Islamic Concept of Adab - 17 Apr 2010
"Hath there come upon man (ever) any period of time in which he was a thing unremembered? Lo! We create man from a drop of thickened fluid to test him; so We make him hearing, knowing. Lo! We have shown him the way, whether he be grateful or disbelieving." [Surah al-Insan: 1-3]
Islam encourages mankind to seek 'ilm in order to know what good deeds are and what bad deeds to avoid in order to elevate one's iiman through the right ibadah and nurture one to become ummatan wasotan (justly balanced). Truly, Islam nurtures its ummah to be good citizens of the earth. Hence, the first ayat revealed to our beloved Prophet SAW was "Iqra'" or "read" [Surah al-Alaq: 1-5], which shows that seeking 'ilm holds high regard in Allah's eyes - not just take the info as is but contemplate or reflect on why it is such or what is the deeper underlying message.
As we seek 'ilm, be mindful that it comes from the Creator and constantly be grateful for the 'ilm bestowed upon us. This is the concept of Mahmudah vs. Mazmumah (Syukur with ni'mat vs. Kufur with ni'mat bestowed upon one).
Actually in this lesson, Ustaz outlines how a student learns (input - process - output) and the preparedness of a student before one seeks 'ilm as well as the difference between data, information and 'ilm.
But what is essential is the inner preparedness of the student to unlearn, learn and relearn i.e. to have the right aptitude in one's pursuit of 'ilm - have an ingenious acumen, fervent desire, patient perserverance, sufficient sustenance, guidance of an authoritative teacher and set aside right length of duration in seeking 'ilm (do not be impatient, truly impatience and arrogance are traits of Syaitan).
Many surah in the Al Quran urge one to suppress the nafs and avoid corruption or maksiat as 'ilm from Allah SWT is nur (light) and it will not be given to those who are disobedient or kufur.
Afternote: Sometime we hear teachers lament why some rebellious students are so 'dumb'... I wish that instead of uttering negativity or putting the students down by calling them 'gone case', it is better for us to doa for them. May Allah SWT bestow them with hidayah coz that is our obligation, to take care of the ummah. WalLahualam bissawab.