In my childhood I once went with my father for Eid or Jummuah prayers and renowned Shaykhul-Hadeeth (Maulana) Abdullah Darkhawsti Saheb (RA) said in his talk that during the colonial rule the British took steps to ensure that the respect for Ulamah was eroded in the masses and said that in his lifetime he has seen phenomenal rise in derogatory terms for Ulamah like Mulla etc while the British continued to use words like Father or Reverend for their religious figures. Shaykhul-Hadeeth (Maulana) Abdullah Darkhawsti Saheb (RA) repeated the Father vs Mulla argument a few times and since I was a child I didnt really grasp what he was saying at the time.
Before proceeding please note that Mullah is a perfectly respectable title in Persian and many notable Ulamah have been known by it such as Mullah Ali Qari (RA) but in Urdu this is derogatory and dismissive.
Today a few decades later although I am still unable to fully comprehend the wise words of Shaykhul-Hadeeth (Maulana) Abdullah Darkhawsti Saheb (RA) but I am a little wiser to what he was saying!
The safety, security and sanctity of Islam and its transmission down the chain has depended upon the Ulamah, their dedication and sacrifice and make them an object of mockery and derision and you directly target Islam and its foundations. Going a step further is the rise of Televangelism & Internet Islam where charismatic smartly dressed Muslims with contemporary university education quote references after references and eloquently answer questions from ever hungry Muslims (for knowledge). Questions can be submitted in person, by calling in, via email, facebook (or any other social media) or however you wish from the comfort of your beloved sofa!
MashaAllah, Sisters have also joined in this endeavour and perhaps in the near future for the first time in the history of UK a female speaker will be addressing a group of a mixed Muslims so Mufti Javed of Sunniforum is rightly concerned about the situation because it is common in America for our respected Sisters to address mixed gatherings and youtube is awash with such videos and lectures!
Years ago I remember asking respected Shaykh (Dr) Awadullah Yosef (HA) in Manchester about this matter in a course and he replied that women can teach men and there are many Qaariyaat in Egypt but they teach from behind the screen and he (himself) specialised under one where he neither saw his teacher nor his teacher ever saw him.
The rise of Televangelism & Internet Islam is actually nothing but a thinly veiled attack on the traditional (or classical) Islam and Islamic forums are also (unfortunately) a contributing factor. There is noticeable absence of Ulamah on electronic media, Islamic forums, youtube and social media which in todays world is the defacto mode of communication to the masses and this matter needs to be addressed by Ulamah & Mashaykh with some urgency.
However, more concerning to me is the thought that while Ulamah & Mashaykh are noticeably absent, who is filling the void?
1) Help break the fundamentalist and traditionalist monopoly on defining, explaining, and interpreting Islam.
2) Identify appropriate modernist scholars to manage a Web site that answers questions related to daily conduct and offers modernist Islamic legal opinions.
3) Encourage modernist scholars to write textbooks and develop curricula.
4) Publish introductory books at subsidized rates to make them as available as the tractates of fundamentalist authors.
5) Use popular regional media, such as radio, to introduce the thoughts and practices of modernist Muslims to broaden the international view of what Islam means and can mean.
After carefully analysing the strategy it becomes abundantly clear that the goal is to disconnect public from Ulamah, sow seeds of confusion amongst the masses and then let in supposed experts to try to answer these seeds of confusion.
Many amongst us misunderstand Islamic knowledge and think of it in terms of theology and a bunch of rules (dos and donts), where in fact Islam and its knowledge is Noor which is transmitted from heart to heart and like it or not when you remove Ulamah from this chain (of transmission) the Noor is lost!
Your local Maulana may not have a facebook Account or able to tweet or maintain a blog with an astronomical count (of hits) but on the day of judgment his guidance is likely to take you to Jannah while the suave smartly dressed Dr who is able to quote references in the twinkling of an eye may be impressive in his presentation but unlikely to transmit the Noor (of Islam) which has been the hallmark of this Deen for fourteen generations.
In short we need to think about where this out of control electronic media is taking us and most importantly who being sidelined in the process!
Lastly, it must be noted that I am not doubting the sincerity and dedication of all those who are involved in serving the Deen of Allah (SWT) but I do think that there could be an element of people being used without them knowing!
posted by Muadh_Khan on 5th November 2012 - 1 comment
Muhammad wrote on
5 Nov 2012
Glad I subscribed to this blog. Excellent and much needed post. Duly noted and also I am immediately forwarding this to a respectable local Maulana who will (if Allah wills) bring this up in the next Ulamaa meeting in December. Jazakallah and keep up te great work
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