Here are some inspiring and timely advice from one of the true men of Allah Sheikh Al-Bouti (May Allah preserve him). He is someone who embodies the noble words of our Beloved Prophet (sall Allahu alaihi wa sallam) when he (sall Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said “…The scholars are the heirs of the prophets” Imam Zaid Shakir (May Allah preserve him) has in his normal superior fashion translated a text on the explanation of this hadith it’s available through Starlatch Press. Its available at most Islamic bookstore
This is an excerpt from a conversation with Shaykh al-Bouti on knowledge, learning, and da`wa. We began by asking about advice on how to convey the message of Islam to others. He replied:
“Look, my brother, in my opinion the best way in our times to reach the desired goals is discussion.
Consider what the major issues and problems are that are preventing the present generation–Muslims and non-Muslims–from seeing a true picture of Islam. Whatare these? Bring someone representative of these issues, and then let there be a discussion between you. That individual would represent those lost or far from a sound understanding ofIslam, and we should discuss with him. Don’t just rely on the way of simply having one person lecture to others. No! Discussion.
[What is the duty of a student of knowledge in the West, in their pursuit of presenting a sound message about Allah, His Messenger, His religion, and His Shariah?]
Look, before anything else, the student needs to become mature in their Sacred knowledge and intellectual understanding, particularly in matters of `aqida (beliefs/theology), and to go beyond issues of disagreement–such matters should be kept away from completely.
In our times, the call to Islam is thwarted by one means: busying away the Muslims in matters of difference of opinion–matters in which our Creator did not make us responsible for in first place. Understand?
[On this site, SunniPath, there are students of knowledge who teach the Hanafi and Shafii schools of law… Do you have any advice for them?]
This is good. We always state that madhhab-based fiqh is absolutely necessary, but on condition that we not become staunchly partisan to one madhhab against others.
[Such that it doesn’t become a source of disunity?]
Completely, completely. So if someone comes to me saying that they have difficulty in following the Hanafi school in this issue, can I follow…. [another school] “Yes, of course you can.”
[Then the Shaykh quotes Imam al-Busiri, from his Burda]
“And each of them takes from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him)”
[In closing, we’d request that you not forget us in your supplications]
I ask AllahMighty and Majestic that He take you by the hand; that He guide through you;that He guide you; and that He make you in this age as the Companions and their Followers were in the age of the Righteous Predecessors (as-salaf as-salih).