Friday, June 6, 2008

Is the Knowledge Being Taken Away?

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr bin Al' As: I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "Allah does not take away the knowledge, by taking it away from (the hearts of) the people, but takes it away by the death of the religious learned men till when none of the (religious learned men) remains, people will take as their leaders ignorant persons who when consulted will give their verdict without knowledge. So they will go astray and will lead the people astray." (Book #3, Hadith #100)

This hadith was brought up in one of my classes a few weeks ago and I really can't stop thinking about it. It says so much about what is happening today. Many of our great scholars are getting older and dying and we are not getting so many great ones to replace them.

I am not going to name names, because that always gets me in trouble, but I find that the Ummah is starting to treat some of these 'scholars' of modern times like rock stars. Focusing on their method of delivery rather than the validity of the content. I've also seen people relying more and more on people who are not really scholars at all. These men have studied certain aspects of Islam, but are far from the level of the true scholars of the past and present. **I am editing this part out, because even though I didn't name names, it still got me in trouble. I'm sure we can all think of someone that fits this description.**

I always found it sad when a new revert to Islam is misguided by one of these people. May allah protect us all from that.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Salaam Jamilah,

I'm not really sure who it is you're unhappy with, and based on some conversations from a while back I think we probably disagree on who the good scholars are... which is fine. But I definitely agree with you that the knowledge is being taken away, and that the scholars aren't being replaced.

Especially since I've gotten to study the four imams and their fiqh lately, it's kind of overwhelming to think about what those imams knew--they had memorized not just the whole Qur'an but literally thousands of hadith and fatwas from the Companions and so on.

Today (2008) we have access to things, and knowledge, that weren't available in perhaps 1958, or 1908. The knowledge is becoming accessible--I mean, we have hadith databases, searchable online! That's pretty amazing. But there is even more knowledge being brought to the public.

And even though the knowledge really faded, I think, and was left with only a handful of really prominent scholars in the last few generations, there is an opportunity for the Muslims to reclaim that knowledge. We just need to commit to it. I wrote a post on something similar to this, called the Resurgence of Scholarly Thought.