The culture: posting or sharing anecdotes, quoting passages time to time, buying books, talking about books, saying “this is the position of our scholars, our Madhhab…”, intermittently sharing pieces of advice and guidance, being busy with controversial and disputed academic matters, expressing thoughts on those issues, wearing the cloak of the defender of the truth, the abolisher of misguidance, or the cloak of a judge amidst disputes.
But the “reality” of the pursuit of sacred knowledge lies in:
Bearing the pain of studies, retention of text books, thorough study of commentaries, enduring the painstaking task of analysing and reviewing scholarly views, being patient with the scarcity of peers whilst diving into serious & demanding studies, avoiding distraction from the useless trends and topics that busy the hearts & minds, and finally – spending hours in worship.
Sacred knowledge is heavy, it is intense. Those who are unable to live with the “reality” end up embracing and living the “culture” – having convinced themselves that all of this is for the sake of sacred knowledge, that they are dedicating to it their precious hours and living to attain its virtues.
They remain in that state whilst reality keeps drifting afar as they remain clinging onto a fantasy. Until the day comes – if they ever wake up – when they look back and regret; the regret of letting slip the vibrancy of youth, being left with nothing from those days but mere stories.
Every man is the captain of his soul, a clear witness against it. If most his time, mind, and soul is applied to anything besides this “reality of sacred knowledge” then let him rest assured that he will be left at the end with nothing.❞
Shaykh Dr. Karīm Hilmī al-Hanbalī