feel so panela
yeah, like, same thing, like, a lot of them will tell you how they just found life changing, you know, like, it gives them such clarity, you know, in your life, like, what am I doing? What's this life about? You know, um, you know, honestly, knowledge definitely illuminates your path. You know, it really does illuminate your path. It gives you peace of mind. You know, a lot of people, you know, we know, people like that, they tend to overcomplicate things for themselves, you know, the market, people do so many times or salon, because they didn't know that they can, you know, how to do it properly, you know, all these little things make a difference. Like, you know, women have
always got different things they're struggling with. And when they don't have that knowledge, you find often that they, you know, they, they don't, like, they're actually stressed about a lot of these things, because they haven't, you know, learn about them. But, I mean, look, I mean, I had one of my students just come back, we had a long holiday recently, you know, she was saying it's polar, how she just felt very, very depressed, you know, over the holiday, you know, I mean, she's going through a lot, but just coming back to the classes and being back, you know,
subhanAllah gathering and remembering a loss of Kuntala together, you know, it just, yeah, it's just, that's what really gives you that, that meaning in your life and brings, you know, Sakina into your heart, you know, it's Panama.
And now, so we've kind of spoken about how important it is to so that we can, you know, encourage sisters and also persisters to recognize how, how important it is to seek knowledge. But yeah, when sisters are looking to go onto the path of seeking knowledge, and then generally face well, we generally face a lot more challenges than males do. So what can we have
Overview of the sort of challenges that you you've faced
yourself in seeking the knowledge, and then inshallah we'll go into what are the challenges generally as well, and hopefully how we can sort of overcome them? Yeah, inshallah? Well,
it depends on what level you're looking to seek that knowledge, I think that, um, if you just want, you know, basic classes, that shouldn't be too many problems, but the general barriers, or obstacles that a lot of women face, obviously, is trying to juggle coming to classes and having all the young children and that, that tends to be a very common
struggled, a lot of businesses I teach have been on my barrack, look, I've had students in my crown classes that had like, 10 kids and all my bags, she still managed to come and she would bring, you know, two or three with her, you know, to the classes. And so it is possible, but of course, everyone's got different capacity, you know, what I mean? So we can't, you know, but just, you know, like, if we're talking about the more serious parts of knowledge, then,
I mean, for me, and especially the time that I was trying to seek that knowledge was, you know, we're talking about over 25 years ago, things have changed a lot since then. But, um, you know, and if you think if you think about the past, throughout history, one of the biggest challenges, obviously, for men has been the issue of travel, you know, and, and institutions having the institutions available, that actually offered,
you know, women to, you know, offer that,
you know, abilities for men to study at a higher level, you know, as you know, sometimes you'd find some institutions wouldn't give the same type of program that they would give to males, you know, I say, so. Yeah, so I've been like, with me and myself, you know, I was really looking for that, you know, institution of higher learning, the only one I knew of back at that time was on Quora, I knew that they did have women that they, you know, that came from overseas, you know, from other countries like, again, when we say this, like, for example, talking about, you know, the context of Saudi Arabia, like, they do have, they offer it to females who are Saudis, but not all the
universities open up to non Saudis. That's, that was the issue. So I'm the only one that would accept that I've had heard of that would accept with Ankara because Medina university itself doesn't have, you know, any campus for the females, right. But just even to get an awkward, I was just, as I said, no one I know of from Australia has ever actually studied there. In the last 30 years, no one's from Australia, like I have heard some Americans have been accepted there and stuff like that, but not from Australia. Like, I think they've sort of made it a policy to only take into Medina.
So that was obviously, you know, one big barrier for me, but then I've just, you know, 100, like, Allah directs you in a different way. And subhanAllah I happened to be with a scholars family. I was, you know, before I had left Australia, we had actually consulted scholars. And you know, we had been advised to stay with a particular scholars family, and, you know, they told me about a really very well known and, you know, it's very respected Quran school. In Saudi, so I just went down that path, I started really focusing on memorizing Quran learning Quran. And because again, like I said, you I thought, if I can't go the front door, the best way to go about it is to think about how did
other scholars establish themselves look in history? They all start out with memorization of Quran. I mean, you'll find all scholars, when you look at this, you know, their biography, it's, you know, memorize the Quran by the time they're eight or 10, or 12. You know, it's always a base. And then obviously, Arabic. I mean, if you want to get into the Islamic sciences, you really have to you there's not there's no,
there's no quick route, you know, you've just got to do the hard work. Yeah. So that's whilst mostly focusing on Arabic. That's why as soon as I came back to Australia, after I've been in study for a couple of years,
I focused on, you know, learning Arabic, and that's why I enrolled in the local university, where they had an Arabic program. So that's why I did my degree at that university because of just studying Arabic. That was the primary primary reason I did did that degree.
