All praise and thanks to Allah the exalted, the Lord of the universe, May the choicest blessings and peace of Allah be upon the last Messenger and Prophets, Muhammad, his family, Companions and all those who follow his footsteps till the end of this universe
“Knowledge is Power”
How many times in our lives have we heard this phrase? How many times have our parents, teachers, elders stated this same thing over and over again? This quote by Sir Francis Bacon emphasizes that when you have knowledge, you have authority. It alludes to the fact that there is something about acquiring knowledge that gives you a controlling influence. But more importantly, this is a non-Muslim phrase which has only been around since 1597.
The teachings of religion of Islam came to us well over 1400 years ago. From the beginning of revelation, there was an emphasis on seeking and acquiring knowledge. I remind you that the first words of revelation were “Read!”
“Recite in the name of your Lord who created.” [Qur’an, 96:1]
The intention of this article is not so much to remind you the importance of seeking knowledge. It is assumed that we know as Muslims that we have been commanded to seek knowledge.
The quest for knowledge is a compulsion on every Muslim. [Hadith Hassan]
Note: The knowledge referred to above is knowledge in deen because that is the only knowledge that is wajib (compulsory).
The main goal of this article is to motivate you to continue to seek Islamic knowledge, and to encourage you to take joy and pride in doing this act of worship, because we can understand from various Qur’anic statements and ahadith (statements of the Prophet ﷺ) that there are definite returns for these efforts in the form of rewards and blessings from Allah.
“Allah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, by degrees.” [Qur’an, 58:11]
Well, Allah wants to give you a promotion, not just in this dunya but in Jannah (Paradise)! Scholars agree that the term “high ranks” in this statement refers to bounties in this world and the Hereafter. Just because the promises of Jannah are intangible at the moment should not allow us to ignore such a huge blessing of seeking knowledge. We have to believe in the ayat (verses, signs) of our Lord.
“And He taught Adam the names – all of them. Then He showed them to the angels and said, ‘Inform Me of the names of these, if you are truthful.’ They said, ‘Exalted are You; we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the Knowing, the Wise.’ He said, ‘O Adam, inform them of their names.’ And when he had informed them of their names, He said, ‘Did I not tell you that I know the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth? And I know what you reveal and what you have concealed.’ And [mention] when We said to the angels, ‘Prostrate before Adam’; so they prostrated…” [Qur’an, 2:31-34].
When Allah taught Adam (`alayhiassalam – peace be upon him) the names of all things, He asked the angels and Iblis (who had reached the level of angels) to prostrate to Adam (as). I remind you that angels are pure creations of Allah. They are made of light, are in complete obedience to Him and are doing tasbih (glorifying Allah) at all times. Such a pure creation of Allah was commanded to show respect to our ancestor Adam (as), who was made of clay and was prone to sinning. This prostration was performed as a form of respect and took place based on one and only one factor: knowledge.
Even in this dunya, the way to gain superiority over other human beings is through knowledge – you get a better income, you enjoy a more luxurious lifestyle, you have a higher reputation in the society. But to be higher in front of Allah you have to be knowledgeable in your deen, and this is how you will truly become superior to all other creations of Allah.
“And these examples We present to the people, but none will understand them except those of knowledge.” [Qur’an, 29:43]
Scholars agree that this ayah is actually referring to all people of knowledge (and not just the scholars). People of knowledge who read, learn, andunderstand the Qur’an are the ones who truly comprehend the parables it contains. The parables mentioned in the Qur’an are important in telling us which actions are harmful to our akhira (Hereafter) and hence should be avoided. They also guide us in which actions are more rewarding than others, so that we can strive to do them.
“Whosoever Allah wishes good for, He gives him understanding (fiqh) of the Religion.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
As children we are always looking for signs of love from our parents. If a parent buys gifts for their child, the child is assured that their parents love them. Love and compassion from parents makes a child feel happy and special. Allah tells us through the Prophet ﷺ that if He loves us, He gives us understanding of the religion of Islam. The difference is that the love of Allah is far greater than anybody else’s love. Acquiring the love of Allah is the ultimate goal of this life.
However, this love does not come without striving, trying hard and putting in a lot of effort. You have to earn the love of Allah by striving to gain Islamic knowledge – even if there are not many resources around you, even if the knowledge seems hard to retain, even if there are many distractions around you
Imam Shafi’Isaid“After the obligatory deeds, nothing is more beloved to Allah than studying knowledge.”
Hadith of Abu Darda
“If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allah will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise. The angels will lower their wings in their great pleasure with one who seeks knowledge, the inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth and the fish in the deep waters will ask forgiveness for the learned man. The superiority of the learned man over the worshipper is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets leave neither dinar nor dirham, leaving only knowledge, and he who takes it takes a big fortune.” [Abu Dawud].
This hadith outlines multiple blessings of seeking knowledge, but we will concentrate on two main benefits. The two main benefits of treading on the path of knowledge are the protection of angels and the du’a of Allah’s creatures.
“Two persons are never satisfied, one who is seeking knowledge, and the other who is seeking the world.” Ali (RA)
We have a choice in this world. We can either get addicted to this dunya, which we will leave after 60-80 years of life along with everything in it, or we can get addicted to seeking knowledge, which will reap heavy rewards on the Day of Judgement. The path of this dunya leads us away from Allah, and the path of knowledge leads us towards Allah. Likewise, the path of this dunya destroys our Hereafter, and the path of knowledge secures our Hereafter. The choice is entirely ours.
When should you be jealous of others ?
“No one should be jealous of anything except two people – a man whom Allah has blessed with knowledge and he teaches it; and a man who has money and he spends it in the sake of Allah.” (Bukhari)
“My Lord, increase me in knowledge.” [Qur’an,]
I hope this Article served as a motivation to continue seeking knowledge because of the numerous benefits and blessing associated with it. Seeking knowledge will help Us appreciate our Deen,better our connection with Allah, and allow us to find solutions to our problems from the Quran and sunnah to simplify our lives
By Hibaaq Mohamed Ayax