I keep wondering why it is that I never see the ahadeeth being related as ‘narrated by Mufti so-and-so’ or ‘Maulana so-and-so’ or ‘Hafez so-and-so’. The respected companions of the Prophet (SAW) were always referred to by name first, and then only had their titles referenced if it was relevant to the context of the narration. 

These days, we hear about the credentials of the person long before we hear any advice from him. I see the Islamic principle of us being responsible for teaching others what we know even if it is only a single verse, yet the present day scholars tell us that we’re not allowed to say or write anything unless one of the esteemed few have been consulted first. I say esteemed few because we’re now being referred to as the ‘Awwaam’. Apparently that means masses…which in my mind is akin to the Jewish term ‘Goyim’ which refers to all non-Jews in a condescending manner. The term ‘Awwaam’ was used often by an Aalimah with whom I was once interested in marriage, and I received many examples of the use of this term in the gatherings of the esteemed few when they discussed methods and strategies on how to reach out to the ‘Awwaam’.

I don’t recall such condescending tone ever being taken by our beloved Nabi (SAW). Nor do I recall any tone of rhetoric or condescension in any of Rasulullah (SAW)’s speeches, or advice that he gave to anyone in need of it. Rasulullah (SAW) maintained a disposition that made it difficult for strangers to pick him out of a group of common folk that may have been gathered around him. He (SAW) did not indulge in fine fabrics, stylish turbans, or fancy robes. His beard was always neatly groomed, and he smiled sincerely at anyone that he passed.

This evokes too many painful memories to complete these thoughts…

Zaid Ismail

Author, life coach, and mental health activist. We need to change the narrative from disorders, illnesses, and survival to accountability, understanding, and thriving.

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