Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Eid Special: Facebook Sheikhs

His creation-Surah Ali-'Imran (3:190)

Assalamualaikum wbt..

Volume 6, Book 61, Number 546:

Narrated Uthman bin Affan:

The Prophet SAW said,"The best among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Quran and teach it."
Dear brothers and sisters in Islam,

1. This topic, 'Facebook Sheikhs' is an interesting one to me not only because of what it may suggest in meaning, but because I believe I have personal association with it plus some personal opinion about the way this phrase is used and understood.

2. For those whom feels that this phrase sounds very familiar, yes it is from a popular You Tube Video by Brother Nouman Ali Khan which you can watch below (or later-after you read the whole article):

3. Like many brothers and sisters out there whom continuously do their part to spread the message of Islam, I too always aspire to learn more about Islam and then teach it (or share). The latest development on my part is a series of ongoing regular presentation on select topics through my Facebook page, Ibnu Hanaffi's Dakwah Effort and Archive (IH.DE.NA) which are available on YouTube and Vimeo as listed below;

You Tube
Episode one: The Unseen (English)
Episode two: Warrior and Worrier (English)
Episode three: Presenting Islam (Malay Language)- Coming soon insya Allah

Extra: The Inimitable Quran (English)- Presented live in IMU

This blog you are reading now is complementary to this small effort.

4. Now let me get straight to the point. I shall begin by extending my sincerest apologies should my efforts in dakwah here may have disturbed some of us.

5. I intend to take the bright side and believe that these people are concern about me and more importantly about Islam that we should be careful when spreading the message of Islam especially when it comes to Quranic reference or hadith quotation.

6. Therefore, as I mentioned earlier, I am writing this article primarily with a sincere intention to invite us to investigate the issue of 'Facebook Sheikhs' in a more rational and JUST perspective. For that, I will present my opinions.

7. First of, most of (if not the entire) video above speaks of how we shouldn't act like a person who knows all and use our knowledge to debate against others or argue against scholars. Rather it speaks of the need to avoid egoism while having intellectual humility. 

8. The phrase 'Facebook Sheikhs' is not mentioned by the speaker (Bro. Nouman) too, but mere a title used by the guy who uploaded the above video on You Tube.

9. My point is simple. Please do not mistakenly or unintentionally use this video to discourage our brothers and sisters out there from doing their part to speak about Islam that we all love.

10. I mean, please get the fact right i.e he doesn't remind us merely on what we do, but on the attitude we have when doing it. In other words, it is not just about doing dakwah, but it's about having the right attitude to be sincere and humble when doing it, plus to be ready to be corrected by anyone with an honest and open heart (should we make mistake) instead of to emotionally engage in debate.

11. To make it fair to you, I provide another video from the same speaker below in which he explains that there is a difference between scholars and dai'e (a person who does dakwah i.e invite people to the way of Allah). Taking this from his point of view, it is suffice to conclude (from my perspective), that every Muslim should be a da'ie provided that we adhere strictly to a number of conditions or etiquette. 

12. Again, I'd kindly recommend that you read the entire article first before you watch the video. By the way, let me quote one part from him, word by word before I continue composing this article. 

"A dai'e's job is to take from what the scholars say, and then reiterate that and communicate that to the masses of people (and here's the important thing) while UNDERSTANDING THE LIMITS!" (time: 3.49-4.01)

13. Now, everyone of us, the moment we consider ourselves a Muslim, then we have to know that our responsibility in many variable ways is always to share Islam with people around us. In fact, it is this job that makes us the best of nation!

"You are the best nation which has ever been raised for guidance of mankind. You enjoin good, forbid evil, and believe in Allah."

Surah Ali-Imran (3:110)

14. Here is the final part of this article. Honestly speaking, I do not try to justify my action (doing dakwah as a student) here. On the contrary, I believe I am speaking on behalf of many other brothers and sisters out there, whom do the same job through their usrah, blog, videos, Facebook, Twitter, posters, and many other media we have in this modern world.

15. But I promise myself to learn more on the etiquette of being a student of Quran and Islam, the same way much I hope that all of you here will do the same. 

16. We have to shift our paradigm. First, there is difference between a message and a messenger. The same way, there is difference between a speech and a speaker.

17. An unbiased individual would not look at the messenger or the speaker alone, but the message and the speech also. For example, if today, a young kid says something scientific such as that sun rises from the East, does the fact that he is just a kid and not a scientist makes the message incorrect or irrelevant in any way?

