No one cares that you’re a student of knowledge

June 13, 2015

23879_4329129140415_1306313034_nWell, some people do care, some people don’t. One of the most disappointing things you’ll realize when you become a student of knowledge and have grasped enough knowledge to start passing on to others, many see your knowledge as just another opinion in a myriad of opinions and just as valuable as their own. Though you’ve studied sacred text with scholars who have connections back to the prophet, peace to him, your interlocutor will argue with you even if they have little knowledge, even if they’ve never taken the time to study Islam formally they will readily debate you pulling from a myriad of sources they’ve “read” and “heard”. You will inform them that the shafi’i (or another madhab) ruling on such and such an issue is this, they will retort that they’ve heard a hadith that says differently. You will inform them that the opinion of scholars is more valuable than a laymen’s opinion to which they will retort that scholars aren’t infallible. In short, they simply won’t care about what you’ve learned or who you learned from or for how long, they are quite comfortable with their own opinion and there isn’t much you can teach a person who thinks they already know. Don’t let it get you down, some people do care. More importantly don’t let it change you, if you know something to be true based on your knowledge don’t do differently simply to make the uninformed around you more comfortable. Can these people who don’t care be reached? Maybe and it may even be worth the effort over time but you have to approach them with patience and speak in a way that makes sense to their understanding of the religion.

I mention all of this not as a put down to those that don’t care but a warning to students of knowledge (people who study traditional Islam) because it is one of the pitfalls I’ve experienced myself. I started studying because I wanted a more formulaic and accurate way of practicing my faith but I also thought once I received this knowledge I could be useful to others. It’s quite disappointing that despite your effort some see your knowledge as no more valuable than their own opinion but that’s just life, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

1 Comment

  • Nsenga

    I have empathy for your sentiments. The most important thing here for me is, “approach them with patience”. One of the pitfalls that a student of knowledge must be especially aware of, and wary of is arrogance. A person studying religion must not see themselves as God himself or knowing or representing his Absolute knowledge, responsible for enforcing it or making others submit to it. The wise one first says “I don’t know.” And, whatever you think you know is just that. You can share it with others and they have the right to have their own thoughts based on their own knowledge. Indeed they have their OWN relationship with Allah which has nothing to do with the student of knowledge who seeks to share their knowledge, conclusions, and opinions with them. No one should feel diminished if another person does not come to the same conclusion as them or if they do not share that same knowingness and know something different. This is peace.

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