speeches vs. writing vs. teaching

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Unbeknown, May 2, 2021.

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  1. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

    of-course it won't - but at least the khabith and tayyib will remain separate

    anyway, I approach it from a different angle.

    maybe there are other ways waiting to be explored? perhaps some fruits are just on the upper branches?

    wa Allahu a'alam
  2. Surati

    Surati Well-Known Member

    That won’t make any difference whatsoever to social media usage and therefore our youngsters will only be exposed to Deobandi/Wahabi content. Every new technology has its pitfalls. The same could have been said for the TV or Internet or even the printing book.
    We’ve got to adapt to how the world is moving and train our Ulama to use social media appropriately.
  3. Aqdas

    Aqdas Staff Member

    Exactly. That's why we need to get real ulama the exposure. Right now, people think Menk is some sort of superstar but compare him to someone like Shaykh Asrar - leagues apart in learning.

    Yes, our ulama won't like the marketing as Sunnis don't tend to play such games but if fb and ig and sc are where it's at...
  4. Aqdas

    Aqdas Staff Member

    That's the ideal world. But what to do? That's where people take their knowledge from these days. So I respectfully disagree with @Unbeknown. For me, social media has become a necessary evil.
  5. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

    I don't like the sound of it.

    We have to stop somewhere.

    Competiting with the latest tech craze sounds unhealthy to me.

    Plus, it kind of lends a legitimacy to the platform - and then charlatans find an easy market to exploit.

    While serious ulama need a lot of time to produce valuable content - charlatans, much like conartists, make "staggering reputations" via fluff.

    Look at the facebook likes of any idiot out there - not infrequently, you will find that it surpasses the total likes of all the real scholars put together.

    Then a specially cultivated army of trolls will continue to remind us that the "shake" in question is a wali baa safaa - and a scholar sans a peer (accidental pun) : just look at the count his followers - millions!

    And if you argue that - you will be providing an alternative and that those who actually wish to learn will eventually find the right type of content - well, good luck.

    Look at the overnight popularity of ertugrul ( however that is pronounced)....

    I think ulama should de-legitmize these platforms by pointedly refusing to share quality content on them.

    Use them only for posting event notifications. or short greetings.

    wa Allahu a'alam

    Full Disclosure: I am not gen-z - and am extremely grateful for it.
  6. Aqdas

    Aqdas Staff Member

    And with the right intention, even paying for promoting videos, etc. But of course, creating content is the first step. Ulama should record as many of their talks as possible and try to deliver in a way that will make a good social media clip.
  7. Surati

    Surati Well-Known Member

    I have seen some preachers move to TikTok now. Even though that platform is full of haram things, it is what Gen-Z tend to use. That and Snapchat.

    millennials tend to use more Twitter or Facebook/IG.
  8. Aqdas

    Aqdas Staff Member

    With YouTube and the millions of hits that even ordinary people achieve, I think ulama need to concentrate on creating engaging content for social media.

    Not saying all ulama need to, some aren't equipped, but those who are captivating enough really should.

    Ulama need to have tech savvy followers who can turn their speeches or parts thereof into clips that can go viral. All with a good intention, of course.
  9. Adam Yahya

    Adam Yahya Active Member

    I also think that more speeches should be recorded, edited professionally and put online. Perhaps lectures can also be recorded in a studio of some sort and then uploaded, like a lecture or a series.
  10. Adam Yahya

    Adam Yahya Active Member

    I agree that we do need speakers as they are often the first ones to get to the average person, both in general and online via social media or Youtube. But the knowledgeable and skilled speaker will always be better than one who isn't.

    I was once told a Hadith Sharif that indicated that we must speak on the level of the listener. So that in itself is a great skill. Someone who masters this quality and acts upon the Hadith Sharif will be able to cater for both the average person as well would-be scholars or students of knowledge, Muslims and non-Muslims and so on.
  11. Adam Yahya

    Adam Yahya Active Member

    Yes Aqdas Sahib, you are right they must continue teaching or lecturing as well... In my view, writing is to some extent a good way of keeping on top of what a scholar has studied or learnt. Writing literature will include a lot of in depth research and study. This is why universities continue to integrate essays and decitations in their courses. The higher the qualification the more writing and, by default, more research is required and this is what makes a person an expert or at the very least very knowledgeable and proficient in his field of study.

    Just imagine how many different commentaries and glosses a scholar may spend many months or even years going through, for instance, if he is engaged in writing Tafsir of the Qur'an, commentary on Hadith or jurisprudential works like Kanz al-Daqaiq (which has so many commentaries). Not only will they produce a good written work in the end but also reinforce and consolidate their knowledge.

    These scholars can either choose to teach from their own work or some sort of Islamic Scholarship Course or both. Allama Sardar Ahmad al-Qadri (ra) said along the lines that when you teach you in fact reinforce your own knowledge. At the very least, even if the students do not benefit from classes the teacher sure will!

    The same can be said for orators. If they are into their books and very knowledgeable then this will surely help them with their task. They will have a better understanding of texts and will be less likely to make errors. It's not nice to hear khutabah read the sermon before their talk incorrectly, get key facts wrong or slip up on very technical points pertaining to the sciences on stage or in their literature.
  12. Aqdas

    Aqdas Staff Member

    our priorities are usually dictated by the times in which we live. e.g. Alahazrat had to spend the majority of time writing because that was the need then.

    we've mentioned the huge need for mudarrisin - that will always remain.

    we need to look at what the fitnah is in our times. I think amongst the biggest fitan are people who are proficient speakers but call towards munkar. there are far too many of them. e.g. hamza Yusuf. yes, he writes and teaches too but I think the majority of the damage done by him is through his talks.

    hence, this has to be countered by having orators as good [if not better] than him who are sunni so that uninitiated sunni youth have another avenue. right now, they have fallen into hamza's trap because there wasn't a sunni alternative.

    so I feel the importance of speechmaking is quite big in our times - especially with youtube and social media. though listening to a speech will never make someone a scholar, it can certainly keep them on the sunni way.
  13. Aqdas

    Aqdas Staff Member

    you've hit the nail on the head. as soon as someone graduates, they must teach [to some degree]. if they find their talent is in writing or speaking, then perhaps teach less but teach nonetheless?
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  14. Adam Yahya

    Adam Yahya Active Member

    Today we need more teachers. We need more institutions of knowledge.

