More Than Just a Book: Thoughts on the Magnificent Nature of Scholarship

By Suhaib Webb | Based on a lesson by Dr. `Amir Wardani

Recently we were reading a text with Dr. `Amir Wardani and the following gems sprinkled from his lips:

2522457795_fd0e85809d_b“Islamic scholars were concerned with creating a student that was complete in his knowledge as well as morals. For that reason, when you read their books, do so with great care.

Let’s look at one term that is constant in all Arabic religious texts. Abwab literally means doors, but translates as chapters. This word carries with it a number of notable ideals that not only spark the mind of the student, but bring life to his heart.

  • First: When one arrives at a door, he is anxious to get inside. So this term creates a sense of urgency to attain what’s between the book’s covers. This is the fruit of craving knowledge.
  • Second: When someone cannot enter a place, he feels impoverished and weak. Therefore, the student who is confronted with these doors realizes his weaknesses and his sincere need for Allah to enlighten his heart and open these doors for him. In the Qur’an, Allah says, “They said, “Exalted are You; we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the Knowing, the Wise” (2:32). This is the fruit of feeling impoverished to Allah.
  • Third: When he enters a place, he will come across new things–things which he was ignorant of. Thus, when one struggles with the doors of a book, it is from his admittance of ignorance. This is the fruit of humility.
  • Fourth: When the student looks at many doors and realizes that they are all doors to goodness, he will reflect on the doors of Paradise and recall that the ultimate purpose of his knowledge is for Allah alone, and for Paradise. This is the fruit of thinking about the Hereafter.”
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1 Comment

  1. Dian says:

    Subhanallah, thanks for sharing, Br. Suhaib. It just occurred to me that my native language, bahasa, also use the word ‘bab’ for chapter. What a beautiful insight. May Allah reward Dr. Wardani, and you, with abundant khayr.

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