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Published on January 29th, 2019 | by Eaalim Institute | Views: 224

What is the Importance of ‘Intellectual Humility’?

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Script

Very short bit of advice

specifically geared towards our young brothers and sisters,

that are very quickly attaining a lot of knowledge,

and are becoming contributors to the community.

This advice is in regards to keeping your humility,

specifically your intellectual humility.

Allah ‘azza wa jalla says”, وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ”
wafawqa kulli thee AAilmin AAaleem

“Above everyone who has knowledge is someone who has more,

and of course above all it is Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.”

When I was a lot younger,

and among my friends, you know, we go and attend a program,

we learn somethings, we take some notes,

we feel like we know this stuff,

and then we can debate others about this stuff.

And then we go talk to someone, “That guy doesn’t even understand.”

“Doesn’t he know this ayah, this hadith, this evidence, this proof, this one,

this scholar said this, that scholar said that?”

You’ve got all these references in your head,

and you’re using them to throw them like ping pong balls at the enemy.

You’re shooting at the enemy with these evidences

and it seems that you’re only learning this stuff,

so you can out do someone else in debate.

The knowledge you are acquiring is not to add to your humility,

but it’s to take away your humility.

And this is the way of the non-believer.

The non-believer acquires an education,

to put a title next to their name.

Doctor so and so, Ph.D so and so, Professor so and so.

Before they even say their names, they say their title,

so you better know; I have more knowledge than you.

But the knowledge of deen however,

it’s supposed to be something; the more you have, the more it humbles you.

But if you have knowledge,

and the more knowledge you have, the more judgmental you’re becoming.

The more you’re like; this one’s deviate, and that’s scholar was wrong,

and this one was out of line, and this and that and the other.

How much of you’ve studied compare to them,

that you can pass commentary?

And not just about them, the imam in your community,

or elders in your community?

If you don’t agree with something that they did,

first of all you are in no position to pass a fatwa on them,

you have no qualifications.

I’m a beginner student, wallahi, I don’t say this out of artificial humility.

I have to study 28-29 tafasir for a single ayah,

to try to get some understandings of what the ayah is saying.

And me personally, when it comes to a hadith I shut my mouth.

Why? Because I know I’m not qualified to figure this stuff out.

There’s so much scholarships involved

in deriving conclusion from the hadith of the Prophet shalallahu alaihi wassalam,

from the issues of isnad to the issues of the context in which it was said,

to the issues of how it was understood

by the consensus of the companions radiyallahu anhum ajma’een,(May Allah be pleased with all of them)

to the issue of how it was understood by the greatest fuqaha(scholars) of this deen.

There are several complex issues here,

and for you to just pick up the Bukhari,

and read a translation of a hadith,

and then start arguing with someone,

this is a disservice to the sunnah of the Prophet ‘alaihi salatu wassalam.
peace be upon him

And second of all, you don’t even understand the language.

You just reading spewing it of out of translation. How dare you?

Students comes to Imam As-Shafi’i rahimahullahmayAllah rest his soul in peace-
we want to learn hadith from you

He says, “Innama akhsyaaalayya thaalibalilm.”

“The things that scared me the most is the student of knowledge.”

“Alladzii lam yata’allam min nahwa.”

“The one who didn’t even learn proper syntax,

deep understanding of grammar.”

Who’s saying this? As-Shafi’i.

A third of his wealth he spent learning the Arabic language,

and the other two thirds, learning hadith.

And by the end of it he said, “I wished I spent my other two thirds that I’ve spent on hadith

even that on Arabic.”

That’s how concerned he is about deepening his knowledge about this rich, rich, rich language.

Just because you’ve taken two courses in some book

on Arabic studies nowadays,

and you’ve attended a weekly halaqah on some grammar,

you are not qualified to be commenting on a hadith, you are not.

I’m not and you’re not.

This is the work of Muhaddithuun and scholars, to comment on it.

