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INCOGNIZANCE

DISCORDANCE BETWEEN
THEORY AND PRACTISE
AMONGST MUSLIMS AND ARAB NATIONS

RABAB MAHER

Even if a person reads and teaches a

hundred thousand books on

intellectual and knowledgeable issues

but does not act on any of it, then it

will not benefit him at all . . .

~ Imâm Al-Ghazāli Allâh Yirĥamu

Islâm is perfect.

Muslims are, categorically, not.
Born a Muslim or into a Muslim family or “being” a Muslim

doesn’t imply one’s equipped to speak, teach, educate

or write about Islâm.

All Muslims need to be suitably EDUCATED to comprehend

the beauty of Islâm, and those of us who choose to share

whatever knowledge we gain, – privately or publically –

need to do so even more.

LITTLE DEFERENCE FOR ISLÂM

Examining the approach towards teaching Islamic and

Qur’ânic Studies in “educational” systems, the respect

owed to Islâm is questionable, whether it’s through

teaching methods or the teacher.

Focussing on universities, observing the type of students

permitted to enrol for a degree in the field, are students

whose grades are average or less (not that I place

importance on the “educational” grading system

anyhow).

When compared to “high-grading” degree fields, it puts

into perspective how Muslims view Islamic and Qur’ânic

Studies: it’s not for the “high-graders”, but for the average

who couldn’t enrol elsewhere.
Some even consider it a vice to study Islamic Studies unless

one must or views it as an easier option to obtain a degree.

Is it a wonder then that many graduates aren’t forward

thinkers for the betterment of the Ummah or not fit to

propagate Islâm!

Many don’t even understand the text or context of The

Holy Qur’ân, although they think they do, for their grasp of

the Arabic language leaves little to desire.

Let alone Arabs residing in Arab countries, precisely

Muslims, who attack others when they don’t speak fluent

Arabic, imposing their linguistic ways on them, when their

reasons for speaking the language has nothing to do with

Islâm but the irrelevant “ethnic” one.

We can’t expect otherwise when the emphasis in

teaching Islâm is lowering the standards.

ILL PREPARED

Be it universities, schools, private circles, centres, social

gatherings, etc., there are several underlying

commonalties many preachers and propagators share.

To name a few:
The lack of knowledge or improper method at

tackling challenging questions and topics.

Words and actions are inharmonious – not focussing

on, or applying, the significance and

consequences of maintaining a congruency

between what’s said and done.

Selective teaching by teaching what they deem

suitable, in accordance with their lifestyles, and

nothing contradicting it.

They rarely teach rational, critical, cognitive and

creative thinking, the value of listening and the

value of time.

Adding to the above, one major concern, seeking the

truth doesn’t seem to be a priority because then it may

contradict personal beliefs.

Moreover, there’s a deficiency in humility and humbleness

for many will not admit they may not have the answers as

some construe it as a sign of weakness, when the reverse

is true.

An observable example illustrating all the above is the

tedious and incessant argument that smoking is forbidden

when there isn’t a single ĥadeeth mentioning it by name,

but very few who share about simple healthy eating and

natural living despite the numerous aĥadeeth highlighting
what, how and the amount we’re to consume, not to

mention Qur’ânic signs.

The Prophetic Medicine by Imâm Ibnul Qayyim Al-

Jawziyyah Allâh Yirĥamu is one invaluable source illuminating

just that and more.

All one has to do is look at the scholars, imams, sheikhs,

those “permitted” to conduct “religious circles”, to

understand why this is the case: they preach about what

they don’t do (smoking) and remain quiet about what

they do (unhealthy eating habits, unnatural “remedies”

such as prescription pills) contrary to the aĥadeeth.

Not to mention listening to the average Muslim who

prattles on about the dangers of smoking but dismiss the

dangers of unhealthy eating (habits), what it does to our

energy levels and body at a bacterial, cellular and

genetical level, our internal systems including

reproduction, and the direct and indirect effect it has on

our organs and brain.

Why?

Because we’re guilty of the latter, gorging ourselves into a

slow and miserable death, popping in pills like drug

addicts that mostly have adverse effects with dosages

and variety only increasing with time and age, becoming

a burden on others, with one or more of the preventable

“dis-eases” to prove it, that are increasingly plaguing us.
Because many of us are dying of “terminal” illnesses opting

for unnatural ways to “treat” them without even praying

Istikhâra Prayer, asking ‘why me?’ or blaming our genetics

or Allâh ‫سبْحا َن ُه َوتَعالَى‬
ُ ,

♡ ‫صي َب ٍة فَبِ َم ا كَسَ َب ْت أ َ ْيدِيكُ ْم‬
ِ ‫♡ َو َما أَصَابَكُ ْم ِم ْن ُم‬

{Whatever misfortune befalls you is

a result of your own doing}

(42:30)

rather than reflecting on our lifestyles and going back to

the basics free from the unnatural and toxic as illumed in

The Holy Qur’ân and aĥadeeth.

Narrated by Ibn Abbās , The Prophet ‫ ﷺ‬said,

There are two blessings many people

waste: health and free time.

Conversing with and listening to graduates of Islamic or

Qur’ânic Studies and witnessing (avoidable) errors or

injustices, makes one sigh at the kind of minds and hearts

out there spreading and lecturing about Islâm, passing

judgements and rulings (in courts), and so forth.
They’ve proven a degree doesn’t mean one’s eligible to

do a competent job.

It does mean, however, an accountability for the

knowledge gained within those studying years if not

applied and should the outcome be futile.

Islâm isn’t an obtainable degree via courses to pass in

which an “educational” institution dictates as a

requirement to graduate (true for all degrees worldwide).

Yet it can be of benefit to those who do want to study it

for the right reasons: acquiring, applying and

disseminating knowledge learnt FOR the Sake and Love of

Allâh ‫ ُس ْبحا َن ُه َو َتعالَى‬.

IQRA’ AND EDIFICATION

The first word revealed to our Beloved Prophet

Muhammad ‫ ﷺ‬was Iqra’, a potent word with a profound

meaning: to read, pursue and seek knowledge (religious

and nonreligious), think, ponder, contemplate, educate,

learn, and so much more.

Islâm is a vast religion and a way of life, and knowledge is

infinite.
For Muslims to progress spiritually, religiously, intellectually,

mentally, psychologically, emotionally and physically, the

word iqra’ and its connotations is to be deeply embraced,

entrenched and exercised.

We think the number of books on our shelves, lectures we

listen to, seminars we attend, degrees, backgrounds or

geographical locations, dictates our competency to

educate.

It doesn’t.

It’s the diligence and willingness to think and perpetually

learn for the sheer pleasure of enriching our lives with

knowledge and awareness for our intellectual and spiritual

growth.

It’s practising what we know in theory and educating

through example.

Knowledge without action is

arrogance.

~ Imâm Ash-Shâf’i Allâh Yirĥamu

SUNDAY, 11TH MAY 2014