Yeah, I think, for on my part, one of the biggest challenges, I think, particularly when I was younger, was not even being aware that scholarship was attainable for women.
Now, mainly because it wasn't given that title. So the male scholars were Shay, and they titles and they will recognize the scholars.
Even though I complete the same program that many men did, they will then be able to first of all the travel. I remember being young and thinking, I wish I could just jet off to this country.
Do that country and stuff specialize.
There wasn't also a lot in the UK at that time was was was over 10 years ago. And not that I knew of anyway. And so that that was that was the first thing. And secondly, not knowing that that was something I could do. Really, it was, it was more like a dream, like I would love to have, it was more like, I'd love to be a man to be able to do all this. And it's also accessible to me.
But when I look at my own teachers,
wow, like the scholarship is amazing. But I think as a community, they weren't always recognized as scholars, that just because or, yeah, just just just teachers.
That that's, that's, I think, one of the challenges, which which women are which women face? And that that would kind of lead us on to
our next point of discussion is that why off so many female scholars hidden away? Why don't we know, female scholars as much as we do men's male scholars? And also, why is that there's this impression that scholarship isn't attainable for women, unless you're in the circles already and you know, scholars and but I think generally,
it just, it just seems like something that's, that's that doesn't really happen. Although we, when we look at and the research done. So for example, the book by Shaykh Akram nadwi. The Hadith that so many female scholars Subhan Allah, he's written, there's volumes on it. There's the English book, which is quite small, but I know he's initial research is volumes.
So what why don't we know about female scholars? I think that that's what people?
Yeah, look, I think that people have to realize female scholarship has always been there, you know.
But, you know, as you see, even today, well, like weaving in social media times, you know, and even today, how many female scholars do you know, you know, um, a lot of them just prefer to go about, you know, teaching in their community, you know, so it's not that they're not there, they are there. But obviously, in the West as well, it, there hasn't been as many because obviously, there's a barrier of Arabic, you know, cuz not everybody's able to get to the Arabic first, you know, but if you go to like Egypt, if you go to Saudi Arabia, if you go to, you know, a lot of the Muslim countries,
there's, there's lots of female scholars. I mean, I was very blessed, you know, in the early stages of just just becoming Muslim, not long, you know, just a few years of being into Islam, you know, journeying to Saudi Arabia and a hunter, I was able to meet a lot of, you know, I met a lot of female scholars. So already I knew that, that female scholars were there, you know, it's possible.
But I realized also what it what it's gonna take to be able to, you know,
but the other thing to understand too, if you look at history, I mean, imagine how many miles scholars have been there, right, but only very few do we actually know the name, like, we actually know them? As, you know, their names like Imam Al Bahati, or, or Muslim, you know, like, they're just like, you know, and for them to get to that level. They had to really, really, really specialize. And I think, I think, you know, let's be realistic. I mean, I know for myself, despite I'm having an absolute burning desire and passion towards studying, you know, and knowledge. It's never for me been about being lazy or not being motivated enough, yet, you know, it's still taking
me a journey of a roundabout 25 or so years, to even reach that level I've reached, okay, which, you know, I wish I could, of course, go far more than I've gotten. But what I'm trying to say is, there are so many different things that can't be the life of a female. Yes, you know, it's gonna slow you down, you just have to acknowledge that especially, like, it depends on your situation. But I mean, if you're not married, then I'm sure you can do a lot more, you know, you can or, you know, if you're just newly married, or you haven't had children, that's going to be a very different situation than someone who, you know, 100 I mean, for the like, I'm married, I was very moved by 20.
