Article ☁ Incognisance: Discordance between Theory and Practise

INCOGNISANCE

DISCORDANCE BETWEEN THEORY AND PRACTISE

AMONGST MUSLIMS AND ARAB NATIONS

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 رحمه الله

Islâm is perfect.

Muslims are, categorically, not.

Born a Muslim or into a Muslim family or “being” a Muslim does not 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 publicly – need to do so even more.

We cannot be dilettantes here if we plan to share, spread, educate or teach, and we cannot do either if we are not actively applying what we learn.

{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَ تَقُولُونَ مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ

كَبُرَ مَقْتًا عِندَ اللَّهِ أَن تَقُولُوا مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ}

{O you who believe, why do you say what you do not do? Great is hatred in the sight of Allâh that you say what you do not do.}

(61:2-3)

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 is 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 is not for the “high-graders”, but for the average who could not 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 are not forward thinkers for the betterment of the Ummah or not fit to propagate Islâm!

Many do not even understand – or want to make the effort – 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.

It does not help when some Arabs residing in some Arab countries, precisely Muslims, who attack others when they do not 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 cannot expect otherwise when the emphasis in teaching Islâm is lowering the standards – and misplaced priorities.

ILL PREPARED

Be it universities, schools, private circles, centres, social gatherings, etc., there are several underlying commonalities 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 is 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, how to reason reflectively and introspect, the value of listening and the value of time – as CLEARLY guided in The Holy Qur’ân and Aĥadeeth.

Adding to the above, one major concern, seeking the truth does not seem to be a priority because then it may contradict personal beliefs.

Moreover, there is 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.

INCOMPETENCE

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 have proven a degree does not 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 is not 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 genuinely want to study it for the right reasons: actively acquiring, applying and disseminating knowledge learnt FOR the Sake and Love of Allâh ﷻ.

DO AS WE SAY, NOT AS WE DO

SMOKING

An observable example illustrating all the above is the tedious and incessant argument that smoking is forbidden when there is not 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 are to consume, not to mention Qur’ânic signs.

The Prophetic Medicine by Imâm Ibnul Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah رحمه الله is one invaluable source illuminating just that and more.

All one has to do is look at many scholars, imams, sheikhs, those “permitted” to conduct “religious circles”, to understand why this is the case: they mainly preach about what they do not do (smoking) and remain quiet about what they do (unhealthy eating habits, unnatural “remedies” such as prescription pills that kill more people than drugs) 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 gums and teeth, internal systems including reproductive, and the direct and indirect effect it has on our organs (our poor little hearts and adrenals) and brain.

Why?

Because we are guilty of the latter, gorging ourselves and inflaming our bodies into a slow and miserable death, opting for allopathic medicine to suppress symptoms rather than addressing them holistically, 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 industrialised-based modern-day “dis-eases” to prove it, that are increasingly plaguing us.

Because many of us are dying of “terminal” maladies opting for unnatural ways to “treat” them without even praying Istikhâra Prayer first, asking ‘why me?’ or blaming our doctors, families, genetics, societies or Allâh ﷻ,

{وَمَا أَصَابَكُمْ مِنْ مُصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ}

{Whatever misfortune befalls you

is a result of your own doing.}

(42:30)

rather than reflecting on our lifestyles, returning to the roots (Islâm as the healing way of life), and going back to the basics (simple whole earth aromatics, healing and challenging movement, etc.), free from the unnatural and toxic as illumed in The Holy Qur’ân and Aĥadeeth.

Narrated by Ibn Abbās رضي الله عنه, The Prophet said,

There are two blessings many people waste:

health and free time.

Before we decide to “raise awareness” about smoking, let us first make sure our hearts and deeds are aligned with Islâm, our tongues not toxic and waists slim, by simply applying the beautiful and clear guidance from Allâh ﷻ and his last messenger ﷺ.

This way, when we approach the subject, or any topic, we do so from a aligned, balanced, consistent, HEALTHY and objective place, and resonating energy.

We are to admit what we do not know to ourselves and develop a beginner’s mindset for this kind of applicable learning for a harmonious aura in and out of our homes.

IQRA AND EDIFICATION

The first word revealed to our Beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was 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 healing way of life, and knowledge is infinite.

For Muslims to progress IN ALL AREAS OF LIFE, the word iqra’ and its connotations is to be deeply embraced, entrenched and exercised.

Only those who have already experienced a revolution within themselves can reach out effectively to help others.

~ Malcolm X رحمه الله

We think the number of books on our shelves, lectures we listen to, seminars we attend, degrees we obtain, the number of sûrahs we memorise, the weekly religious or Qur’ânic sessions we make time for, our backgrounds or geographical locations, dictate our competency to educate.

IT DOES NOT.

It is the diligence and willingness to think and perpetually learn for the sheer pleasure of enriching our lives with knowledge and awareness for our self, intellectual and spiritual growth.

It is practising what we know in theory and educating through example.

Knowledge without action is arrogance.

~ Imâm Ash-Shâf’i رحمه الله
~ 2014 ~

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