And for you to read an article, or read a paper, and read some excerpts,

that you barely understand, you don’t even know what those terms mean,

and for you to spew it out against someone else,

it’s absurd,

and it’s a disservice to the sunnah of the Prophet sallallahualaihi wa sallam.

We have to be careful when we speak on his behalf.

You think you know your stuff but you don’t.

Humble yourself to the people who have knowledge.

faisaloo ahla alththikri
ask the people of remembrance , the people of knowledge

“in kuntum laa ta’lamuun”, if you yourself don’t know.

I didn’t finish that quote of Imam As-Shafi’i, I’ll just share that with you and I’m done.

He says, “Alladzii lam yata’allamin nahwa an yadkhula fii qaulihi,

shallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam an kadziba ‘alayya muta’ammidan.”

“I fear for the student who doesn’t study Arabic deeply,”

and this is just one of many condition of studying the sunnah.

He says specifically only about Arabic even,

if you don’t fulfill this, I fear I will teach you a hadith you will fall victim

to the warning of the Prophet shalallahu alaihi wassalam,

when he said, “Whoever makes a lie against me on purpose,

has guaranteed himself a place in hellfire.”

He was scared to teach people hadith, because he knew these guys, these Arabs,

and they knew Arabic,

and he said, “No you don’t know Arabic, you don’t know enough.”

I can’t teach you hadith, subhanallah.

And here we are in our times, you’re googling a hadith in English,

you know nothing about it, and you feel qualified to speak on behalf of the sunnah.

This is an act of arrogance, not an act of service to the deen.

Don’t delude yourself, you’re young right now.

The world is black and white, everything is very clear to you.

How can people disagree with me? I have all the knowledge in the world.

When you get a little bit older, hopefully you’ll mature a little and realize

how stupid was I when I was that young.

Before you hit the brick wall,

and it’s too late and then you realize it

after you’ve done a lot of damage to others and yourself,

realize that now.

Don’t fall into the trap of others

who’ve gone down this road,

and learned things the hard way.

And that’s include myself,

I used to be like that too,

I used to think that I know somethings,

and when I actually started learning from people of knowledge,

I realized, “Man, I don’t know what I’m talking about,

when it comes to certain things I should just shut my mouth.”

People asked me a question about fiqh or hadith,

I shut my mouth, I say I don’t know, I’m sorry, I’m not qualified.

If they asked me the question about Quran,

I say, “I’ll look it up for you, I’ll see what the scholars have said.”

I have some ability to do some research with Quran,

when it comes to other topics I cannot open my mouth.

Including issues in theology.

You can study theology with a scholar,

but if you think you’re qualified to be debating theology with someone,

think again!

Every single science of this deen have prerequisites you have not met.

If you’re serious about learning,

be serious about learning!

If you are only learning to debate with others,

check yourself!

Because you can hide that from everybody else,

but you cannot hide your arrogance from Allah.

Somebody selling liquor in a liquor store and they’re doing haram,

and their haram is opened and manifested, and we don’t agree with it.

But you have arrogance inside your heart,

and that is also unacceptable to Allah in the smallest bit.

So you can look at that person who sells liquor and say, “How can you do that?”

“How can you call yourself a Muslim?”

Well, you look inside yourself too.

If you got an ego problem,

and if that ego problem make you intellectually arrogant,

and you think you’re just learning this deen

to argue and debate others and be condescending to others.

Check yourself, really watch yourself!

One last comment,

don’t speak about other scholars.

If you disagree with something they said,

the people of knowledge, they make dua for them,

and then they disagree with them.

That’s what they do.

Because they don’t know where they stand with Allah. They don’t know.

You don’t know when you’re talking about a scholar who already passed away,

what his rank is with Allah,

Forget what sins of his or mistakes of his.

Genuine mistakes of his, Allah has already forgiven.

How dare you talked about someone like that?

These are slaves of Allah.

Allah wants us to be humble to other believers.

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