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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Value of Knowledge, Instruction and Learning Together by Nabih Amin Faris
















SECTION I

On the Value of Knowledge, Instruction, and Learning together with its evidence in tradition and from reason.


The excellence of knowledge The evidence for the excellence of knowledge in the Qur’an [is manifest] in the words of Allah: “Allah bears witness that there is no Allah but He, and the angels, and men endued with knowledge, established in righteousness.”(3:16) 


See, then, how Allah has mentioned Himself first, the angels second, and men endowed with knowledge third. 


In this you really have honour, excellence, distinction and rank. 


And again Allah said: “Allah will raise in rank those of you who believe as well as those who are given knowledge.” (58:12) 


According to ibn-`Abbas[14] the learned men rank seven hundred grades above the believers; between each two of which is a distance five hundred years long.


Said Allah. “Say,`shall those who know be deemed equal with those who do not?” (39:12) 


Allah also said, “None fear Allah but the wise among His servants;” (35:25) and again, “Say, `Allah is witness enough between me and you, and whoever hath the knowledge of The Book!’ ”(13:43 ) 


This I mention to you in order to show that it was possible only through the power of knowledge. 


Allah also said, “But they to whom knowledge hath been given said, `Woe to you! The reward of Allah is better [for him who believes and does right],” (28:80) showing thereby that the great importance of the hereafter is appreciated through knowledge. 


And again Allah said, “These parables do we set forth for men: and none understands them save those who know.” (29:42) 


Allah also said, “But if they were to refer it to the Apostle and to those in authority amongst them, those of them who would elicit the information would know it” (4:85) 


He thus made the knowledge of His will dependent upon their efforts to find it out, and placed them next to the prophets in the [ability] to make it known. 


It has been said that in the following words of Allah, “O Sons of Adam! We have sent down to you raiments wherewith to cover your nakedness, and splendid garments; but the raiment of piety-this is best,” (7:25) the raiments represent knowledge, the splendid garments, truth, and the raiment of piety, modesty


Allah also said, “And We have brought them a book: with knowledge have We explained it;” (7:50) and again, “But it is clear sign in the hearts of those whom the knowledge hath reached;” (29:48) and, “With knowledge will We tell them;” (7:6) and again, “[He] hath created man, [and] hath taught him articulate speech.” (55:2-3) This, however, He said reproachfully.


As to [the evidence of the value of knowledge in] tradition (al-akhbar) the Apostle of Allah said, “Whom Allah doth love, He giveth knowledge of religion and guideth him into the straight path;”[15] and again, “The learned men are the heirs of the prophets.”[16] 


It is also well-known that there is no rank above that of prophethood, no honour higher than its inheritance. 


The Prophet also said, “What is in the heavens and in the earth intercedes for the learned men.”[17] And what rank is higher than that of him for whom the angels of the heavens and earth labour interceding with Allah on his behalf, while he is preoccupied with himself. 


Muhammad also said, “Wisdom adds honour to the noble and exalts the slave until he attains the level of kings.” 


The Prophet pointed this out relating to the benefits of wisdom in this world, since it is well-known that [5] the hereafter is superior and more lasting. 


Muhammad said again, “Two qualities the hypocrite lacks - good intentions and religious insight.”[18]


Do not doubt tradition, then, because of the hypocrisy of some contemporary jurisprudents; theirs is not the jurisprudence which the Prophet had in mind. (The definition of jurisprudence will come later). 


For a jurisprudent to know that the hereafter is better than this world is, after all, the lowest type of knowledge he can possess. Should it prove to be true and prevail, it would clear him of hypocrisy and deceit.


The Prophet said, “The best of men is the learned believer who, if he is needed, he will be useful; and if dispensed with, he will be self-sufficient. "


And again he said, “Belief is like unto a nude who should be clothed with piety, ornamented with modesty and should have knowledge for progeny.” 