    We need more post 16 classes for those who have completed the Qur'an, because the need for it now is greater than ever before; how bad is it that some of our brothers and sisters spend the initial 20 years of their lives as Sunnis and then get duped and hoodwinked so easily in a matter of weeks or months into Salifism, Wahhabism or worse. What does this tell us about the 20 years or so we've had to nurture them? Secondly, we need more courses of the Dars Nizami (Alim Course) with strong syllabi with real substance, taught by qualified and able scholars. We should support every Ahlus Sunnah institution who is doing good work in teaching properly and the scholars need to support each other as well, working for the greater cause as opposed to rallying for their own popularity or money box etc. Ultimately, it is the Mudaris who will produce the teachers, writers and orators of the present and future. So we need more teachers. Finally, experienced teachers almost always make the best orators and writers as well.

    The need for orators or speakers is there as well. However doing speeches for the greater part of a scholar's career is, I am afraid to say, the reason why most of our senior Scholars in the UK today (and anywhere else where this applies for that matter) are no longer able to teach adequately. Had they continued to teach during the appointment of their roles in Masajid across the country, then their contributions to society would have been much greater today.

    As for writing, I think there is always a need for this as well but, again, it will be the scholars and teachers who will be able to do this best. Fundamental books should be translated, new literature should be published and more focus needs to be put towards dawah material i.e. concise pamphlets on concepts such as Creed, Women's Rights, the Importance of Knowledge, and so on, for free distribution.
    Aqdas likes this.
  15. chisti-raza

    chisti-raza Veteran

    A well-known comment by Hazrat Hafiz-e-Millah [alayhi rahmah].
  16. Aqdas

    Aqdas Staff Member

    I deleted those few lines lest someone misconstrue but you'd quoted them before I hit save!
  17. Aqdas

    Aqdas Staff Member

    slightly related: give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
  18. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

    a thumbs-up for this comment. For these people their work is their reward, for when a person dedicates himself to al-'ilm then al-'ilm becomes his caretaker and is always by his side in the turbulent storms of this world, in the grave and inshAllah in the hereafter.

    When I hear of such people my heart sings for joy and I get the same feeling as a child when he reads about a far-off wonderland where all people live happily and sing songs forever - a mesmerizing experience which tolkien tried to capture in his description of the halls of Rivendell.
    Ghulam Ali and Rumi786 like this.
  19. Aqdas

    Aqdas Staff Member

    that's the correct order and surely mawlana Muhammad ahmad was quoting his teacher, hafiz e millat who I know made that quote.

    I fully agree with your sentiment that there are enough books - but not in English. so maybe instead of authoring, our Anglophones need to concentrate efforts on translating which would yield much quicker results.

    speeches traditionally only benefited those present but now that we have youtube etc. they do reach a wider audience. speechmakers now must concentrate on content and ensure their words are rich and profound.

    I'm in the UK so when we talked about location, I think over here, the most important of the three in 2015 is teaching. hence, I have full respect for people like shaykh asrar who you won't see delivering talks every other day all over the country. rather, he stays in Birmingham all week and teaches. this is foresight. his speeches are full of knowledge but I think he sees the bigger picture that there is much more benefit in creating more like him than delivering talks which will never make someone a scholar.

    those who can, teach.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  20. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

    something related:

    Allamah Muhammad Ahmed Misbahi, urf Misbahi Sahib, the erstwhile principal of Jamia Ashrafiya, Mubarakpur once commented:

    "Out of the three skills, speech is the easiest, teaching is more difficult and writing the most difficult of all."

    the person who told me this couldn't remember if the 2nd and 3rd were as above or swapped.


    In my personal opinion, writing scholarly works is like rains that fall on a high mountain, and teaching is like the reservoirs/lakes where this rain water collects and finally speeches are like the rivulets and streams that flow down the mountain giving life to all the lands they pass through and finally blending into the great body water which is the inculcation of truth in the public minds.

    Heavier the rainfall or taller the mountain more forceful is the flow of water and greener the countryside. And if the rains are sufficient, the reservoirs are always full and the rivers perennial. If the rains stop or are insufficient the lands around the mountain are that much less prosperous. Those who themselves undertake the journey to the reservoirs without waiting for a rivulet to flow by their door are like the students of knowledge who seek 'ilm directly from the teachers without waiting for the next ijtema in town in order to gain knowledge.

    Thus we see that all three must play their parts well for the water-cycle to complete, for when the waters from the seas evaporate they bring back rain to the high peaks likewise it is from the masses themselves that the future authors of great works shall rise.

    I feel that there is a lot of written material already available, more than what can be read in a person's lifetime. What is needed now is simplifying these and disseminating them among the masses through teaching and speeches and book publishing.

    Mufti Rafiq sa'adi relates from his teachers that teaching is like transferring the water from one pot to another, some water is always left behind in the pot, and thus after several such transfers (several generations of students) the quantity of water in the current pot is discernibly less than the original pot. And so with the passage of time knowledge continues to diminish.

    Ghulam Ali and Aqdas like this.

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