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51) ‘Ilm & Adab/Khuluq - Education & Good Mannerisms

31 January 2015

 بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ*

يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَاتٍ *

 (Surat al-Qalam: 4 and Surat al-Mujadala: 11)

Your character is indeed great. Allah Ta’ala raises those who believe and those who have been given knowledge in high ranks.

Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin TUS always emphasizes the importance of two things: 1- ‘ilm (education and knowledge) and 2- adab/khuluq – good mannerisms and character. 

The two Qur’anic ayats quoted above highlight the importance of these two fundamental characteristics. As Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA characterized them in his nasihat, they are the jewelry (zewar) with which a Mumin should adorn himself.

 

Education involves, first and foremost, the attainment of the knowledge of Aale Mohammed.  This includes the knowledge of our aqeeda and creed: knowledge of how to recite the Qur’an and its multiple levels of meanings, knowledge of the tenets and obligations of Shari’at and the signification and the reason behind each stipulation, knowledge of the history of our hudaat kiraam and their akhbaar, and knowledge of the valuable lessons learned from their example. 

The collective knowledge of zahir, tawil and haqiqat are an ocean of knowledge without a shore. Over the centuries, our hudaat kiraam have imparted this divine knowledge to their mumineen. Indeed this is the life-giving-water for our souls. Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin RA established the Dars-e-Saify which Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA then reorganized, expanded and renamed the Jame’a Saifiyyah. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA further expanded the Jame’a and established a branch in Karachi. Today Syedna Qutbuddin TUS continues to impart this knowledge in his writings, his waaz and bayaans, his sabaqs and through his actions. With his raza, sabaqs are taught regularly in Darus Sakina and other towns and are also available online. Never has it been easier to seek this invaluable ‘ilm

Alongside the ‘ilm of Aale Mohammed, secular (worldly) education is extremely important. It is through education that our community has gained a reputation of being a respected, peace loving and prosperous community. An individual may leave behind material wealth for his children, but as Amirul Mumineen SA has said, the best inheritance is education. In today’s dynamic world, education gives us the tools to maintain our values and at the same time advance and engage positively with each other and the communities that surround us. Also, Rasulullah SA has said, “to seek knowledge is a farizat and obligation on every Muslim man and every Muslim woman.” Rasulullah SA stated this phrase 13 centuries ago, and those today who forbid women from fulfilling this obligation, in any which way, are certainly not following Rasulullah’s philosophy. Our hudaat kiraam have over the years established many schools, educational institutes and organizations to encourage education. Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA achieved a near 100% literacy rate for the community, especially during a time period in India when Muslims and women at large were far behind this rate.  Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA also established many schools and the Burhani College in Mumbai. Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin TUS continues this legacy by encouraging mumineen to pursue secular education to the highest levels. He encouraged his own children, sons and daughters, to pursue the highest degrees in the most renowned universities. They did so with the raza and continued doa of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, every step of the way. Today Syedna Qutbuddin continues this effort by the establishment of the Qutbi Jubilee Scholarship Program (QJSP), which grants scholarships for all education and in particular Higher education. At least 30% of the scholarships are reserved for highly qualified, dedicated and motivated girls. As the saying goes, “if you educate a girl, you educate an entire family.” 

The other element that Syedna TUS emphasizes is good character and mannerisms (khuluq and adab). It is notable that Rasulullah SA is mentioned many times in the Quran, but he is only praised once: “your character is indeed great” (the ayat is quoted above) . Good character is a cornerstone of every divine religion from the time of Adam Nabi SA to the time of our Nabi Mohammed Rasulullah SA. The virtues of honesty, kindness, sincerity and compassion are an essential part of our religion. Indeed, our hudaat kiraam have stated that “the mannerisms or adab of religion must come before religion” (adabud-deen qablad-deen). Before the zuhoor of Imam Mehdi Billah SA, he sent Dai Abi Abdillah to North Africa to spread the Imam’s Da’wat. According to our kitaabs, the large majority of people were drawn to Dai Abi Abdillah because of his akhlaaq and goodness of character. Syedi Mohammed bhaisaheb Badruddin, Syedna Abdul Qadir Najmuddin’s RA grandson, wrote a letter to Syedna Qutbuddin in which he said: “in the Qur’an, Allah Ta’ala has said to Rasulullah SA that ‘you character is indeed great’, and to you also Allah Ta’ala has given such good character”. The goodness of character and being a good human being, is the first step towards being a good mumin. 

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the strength to follow guidance and example of our Mawali Tahereen, and particularly our guide in the present time, Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin TUS. Let his guidance and our actions and choices show that we are good and educated individuals, and that our community is defined by these noble traits. May Allah Ta’ala grant those who have gone astray the tawfeeq to see the contrast in the noble guidance of Syedna Qutbuddin, who is forming a harmonious community united by love in which individuals respect and care for each other, and the misguidance of those who are creating a community that is weakly held together by fear, suspicion, scandal, and slander. 

We thank Allah Ta’ala that in this day in which the whole world is seeing a decay of Morals we are led by a Dai whose guides us by his words and by example to be better human beings, to be pious muslims and Mumins and to live a full and honest life in this world and prepare for a blessed eternal life in paradise. May He give a long life to our guide Syedna Qutbuddin TUS till qiyamat and may he give us the sense and strength to follow his guidance.