You know, so I was already married, and I had my first child at like,
21 you know, what I mean? So, so I was trying to, like, I was focusing myself initially, but then when I had my children, I started focusing on my children because I wanted my children to grow up memorizing the Quran. And, you know, follow the lead my children actually did, you know, all 100 of them all actually memorize the Quran Hamdulillah. But, you know, that took a lot of work. So, um, you know, so it's like, for women, for a woman in particular, like you're juggling so much, there's so much to juggle, you know, so you just have to be realistic and realize that sometimes, you know, your path is gonna be slow down. So what I'm trying to say here is that
If you consider the amount of, you know, things that's going on in the life of a female, right, the amount of different context or you know, responsibilities that she has to juggle, it's going to be difficult for her to really specialize, you know, she can't just drop everything, and go off, you know, room and just go and study and leave the house and leave the, you know, leave other responsibilities that she has, you know, I mean, so, um, so
I will have the responsibility. Like, in the past, there was a lot more freedom for the males to study and do that, sorry to travel and specialized as well, which in that time, because there was no online, they had to physically travel. So I guess that that was also a barrier generally. For me, like, go off? And how difficult? Yeah, think about how difficult travel was in the past. Now, it's not not easy. Even though it's not easy, but in the past, it would have been absolutely. Like, it's, it's just really would have been, and this you had someone to take your like, Look, if you look at most of the female scholars of the past, most of them, it's because they had a father, or they had a
husband or, you know, it was a close family member, that they actually gained that knowledge, you know, or maybe even a big city, like, you know, Cairo or, you know, Baghdad or, you know, one of those big cities where they had access to a local Masjid that had, you know, all the learning, but if you didn't have that,
how difficult would it be for you to, to gain knowledge, and then with all the different, as I said, all the different responsibilities that you have, as well, you know, then if you look at it in that context, you can you can understand why, you know, we don't have we don't have a lot of those, like, you know,
women who've actually specialized to that, you know, very high level, yeah, that we've, we've heard their names, you know, but they've always been there, that's what I'm trying to say they have definitely always been there, but they're just gonna be, they might not be as specialized as like a man or the Heidi or Muslim or, you know, those those,
you know, like, and, you know,
now as I was, as I was mentioned, by my own teachers, it's recognizing them as scholars as well. That's, they are there we, we probably have so many we have gems, I know, in my Camilla definitely have some absolute gems, Subhan Allah but they're, yeah, they prefer to keep a low profile or
an I think,
and, and also that sometimes so in one of the things which I've seen in my community in particular is that they're not given the title that they deserve. But back to the challenges and overcoming them. I think one of the the biggest things, and one of the biggest blessings that we probably have now, particularly with the travel barrier, is that so much is accessible online. So as I mentioned, I'm trying to further my studies online, which is kind of on pause at the moment because
of other responsibilities Inshallah, so I'm gonna make a way. I mean, that when I, when I graduated, initially,
there wasn't there wasn't any way I had to travel. And now there's so many so much that I can do online. And also, so, so much less available online by in traditional Institute's or, by verified scholars, which is online, it's not just like a random course here and there, it's
it's almost what you could get in person if you had to travel but you can do it from wherever you are, and that it's it is such a blessing Subhanallah and that's so much opportunity for, for for women, and not just not just at higher levels of study, even
short courses, even classes. I know that I think this is one of the the amazing things that the pandemics given us is just the accessibility and trying to get so much online so it can be more accessible.
So I think people used to really downplay online online learning before and I know that it was that fear of people, you know, I've never getting radicalized or whatever it was, you know, that was saying, oh, you can't get but the I think the pandemic has shown everyone that you actually can you actually can access very high level learning through online study. You know, there are some very excellent scholars available. Anything you want to learn practically is is available online, but it's a matter of just you know, seeking the right avenues you know, to find that and you know, dedicating yourself not everyone is dedicated when they go to learn online compared to say when
they're when they're turning up in person. So
with the knowledge of like the
When you're studying Islamic sciences, there is this element of spirituality of Tobia of growing as a person.