And again, “The nearest people to prophethood are the people of knowledge and the warriors of jihad”: the former have led men to what the prophets have proclaimed, and the latter have wielded their swords on its behalf. 


He also said, “The passing away of a whole tribe is more tolerable than the death of one learned man.” 


And again, “Men are like ores of gold and silver, the choicest among them during the Jahiliyah days are also the best during the days of Islam, provided they see the light.”[19] 


He also said, “On the day of resurrection the ink of the learned men will be likened to the blood of the martyrs.” And again, “Whoever preserves of the law forty Traditions in order to transmit them unto my people, I shall, on the day of resurrection, be an intercessor and a witness on his behalf.” 


Muhammad also said, “Any one of my people who will preserve forty hadiths will on the day of resurrection face Allah as a learned jurisprudent.” 


And again, “Whoever will become versed in the religion of Allah, Allah will relieve him of his worries and will reward him whence he does not reckon” 


The Prophet also said, “Allah said unto Abraham, `O Abraham! Verily I am knowing and I love every knowing person’.” And again, “The learned man is the trustee of Allah on earth.” 


The Prophet said, “There are two groups among my people who when they become righteous the populace becomes righteous, and when they become corrupt the populace becomes corrupt: these are the rulers and the jurisprudents.” 


Again he said, “Should the day come wherein I increase not in knowledge wherewith to draw nearer to Allah, let the dawn of that day be accursed.”


Concerning the superiority of knowledge to worship and martyrdom, the Prophet said, “The superior rank the learned man holds in relation to the worshipper is like the superior rank I hold in relation to the best of men.”[20] 


See how he placed knowledge on an equal footing with prophethood and belittled the value of practice without knowledge, despite the fact that the worshipper may not be ignorant of the worship which he observes?


Moreover, without this knowledge there would have been no worship. 


The Prophet also said, “The superior rank the learned man holds over the worshipper is similar to the superiority of the moon when it is [6] full over the other stars.”[21] 


And again, “They will, on the day of resurrection, intercede [before Allah]: the prophets, then the learned, then the martyrs.”[22] 


Great then is the state of knowledge which ranks next to prophethood and stands over martyrdom, the merits of the latter notwithstanding. 


The Prophet also said, “Allah was not worshipped with anyone better than the learned in religion. Verily a single jurisprudent is more formidable to Satan than a thousand worshippers.”[23] 


For everything has [its] foundation. and the foundations of this religion is jurisprudence. And again, “The best part of your faith is [also] the easiest, and the best form of worship is jurisprudence.” 


The Prophet also said, “The learned believer holds a rank seventy degrees higher than that of the ordinary believer.” 


And again. “Verily you have come upon a time whose jurisprudents are many and Qur’an readers as well as preachers are few, whose beggars are rare and givers numerous, wherein deeds are better than knowledge. But there will come a time when jurisprudents are few and preachers many, whose givers are few and beggars numerous, wherein knowledge is better than works.”[24]


The Prophet also said, “Between the learned and the worshipper are a hundred degrees, each two of which are separated by the extent of a racing horse’s run in seventy years.”[25]


The Prophet was also asked, “O Apostle of Allah! What works arc best?” To which he replied. “Your knowledge of Allah.” He was then asked. “Which knowledge do you mean?” He answered, “Your Knowledge of Allah.” Again he was asked, “We enquire about works and you reply concerning knowledge.” 


Muhammad then said, “With your knowledge of Allah, a few works will suffice, but without such knowledge, no works, however numerous, avail.” 


The Prophet also said, “On the day of resurrection Allah will [first] raise the worshippers and then the learned to whom He will say, ‘O ye company of the learned, I did not imbue you with My knowledge but for My knowledge of you. Moreover, I did not imbue you with My Knowledge in order to torment you. Go ye, therefore, for verily I have forgiven you’.”[26]


As to [the evidence of the value of knowledge in] the sayings of the Companions (al-athar), `Ali ibn-abi-Talib[27] said to Kumayl,[28] “O thou perfect of knowledge ! Knowledge is better than riches; for knowledge guardeth thee whereas thou guardest riches. Knowledge governs while riches are governed. Riches diminish with spending but knowledge increases therewith.” 


