How To Reintroduce Ourselves To Islam – Yasir Qadhi We really and truly have to get reintroduced to our religion. A number of points, first and foremost, ilm is not “an on/off switch”. “Ilm is not that either you have it or you don’t”. No. There are millions of shades of gray in between. There will be some, Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) blesses them that they can drop everything, give up their secular education, and go and study in Azhar, in Medina, in Indonesia, in Islamabad. Go and study all over the world, spend decades. But those are the exceptions. If you can be like them, Alhamdulillah. If not, the first point that I’m going to say, don’t just throw in the towel. Don’t just say, “Okay. Well, I can’t go to Medina, I can’t go to Azhar. I can’t go. I’m just gonna sit here and do nothing on Islamic studies.” No. There is a lot you can do. Sitting right here? No. A lot you, can do to better yourselves intellectually in the Islamic sciences. So, don’t have an “either-or” mentality. “Either I became the Sheikh and Mufti of North America, or else. I’m gonna remain as Jahil as I am
for the rest of my life.” Sorry brothers and sisters, it doesn’t work that way! We only need one Mufti for North America. Maybe five-six. Hamdulillah, good. It’s all we need. But we need hundreds and thousands of basic Imams, hundreds and thousands of students of knowledge. And you can get to that level, without ever traveling abroad. You can. Secondly, once you realize there are shades of gray. And I need to just improve a higher shade. That’s what they need to do. Once you realized this, sit down and say, “Okay. What time do I have?” And trust me, everyone of us has plenty of time. Everyone of us has the same 24 hours a day. Nobody has any more or any less. Of course we have different life spans, but in terms of time as it goes by, tangential time, is the same with everybody. Everybody has time. Look at your schedule. “What do I do?” “Do I drive to work or do I take the bus or whatever?” “I have time to listen to CDs and mp3s.” “I have an iPod. I have this and that.” “Instead of, a’udhubillah, listening to music, or instead of wasting my time listening to things, that have no relevance and value to me.” “Let me buy a series about the sahaba, let me buy a series about the Prophets, let me buy a series about fiqh.” Series are very important because you build. It’s not just talks here and there. “And everyday, I’m gonna listen to these CDs and these talks, every single day, until I finish the entire collection. And then I’m gonna listen to them again, to solidify what I know.” “When I wake up in the morning, what do I do?” “I surf the net for 20 minutes before leaving. I don’t really need to. I can cut that down to 5. That gives me 15 minutes.” “Let me read some interesting book about Islam. Let me build up my knowledge of my religion.” Find out how much time you have and schedule in knowledge. You need to schedule it in. Thirdly, you need to find a mentor. This is necessary. Why? Because, if you don’t find a mentor, you have no clue what to study, and how to study, and what books to buy, and what CDs to listen to. You’re just going to be, as they say in Arabic: (حاطب ليل). Which means somebody goes out at a night and just collects all types of firewood. They might collect a scorpion and a snake. He has no clue what it is because it’s in the dark. You don’t collect firewood in the middle of the night. You just gather whatever you can. No. You need to have somebody who’s more knowledgeable than you. Doesn’t have to be the biggest Sheikh around. It’s difficult to get touch with some of them. Somebody who’s preceded the path and higher than you. And you say, “What do you recommend?” “What do I start with?” “Where do I go?” Once you’ve done that,
he’ll take you to a different level, and so on and so forth. Fourthly, certain things, you need to study,
without any exception. The most important of them: Qur’an and Sunnah. This is something you need to do. This should be a daily routine. Everyday read some Qur’an in Arabic and then in translation in English. No exceptions. You need food to live, you need the Qur’an and Sunnah for your soul. The food for your soul is the word of Allah and the word of the Prophet (ﷺ). If you don’t have this food, your heart will die. Everyday injecting some time to read the Qur’an in Arabic, that’s the barakah, and then understand it in English. And then some books of hadith. One hadith a day. I recommend you two books. And I encourage everybody to have these two books and read them at least one hadith a day. The first of them: “The 40 Hadith of Nawawi”. Read this book cover-to-cover. Very, the most useful ahadith for the layman. And then once you’ve done a 40 hadith of Imam Nawawi, move on to Riyadus Shalihin, also by Imam An Nawawi. This book was written for you, literally. It is in my humble opinion the most practical and the most useful book of hadith for the layman. Riyadus Shalihin, “Gardens of the Righteous”, many translation in English, Bengali, Urdu, every language in the face of this earth, has been translated to into. “Gardens of the Righteous”. The third thing you need to study
after the Qur’an and Sunnah, seerah, the life of the Prophet (ﷺ). Make sure you know the life of this man. Brothers and sisters, it is really sad testament to our knowledge. How much filth we know? How much fahisha and corruption we know? How much evil we know about everything? How much useless information we know about music, about movies, about sports? Some of which is haram. Others of which is mubah. None of which is blessed. It might be haram, it might be neutral, none of it is blessed. It is a shame that we have much crammed in our heads. And I’m sorry for daunting you in this lecture like this. But that’s the reality, okay? It is a shame that we have so much knowledge. Really, if we did a quiz at the latest movies, and who starred in what, and where the latest… I can’t even say these things. Alhamdulillah, I plead ignorance and I’m proud of this ignorance. Who are the latest rapper and the musicians and what not – you know so much about them, so much even statistics about sports, crammed in our heads. If only we had as much knowledge of our own religion, and the sahaba, and the tabi’un, and the great scholars, where would we be now? So, prioritize. Prioritize. Make sure you have. Nobody’s saying, “Cut off all the sports and anything else as mubah (permissible).” Fine. Spend some time doing that as well. But also spend some time with this religion.