Here we see a Sheikh teaching a lesson in front of only one student at the Prophet’s masjid..
Never feel as though your efforts have gone to waste if you fall into the same predicament. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) mentioned that a Prophet will come on the Day of Judgement with only one follower, and it could be by the virtue of one good deed that you are admitted into Paradise.
Sadly though, I believe the picture highlights the unfortunate state of affairs in our communities with regard to our attitude towards seeking knowledge, especially since the advent of social media.
Gone are the days – for many – where people would travel to sit at the feet of scholars and develop a personal relationship with them. Gone are the days where we take our knowledge directly from the mouths of the people of knowledge. Instead, we have reduced our learning to listening to snippets of clips on YouTube and listening to reminders that keep our faith supposedly elevated but do not provide much by the way of significant insightful knowledge that really helps us grow in faith and practice.
I’ve even noticed that many people do not even have the attention span to manage listening to a one hour lecture these days. It’s become ‘fast food knowledge’ now sprinkled with the glitz of HD videos and graphics. As for reading books, then all I can say is,
إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون
Social media really has become the double edged sword for us. It has the potential of being very beneficial but at the same time it can be very distracting, demotivating, regressive and harmful. It also gives the platform for the ignorant to spout their rabble and the unqualified to speak about matters beyond their abilities.
We should all have our portions of real human interaction with people of knowledge and take from their adab and insights. There are numerous blessings found in those gatherings that cannot be found elsewhere, even in books.