Never before has it been possible to access so much of information with such ease. Daily, new books grace the shelves of libraries and living rooms. More magazines, periodicals and pamphlets are being published than ever before. Furthermore, literally at the press of a button, thousands of books on tafseer, hadith, fiqh, Islamic history and almost every other topic can be accessed. On-line courses and innumerable websites, all in the name of Islam, are at one’s fingertips. Indeed there is a huge explosion of information which is bombarding us from every direction. The major challenge is how to handle this “information explosion”?
The most critical issue in this regard is WHO is giving out the information? This itself will also determine another critical aspect: How authentic is the information? Though we generally take these issues very lightly, especially in this age of the “information explosion,” yet it could very well be a matter of life and death – the death of one’s Imaan. Hence ibn Sireen (rahimahullah), who was among the greatest Taabi’een (companions of the Sahaaba radhiyallahu ‘anhum), firmly stated: “This knowledge is deen. Therefore beware of who you take your deen from?” (Shamail-e-Tirmizi).
The above statement has two fundamental lessons. The first lesson is that one must have a teacher who one learns deen from. It is therefore extremely tragic that, due to the advancement in technology, many people’s teacher has become the internet or computer programs. Imagine a person with a severe heart condition referring to the internet for treatment. He stumbles upon an advert marketing a product which promises a miraculous cure for his ailment. If the ailing person decides to take this unknown product from an unknown person for his heart condition, what will any sane person think of him? More crucial than treating the physical heart is the health of the spiritual heart. Therefore, can just any website, online course, blog, or just any b