Confidence. Purpose. Clarity.

Last month, we shot a video for The Essentials Program with some of Qurba’s teachers and students. We wanted to keep it real — nothing scripted, nothing rehearsed. So we didn’t tell them what the video would be about, they just showed up and we started asking questions.

As we got into it, our conversation with Shaykh Ramzy Ajem and Shaykh Zahir Bacchus got very interesting. We didn’t really have a list of questions we wanted to ask — we just went with the flow and let the discussion guide itself.

We asked them questions about knowledge, its importance, how to seek it, and how to overcome some of the challenges we face as students. Needless to say, their answers were extremely inspiring and thought-provoking.

We put together a short clip from that conversation of Shaykh Ramzy talking about the benefits of knowledge: confidence, purpose, and clarity.

Watch the video and share your thoughts in the comments below. Has your pursuit of knowledge led to an increase in confidence, purpose, and clarity?

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9 Responses to Confidence. Purpose. Clarity.

  1. Omar Syed says:

    Personally , my Islamic learning initially started with halaqah’s and discussions with enthusiastic friends. The few classes that I had taken with ‘sheikhs’ was mainly around proving myself correct using Quranic Verses and Hadith literature. I knew deep down inside there was no clarity in my thought because everything I was taught was based on how to diffuse arguments using primary text. I didn’t have the confidence to talk about topics that were not directly related to Quranic verses or sayings of the Prophet (SAW).

    Alhamdullilah, Through the essentials courses, I felt I was finally pursing true knowledge. I got my first glimpse at how to navigate any issue. Sk. Ramzy took the time to explain to us the implications that western thought has on how we conceptualize ideas and how we speak. I must admit I got much more confidence after attending the course “Securing Faith”, and it helped me to see the purpose and clarity with which this religion has been passed on.

  2. Hammad Din says:

    What attracts us towards certain teachers, mentors and elders is that they carry themselves in an way where they are unperturbed by happenings around them. They see beyond the immediate happenings with confidence and purpose as if there is something beyond which they can see clearly. Linking with these people and learning from them is a way to get a portion of these qualities.

  3. Hamzah Moin says:

    Yes, I would say my pursuit of knowledge has helped me out … the “confidence” part moreso than others as I no longer feel insanely confused when I encounter differing opinions or strange fatwas on an issue. One can easily feel confused with Shaykh Google and Maulana Wikipedia out there but having the tools and knowledge to navigate through all the clutter really helps.

  4. Umar Shahzad says:

    I would hope that my pursuit of knowledge has led to an increase in confidence and purpose, but the clarity part can be a bit tricky at times. Like Hamzah said, with all this information at our fingertips, it can be a challenge sometimes to identify what is authentic, where there is room for differences of opinion, and what is out right fabrication. The key I think is to rely more on sitting down and having face to face conversations with your local scholars, especially if you have that facility available to you. Not only will you benefit from getting answers to your questions, but it also allows for them to get to know you.

  5. Great comments everyone. Thanks for participating.

    It seems like everyone is saying that the teacher is crucial to instilling confidence, purpose, and clarity in the student.

    So what is it about the teacher then? What are the key qualities that a teacher needs to have this kind of impact on students?

  6. Umar Shahzad says:

    First, I think they need to speak your language. I don’t just mean that they need to know English (or your native tongue), but that they need to understand you and be able to connect. The reason for so much of the disconnect between our Imams and the youth is 1) a lot of the Imams grew up overseas… not only is there a language barrier but they also haven’t experienced the same unique challenges we have growing up here. 2) even if they can speak the language, their words don’t resonate with the youth because it doesn’t reach out to them at their level.

    Secondly, (and this goes in hand with the first point) they need to be approachable. A lot of times, we’re intimidated or reluctant to ask our questions because the scholars seem out of reach.

    Lastly, and most importantly, they need to embody the teachings of Islam. Not just within the four walls of the Mosque, but in every aspect of their conduct. I’m sure at some point in our lives we’ve all met someone who, just by being in their company, we’ve felt blessed. If the teacher doesn’t practice what they preach, it won’t transfer to the student.

  7. R Azhar says:

    As’salaamu alaykum,

    Mash’Allah, you guys seem to be serious students :)

    First of all, thanks for sharing this clip! I think something like this should be put up more frequently.

    I love Shaykh Ramzy’s approach. He makes it so clear and everything he says just makes sense!

    The reason we can relate to the Shuyukh at Qurba so well is because they bring traditional knowledge from the hubs of Islamic learning and then cater it to the needs of the Muslims living in the West. Its all about making it relevant. Personally, I think that’s why I’m able to understand what they’re saying :)

  8. Game says:

    Awesomeness. I just love it!

  9. R Azhar says:

    I heard Shaykh Ramzy is coming to UTM this Friday <3
    Looking forward to it!