Sunday, August 1, 2010

How Do You Feel as a Student of Knowledge? 2

BismiLLAH was salaatu was salaamu ‘alaa ashrafil anbiyaa was mursaleen.

After my last post, I was so surprised how so many people reacted to the subject expressed in the post. I was so glad to receive emails from different brothers and sisters sharing with me their views and advices, sharing in my pains and trying to put themselves in my shoes.

I decided to post some of these emails sent to me and comments on the blog. I think it will be nice for some of the readers of this blog to also benefit from these beautiful advices and observations from amazing brothers and sisters at the aid of this sinful slave.

The first I will put here is the email sent to me by my dearest friend, my old house mate in my days in Damascus, sidi Waathiq from UK.
Asssalamu alaikum sidi,

I’m sending you this email right away after I read your 'sadness' post on the blog.

I want to 'knock' some senses into you. I feel your pain sidi, you may remember me telling you how things changed here when I returned and guys doing this and that, and the brother who got shot, etc. Sidi, remember one thing you have improved and advanced in your deen and spirituality even if you don't feel it, that's why you can see all the stuffs around you and it pains you. You spent so much time with the awliya that you became light, and can see darkness and I tell you here, darkness is a synonym for problems, and it is said A problem known is half solved.

So first is like you said, 'studying the environment', you have got that now, its expected that you'll feel sad, but don't stay in that mode! If it makes you feel better, then remember that Sayyiduna Rasul Allah (salla Allahu alayhi wa aalihi wasallam) was in an environment of kufr, and idolatry, and sinful doings, my God they used to bury children alive, women walking bare-chest, etc! But He (sallaa Allahu alayhi wa aalihi wasallam) over 23 years, 23 YEARS, with 13 years of suffering REFORMED the whole society. Remember the Shuyukh who have reformed thousands of lives who are alive today!

Therefore remember, that you too can make an effort and changes. And remember changing of hearts is in the hands of the Great One, not in yours, therefore, do what you must and need, but don't allow your heart to become attached to the people, keep it connected, unwaving, with your Lord and the Prophet, the awliya and their aid that comes to you. Now it’s about putting all your knowledge into experience and practice.

Sidi, don't forget to speak to people on the level they are on. Some people you cannot speak about intricate fiqh issues with because they're on another planet! You need to bring them into masjid first. I believe your most beneficial weapon is good character & mercy. See them as victims, not perpetuators. The society, media, people have caused them to 'mess up'. Many of them are ignorant, and just need correct knowledge to make a change and strong irrefutable daleel (remember that sidi, we are people of burhaan! like you used to say to me, baarakaAllahu feek), and sincerity in dealing with them. I try to speak to people on a heart to heart level, so they are accepting of you first and you develop a connection that allows it to be easier, have mercy but don't compromise.

Remember Sh.Muhammed told us once that Sh.Ibrahim al-Ya'qoubi had a man who was coming into his home who had long hair, was wearing even a gold ring, basically he was a 'chiller'. After he spoke to Sh.Ibrahim, and asked him questions, he was happy, the man went. Sh.Muhammed said I said father, you never admonished him on his gold ring?? He said, wait, give him time, let his heart become attached to us. Slowly, the man time after time kept coming, and eventually he removed his gold ring, cut his hair short, he loved Sh.Ibrahim & become much more better without the Shaykh even telling him! Just remember Sayyiduna Shaykh Muhammed's way of dealing with people when you were around the Shaykh and the type of people who came to him and the way of the Shaykh himself.

You certainly have a lot of challenges but this should give you more himmah and stronger desire to study even harder for Allah ta'la's deen! People who quote useless things to justify their positions, remember that once you show the truth, like Allah ta'la said, when truth comes falsehood vanishes, so its simple, truth needs to be apparant. Remember sidi, this is the making of an alim, and a da'ee, and murshid and a true slave of Allah ta'la. Infact i'll go as far as to say that, the more obstacles you are facing the more potentially closer you are to Allah ta'la! Because the truth is always there, its only you who needs to seek it and then present it to the one who shows falsehood & lo you'll see his falsehood vanish, this is strengthening your knowledge, and the truth and causing you to do more research, memorizing and other student of knowledge duties to make you a real tool and benefit. At least, before you return back to Mauritania inshAllah, you have got an idea, and you have a stronger himmah to work harder. The changes have to come from somewhere and someone, otherwise they carry on, remember the ulama who reformed the world at a time when there was death of the society, spirituality and deen, such as Sayyiduna al-Qadir al-Jaylani and Imam Ghazali, therefore let it strengthen you and not sadden you. May Allah ta'la grant you tawfeeq.

And remember one thing sidi, if there is anything you take away, that Allah ta'la says if you give his deen victory he will give you victory. Don't forget that everytime you step out of the house.

Please keep this faqir in your duas, your brother, companion & friend, wathiq.

And the one below came from a dear friend and brother from the UK

Yes Sidi .... i was reading the blog and it all makes sense now. It’s a sad state that many of us are in Sidi and it needs many more like you to leave home, sacrifice your life and learn the deen, before returning home and try to rectify the state of our affairs. Its very easy to follow the trend go to school, college, universities and become doctors, engineers, accountants, lawyers etc. We are very selfish as a muslim community. As we do not look at the needs of the community rather we simply look to fulfil our selfish desires and aspirations. Our community has enough doctors, lawyers, engineers etc yet our parents want their children to become doctors, lawyers, engineers! We do not have enough scholars, qari, hafiz, muftis, qadi. In the past scholars use to practice medicine, law, engineering etc.

