A number of irate Muslim bloggers are urging for a boycott of Salafi institute because of its narrow, limited, sectarian, and (ultimately) divisive way.
Not sure whether this is the right way to go with these concerns, but the concerns are legitimate…
I wholeheartedly agree with my teacher Shaykh Faraz.
Yet, what are positive ways to "counter" such evident deviances? How do we make people understand traditional Sunni Islam as propogated by countless scholars throughout the centuries? What should be our reaction and approach when we see the common rhetoric of shirk and kufr spewing out of the mouths of our methodologically challenged brethren?
When I asked one of my beloved teachers about this he simply stated "Darkness is overcome by Light". This "Light" is none other then 'ilm of the religion coupled with proper understanding. My beloved further said to me:
It is much better to spend the time, mental energy, himma, and concern in seeking knowledge… Talk is cheap. Action is the way of men.
Knowledge is like water gushing forth from a fountain. The fountain represent the 'Ulema. Knowledge is not gleaned from books alone but from those of recognised authority. Imam Shafi' stated:
"Who learns fiqh from the insides of books has lost the laws"
See: Abdul Basit al `Almuni's "al Mu`id fi adab al mufid wa al mustafid ikhtisar kitab al durr al nadid" (Manual of the etiquette of the teacher & student, abridged from Badr al Din al-Ghazzi's book "The resplendant pearl"), Chapter entitled: The student's behavior with his shaykh, pg. 63.
Neither is knowledge merely memorizing or narrating whatever one gets his hands on. Imam Hasan al Basri (Allah be pleased with him) said:
"The purpose and energy of the 'Ulema is towards addressing needs while the purpose and energy of fools (al sufaha) is narrating."
See: Jami al Saghir (#9598)
Imam Dhahabi said in his Siyar that 'ilm is:
"Not the profusion of narration, but a light which Allâh casts into the heart. Its condition is followership (ittiba) and the flight away from egotism (hawa) and innovation."
Finally, as the great spiritual master Ibn Ata'illah said in his Hikam (#213):
"The Knowledge That Benefits is That Whose Rays Expand in the Breast and Whose Veil is Lifted in the Heart."
Seek out the inheritors of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), make the firm resolve to learn the religion for the pleasure of Allah and His Messenger and the path shall be clear as light. Truly, truth is manifest from falsehood.
And Allah Alone gives success, May He grant it to all of us.