Saturday, 11 April 2009

The Roadmap to Knowledge

The Roadmap to Knowledge - Principles of Seeking Knowledge:
a two day course provided by Al- Kauthar Institute by Shaikh Waleed AbdulHakeem.

This was a course that was much anticipated by myself and by many Brs and Ssts alike that I came across on other courses. The course was Alhamdullillah good platform for all seekers of Ilm to use as a tool to be able to start acquiring and managing ones sacred knowledge and more importantly steps to applying this in one daily life.

The main topics that were covered were:

-Introduction to seeking knowledge:
This was good as it created the bones for the meat to be put on that would come later in the course.

-Ethics with Yourself:
Good Characther (Ikhlas), having sincere intention (and one should try and have multiple intentions all for the pleasure of Allah swt, which will increase ones reward).

The more you Love Allah (swt) and the Prophet (saw), the more you will have sincere intention and this will increase your passion to seek Ilm.

Being utmost humble with the knowledge you seek and attain, and staying away from arrogance, It has been said in a well known hadith says that a person with a grain of arrognace so that he looks down on others, will not be granted Jannat (Paradise).

-Methods of seeking knowledge: There were too many to list down here. But you should always try and seek a reputable Shaykh in your local area for Hidayya to Ilm.

-Manners of the student with the Sheikh: -Acting upon what you have learnt:

Learn from the Shuyuk of your local place before embarking upon another Shaikh

The Shaikh covered the various texts in quite some detail and was a great insight and for me the best part of the course. It provided me with a great outlook of the breadth of books on various Islamic Disciplines such as Aqeedah, Fiqh, Hadith, Quranic Sciences and to more recent issues such as Islamic Finance etc.

The order of learning the various Islamic Sciences:
  1. Aqeedah then;
  2. Fiqh (eg. Fiqh of Tahara (Purification), Salaat, Sawm (Fasting), Hajj)
  3. Qur'an (eg. Tajweed (min. Surat Fatiha))
  4. Hadeeth (the saying of the Prophet (SAW))
  5. Seerah (The biography of the Prophet (SAW))
  6. Other History (eg. About the Caliphate, Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman)
For reading material:

-Best to have a smaller texts on the subject matter which is recommended from a scholar who follows the Ahlus Sunnah Wa Jammat.
-Once going through a summarised text one can move onto more larger texts where more details are dealth with Insha'Allah.
-The will of moving to small or large texts will depend on the individual person and how long one has been seeking Ilm.

My own GEM notes I have taken:
-Manners First, Roadmap to Last.
-The RoadMap is a trust
-Glorify Allah with his Asma (Names) and Sifa (Attributes), not just say "Allahu".

Some Q&As which the Shakh responded to:

Q. What is the best of deeds?
A. Depending on the time, place and situation, the deeds may differ.

Q. Is Hajj (specific act of Worship) obligatory for All?
A. Only when you have the means, it becomes obligatory upon you.

Q. Is knowledge about the other sects in the Muslim Community important?
A. Yes, as knowing the other sects, helps one not to fall into the incorrect ways (avoiding bid'a) and thus sticking to the Qur'an and the Sunnah Insha'Allah.

Q. What can pollute the students intention and remove the blessing from his knowledge?
i) Self-ego via other peoples perception of himself and praise from others' (riyaa) ;
ii) False comparison with a deviate intention of improving himself to other knowledge seekers
ii) Solely relying on your own knowledge it can lead you to ignorance
iv) Self-satisfaction of the knowledge you have

Q. What if the intention was not pure when I started seeking Ilm, should I study everything again?
A. No. Make sincere Tawbah and re-read and implement what you have learnt with this new niyaat. This is trap which the Shayateen put into one, to doubt the purity of ones intention all the time via waswas (whispering).

Q. How do you deal with a Shaikh who practices some Innovation? Is it ok to learn from the Shaikh?
A. Once needs to know what specific subject matter the Shaikh causes him to act in bid'a.
One needs to also d
istignuish between Mukaffira (out of Islam) and Non-Mukaffira (dislike such people). It is better for a new student of knowledge to avoid such Shaikhs as s/he would not know what is bid'a and what is from the Qur'an and Sunnah.