Students of Knowledge Stepping Into The Spotlight Before Their Time

One of the biggest mistakes students of knowledge make – including myself – when embarking on the path of traditional study is to remain plugged into the internet and social media, writes Ustadh Salman Younas.

Whether it is having debates on forums, writing lengthy Facebook posts, coming up with catchy tweets, or posting pictures of your student adventures on Instagram, the base assumption that every student (actually, every person) should have is that these are largely ways to aggrandize the self (nafs) whether one realizes this or not.

A Destructive Distraction

Spiritually, it is destructive for a student. From the perspective of ilm-seeking, it corrupts intentions and distracts a student from the higher aims of seeking knowledge: God. There is an element of putting oneself out there and assuming a role before one is actually ready to step into the spotlight. There are indications that one feels his opinion counts and needs to be spread (if you pass a glance at how many shares your post got, you know you’re probably doing it for the wrong reasons).

There is a hidden desire that perhaps people should follow me – the layman taking the hand of the learned. Often times, there is argumentation, sometimes ill-will developed towards others, and the construction of a false image for the public. The consequence of this is summed up in a famous legal maxim:

“Whoever rushes something before its time is punished by being prevented from attaining it.”

If you are a beginner student, stick to studying and worship. Don’t waste the opportunity God gave you by occupying a station that He did not place you in.

This is a problem of my generation. Go look at our elders, such as Shaykh Nuh Keller, Shaykh Hamza, Imam Zaid, Habib Umar, Mufti Taqi, and others. How many of them were putting themselves out while still students? None of them. They waited. They focused their attention on what they needed to do – on seeking knowledge for the sake of God. They understood the statement of Ibn Ata’illah:

“Bury your existence in the earth of obscurity. If something sprouts before it is buried, its fruits will never ripen.”

They took counsel from their teachers. They rectified themselves spiritually in addition to gaining knowledge of the outward. And God eventually opened the door of scholarship and spreading knowledge for them… and how beneficial was it when it was opened at the time He desired and not when they desired it.

Resources for seekers

Can One Invest in Land That Has Gold and Other Precious Metals?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: There is a mining company stock which I would like to buy. The company owns some land on which there is known to be gold and other precious metals, however the mine has not been developed to the point that the gold can be easily extracted. The estimated worth of the gold in the ground based on mining surveys is about three times as much as the worth of the company based on its stock price.

(1) Would this stock be considered halal to own?
(2) Would the estimated gold in the ground be considered an asset in the companies possession or would only the land and its value be considered an asset?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum warahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

(1) It would be permissible to own such a stock, as long as the general conditions of permissibility for purchasing stock are met. For those conditions, please see the following:

(2) I’m not sure of the exact context of your second question. If it is with respect to zakat, you simply pay zakat on the market value of the shares. This value reflects all the company’s assets, including land and gold.

For the purpose of zakat, the gold would not be considered an asset until it is actually extracted from the ground, after which its value would already be incorporated in the market value of the stock at the time.

To reiterate, you need to pay zakat only on the market value of the shares. This is the ruling for an investment in which one’s intention at the time of purchase is capital gain. If one’s intention when purchasing shares, however, is to receive annual dividends, one may deduct the company’s non-zakatable assets, such as land or machinery, from the stock value when calculating zakat.

[Maydani, Lubab]

And Allah knows best.

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani