17 Strategy 7: Find a Specialist

The seventh strategy is to find a specialist. Many times we may feel that if we just think hard enough about a matter or perhaps read enough concerning an issue, we will be able to get the answer and if we fail to do so, we consider this a doubt that doesn’t have a response.  The reality is that we all have epistemic limitations and just because you don’t know the answer to a particular question doesn’t mean the answer doesn’t exist.  We understand the concept of epistemic limitations when we consider the fact that we all depend upon the knowledge and expertise of others in many domains that we have not learned or been exposed to.  That is the reason a person would go to a doctor or trust the pilot of a plane since, unless someone is an expert in those particular fields, we need their knowledge and expertise when we are sick or when we engage in air travel.  Elizabeth Fricker, an Oxford university professor of philosophy who specializes in epistemology, states:

 

“It should be immediately obvious that in the conditions of modern life we rely hugely on the epistemic and practical skills of others…. For example, I allow my car mechanic to find out what the fault is with my car when it won’t start and then to fix it for me and one relies on one’s doctor to use information from symptoms and medical tests to diagnose what is wrong with one and then to prescribe an appropriate treatment.”1

 

Regarding this idea of epistemic limitations, the Qur’an makes it clear that the only One free of these limitations is Allah:

 

“Above everyone who has knowledge there is the One who is all knowing.”2

 

Hence, it behooves a person to reach out to others, particularly specialists, since no person can claim to encompass the totality of knowledge.  The cure to ignorance about a matter is to simply ask,

 

So ask the people of knowledge if you do not know.3

 

Seeking out specialists in your local community includes reaching out to imam, scholars, counselors and others specialists. However, one is not only limited to their local community. With the rapid proliferation of the internet, there are now many ways to communicate with specialists across the globe when one has questions.4 This is in fact the beauty of being a part of the Muslim ummah in that we support each other:

 

The believers, both men and women, support each other; they order what is right and forbid what is wrong; they keep up the prayer and pay the prescribed alms; they obey God and His Messenger. God will give His mercy to such people: God is almighty and wise.5

 

1 RoyIntPhilosophy. “Elizabeth Fricker – Should We Worry About Losing Skills to Robots?” Video. YouTube, November 27, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsZRfT3G7nM.

 

2 القرآن الكريم. “Surat Yusuf [12:76] – The Noble Qur’an.” Accessed March 28, 2022. https://legacy.quran.com/12/76.

 

3 القرآن الكريم. “Surat An-Nahl [16:43] – The Noble Qur’an.” Accessed March 28, 2022. https://legacy.quran.com/16/43.

 

4 Sapience Institute has a one to one mentoring service called Lighthouse Mentoring where a person can book a one hour session and speak to a mentor.  For information on this please visit: https://www.lighthousementoring.org/

5 القرآن الكريم. “Surat At-Tawbah [9:71] – The Noble Qur’an.” Accessed March 28, 2022. https://legacy.quran.com/9/71.

 

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