The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Acquire knowledge, for he who acquires it in the way of Allah performs an act of piety; he who speaks of it, praises the Lord; he who seeks it, adores Allah; he who dispenses instruction in it, bestows alms; and he who imparts it to others, performs an act of devotion to Allah”. (Bukhari, Muslim)
Today, our society is rife with a proliferation of dramatized, spurious, superficial & ostensibly plausible logic based on blinkered, lop-sided research and half-baked/doctored information disseminated to hoodwink today’s so called “instant noodles” educated strata. Moreover, the not so sophisticated sections of the society are inundated by prejudiced dogmatic rhetoric propagated by wily or deluded leaders.
The contemporary chaotic era of Google researchers & YouTube Sheikhs perpetuated by the easily accessible audio-visual medium has spawned a distinctly egotistical generation devoid of the spiritual essence of religion. In an age that is on the threshold of impending global transformation, the spread of deviancy of every hue from unfounded literalism to tenuous interpretations has reached a crescendo. The perilous cocktail of specious doctrines promoting sectarian bigotry, a collective amnesia of our intellectual & spiritual heritage, a paralyzing inertia towards constructive societal contribution, uninhibited verbalism & arm-chair vilification is hurtling the gullible masses towards social discord & disintegration.
The Islamic Scholars in the recent past have for more than a century kept alive the purity of faith in face of the raging fires of ideological colonization by maintaining the integrity of scholarship. However, unlike in the past, today apposite solutions to our authentic Islamic educational needs, especially catering to the peculiar contemporary circumstances of college going and working adults are scarcely available. Lack of Islamic institutions which are cognizant of the present conditions, segregation of Islamic and worldly education, superficial childhood Islamic training, priority to school education, temporal workloads and busy schedules, unbridled materialism, impact of foreign culture, fallacious pseudo-scientific & imbalanced ideologies as well as the largely antagonistic media, all contribute towards the ignorance of Islam & a lack of desire for selfless community service among the masses. Yet, knowledge and practice is the essence of our Deen and the source of our dignity and salvation
It is imperative then, that the Ulama & Muslim professionals of this age cogently expound the true Islamic beliefs in institutions of education & to the professionals of every hue. Therefore, it is essential to re-ignite the dormant potential of the true inheritors of the intellectual & spiritual legacy of our beloved prophet (saws) by training them in the contemporary subjects & apprising them about the current circumstances. They will then be equipped to clear the misconceptions about Islam, spread due to relentless concerted efforts by some unscrupulous people of the society as well as due to the general ignorance prevalent in the masses.
It is the need of the hour to develop such Ulama & professionals from an impressionable age as well, so that they can effectively turn back the pages of history and reclaim their position as guides in every sphere of life and genuine leaders of our community and the society at large. They shall not only extend an invitation to the true path ordained by Allah by a theoretical & logical discourse to all our human brothers and sisters but also win their hearts with exemplary behavior & by presenting them with a model of a thriving, nondiscriminatory & empathetic Islamic system. Such dynamic and well-grounded Islamic scholars, inshallah will be cognizant of the circumstances and will be able to beautifully, wisely, effectively & comprehensively deliver the message in the international language of our age while efficiently utilizing the modern technological means of mass communication.
To become a good human being one needs to have a strong spiritual connection with the creator on one hand, and compassion for the creation on the other. One needs to be a well-wisher for the humanity and must have an overwhelming desire to help fellow human beings especially the downtrodden without a sense of doing favour and without any discrimination of caste, creed, gender or religion etc. On the contrary, one must help the needy in such a way that they don’t even realize who their champion is and seek the appreciation from God only.
We live in an age where debilitating poverty & acute hunger have reached alarming proportions in our society. Poor information of basic healthcare and lack of sanitation are the major contributing factors to the prevalence of diseases& high child mortality rates. It is therefore our collective responsibility to provide access to safe drinking water, basic nutrition & proper sanitation to these impoverished sections of our society. Likewise, providing genuine educational avenues & scholarships for the orphans & the underprivileged children is a social obligation.
However,in our increasingly consumerist society the value for other’s life &concern for the predicaments of our fellow humans has substantially diminished.The Quran proclaims about the kindhearted people that, “…they feed, for the love of Allah, the poor, the orphan, and the captive..." [Surah Al-Insaan, 8]. It further declares that, “Those who spend their wealth in charity by night and day, secretly and openly, they will have their reward from their Rabb. They shall have nothing to fear or to regret.” [Surah Baqara, 274]Thus, compassion & kindness towards the millions of deprived people of our society is a categorical commandment from our Creator.
It is essential to re-awaken the very fundamental purpose of religion – its gradual spiritual quest of cleansing the soul of obsessive temporal attachment by eradicating immorality & the dirt that has accumulated on our hearts by decades of brain-washing by the materialistic modern western civilization & thereby recover our humane essence.