The Continuous Living Tradition 21 January 2008Posted by MOZAFFAR in History, Law, MOZAFFAR, Spirituality.
We see a passage: Alif Lam Meem. We know how to pronounce it. Why?
From this simple point, we touch on an often neglected, yet vitally important facet of the Muslim experience: The Continuous Living Tradition. How do we know that the written letters “alif-lam-meem” are to be read as “alif-lam-meem” and not “alima?” It is because of this living tradition. At some point, you learned or heard from someone else that this is how it is pronounced.
Likewise for the formal prayers. Very few people learn their prayers from books, and almost nobody learns the steps in the prayer through books of Hadith. Rather, you learn it from someone else, who learned it from someone else, who learned it from someone else.
In today’s world, books may be involved with the process, but the real force of this transmission of knowledge is in human contact. And, this chain of contact has been continuously running for 1400 years.
And Allah knows best.