Membership, there's, there's all of that that comes along with it, which I think that aspect is difficult to forge online, because you're far from each other. But Alhamdulillah, I think
it can be overcome to some extent with the video,
rather than just having like audio clips or something like that. But yeah, I think this, that, that would be the only downfall I'd say have not been in person. But I know a lot of courses now where they have predominantly everything online, and then they maybe have meetups or something like that. So and you can get some aspect of that, at some point. Yeah, I think that it's advisable to also seek knowledge in your local community, like, I don't think you should put all your don't seek all your knowledge online. But sometimes, if you want to go for higher level learning, you can't access that in your local community, like, you might be able to get some basic level classes in your local
community. But if you want to get specialists, you often have to go online. That's what I found, like, especially my like, I mean, you've got a lot more, I think, in UK and US, you have a lot more specialization, you know, Scott, there's a lot of scholars that are specialized in different fields, but up until, you know, now, we're at where I am, we've got just sort of, like, general machine, but not so much the specialized, you know, they can reach a specialized a level of learning. But you're definitely, you know, I know, my students, they, because I've kind of experimented over the pandemic, you know, we had some, we did online, although I do have still online available for
you know, we also offer in person and I know, a lot of them, they just, they just really prefer and I even myself, I have to be honest, I actually do really prefer teaching in person, it's just, it's you just connect
a lot more naturally, you know,
in person, it's somewhat there's just this real human element involved in learning in person. I think, yeah, I think you feel more of the warmth of the student teacher relationship, and the sisterhood seems different, you know, in the in the class context, you know, the in person class context, and just like, you know, online learning, I remember what
she used to say, this is some knowledge isn't like from my brain to your brain. This knowledge, it secrets, my heart to your heart. Yeah. And,
and what's the person's in front of you, because there's, there's this somehow this amazing connection.
Now, we was hoping I was hoping to get some advice for people at differing levels. And so we want to just want to start somewhere, they
aren't really accessing any knowledge at the moment, and just want to start but but aren't sure where or how or what to do.
And then Inshallah, we'll have some advice for those who want to go and specialize. And what advice would you give to, to those who just just want to seek knowledge, but they don't even know where to start? Or? Or they might have something holding them back? And they're not sure how to get into it? What would you advise to somebody who's considering it, but hasn't taken the step yet? So it's always important to study knowledge in a systematic way.
Like, I always tried to get people to understand, you know, you sort of, you need to,
like, like, just like, you know, you're going to a pool, you need to wade into the pool, don't dive
in the deep end, you know, but like, obviously, I think that, you know, one needs to focus on, you know, trying to learn how to read Quran. And then you want to go for a course that is teaching you about the six pillars, in particular, the six pillars of Eman
and, of course, your five pillars of Islam, obviously, like your five pillars of Islam.
So that's, that's an because, you know, when it comes to Facebook, in particular, like, you know, learning your basics, you know, how to pray correctly. Like, I can't tell you how many people always tell me, like when I'm studying a class on the harder, you know, on purification that the owner had take will do.
Oh, tell me that, you know, I know how to do and they don't realize the class actually goes to like six months or more, you know, all just on purification. You know,
and they realize how much he's actually involved. You know, even salah like it goes for at least over six months or more. You know, we you know, this is once a week of course, but you don't try to say it's it there's a lot involved, it's not she learns panela so
just go That's what I'd be looking for, you know, something that basically grounds you
Those are really important areas that you need for your life. You start off with those. Yes. Well start with the basics. Yes, dive into the deep end. Yeah. That that's crucial advice Mohalla. Because we can't really go into anything advanced unless we do the basics. And I would say it's eight somebody, no matter what course you're accessing. Don't be ashamed of what you do or don't know, the fact that you're seeking that knowledge. And the fact that you're going and taking the step to, to learn is, is what else handler wants from us? I think, particularly maybe in communities where it's expected that as an adult, you already know,
to access that knowledge as an adult can be daunting. Because I noticed, for example, making me is something like, well, it's expected that you should know for when you're a child, but um, I come across adults all the time, like I've either forgotten or can't remember, or I learned here and actually, I did not learn it properly.
