Question: Some Ustads today are saying that it’s ok to take money to teach Islam. Their reasoning is because some Sahabis also did it in Medina by the Prophet’s order, is this true? Can someone accept money or make a living by teaching people Arabic or Quranic knowledge?
The danger of saying ‘well, it’s done during the time of the Prophet. Well, it’s done like this, well, it’s done like that, so I’m going to do it too,’ the danger with that is you are not being Ahli Sunnah. You’re being Salafi. Ahli Sunnah means we understand what happened, but we’re not taking directly from the Quran, directly from the Companions. We take not even from the Tabi’in, not even from the Tabi Tabi’ins, those ones. We take from those ones who are closest to us who are following them, because this is accumulated knowledge and experience and this is wide.
So if you’re just going to say ‘well, they did this, I’m going to do this. They didn’t do this, I’m not going to do that,’ that’s not Islam. The Prophet (AS) established that very clearly. He didn’t just say ‘follow my Sunnat,’ he says ‘follow the Sunnat of my Sahabis,’ meaning ‘follow the Sunnat of my Tabi’ins and the Tabi Tabi’ins and those ones who come after,’ There’s a danger. When you do that then everything is halal. Everything. You’ll find every reason to do anything that you want, to say Sahabis did this too. I once attended Jummah, because people are doing it without understanding the context, the meaning, and whether it’s for you or not. Not every law you can apply at that time anytime that you want. I once attended a Jummah, Imam was a kid who’s giving a pretty good Jummah, he was not Wahhabi. These days, if it’s not wahhabis, it is very very good, mashallah. It’s come to that point now. But he was wearing shoes and he was praying with the shoes on, because he says this is Sunnat. Breh, it’s Sunnat if you are at war. Oh, but ‘I’m at war my ego, brother.’
You see how it can go like this? Because you don’t have a guide. The guide is going to say stop that nonsense. No one can declare themselves a lawyer just like that. No one can declare themselves a dentist just like that. I mean, I don’t know about the dentist in Pakistan, they do it on the road, but even then they have to study and people can just punch them if they do something wrong, no? You cannot. But when it comes to spiritual matters, the most important things, then Muslims now, two billion Muslims, headless, heedless. And everyone saying ‘you see, you see? Quran is saying that, so I can do. Hadith is saying that, that so I can do.’ This is not Ahli Sunnah, not People of the Tradition. We follow a tradition. So that one was praying with his shoes on, he was saying ‘because this is Sunnat.’ He is saying. And then he is trying to say ‘oh, MashaAllah.’ Why are you showing off anyway? Is that really necessary? Is that really necessary, to do that? What are you’re trying to prove? Just pray, breh. Just pray. Why can’t you just be normal, just regular, try to be humble like that. Huh? You’re not even wearing turban, and you want to wear shoes. Anyway, eh, silly things like that people are doing.
So now, when it comes to money and giving to a religious teacher, you see in the old days what is the Sunnat way, what is the, let’s say, Ahli Sunnat way? What is the traditional way? Traditional way, the religious teacher, the Imam is not a beggar. He is not a businessman. He has sharaf, he has honor. He’s not going to say ‘now I’m going to sing, sing, sing, Salallah…’ and then everybody gives money. No, no, no, no, no. You know what I’m talking about, right? No. He doesn’t need you. He doesn’t need your money. You need him, that is the attitude. So who is going to provide for him? The state provides for him. The foundations they provide for him. He is not there begging people to give money like in America today. Ramazan time comes our phone is off the hook ‘do you need Imam? I’m a Hafiz, you know. I can recite for you.’ And people say ‘yeah, I need Imam,’ because everyone is saying it’s very good, we have to complete one Khatim of Quran. See, wrong understanding. Now what happens if the Imam is going up begging things like this? Then it becomes business. Don’t we know, can’t we see it, can’t we learn from the Ahli Kitab, what happened to them?
So there are ways that, especially during the time the Khilafat and times of the Maliks and the Kings, they say ‘no, don’t touch the Imams. You like, you give something because you love, okay? But we are going to provide for them.’ It came to a point, not only Imams, any Ahli Bayt in the time of the Ottomans they cannot work, they don’t have to work, the state gives them their wages. They say you cannot, you’re descendants of the Prophet. What, you’re going to go out and earn money like that? You sit and you pray for the Ummat. So once they scrap over one thousand years of Ahli Sunnat traditions, then they say ‘I will give you primary sources,’ oh, it’s finished. It’s done. And then you’re going to like this, like this, you’re going to make it to fit. These days you just put out a couple of videos there, you have some following, then you have a lot of money. The Imams making video, maybe I should be doing that. Astarghfirullah. They have a lot of money, they’re very rich. And they go and they give talks. And then, they give talk about Quran, about Sunnat, about everything, about Divine Nature, and then when they’re caught in a corner, they say ‘oh, I’m not an Alim, I’m just a lover of the Quran, lover of the Prophet.’
This is another thing. In the old days, you do not have permission to speak. You’re not going through all of that training, you don’t have Ijazat, you cannot, no matter how much you love. Like the man, he loves teeth, he reads about teeth, he dreams about teeth, he likes to fix teeth, but he’s never gone to dental school. You think anyone will take him seriously if he goes to you and he performs dental operation on? You think anyone in the right mind would? But this happened now amongst the Muslims, because there is no Khalifah, there’s no protection. Everyone will do as they like. The whole system is wrong, whole system has to change now. That’s why no Imam is an Imam. He’s not a leader. He’s an Imam of Prayer, but he’s not imam of the Masjid. He’s Imam of the Prayer that the committee hire him and they can fire him. And they say ‘you speak what we like.’ And who is the committee? Are they religious people? Are they pious people and they gone through – no. They’re just a bunch of professionals, let’s say, if that. But this bunch of professionals is going to decide what kind of religion is taught. So you see Imams, they’re being like caretaker, you know? They pray, then they sweep the floor and they live over there.
So people now start to look down on the Imams. This doesn’t happen to priests, by the way. This doesn’t happen to rabbis. So the system is wrong, and how many people are going into the religious business to earn money? Oof, if it’s not lucrative, they’re going to leave it. But it’s producing scholars, because they say ‘oh, I can do this. I can do this. I can just go and give a talk.’ What are you going to talk about? Anything you want. Ha, this is another problem. No. The doctor doesn’t give a medicine, anything that the patient wants. It’s what he wants, because he has a responsibility. So you cannot just take something like that and to say it happens, so it can happen like that. There’s so many conditions, so many conditions. And our people have made a business. What kind of Barakat is going to come from that? What kind of blessings, what kind of rahmat is going to come from that? Nothing. What do we do now? There are religious teachers and they need money. Okay, get a good one, they’re really in a tight position, yes, in that kind of position, yes. You see they need you, it is your responsibility now. It is your responsibility to provide. But that one is teaching religion not to make money, this is the thing. He’s teaching religion because it is pleasing to Allah. May Allah forgive us. May Allah not test us, insyaAllah. Fatiha.
Shaykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifa of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
29 Zul Hijjah 1440
August 30, 2019