“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.” ― Voltaire
I remember that there was a point of time during my course of re-learning Islam that I got thoroughly confused. Different people were telling me different versions of what they understand Islam to be. With each version that was relayed, I'd get more and more confused. It was quite frustrating. I felt that the more I learnt, the more dim witted I became.
In the end, I ran to the Wise Owl, to seek clarification and to untangle the knots in my head. The Wise Owl advised me to go back to basics; go back to Quran and hadith.
It was then that I realised my mistake. I was not learning about Islam but rather, listening to people's opinion about how Islam should be. There is a difference between learning and listening. Different people have different views hence you will get different versions. Each will insist that their version is the correct one.
What I needed to do was to open up the Quran and try to understand it rather than relying on other people's hearsay version of the content there in. Similarly with hadith. I needed to read and study hadith on my own rather than believing the version related by others.
In the last sermon of our beloved Prophet s.a.w. on the day of Arafat, he told us,
"I leave behind me two things, the Quran and the Sunnah (Hadith), and if you follow these you will never go astray. All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listened to me directly. Be my witness, O Allah, that I have conveyed your message to your people."
When Prophet s.a.w. said 'you' in his sermon, he also meant me. He had specifically said that if we do not want to go astray, we are to follow Quran and Sunnah and not follow people.
So, truthfully, if we truly take the trouble to re-learn the Quran and hadith and try to understanding its meaning, we should be on a clear path. It's not about what 'he says or she says' but rather it's about what God says and the only way to find out is by understanding the Quran....