But the educational system is not here to serve the muslims. It has partitioned religion and society. It does not allow for both to be done at the same time. One would have to complete one set of studies before moving onto the other. For example if you finish becoming a doctor only then can you leave and learn the deen. However many of our doctors, engineers etc once completing their studies are too immersed in the dunya that they cannot just abandon everything and leave to become scholars. I feel this is the roots of our problem. The fitna that we see are its fruits! Sidi its not just your country that you see these problems.

Unfortunately this is the state everywhere in the world where the Muslims have abandoned their identity, inherited legacy, heritage and beautiful history and have traded it for the lifestyle and culture of another people and nations. When we Muslims take on the clothing, lifestyle, priorities, social life's, jobs, jokes, speech, language etc of the western world then we automatically take on board the diseases that come with it. Sisters and brothers wearing inappropriate clothing, structuring our lives so that prayer, fasting, zakat and hajj are no longer important, our no. 1 priority becomes dunya, many brothers and sisters take jobs that does not allow them to practice their religion many times the job entails wearing haram clothing and uncovering of the hair, we take part in jokes that can sometimes take us out of Islam without us knowing it, we have abandoned our mother tongues and so disconnected ourselves from our forefathers and this is the cause for a partition between our elders and youth ... tools for communication lost and so the only people that can communicate with our youth is the people that speak the language! etc ..... These are just observations that a simple mind makes when i look around me. Maybe i'm too naive and certainly i do not have knowledge to speak in this field. Also sadly i am one of these people that i have mentioned above. May Allah help us all to tawfiq to correct our ways before its too late.

Sidi people like you are fighters struggling against shaytaan in defending your people, this ummah. I pray your eagerness and enthusiasm remains always with you and you continue with this dawah work till your last breath inshaAllah. Maybe you can get hold of a few brothers and form a group so that the sunnah lifestyle can spread between our brothers and sisters in your home town. Forming a group simply gives the youth an identity, objective, goal and is more tangible. What im trying to say is that it gives them a sense of belonging. For example, you have a group weekend camp where you live for two days according to the sunnah of our beloved Prophet praying tahajjud, five times prayers, the supererogatory acts. Also this allows them to learn all the practical aspects i.e., how to do wudhu properly, how to pray solat properly etc.

Meanwhile to give them entertainement in forms of nasheed's and stories of the friend of Allah in the past ... the awliyah ... this gives them motivation. I feel all in all our hearts need to be reconnected with Allah which is only done through following our Beloved Prophet. Anyway Sidi i did'nt realise i have written so much ... simply emptying my heart and mind as i too worry many times on this topic. The difference between me and you is that i am part of the problem whereas you are on the otherside ... the one with the solutions. Take care Sidi ..... sorry about the length of the email and sorry for talking about this which i have no qualifications to talk about.

Another beautiful email is that sent to me from my brother Abu Ayyub who is presently seeking knowledge with his family in Egypt.

I also wanted to write to you and let you know that your recent post has touched me deeply.

When the Rasul (saaw) described Islam, he (saaw) said, "Islam will enter as a stranger and depart from this world as a stranger, so glad tidings for the strangers." (Muslim)

So often I have felt that few people will understand true thirst for ilm and true love and longing for the Rasul (saaw). It has been two years since I came to the Middle East and the longer I stay away from my home in the West and even see the state of Muslims here, the more I feel isolated and misunderstood, the more I feel alone and saddened. Even those closest to you cannot fully grasp the sheer need to study so far away and so often for so long. But how can one turn away from noor when one has sat at the feet of the inheritors of the Rasul (saaw)? How can one reject the purest lifestyle in emulation of our beloved Prophet (saaw) for one that is more concerned with this world and all its temptations? How does one return to a state of darkness when one was eclipsed in light?

You will be a stranger to this world, a stranger to those around you, but in this strangeness Allah All Mighty will guide you to others like you; alone, but not lost, seemingly far from people and yet on the other hand, close to Allah and His Messenger (saaw).

I remember the night, upon completing As'Shamail Muhammadiyyah when Shaykh Muhammad al Yaqoubi told those gathered, "Now the responsibility lies on you. Now that you have this knowledge a greater burden awaits you. (That is teaching it to others)" You have embarked on a daunting task, a heavy burden and an inescapable duty to your family. But I believe that what you are feeling is the reality of the student of Sacred Knowledge. These feelings inside you should only convince you that you are on the right path, for once you begin to compromise certain dealings or relationships, or no longer ask your friends to stop their music, or your heart stops crying for our lost brothers and sisters then you should see that you are no longer a stranger but like everyone else.

May Allah continue to guide us on the Path of the Righteous and bring our ummah to guidance and obedience. Ameen. You will be in my duas.

Your brother,

Abu Ayyub

I couldn’t leave out this email coming from my big sister; Sarah

Dear Brother in Islam,I was moved by your blog today to write, but couldn't work out how to reply, since I neither have the patience nor himmah to work out electronic stuff. So please forgive me for writing by email, if indeed this still works...Sincerity is not an easy thing; many think it is very easy, that they are being honest, but no; sidq is a hard maqam, and to me your words are those of the sadiq. Alhamdulillah for that.

Your pain sounds like bereavement, having left what is true and light for that which is false and dark. I have Rahmah for you and inshAllah Allah Azawajal in His Infinite Mercy will make the transition easier for you. I don't know about these things but I would imagine that that ease might be manifest through obedience, obedience in teaching everything that you have learned. May you taste His Satisfaction with you through your obedience, may you feel the faraj through Him, and leave the yearning for the place in which you found Him and His Deen.We are in the Middle East, and for ten years; I imagine if I were to have to return to the West I would be in a much worse state than you. That is why I feel for you, because I don't want this test for myself or my children.

May you pass the test that I would certainly fail.May Allah Azawajal give you all the tawfiq and ease in spreading the Deen, which is obedience to His Command, and not following one's own opinion, which is something so prevalent as you have seen.

your sister in Islam, Sarah