Here in the West we blame Islamic scholars in some made up ivory tower of 'ulamaa' that have rendered the fortress of Islamic sciences inaccessible by retreating out of availability. I used to believe this. Then I found how accessible 'ulamaa' really are for those with himma (Spiritual Aspiration).
This is a multifaceted issue, and most if not all of the "reasons" are from our deficiencies as 'awwam. First and foremost is our distorted perception of scholars. We often equate the word with high profile feel-good public speakers that Muslims flock to see at conventions.
Naturally, these speakers are inaccessible as their careers are based on scarce but high-traffic appearances where they're paid thousands to provide an hour of oratory finesse. These are typically the people you see come out in fireworks to a large crowd at conferences.
Those with knowledge, humble, learned, erudite oceans don't carry themselves in this manner. This obviously has exceptions but that aside, we must learn to distinguish between a public speaker and a 'alim. One makes you applaud, the other makes you struggle against your nafs.
Another reason for this is our lack of real effort. The moment I put effort into connecting with 'ulamaa', I found myself building relationships with scholars that I value so deeply. As for Islamic studies, one needs to do serious reflection to find a proper intention.
Platforms like shaykh @FarazRabbani's @SeekersHub, mawlana @hwmaqbul's Tahawiyyah lectures, shaykh @DrShadeeElmasry's @SafinaSociety, shaykh Nuh Keller's @KIFLAYNcom online seminary, and so many more are all witnesses against our claims that knowledge is inaccessible. No excuses.
Further, the sheer effort these 'ulamaa' put into being accessible to the masses is beyond our ability to appreciate. Some of these blessed men I have DMed or messaged on WhatsApp and received prompt, thorough responses, despite the nuisance I probably am. They sacrifice time.
Another point...have you seen the tuition for the seminaries in the West? It's dirt cheap and they rarely turn anyone down for lack of funds. Spending 6-7 years in a full-time seminary in the West with real scholars is cheaper than one year of OxBridge/Ivy League tuition.
Allah provided us some goodness and relief in globalization and the advancement of technology, but we waste it complaining on social media and attacking scholars for inaccessibility.
اقْرَأْ كِتَابَكَ كَفَى بِنَفْسِكَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكَ حَسِيبًا
Of course, nothing will ever replace sitting at the feet of an ocean purified with sacred knowledge, but let not your soul bleed while you are heedless to the resources in your reach. Allah place the proper intention for seeking sacred knowledge in our hearts.
Thread by @LowlyAspirant