online vs in person learning

Q: salaam,

question is what are your thoughts regarding learning deen through means such as online? rather than traditional way such as attending a school due to not having that ability to leave home? would one still be able to gain the noor of ilm through that way? does the traditional way vs the online have more noor in it?

Time: Tuesday September 20, 2011 at 12:33 pm

A: وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته

  •  For some to leave home would be violation of family and/or parental rights. For example,  aging parents, no other better suited person exists for taking care of the parents, wife, children, etc. In such a situation, online religious education may prove beneficial.
  • However, a better way for attaining good religious education would be the traditional way. In the traditional Islamic schooling system, it is not data that is merely collected or shared. The traditional system demands that a student sits in the company of good people that are fully practicing the faith and share knowledge beyond the framework of mere words. This can only be experienced as part of an in-house-experience. Online learning prevents this positive outcome.
  • When a person gives a portion of self to Allah (SWT), Allah (SWT) would present a person that can best help you. This is a dua you must always make for your doors of True Knowledge to be opened for you. It sometimes comes in small steps, but if you are sincere, it would happen for you. Likewise, you would only attain to the extent that you are seeking.
  • It is not all about data/knowledge collection, it is about practicing whatever little you have learned in a manner that is linked to mannerisms of the deen.This would bring noor.

Online classes, due to their limited in-person interaction does not give the supreme flavor and subtleties that take place as one is seated in the presence of a teacher. (Many students call me on a regular basis and query what the online teacher really meant when the online teacher translated an ayah, etc.) I would recommend that first you meet a teacher, spend time with them (no less then three years if possible), then resort to learning from them online. This would prove wonders InshaAllah for you.
May Allah (SWT) make your matters easy for you. I sincerely pray that you get true authentic knowledge that would make you the best person, ameen.
Allah Certainly Knows Best.

p.s. I do not know your definition of ‘traditional.’ To some traditional means: living under conditions of hardship, to others, paying least amount of fees, yet to others, poor sanitary conditions with limited food. Yet to others, teacher must always be soft and nice to students, while to others, teacher must be harsh. To me: mastering your texts and acting upon it and being able to share it with others while taking into consideration the context and/or environment without sacrificing core principles and values.

3 responses to “online vs in person learning

  1. For some it seems that online learning is the only way. As a newly reverted adult Muslim – are there formal classes that can be attended? For example – it came to my attention that 10 Muhrram is a day of fasting. On line at it states that fasting on 10 Muhrram is to commemorate the day that Allah saved the children of Isreal from Pharaoh. Yet another place on line speaks of this day being to remember the family of the Prophet Muhhamed (pbuh) being killed. Are you able to see how this can be confusing to a new revert – with out a formal teacher or close person to ask? I fully understand why some Christians that revert to Islam do not stay in the community. Just my thoughts.

  2. Angela ElSayed

    It amazes me that the answers posted here are not always very logical for the people who are asking to follow. I was told once to find some sort of Islamic Judge to assist with my needs. If that were not available I was to find a sister who could help me…all well and good but many are so busy with their families and duties, it is hard to put all one’s needs onto a single soul, much less a stranger.(…lol. I completely agree with Glen. This has been a bursting problem in the community here and I myself have just come to realize what a big problem it is, and have met more reverts who are OUTSIDE the community due to the lack of community/education/service/organization/inclusion etc. than I ever knew were in SLC. Many are talking about having their own Mosque which only divides us even more. But it is true that the reverts seem to be seeking a lot of knowledge and guidance that is simply unavailable to us, unless we seek it on our own, which usually ends up at the computer, online. It seems most reverts don’t stay in the community, he is right, and I am starting to see why now too. There is simply NOTHING available to us in any way to foster spiritual growth and understanding in a community setting here. It’s not just Glen’s thoughts. It’s a reality. I had mentioned in another post about female reverts that it is tough to come from an organized an active society into such a closed and inactive society. It can be quite lonely, and make reverts feel quite ignored and uncared for. And THOSE are just MY thoughts.

  3. Angela ElSayed

    I do not mean to sound or be disrespectful or negative. I am just speaking about what is true and happening. I hope there is no offense taken by the admins of this page. I have much respect for Imam (muhammed) Shoayb and follow this blog faithfully, and don’t intend to change that. It is just that regarding the last couple posts I have commented on, there IS a comment warranted. Who knows. Maybe knowing you have a large revert community with greater needs than previously thought will inspire some Islam into Action. :)