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Old 11-20-2008, 12:36 PM   #1
Mobeen Vaid
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Question Maqsad of Gems :)

I've been working on the maqaasid ash-shariah exam while planning for our upcoming seminar and it got me thinking about the maqsad behind having gems. It seems that traditionally, gems had a different intent than they do today and honestly I wonder whether there needs to be a return to the classical understanding of gems (lol).

I remember when gems were first explained to us in Tafseer Juz Amma. Shaykh Muhammad (hafithahullah) described gems as being unique and powerful thoughts. Something that comes to you while processing the knowledge that you've learned as a means of interacting with the material. They were reflections gained from the material, and they were so valuable that forgetting them was too costly so the gem board was a method by which they could be preserved. Hence the name, gems

Today, it seems like our gems are just repititions of what was taught in the class with no reflection. Often times gems are written to achieve a quantitative objective (need at least 5,000 gems in this class, etc.) and in the process of trying to reach that number, the gems become.....well they become less gem-like. I dont think people should feel shy in posting gems that are powerful to them, even if they dont seem like gems to others, but I do wonder if there's value in simply posting class statements for the sake of getting to a number....or maybe I'm just not understanding the new maqsad of gems (lol)

thoughts?
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Old 11-21-2008, 10:08 AM   #2
Mobeen Vaid
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Re: Maqsad of Gems :)

wa eeyak(i). It wasnt really intended to be a reminder, but a real question: what is the intent/purpose behind simply producing loads of gems? at that point, isnt it just an exercise in using the forums?
I think there's benefit in using the forums for students to get them acclimated wtih the forums and there's also some benefit in them being able to review statements in class, but then they are no longer gems right?
Also what I've noticed is that when the goal is to produce a large quantity of gems (5,000 for example), its usually like 1-3 people posting 80% of the gems....Allahu Alam
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Old 11-21-2008, 10:11 AM   #3
Adib Contractor
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Re: Maqsad of Gems :)

We used our last class to revive the spirit of gems... MashaAllah, Durbah sisters had to have 2 gem boards, the first one overflowed!

Now, why do we want more gems? Simple, to remind people over and over that they have to take a serious look at the material and critically think about it. Sometimes it does backfire, especially on the brothers board, where you end up with instructor quotes or little jokes... kinda missing the point. But a lot of people did get it and we had some good stuff MashaAllah.
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Old 11-21-2008, 10:31 AM   #4
Raniah
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Re: Maqsad of Gems :)

I also appreciate the thread.

I remember Sh. Muhammad mentioning the same thing back in our first HOK class a few years ago. With new people coming on board and attending classes, and instructors/ameers not reminding the new students what the real intent behind gems are, the purpose really has been lost I feel.

I also feel that when you have competitions to see who can get the most gems, it becomes one of who can type the most of their notes.
Gems are supposed to be an "aa-haa" type of moment, moments that get a person to contemplate deeply about the content and not just regurgitating it.

It would be nice if we could go back to the initial purpose to what a gem is because I remember reading some from a few years ago and thinking, "Wow! What a thought."

Now I read most gems, and yes I do appreciate what is written, since after all it is knowledge, but there is no thought or contemplation put into them.

wallahu alem.
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:31 PM   #5
sidrae
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Re: Maqsad of Gems :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobeen Vaid
I remember when gems were first explained to us in Tafseer Juz Amma. Shaykh Muhammad (hafithahullah) described gems as being unique and powerful thoughts. Something that comes to you while processing the knowledge that you've learned as a means of interacting with the material. They were reflections gained from the material, and they were so valuable that forgetting them was too costly so the gem board was a method by which they could be preserved. Hence the name, gems

Today, it seems like our gems are just repititions of what was taught in the class with no reflection... or maybe I'm just not understanding the new maqsad of
I agree gems are no longer what they used to be - instead they've become more regurgitation of what was said/taught in class. But while the classical meaning had its benefits I feel like the new definition of gems has become more fitting for the masses -- the contemporary has become the norm because of its simplicity. Its easier to write a profound statement of someone else than to think of your own and while I'm more of a supporter of the classical, the contemporary has its benefits - like if you go back and read your gems (the ones that fall under the contemporary school), its a refresher on some key points discussed in class. And I think as long as the contemporary works with the classical, instead of one replacing the other the objective is maintained - which essentially would be the preservation of the knowledge. okay now I have to go finish my IS assignment!
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