Be wary of approaching random people about your Deen, for whilst there may be many well-meaning folk, there are equally as many who are unlearned. And unfortunately you find - in these days of information gratification at the click of a mouse - people who have a false sense of their own "knowledge" just because they've read this article or that article on the web. That is not the way one learns Islam, so such "learning" needs to be contextualised. What they possess is often just information, not true learning. True learning comes from - ideally - sitting at the feet of Rightly-Guided Ulema [Scholars], as they are the true heirs of our Elect Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wassalam. The difficulty is that for someone who is new in their learning, anyone else who seems to know more than them, can be perceived to be knowledgeable in the Deen, which is often not the case. One way of identifying someone who has sound Islamic knowledge is to observe how cautious they are in what they say. That is reflective of taqwa [God-consciousness], for the more one learns, the more careful one is with what they allow themselves to say/write. Because they realise that them being allowed 'ilm [knowledge] of this Deen is by the grace and bounty of their Lord - subhanahu wa ta'ala - not through their own efforts. So that humility and respect towards the Sacred Knowledge is manifested in their deference towards it. They will hesitate before saying something is wrong, and they will show restraint before saying something is right. It is related - on the authority of our teachers, may Allah ta'ala preserve and prolong them all - that once a man asked Imam ash-Shafi'i - radhi'Allahu 'anh - a question, and the Imam didn't answer. The man then pressed for the answer, and the Imam is related to have replied, "Not till I know what is best for my hereafter, to answer or to remain silent."
This is so spot on, this comes from such a deep place! what a highly spiritual man you must be, these reflections are so deep and perfectly articulated, they will put me to bed with epiphanies on the way, subhanallah!
I will take your advise and see what I can learn about Imam ash-Shafi'i - radhi'Allahu 'anh. You're advise was what I needed to hear, so many times with the ease of wiki-ing and googling answers, I feel awkward to post them- Answers, are at our hands, but you're right opinions are as many as there are names on this earth. And usually one is only correct.
I will most SURELY check on the classes at http://islamicvillage.podomatic.com/
on Sira because they have my soul watering for such glorious reads.
Please make du'a for this wretch.
For this COMIC, you mean. You're a riot, I will ignore the OVER modest and humble attitude, you're really helped this newbie out. I'm giving thanks that we have such a wonderful, all inspiring teacher like you and others here, ! Your words are delightful.
<--- me. Many thanks to all who replied.