This is the golden rule to those who want to excel in life. Many people who like to learn and they also like to hear and to preach to others but they do not like to practice whatever they know or preach to others. At the end of the day, many people will regard them as being knowledgeable but their practices will not be of the level of knowledge that they have. Many of us like to know more and more and we learn in order to know more. Many of us have the belief that when we know more, our life in this world and the hereafter will be successful. Many among us have devoted almost the whole lifetime to learn about Islam. Do we ever think about fulfilling the right of the knowledge that we had possessed. Everything has its right and similarly knowledge also has its right. The right of knowledge is to practice it. When we practice whatever knowledge that we have, we have to fulfil the right of the knowledge. When we have fulfilled the right of knowledge, Allah will gives us the understanding of the knowledge. Until and unless we fulfil the right of the knowledge, we will not have the understanding of the knowledge. We think, with more knowledge about Islam we will become more Islamic and we will have better citizen. We open and built more schools teaching Islamic studies and reading of Quran and we make it compulsory for everyone to learn Islamic studies and moral up to the university levels. However when we look around at the standard of behaviours of our people, we cannot see the outcomes of studying Islamic or moral studies. Why is this so? The reason being why we are not advancing in our behaviours is because we are not practising whatever we know and preach to others. We are contented with knowing and preaching to others but we are not worried about practising whatever we know or preach to others. Contented with only knowing and preaching to others what we know has become our bad habits. This very bad habit has leaded us to our disaster and catastrophe.
Allah says in the Quran with the approximate meaning, “Do you preach to others yet you forget your own selves”. In other words, Allah is reminding those who preach to not only preach others but also to preach ourselves and not only reminding others but also to remind ourselves. Once we know, we have to practice whatever we know. Allah hates those who know but not practising whatever they know. Allah bestows knowledge and it is the blessing of Allah to have knowledge and the right of knowledge is to practice it. When we practice whatever we know, we are fulfilling the right of knowledge. When we fulfil the right of knowledge only to please Allah, Allah is pleased with us. When Allah is pleased with us, Allah gives us more knowledge. When we do not practice the knowledge that we have, we are not fulfilling the right of the knowledge, Allah is not pleased with us. When Allah is not pleased with us, Allah will close the door of more knowledge and Allah will not give us the understanding of the knowledge that we have. We may continue to learn and gather more information about Islam but we will not have the understanding about Islam or in other words, we do not have the real knowledge or Ilmu. We have only information about Islam and not the real knowledge because we do not practice whatever we learn about Islam. We may graduate from the well-known Islamic institutions but we are only having more information about Islam but not the true knowledge about Islam. Many of our religious scholars are only contented in having more information about Islam and having to deliver the information to the public. The ordinary Muslims on the other hands follow the footsteps of their religious scholars and they become contented of listening to only information about Islam delivered by the religious scholars. They also do not fulfil the right of the knowledge by practising whatever they hear. When we do not practice whatever we know, it becomes information instead of knowledge. Allah allow information to be given by books but knowledge can only be given by Allah and Allah will only give knowledge to whom he is pleased and Allah will only be pleased with us when we practice whatever we know and preach to others.
One of the major reasons the lectures given by many Muslim scholars are not appealing to the public is because, majority of our Muslims scholars are not practising whatever they know and preach. Our Muslims scholars are more interested to give lectures on theoretical Islam and not interested to teach Islam practically. All other professions teach their students both theoretical and practical but not the profession of religious teachers. As I know, religious teachers only know how to read what is written in any religious books to the students or to the audience. Whenever an Ustaz teach in the mosque, they must have a book or a kitab and they read whatever written in the book or kitab to the peoples and they call this, as teaching Islamic knowledge. As for example, one Islamic scholar want to teach about the quality of patients or sabar to the peoples and what this Ustaz will do is to open the chapter on sabar or patient and read it to the audience or the students. Students of Islamic studies will write whatever read to them into their note book and during examination, the students will pour out all the information about the qualities of patient in the examination answer sheet and pass the examinination. This is how Islamic information being passes from one person to another throughout the ages. No one during the way of transferring the information will acquires any quality of patient or sabar yet the teachings on the quality of patients continue in this way from generation to generation. Muslims from all over the world seems to be satisfied with this method of teaching Islam and the result is, in the end of the day we cannot find any good qualities in any Muslims including the students and the teaches of Islamic studies. The good qualities that all Muslims must have remain in the form of writing in the book and not in the life of any Muslims in the world. Many Muslims think that good qualities can be acquired by reading, talking and listening about the good qualities again and again. This is a complete absurd but yet there are peoples who tend to believe in it particularly those in World Tarikat Group CLICK. We must reform the way Islamic education be imparted to the students and to the peoples. We must have an outcome base education system to ensure Islamic education imparted to the students will lead to the acquisition of qualities needed to be in a Muslims and in an Islamic scholar. We need to develop a syllabus of Islamic education that will ensure all the graduates will have all the qualities needed to be in an Islamic scholar.
Why our Muslims scholars and ordinary Muslims generally do not have the qualities needed in a Muslims? It is because the syllabus that we used in teaching Islamic studies in schools and universities are mainly concentrate in knowing and remembering and not in practising and acquiring all the good qualities that Allah want in a person that is call as Muslim. How could a Muslim be produced? A real Muslim is not born but to be produced by the educational system that we have in Malaysia and the whole world. Our educational system on Islamic education is not an outcome base system but it is only a system of transferring Islamic information from person to person and from generation to generation. We know how to lecture to teach and to write about Islam but we do not practice whatever we know and preach to others. When we do not practice what we know, Allah is not pleased with us and Allah will not give the understanding of the knowledge that we know and Allah will not give us new knowledge and good qualities. Prophet Muhammad saw said with the approximate meaning that, when you practice what you know, Allah will teach you what you do not know. When a Muslim practice whatever little that he or she knows, Allah will teach him or her whatever he or she does not know. In this way a person who practices what he or she knows, he or she will continue to enjoy new knowledge, new understanding about his or her knowledge and acquiring new good qualities. This is the way how the companions of the Prophet Muhammad saw learned, during the time of the Prophet Muhammad saw. When a companion learned something from the Prophet saw, he or she will first practised whatever he or she knows before they went back to the Prophet Muhammad saw for further learning. It is an order of Allah, when we know something, we have to practice whatever we know before we can go ahead to learn something else. Practising whatever we know, is a sign of gratefulness to Allah and when we are grateful to Allah, Allah will be pleased with us and Allah will give us more knowledge. When we practice whatever we know, as times goes on our knowledge and our practices of Islam will continue to increases.
Prof Dr Nasoha Saabin
Integrative Holistic Wellness Centre