It’s tradition. All that we have has been passed down to us. This isn’t only the case in religion, it’s the truth with language, culture, and even the knowledge we build upon in the art and sciences. Our progress is only due to the progress of those before us. This is why I am confused at the lack of respect we give to our teachers. We inherit because they bequeath, if they didn’t we would be in ruin.
One of my teachers told me the story of how whenever he visits his home country he immediately goes home to rest, the next morning he takes a 10 hour bus drive to visit his shaykh. Once he arrives he will do nothing more than kiss his hand, drink tea with him, if he’s lucky he will rub his feet, and then take the bus back. Why you ask? Because this man opened his eyes to the inner realities of this world. Not only that, my teacher grew up in a poor home and it was his shaykh that saw something special in him. He paid his food, bought him clothing and did this for 100’s of other students. There are some students the shaykh even helped to get married and paid for their expenses, they transcended the student/teacher relationship and became more like parent/child.
This type of relationship is what makes knowledge truly transformative. This is when we take teachers, speakers, and callers to the faith outside of the realm of celebrity and into the realm of being transformative. When they invest their hearts in us and we invest our time in them.
We all need teachers. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ could have been given the revelation without any intermediary but instead God chose to have the Prophet visited by the Angel Gabriel. Teachers are powerful. This shaykh that supported 100’s of students, how do you think he did it? Because long ago someone invested in him, and when you support a person of knowledge the investment is nothing like you’ve seen before. Let us be like the sibha, composed of a 100 pieces, fashioned by one who has toiled for hours to create the perfect shape, & in the hands of a believer, a gateway to the Paradise.
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