But when it comes to the basics of ideen, there is no there's no shame, just
go ahead and just start with the basics. That's the thing too. Yeah, people need to, I think one of the best advices, I try to tell,
you know, this is I teach as well, like, stick with what you're learning, like, because a lot of people, you know how it is, like, a new class opens, everyone rushes to that class and other new cars opens up and rushes to that class. And that's why we find a lot of people don't actually get anywhere because it always bouncing around from like, one class to the next. Or they just want a lot of people also they just want like, you know, we know that they want like the man, amen boost type of
class, but like, you know, real knowledge isn't always I mean, 100, it does really strengthen your Eman. But um, you know, don't expect that every class you go to when you're seeking knowledge is going to be like,
just, you know, feeling so like that, you know, sometimes there are certain, you know, you're learning about the cat, for example, and you're learning about, like, um, you know, certain aspects of, you know, relating to Zika, you know, you might not feel so pumped that particular, you know, so you're going to be using a certain amount of patients that you need to have. But when it comes to
the Sierra or learn the stories and all the the boosts Yeah, but of course, the other things are important is well,
yeah, someone's just asking a question there about university. I couldn't quite get that. Did you see that? And so Oh, I've just, I've just realized that actually, my questions were all stuck in now. And sorry, stuck in this one. So it's not been should we be accessing Islamic knowledge through non Islamic organizations like university.
So I'm assuming this means. So for example, in the UK, we have just our general universities, which offer Islamic courses.
And then we have separately, you know, in Islam, Islamic Institute's.
So I'm guessing that your question is, should we go for those courses at non Islamic organizations? What would your answer be to something like that? Look,
I personally, advise people to actually learn
through, you know, scholars who've been trained through through scholars, you know, John, traditional scholars don't try to say because
I worry about, I mean, not I can't judge everybody, but like, you know, just generally, in Western institutions, you don't know. Like, how authentic the knowledge you're getting is, is it mixed up with other ideas, you know, so, um, if you want to, you know, ground yourself in Islamic sciences, you do need to go through, you know, traditional scholars, you know, just seek your knowledge. It's, you know,
ultimately, you know, the knowledge the knowledge we're speaking about here is, you know, it is the inheritance of the prophets and messengers, you know, it's, it's not just to be taken from anyone, you know, I'm trying to say so, and the scholars are the inheritors or that you know, they are the you know, yeah, they are the inheritors of the lake you know, the,
the inherit heritance inheritance of the prophets and messengers, you know, that it's been passed down. So, that's why you need to, you know, source it from the right place.
Definitely, definitely I know.
It a lot like our teachers advice that get the traditional knowledge first, have a connection with teachers
have have have in a way sort of mentorship from your teachers before
going into a secular university setting?
Because we have to have that firm. And in a way it is a firm grounding of.
Absolutely, yeah, that that can be.
And that that comes through our traditional studies and through through our
teachers within traditional settings.
another question. But just before I get to that, I'm just trying to scroll scroll down Sharla if somebody has already gone and
studied, they've got the foundations, and now they want to specialize. But they're not sure
what to specialize in, or they're not sure how to read that.
Is there any advice you can give, when they, they're making those, those big decisions. So look, if anyone wants to be serious in their path of knowledge, you really do have to learn Arabic, you're not going to be able to access the books of knowledge without without Arabic, you know what I mean? So
that's one thing and then obviously, Quran as well, like I was saying before, like, if you look at Go study any biography of any scholar, they've always got this the Quran is because all as well, once you learn, you're not, you know, once you seek knowledge, you're gonna realize you're going to need, you need all the data you need, you need all the, you know, proofs, and where do all the ideas come from, they come from the Quran, first of all, first and foremost, you know, then after that, the sooner, you know, I'm trying to say, so you do need to focus on those, you know, both both the Quran and Arabic, going that way, and then after that, you're going to need to stop now looking for
scholars, um, you know, accessing scholars, where you can start learning, now, you might want to go the more torn route, like I did do that for a long time.
But, you know, you learn the more torn through it, you know, there's this, like, systematic way of learning, through through will turn, right. And then or the other thing you can do is, like we said, that you can find now, universities
that you can study at, that offer online programs, you know, so that's another, that's another thing, and then, you know, you can get like, and that's the best way you need to learn in a systematic way, you know, you know, the good thing about a university is you're forced to do a whole program, of all the different subjects, things that sometimes like, that you might not have really focused on, like, because we're going to do them with, you know, this one method, there may be certain sciences that you haven't so much focused on, you might have neglected parts of them. Whereas with the, with the university program, you find that you'll be getting, you're going to get
pushed into areas that you didn't necessarily, you know, focus on before. So that's the good thing about I'm doing a, you know, a program that's, you know, been structured, you know, especially to give you that real base that you need.
