The current technology has facilitated the sharing of information. Spiritual discourses of Shuyukh can be heard live online or saved for later use very easily.
However, islah (self betterment/reformation) does not happen just by passive listening to these lectures.
Islah requires active effort.
These lectures provide the general guidelines. Application of these in one’s daily life requires consultation with a spiritual mentor (Shaykh).
After attending a series of lectures on arrogance a seeker wrote that he for sure has arrogance and has started its treatment. Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah protect and preserve him) replied,
‘Based on what you made this diagnosis? Write in detail the incident and behavior that made you suspicious of this.’
This shows the indispensability of a Shaykh for islah. He makes the diagnosis and prescribes a treatment plan.
Moreover, individuals listen to many different Shuyukhs’ lectures. This indeed increases their information. However, it has to be acknowledged that every Shaykh has a different style in approach and application of Deen. This may sometimes appear conflicting and result in confusion.
It is for these reasons it is recommended that a seeker of islah limits himself to the lectures of his/her Shaykh. This is especially so in the initial phase. Later he may ask for permission to listen to someone in particular.
Islah is not about having vast knowledge and information is. It is about application of the essential knowledge and information actively in our morals and daily life.
May Allah facilitate this for us. Amin!