18. No, of course not. No matter whom are the speaker, if a speech is correct, then it is. Sun rises from East for certain. Looking it from another way, if today an expert in Science says something scientifically illogical such as men can live without oxygen, then as far as the most recent fact is concern, this statement is wrong (and the fact that he is a Science expert does not make any difference at all)!

19. However, the examples above are hypothetical of course. Still though, when a friend gives us a piece of advice and it is true, don't ignore it just because he is merely a friend. Look at the message too of course. This should apply to me, and all of you as well.

Etiquette of a student of knowledge and Quran

20. I am learning to practice a few of the etiquettes which are important when gaining knowledge. I hope I can share with all of you.

21. First, the intention must always be rightly set i.e it's not to show off, to argue with other people etc. but merely for the sake of pleasing Allah SWT. Sincerity must be there too.

22. Second, we must know our limit. I am a medical student. I am not qualified to do many things that a scholar in Islam does. As aforementioned, we however should always remind each other as a Muslim, because every Muslim is automatically a da'ie, so long as we don't go beyond our limit (in knowledge).

23. Third, always and all the time, we have to make do'a (prayers) because nothing eases our task except with the permission of Allah. I really love the prayers by Prophet Moses (Musa) AS when he asked from Allah in Surah Taha (20:25-28);

"(Moses) said, my Lord, expand me my breast. And ease for me my task. And untie the knot from my tongue. That they may understand my speech."

24. With sincere intention, recitation of do'a, and then knowing our place and limit as a student of knowledge (not a scholar), we should afterwards guard ourselves against this severely evil disease called arrogance. It is so despicable and in my opinion, it is this that leads someone to unproductive emotional argument, defending himself not knowing that he may be defending something which is wrong.

25. I have authored an exclusive article about Egotism some time ago (you can read it here) and now would like to share a very profound hadith that speaks of arrogance or pride- which we should avoid regardless of our level of knowledge.

'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,"No one has an atom's weight of pride in his heart will enter the Garden." A man said,"And if the man likes his clothes to be good and sandals to be good?' He said, "Allah is Beautiful and loves beauty. Pride means to renounce the truth and abase people." (Muslim)

26. The last thing I want to share with all of you here is that, when it comes to hidayah, we have to remember that our job is to bring the message across, and that's all. As to the outcome, whether or not a person is convinced or benefiting from our efforts, we are free from guaranteeing that. Hidayah belongs to Allah alone.

Indeed, (O Muhammad), you do not guide whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He is most knowing of the (rightly) guided."

Surah Al-Qasas (28:56)

27. Practically this is the way it works. If today, we manage to convince a person into Islam, we should go back to the fact that it's not us, but Allah. So from here, we avoid the sense of arrogance or unnecessary pride. We will praise Him and thank Him instead.

28. Similarly, if one does not listen to us, we won't feel bad or discouraged. Why? Because we know our job is only to give the message, while putting our trust only in Allah. This however in any way does not deny the fact that we have to always try our best in anything we do insya Allah. It is a combination of efforts and tawakkul towards Allah SWT.

"And say to the People of the Book and to those who are unlearned: "Do ye (also) submit yourselves?" If they do, they are in right guidance, but if they turn back, Thy duty is to convey the Message; and in Allah's sight are (all) His servants."

Surah Ali-'Imran (3:20)

29. Before I forget, above all, we must have the attitude of referring to the more knowledgeable scholars. They are our resources because they dedicate their life to study Islam. With due respect, we put trust in them and ask Allah to reward them for their effort in spreading knowledge. Never ever be fanatical to any of them anyway, because fanaticism only leads to hatred and disunity. You sure know what I mean.

" ASK the people of message if you do not know."

Surah Al-Anbiya' (21:7)

30. I end this article by thanking all of you again for your time reading. I hope it is beneficial and you may share it if you wish. Eid Mubarak to all of you and a blessed Independence Day from me to all Malaysians.

Take care. Wallahuaklam. Wassalamualaikum wbt.

P/S: I sang a song for you. It's nothing just a song. Remember, the important thing is the message (lyrics) it contains ;-)

Below is the original song (Ikhlas Dariku) by the original singer (Akhil Hayy Rawa) by the way.

P/P/S: One more thing, Blogger presents a new feature. I think it's awesome, very convenient and highly user-friendly i.e if you want to quickly browse through all articles of a blog, you can quickly do so with this feature. See an example for my blog here. (Note: If you are a Blogger user, you can use this feature too!)

1. Al-Quran and ahadith


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