But, look, I think that it's important to say that,
we have to always remember that, ultimately, knowledge is is a result from a loss of pantalla. You know what I mean? So,
you know, a lot of times it gives, it shouldn't be choosers, you know, and that's when we really have to make dial up and ask Allahu taala, like, you know, as many of you would know, like, there's only one diet that you know, Allah taught the message of Allah to say that was really related to the affairs of this world which were for Rob busy near now, you know, I'm saying My lord, you know, bless me and provide me with knowledge, you know, um,
you know, and a lot of that in the Quran, he says, you know, what type of law where you are limit from Allah right, he says, and fear a lot have Taqwa of Allah, you know, be aware it have been wearing for wearing of Allah consciousness of Allah. And Allah would teach you, you know, Allah will guide you, Allah will show you the paths, like, that's how I can definitely
say what happened to me. Like, I thought I knew the right path for myself. But Allah took me in a whole different path. And I one thing I do say is that Subhanallah you know, all I knew that Allahu Allah, if I had have just taken that initial path of, for example, getting that degree more thorough, I may never have taken that path of Quran. And that path of Quran panela opened up so much, I'm on a buried, like, I just can't even explain, explain to you the amount of blessing that came my life through taking the path of Quran, you know what I mean? And humbling them and for the light, you know, through it, you know, 100 Let me find it, I was able to pass it on to my kids, you
know, like, teach them the Quran as well. You know what I mean? And then they, you know, they know, they now teach, you know, I'm trying to say so, that and then my students, you know, taught Quran to as well. So, as I said, I may never have gone down that path in a serious way.
If Allah didn't direct me in that way, so I think yeah, just really have that sincere intent.
towards wanting to learn, asking Allah and also consult scholars or consult mentors, like, um, you know, consult other people who've taken this path. And anyone who's, who's here now is doing that really like as well, you're actually trying to find out, what did we do? You know, how did we go about it? And that's how you learn how to talk to other people who are more advanced on the path? How did you, you know, what did they do? You get ideas. And, and then Subhanallah, you should, surely you find Allah will open up paths for you different paths, you know. And one thing I've done so it's really important, is, um, I think it's really important to say that, you know, be flexible
with your goals, especially as women, you know, you have to just embrace what Allah has chosen for you at this particular time. You know, what I mean? Like,
I've gone through various stages, like I said, you know, raising my kids, but you know, kind of like, my kids have grown up now. And now I'm finding this window, where I'm able to kind of like, do my masters and really focus on it, which, I probably wouldn't do that before. Because, you know, Masters involves a lot of research. And I can't imagine myself doing this before. So it's like, you've just got to go with whatever I was giving you at that particular time, make the most of it.
But also, don't look down on what Allah has given you, as well, like, I find, I know myself, I'm going to be the first to admit that there have been times where I started certain classes, and I'm thinking to myself, you know, like, what am I really going to get out of this, and then the panel, I couldn't believe, the amount of blessing that came out of that class. So don't look down at what Allah is giving you. Like, you might think of, you know, what's, what's used to be learning this, this, you know, you might not, you know, I'm trying to say, like, there might be,
you know, you might get a lot, I might open a certain door for you to learn something, and you may think, what am I really getting out of this, but if you keep being patient with it, Inshallah, you'll find that Allah will show you like, that there's a lot of benefit in it. But, but as I said, as long as you have, you know, had that sincere intention, and you sought out, you know, the consultants, you know, with those who have knowledge that can kind of guide you in the right path. Yeah, when I was
dating, a higher level, I'm doing because everything's so accessible now that that thought does come like sometimes where it's like, oh, well, I could have just read this, or I could have just look this up. But what game overall in that class, or in that study, formal study, is, is different. It's something else, which you just didn't expect. So I really, I really like that, though, don't, you know, don't under appreciate, don't look down and what last primadonnas giving,
and in terms of being able to, to keep up or
you know, I know, if somebody has other responsibilities, whatever it is studying something else, work, family,
feeling like I just I don't, I don't have the capacity. I there was a piece of advice I saw, online actually, that says you can, you can do everything, just not all at the same time. So be patient with Allah subhanaw taala. So be patient with what Allah is giving with what Allah is giving us.
