An average muslim today goes through 12 years of schooling and then is required to graduate for a living. What’s important is that most of the Muslim youth is also expected to be ‘religious’ meanwhile they go through the process of their ‘education’.
But the tradition of Islam also makes certain demands from the one who is seeking it. The modern muslims are completely detached from the educational experience as well as environment that their pre-modern counterparts breathed in. Due to this fact their appreciation of Islam is also affected drastically and we are seeing the most troubling time today as far as learning Islam is concerned.
It is not unusual to see students of Islam turning argumentative, insensitive, arrogant, blinded by their own opinions and giving in to sectarianism from the very beginning of their Islamic education. The reasons for this situation is a topic for another time in sha Allah but this short essay is about the opposite of this situation!
This was the first time I heard a Hadith of the Prophet sallahu alaihi wa sallam with its entire chain starting from my teacher until the companion of the Prophet and ending with the Prophet himself! Experiencing this after getting exposed to numerous YouTube videos as my source of learning Islam was in one word ‘humbling’. For the first time I was able to feel the burden of sacred knowledge and my appreciation for Islam has since then only improved. I became much more sincere toward Islam and realized that I am just a part of a bigger picture and not the picture itself. A picture that exists because of thousands of Scholars of the Islamic tradition who existed and still exist and all of them loved Allah and His rasool. That picture did not include me due to my ego-centric worldview. For all those in that picture were not looking for fame or for power or for becoming Mujaddideen (reformers; for lack of a better word). All of them were trying to please their Lord and all of them knew very well that arrogance simply makes this impossible. Learning Islam through the right way makes us beautiful as muslims because pseudo-scholarship is not what we need and was never what we needed.
I really wish and pray that young Muslims experience listening to atleast one Hadith of the Prophet sallahu alaihi wa sallam with a full sanad (chain of narrators) going from their teacher back to the Prophet himself.