Near the end of our trip to the book fair the shaykh pulled one of the senior students to the side and began talking to him sternly. I walked a bit closer in order to hear the discussion.
The Shaykh was advising him that it wasn’t enough for him to have spent his years memorizing texts in Fiqh, Aqeedah and the like. In a few more years he would be back in his home country and he would be seen as a scholar. People will crowd around him in order to understand their deen and while what he has learned is great and will serve his community, as a student of knowledge he ought to have more.
Is it bad that he has the words of scholars tied to his heart? Of course not.
Is it of no benefit that he will hold classes with these texts? There will be immense benefit.
But Shaykh advised him to take not just books on the basic fields of Islam but to purchase books on History, Politics, Economy, Biology, and the like.
Why? Because by studying and reading these books all that he has learned will truly come alive.
He will truly begin to realize the depth of knowledge and the people will realize the difference between a lake and an ocean. They will realize how much he has to offer and he will realize just how much more he has yet to learn.
The same for those who have never taken a step into the realm of Islamic Studies. They may have studied business, but have never learned what makes a business contract null and void according to their faith. They studied family law but never learned what the Sharia has to say about marriage, or child custody.
So many could benefit themselves greatly by broadening their horizons and by learning more than what is put in front of them.
If only we all understood what it meant to seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave. Wouldn’t that be beautiful?
Jumada Al Awwal 22 1440
January 28, 2019
Arthur K. Richards
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