Allah chooses and as you mentioned earlier, that Allah chooses the knowledge for us we don't we don't choose it for ourselves so
we can continue to ask Allah Subhana Allah to guide us and I think that that would be that would be maybe first step in all of this is Ask Allah as guidance, what route should I take a lot open up the doors for me, what is best for me because all I truly know
and don't take on too much. Like if you know you've got a very busy schedule, you've got to work, you've got to firmly just don't take on too much just a little bit every week. And being consistent is better than you know doing too much and not being able to take anything in or you know, giving up because it was all too much for you, you know what I'm trying to say? So you just got to accept that there are certain times in your life where you won't be able to do as much you know and in those times just take just take small amounts, you know, and be consistent in that until a level that opens the door for you know for another time where things calm down and you know, and you're able to
really focus you know much more consistent way and that that's a prophetic advice I think I have to remind myself a lot is is better to do a little and be consistent meant a lot and then not not be consistent. And now we are coming to the end of
life today inshallah just gonna catch up with some of the questions so moving on from from the Arabic now
show how you've emphasized how important that but and studies and the Arabic was initially for yourself, somebody is asking how did
she harmed you might have been strengthen her Arabic I'm arriva.
assist, and I find it so hard.
Yeah, took me a very, very long time, but one way was.
So one way you try it, you need to try look through, where you can immerse yourself in the language, try look for context. So I used to have sisters that I would memorize Quran with for example, and they would only they would go Arabic speaking sisters, so I, you know, sit with them, which would speak only Arabic whenever I would meet up with them.
Another way is listening to subject matter that you know, what it means in English. And listening to the scholar speak about it like so for could be about like, the signs of the Day of Resurrection, for example, you know,
the signs up sorry, that the signs of the hour, you know, I'm trying to say, so you're listening to that, and you already know it in English, but you're listening to it in Arabic. And slowly, slowly, it all starts to, you start to put words together and it starts to fall into place, and you start understanding, nothing I was doing for a long time was translating from Arabic into English, that really built up my, my understanding, you know, my, my skills and understanding Arabic, and then reading a lot, you know, and then you just got to keep practicing the skills, you just got to keep practicing, it takes a long time and just be patient, you've got to realize it's a very long
journey, especially when we're living in the West. We're not We're not living, you know, if I was to live in the Middle East,
um, you know, I would, it would be a very different situation, but, um, you know, living in the West and always speaking English most of the time, obviously, your your language skills, especially with the spoken, doesn't really build up, like, you know, it'd be my case, I've got a massive difference between my, my ability in, for example, reading and understanding and, and even writing compared to say, you know, my spoken, I can speak fluently, but it's, you know, it's because I've practiced enough it gets rusty. Yeah. Yeah.
And I'd say my speaking is atrocious.
But in whenever, so all the sort of research that I've done into language learning, in particular, is that with language learning, just practice, practice, practice. And also, I think what holds us back is feeling sort of shy of getting it wrong. Because it's language is. So it's such a, it's communication. And we're so confident communicating in our native language, or our first language, maybe when we have to access another one. It's really unnerving not to be able to communicate or not to be able to understand because we're completely out of our comfort zone, something that's so naturally found completely unnatural.
We have a little input actually, from Shahar Raisa, who is
one of our Muslim women scholars, and she was mentioned in regards to studying secular institutes, that learning the dean is not equal to learning about the Dean secular Institute's teach them as an outsider. And I think that's an excellent point. Yeah, like definitely like your, your teacher, your traditional teacher is passing on the man along with the along with the knowledge, it's not just the knowledge, like as something that is devoid of its salt, you could say, you know, I'm trying to say so I think that, um, you know, and also, if they're putting the knowledge into context, you know, I'm trying to say so, yeah, definitely, I definitely wouldn't recommend studying through a Western
University, as opposed to studying with, you know, the traditional path. Yeah, yeah, definitely. Now, we have come to the end. So it just sort of we, if we have some, like, final points,
one question, which I, I think it's, it's close to me just because of it's something most of my own students asked a lot is, what can we do besides teaching? And it's because when we study genuinely, we go on to teach and this is a really cool part of our tradition of this knowledge is that one who studies tends to go on and teach it or spread it because that's a responsibility that we then spread the knowledge that we have.
