Knowledge was indeed once on the brink of passing away, and that was between the twelfth century to the fourteenth century; and there are two reasons for that:
- Colonialism (Imperialistic exploitation)
- Ardent fanaticism exclusively for the madhabs
So a proof for the second is: that when I was in Africa I once asked a Maalikee: who is Imaam Maalik? so he replied: he is the Khaleel and this answer is a proof of the ignorance of some of those who claim that they are upon the madhab of Imaam Maalik from amongst the followers of Imaam Maalik. Rather the vast majority of them know nothing concerning the Muwatta and nor concerning other than it from the established books which in themselves are vast with evidences through narrations whilst not taking opinions which are prone to error and soundness.