Azizi Khalid

March 21, 2022



Moses said to him: "May l follow you that you may teach me something of the wisdom which you have been taught?"

- Al-Kahf: 66

This aya from Surah al-Kahf, a surah that we are encouraged to read and study every Friday, points to the importance of Suhbah, or companionship in acquiring knowledge.

When Prophet Musa met Prophet Khidr, he didn't just request to learn from him — but he wanted to follow Khidr in his journey. And from the companionship, he may learn something beneficial from the mysterious green man.

Traditionally that is how learning was done in classical circles of knowledge. Students don't just turn up to classes and learn from the Masters. They spend time living with them.

Suhbah is so vital that the students of Prophet Muhammad are not called his students but his companions. Being in the company of a teacher allows you to absorb more than textbook knowledge, and interacting with the teacher teaches you adab - which is more important than knowledge itself.

As education is going online, we are losing the element of Suhbah. Online may make it easier for you to learn, but holistic education can only happen when a student sits in the presence of and interacts with a living teacher. There are plenty of amazing online programs that we can benefit from. Subscribe to those programs and learn, but know that it is not a substitute for Suhbah.

Sometimes we need to turn off our devices, go out, find a good community to join and learn together. 

Azizi Khalid
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Towards the Middle Path