As I search the latest articles, blogs, books, news reports, etc. relating to Islam, I realize that the majority of commentators on Islam in the media-who want to define what Islamic theology, law, and practice is - do not even practice the basics of the faith! Not to mention, they have never actually studied it!
I was appalled to see that a woman with no training or education in the Islamic sciences who publicly violates unanimously agreed upon aspects of Islamic law and who is not ashamed of her adulterous illicit relationship, debating what Islamic law says regarding gender relations on the Doha debates broadcast internationally. It is watching a person with no medical training and who in fact has cancer and is a proud smoker debate on Internal Medicine!
That is just once example. The media is now full of people who may have never done one prostration to God arguing about the very soul of Islam. And the tragedy is they are given an audience! It is amazing how we would never accept doctors teaching law, or lawyers teaching medicine, and so on, yet we have no problem with doctors, lawyers, activists, and just about everyone else (except for actual scholars) teaching about Islam- when they neither study nor practice it.
It is thus no shock that it is these same speakers who are advocating and promoting beliefs and practices (or lack thereof) which completely contradict over 1400 years of Islamic Scholarship!
The scholars are often not the ones that are respected and learned from...rather people seek knowledge from speakers who lack practice and knowledge.
Our situation is best described by the teachings of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him):
“Allah will not deprive you of knowledge after he has given it to you, but it will be taken away through the death of the learned men (Ulema’a) with their knowledge. There will remain ignorant people who, when consulted, will give verdicts according to their opinions whereby they will mislead others and themselves go astray.”
Islam is the most valuable thing we have...so lets beware from where we acquire it!