I have come to realize that we have lost our connection with the Quran and that is why we are facing these problems.
Everything is the explanation of Quran. Whether it is Tafsir, Seerah and Sunnah, Fiqh or Tazkiya. If we focus too much on the explanation and not the source (i.e. Quran) we will end up in losing the context of our knowledge, would take things out of proportion and will turn our respective school of thought into a cult. However, if we focus on the source alone without investigating it’s true meanings through the writings and explanations of our righteous elders then also will we lose the meanings of the words of Quran and what Allah meant by it.
Therefore, a correct balance must be established between the source and it’s explanation. After learning the essentials of deen like aqida, taharah, salah, sawm, zakah, hajj and tazkiyah to a fardh e ayn level, we must focus on Quran. First of all gain an over all surface level understanding of the whole text through the help of our ulema (of course) and then gain a step by step in depth explanation and details about those passages and chapters of Quran which apply to our life and which need our immediate attention.
I am not in the position of commenting on Dars e Nizami course and I also don’t question the wisdom of those who created it, but the education of a common Muslim must be structured around Quran. Unlike the alim course which starts from bottom to top, a common Muslims education should be from top to bottom. Instead of teaching a common Muslim, usul of tafsir, usul of hadith, usul of fiqh, he must be taught the tafsir itself, the sunnah and seerah itself and the essential fiqh itself in the language he can understand and at a mental level he can comprehend and digest.
I have also noticed that we as an ummah have lost the ability of “Taddabur”. Either we have gone too far that some of us have started questioning the things our elders never questioned and are having doubts or the majority of us have just left the dirty work of thinking, on the selected few. This has created two groups in us. The first group is leaving traditional Islam and either becoming athiests, secularists or radicals. The second group has become senseless hazrat worshipper.
I believe that lack of “Taddabur” is also due to leaving the quran and it’s essence. Instead of reciting it without understanding and trying to finish it cover to cover each month or every ten days or seven days, it must be recited with “tarteel”. After studying it completely the first time, one complete recitation with understanding per year is enough. We don’t need to tell others that I finish reciting the whole Quran every week or month and win a trophy of “Riya” for that. The Huffaz however, may divide their time in two parts. First for recitation for revision alone and the second for studying, pondering and reflecting on it.
The goal of education of a common Muslim should not be to train him in deciphering laws of Shariah from Quran and Hadith. In fact, he must be trained to think and ponder on the things he can and must think about, instead of making him a senseless robot. In other words, he must be trained to become a samajhdar muqallid instead of a na samajh muqallid. I think, the time has come now to draw a clear line between sense full taqlid and sense less taqlid.