Stick to what you know: And if you don’t know just leave it at that

Stick to what you know. You might have heard that Imam Malik is known for saying, “I don’t know.” A man came from a faraway land seeking answers on various rulings. He asked a large number of questions to which the famed Imam and scholar of Madinah only answered a few, to the rest he said, “I don’t know.”

We have a joke with one of my teacher’s that whenever we have an exam and we don’t know the answer we just write, “I don’t know,” and remind him that we follow Imam Malik. He always laughs and then marks it wrong anyways.

I bring this up because we are in the age of the internet. Not long ago I posted a ruling in the school of Madinah and I received a message in seconds. The ruling (in his opinion) was wrong, and he wanted to share with me the proof. Except, he didn’t actually have anything to say, rather, he sent me a link to a well-known fatwa website.

When I asked him if he personally studied the school, it’s proofs, or any school for that matter, the answer was a resounding, “No.” Did he read or speak Arabic? No. Did he study the foundations of Hadith? No. Did he study anything that would allow him to personally make a judgement, No. Yet, he still had an opinion.

We are in an age where you can know absolutely nothing and simultaneously know everything.

People are satisfied with ignorance until they are put in the position (or they place themselves there) of needing to know what they never took the time to learn before. When put in the position, instead of being honest with themselves, they do whatever it takes to give the portrayal of knowledge, which usually is a google search.

Don’t dare asking someone to read a scholarly essay either, they’ll tell you it’s too long.

Don’t let society pressure you into having an opinion on everything. You don’t have to have an answer.  Save yourself, save the community, and say what you know. And if you don’t know, follow in the footsteps of the Scholar of Madinah and tell them, “I don’t know,” or just talk about the weather.


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