Why It is Important to Learn Enough About Islam?
The Informed Muslim
This is the first category amongst Muslims whenever discussing the need of study to know about Islam. To begin, what are the objectives of this category? According to Islamic scholars, one should learn enough about his religion to fulfill what is compulsory upon him with regards to his relationship between him and his Creator. This may be simple for someone; but for others it may require a bit more effort.
Some mandatory knowledge about Islam
So, what is required? Here are some key categories which one must study to learn about Islam:
1) Basic Iman or A’qidah (creed)
It is compulsory for a Muslim to belief in Allah, His messengers, the angels, the holy revealed books which he sent down to His prophets, the Last Day (qiyamah), divine predestination and the life after death. It is also important for a Muslim to learn about how to cure the illness of the soul and heart according to Islamic principles.
2) Basic Fiqh (jurisprudence)
It is also compulsory to learn the fiqh when it comes to prayer and reciting the Qur’an, zakat (giving in charity), fasting and hajj. It is also required to acquire the knowledge of rulings that are known by default in the religion. Such as the major sins and words or actions that can take you away from Islam. More may be required for others, such as learning the Islamic rules about transactions for businesspeople. And Islamic medical rules for those who are in the medical field.
3) Removing Doubts
Whatever a Muslim needs to learn to keep doubts from destroying his/her faith. It can differ from person to person. Many people may not require much knowledge about removing doubts. But some may require extensive reading on this topic. For example, a new Muslim who is leaving Christianity or other religion may require more in the way of the Islamic critique of other religion. And a Muslim who experiences doubts because of atheism may need to do further reading or studying in topics that address the status of Islam. Such as, the status of Islam with regards to other Orientalist critique, universal philosophies, or the superiority of Islamic ethics. For almost all Muslims, a few videos, articles, and/or sometimes reading Islamic books can suffice for this.
4) Learning principles in Tasawwuf
It is necessary to maintain a personal relationship with the Creator. The way one can maintain a personal relationship with the Creator is called Tasawwuf.
It is obligatory for every Muslim to know basic principles in tasawwuf. Such as obligatory levels of Taqwa, Tawakkul, Zuhd, Khawf, Muhhabah, Sabr, Shukretc. You may learn these terms from many Islamic books but only through reading can these will not come into your life.
However despite this, it is critical to have a Sheikh or a spiritual guide in tasawwuf. This may not be someone who is a scholar of Islam. But one who demonstrates a strong implementation of Islamic rulings in their life, avoiding of sins and even disliked acts, and has overall excellent character and conduct. This is not often the same one who would study theology and fiqh with. An academic teacher is not the same as a spiritual guide, although rare blessed individuals may fulfill both.
Everything else the Informed Muslim should learn many extra topics about Islam excluding these. However, the Informed Muslim is encouraged to continue in learning whatever he or she feels will benefit their faith, such as learning Arabic, memorizing the full Qur’an or some verses or Surah of Qur’an, learning and reflecting over the meanings of the verses of Qur’an, and other facets of Islam through any means available to them whether online or offline