What's in Your Ear? is an occasional Saturday series where we ask Muslims, known and unknown, a few simple questions:
1. What are you listening to?
2. What are you reading?
3. What are you watching?
4. What technology are you rocking, Mac or PC? Kindle, iPad, Android phone, etc?
5. What's the best piece of advice you've received or an advice you have for MM's readers?
In this week's WIYE, Waleed interviews imām Zaid Shakir.
[Transcribed by Mehzabeen | The following transcript includes slight modifications for the sake of readability and clarity.]
Waleed Ahmed – So we have a segment called “What's in Your Ear”. What are you listening to these days?
Zaid Shakir – What am I listening to? I'm listening to Qurʾān. Then I'm listening to more Qurʾān. Then I'm listening to more Qurʾān…
WA – Māshā'Allāh! And, what are you reading?
ZS – I'm reading Annie Leonard's 'The Story of Stuff'.
WA – 'The Story of Stuff' – what's that about?
ZS – 'The Story of Stuff' is how everything we do as a society of consumers is destroying the planet. For example, gold is mined in South Africa, the leading gold producer. To produce a wedding band which is a fraction of an ounce of gold leaves behind 20 tonnes of cyanide poisoned sludge. They dredge up 20 tonnes of gold ore, they drench it in cyanide; the gold clings to the cyanide. They extract it, the rest is cyanide poisoned waste. So that's what I'm reading.
I'm reading Nicholas Carr, 'The Shallows', how the internet and being overindulged with it is literally re-wiring our brains. That's what I'm reading right now… in addition to the Qurʾān.
WA – And what are you watching?
ZS – I don't watch TV, except when I visit my father.
WA – Do you have any advice for students of knowledge?
ZS – Student of knowledge? Be serious, be patient. I'll give you the advice that imām al-Shafiʿī gave, raḥimahullāh. You'll never get knowledge, except with six things. I'll let you know what they are with clarity: intellect; drive – you have to be driven, you can't be a nonchalant student of knowledge – you have to be driven; patience. Someone has to take care of you, cuz you can't work full time and study knowledge full time. The guide of a teacher. And a long time.
WA – Salām 'alāykum