Four Essential Parts to Ta’lim (Islamic Education)

“Ta’lim (Educating Muslims about Islamic knowledge) is a very broad concept that encompasses many entities, which are all necessary… thus when it has a broad-spectrum and divisions within it, which are all required, and scholars are only fulfilling the responsibilities of only one division, then has this obligation of ta’lim reached its aim and is it absolved?

Most definitely this is a weakness you will agree upon. Whatever the case, you must admit to your deficiency.

So now isn’t it important to absolve this issue? Without a doubt it is very necessary.

What I am saying is, Ta’lim is a very broad concept, and all the parts of this concept are required [for the Muslim community by Shari’ah].

Now let us understand the different areas [of ta’lim], some are in my head at this moment, I inductively present to you four main divisions of ta’lim [translator: which can be further divided into subdivisions]:

1 – Delivering speech/sermon publicly
2 – Teaching
3 – Privately advising people (amr bil ma’roof bi khitaab al-khaas)
4 – Writing

Religious scholars should focus on these 4 areas.

These are easily achieved [in the first two points] when you teach in front of students, and when you speak in front of the general masses.

And when you selectively approach individuals or groups and advise them privately (the third point is achieved).

What I mean by ‘selectively’ is where your influence can have a positive outcome, because advice is not gladly accepted everywhere and sometimes it has a confrontational effect and in consequence enmity between the individual increases and not everyone can tolerate that.

If someone is able to tolerate opposition whilst advising him then SubhaanAllah! He should carry on. However it is important not to be harsh and ruthless when advising but be gentle. If confrontations persist, then carry on tolerating. But if you cannot tolerate this, then stop trying to advise him selectively and just advise him generally without any details.

Basically, advise people where you sense your influence.

Sadly, this practice of amr bil ma’roof is completely ignored today. Father and son, Teacher and student, Spiritual Mentor and votary, employer and employee and wife and husband all seldom advise each other. Moreover these are such connections through which humans take influence and give inspirations.
This is a very big religious error, which we will be questioned about.

So these are three points explained.

The fourth point is writing. When a situation arises they will be a need for scholars to write. This does not necessarily mean every scholar of the community becomes a professional writer or speaker, but it does mean that according to the needs of the community, a number of scholars should be proficient and talented in writing and speaking.”

Source:

Shaykh Mawlana Ashraf ali Thanwi Rahimahullah (May Allahs mercy Descend upon his soul), Huqooq wa Faraaidh Page 114, as cited by Mufti Zayd Nadwi in Adaab Taqreer wa Tasnif pg 19, Ashrafiyyah Multan, Shaban 1415

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