Tag Archives: old

Questions…

In the various interactions I’ve had with elders in my family over the years, this is the summary of the message I have picked up:

“Some of the things you youngsters convey these days are things which we probably didn’t even understand at your age; we simply did what we were told. We listened and followed without question. We didn’t have the education or the tools with which to think intellectually but we had akhlaq, we had manners. We were people of action. The little that we knew, we put into action. And you have all this knowledge which is just wasted.”

Although I detest the “blind soldier” mentality that many of our elders conform to, they don’t lie when they say they were people of action. People of our generation think sagaciously and speak eloquently, but don’t do anything. We voice our opinions and that’s it—it ends there. We don’t change anything.

And the only *wrong* thing our elders did was listen to culture without question, but we can learn from them and listen to Allah without question.

These days everything is up for debate, even the obvious commandments of Allah. And people ask for proofs left and right as if they are scholars. This is not to say that we shouldn’t ask scholars where they derived rulings and follow them blindly, but we should be humble enough to accept some things even if we don’t understand them.

We simply don’t understand the concept of “sami’na wa ata’na” (we hear and we obey) anymore.

Old Scholars

If you listen to an old Imam or shaykh, you will sometimes find it tedious to sit through the long pauses, listen to the cracked voice or try to understand the heavy accent or the old language (i.e. word choice) but you need patience.

I remember when my dad used to play a CD in our car, loaded with a lecture from an old scholar and I would groan. He told me that besides the knowledge, that would teach me patience. And it did. He taught me that I cannot dismiss people if I don’t find them immediately appealing.

It’s easy to listen to people who are good, eloquent speakers and if they are providing authentic knowledge, then go ahead and listen to them.

However, sometimes the wisdom that you need with the knowledge is only found with the older scholars, the ones who have spent their lives learning, contemplating and teaching the Deen.