But if somebody is not comfortable, for example, with in person teaching, or they find that the joint in or wherever it might be, what else can they do? How can they utilize the skills once they seek the knowledge of thing?
So look, I've seen like, so I've seen for example, I know, for example, shatta, Shazia, she's also on the members of the Muslim scholars network, like my shoulder to progress, she does amazing, you know, written pieces, you know, as she's pouring her knowledge into her writing. So we've all got different ways of bringing forth that knowledge. You know, like myself, I'm very passionate about teaching, but you know, then there's also
downfield. But for myself, what I found is,
with my path was like, you know, I saw how much people appreciated like that so much sisters appreciate in particular, like the clarity that was coming into their lives through what I was teaching. And then as I kept on going in the path, you know, going in this path of seeking, you know, specializing in the knowledge, I realized that the path I'm taking is really like a fog key fail. It's literally a fog cafe or, like, you know, a fog Cafe is like, where if, if one of us, you know, performs that, that responsibility, the rest of the community is absolved of the sin, you know, and the way I see female teachers in particular, is like, just like, you see a female doctor,
how important are female doctors in our community to have four sisters, right, and for everyone, not just for sisters, but how important and I feel like really female scholars, female teachers, they are, they are, like, every community needs to have at least one or two, like in their local community, they need to have that it's, it's what they give back. And it's the connection that also that they're giving, I think, especially in these times, we've got a lot of people going through different, um, you know, disconnect, sometimes some sisters are feeling disconnected and stuff like that. But I think that, you know, female scholars are really providing a very necessary link, you
know, to a lot of sisters back to back to Islam and making it relevant for a lot of sisters that may, I sort of felt like the falling out, away, you know, Jen, Stan, so I think, but, but also look at the field, look at the field, and the amount of rulings that particularly relate to women, and I find in particular, women feel really comfortable, you know, to contact me and, and seek advice and, and to seek, you know, I've become some sort of, like, consultant, I find I find, you know, in my community where people are consulting me about, okay, what options do I have? Islamically you know, what are my rights Islamically in this situation, you're trying to say, so,
you know, and the different phases that women go through, there's so much work involved, and so there's so much you can give back, there's so much you can give back to your community through through taking this path, inshallah. And I think if, if somebody isn't,
isn't embarking on scholarship of the,
at the very least seek the knowledge,
enough to benefit in whatever field you're in, to complement. So if you mentioned, like female doctors, for example, if you're a doctor seek all the knowledge is that is the Islamic knowledge in relation to your your field, in relation to medicine, in the field of
medicine, and whatever it may be. I'm not a doctor, so I don't. And the same I'd say for i know, as a teacher, even when I'm teaching in, like a secular context, the, what I've learned about being a teacher and about teaching from my Islamic study, and my study of them is always brought into whatever teaching I'm doing, so how Allah so just study, study,
whatever it's going to complement
your your field, even if you are
not embarking on scholarship, but of course, as showhome, Josephine said, it's, this this is truly a beautiful path. And, and once you've embarked on this path is called kapow, for there to be scholars within each community Inshallah, and remember to to everyone, like, there are some types of knowledge which she felt like they actually, you know, they are considered to be an individual obligation that we all need to know, like, everybody needs to know how to pray correctly, everyone needs to know how to fast correctly, you need to know your basics, you know, have your Amen in the, you know, the six pillars of Le Man of online, his, you know, His angels, His books, His messengers,
the day, the last day now we'll call it we'll call that so, you know, it's not just like, it's not just like, only some people should specialize. No, everybody should have a certain level of knowledge. And especially, as I always say, in this time, we're living in where we are. So surrounded by fiction and trials, every one of us needs to be somewhere on this path of knowledge. It's not a matter of choice anymore. It's a matter of, you know, you need to be somewhere on this path for yourself for your family. Because there's just too many sugar hurt. There's too much sugar hurts too much doubts now. You know, and their knowledge is what builds you up. And so and sort of
solidifies your Eman, you know, I think that's a perfect point. Advice piece of advice to end on. Inshallah it was
yeah, that that's that