It’s been weeks since I last posted. Good reason: our teacher wasn’t available. Our classes did go on, but we didn’t discuss the lessons much. So it wasn’t as thought-provoking as it used to be.
So last Friday, we had some discussion with our teacher and these lines from the book struck me:
ماذا يفيد الأمة علم كالبحار في السعة، وكالجبال في العظمة، والقلوب منه فارغة، والجوارح منه خالية، وأثره في الحياة مفقود؟.
ماذا ينفع البشرية من علوم كالجبال، وأعمال كالذر، وسبب ذلك:
التفقه لغير الدين.. والتعلم لغير العمل.. وأكل الدنيا بالدين.. والتجمل بالعلم أمام الناس.. وفقد الإخلاص.
[Roughly translated:] What will the nations benefit from knowledge that is like seas in amplitude, and mountains in grandeur, when the hearts are empty from it, and the body parts are free from it, and its impact on life is missing?
What will humans benefit from sciences such as mountains (implies greatness), when actions are like particles (implies nothingness)? And the reason for that:
understanding (studying hard) but not for religion, and learning but not to work, and eating (attaining) this world by selling religion, and beautification of knowledge before people, and the loss of fidelity.
The translation ruins it. Badly. :|
The writer’s talking about how knowledge, no matter how much in quantity, is of no benefit as long as it does not enter one’s heart, and is seen in his actions, and has an effect on his life. If you don’t believe in something you know, and don’t practice it in your life, it remains mere information. It’s not knowledge. And it has no benefit whatsoever.
Today, we’ve made endless discoveries in science and technology, achieved milestones that no other nation probably did before us. So many sciences, so many subjects, so many ways to recognize our Creator, yet a vast majority remains either ignorant of Him, or plain defiant. Why is that? The writer gives a few reasons:
- We study, but not for religion. In other words, we can have deep understanding in everything but religion.
We gain degrees upon degrees in subjects of arts and sciences, but don’t know the ABC of our Deen. Let alone, getting a major in Islamic Sciences.
- We learn, but not to practice.
We might study religion, but not to make it a part of our lives. We take it for information only, storing data in the remote memory files of our brains. But it never sees the daylight, it never comes out, it never becomes knowledge.
- We prefer dunya over deen. We even sell deen to attain some material benefit of this dunya. We’ve stooped to such levels.
- We beautify the ilm (knowledge) in front of people. We show off. We want praise from people. Again, a worldly benefit.
- We lack sincerity. Being two-faced or having double standards, whatever you may call it. Our intentions are not pure.
May Allah save us from the knowledge that does not benefit us, that is only burden upon us. Be it little, let it serve the real purpose.