And again, “The learned is superior to the fasting, praying and self-mortifying man. Should the learned die, a gap would be created in Islam [by his death] and no one would fill this gap save one of his successors.” 


`Ali said:

“Learning is the glory of mankind,

The wise are beacons on the road to truth;

Man is worth his knowledge, nothing more –

The fool will be his inveterate foe,

Knowledge is man’s hope of life immortal,

Man may die but wisdom liveth ever.”


Abu-al-Aswad[29] said, “Nothing is more precious than knowledge; while kings rule over men, they are ruled by the learned.” 


Ibn-`Abbas said, “Solomon the son of David was asked to choose between knowledge, wealth or power, but he chose knowledge and was thereby blessed with wealth and power as well.”[30] 


Ibn-al--Mubarak[31] was asked, “Who constitute humanity?” To which he replied, “The learned”. It was then said, “And who are the kings?” He answered, “The ascetics”. And who,” he was asked, “constitute the lowest class among men?” “Those,” said he, “who, in the name of religion, grow fat in the world.” 


Thus only the learned did [ibn-al--Mubarak] regard as belonging to mankind, because it is knowledge which distinguishes man from the other animals. Furthermore, man is a human being, not because of his physical prowess for physically the camel is his superior; not because of his size for the elephant is larger; not because of his courage for the lion is more courageous; not because of his appetite for the ox has the greater; not because of coitus for the least of the birds is more virile than he, but rather by virtue of his noble aims and ideals. [As a matter of fact] he was only created to know.[7] 


One of the wise men said, “Would that I might know what thing was attained by him whom knowledge has escaped, and what thing has escaped him who has attained knowledge.” 


The Prophet said, “Whoever has been given the Qur’an and thinks that anyone has been given something better, he has degraded what Allah has exalted.” 


Fath al-Mawsili[32] said inquiring, “Would not the sick die, if he is given no food or drink or medicine?” They said, “Yes”. To which he said, “Similarly the heart will perish if it is cut off from wisdom and knowledge for three days.” 


He did indeed speak the truth, for the nourishment of the heart, on which its life depends, is knowledge and wisdom, just as the nourishment of the body is food. 


Whoever lacks knowledge has an ailing heart and his death is certain; yet he is not aware of his doom because the love of this world and his concern therewith have dulled his sense, just as a shock from fright may momentarily do away with the pain of a wound although the wound be real. 


Thus when death frees him from the burdens of this world he will realize his doom and’ will, though to no avail, greatly regret it. 


This is like the feeling of a person who has attained safety after having been through danger, and like that of a man who has just recovered from his drunkenness. 


We seek refuge in Allah from the day when all things will be brought to light. Men are asleep but at death they Will awake. Al-Hasan[33] said, “The ink of the learned Will be likened to the blood of the martyrs, and the former will prove superior.”[34] 


Ibn-Mas`ud[35] said, “Seek ye knowledge while it be found; it will be veiled when its narrators pass away. Verily, by Him in whose hand is my life, several men who died martyrs in the cause of Allah would rather that, at resurrection, Allah would raise them up as learned men for what they see of the veneration accorded the learned.” 


No one is born learned, but knowledge is only the result of learning. 


Ibn-’Abbas said, “I would rather spend a part of the night in learned discussion than in continual prayer.” The same was related of Abu-Hurayrah[36] and Ahmad ibn-Hanbal.[37] 


AI-Hasan said that in the words of Allah, “Give us good in this world and good in the next,” (2:197) the good in this world meant knowledge and worship while that of the next signified paradise. 


A wise man was once asked, “What things shall we possess?” He replied, “Those things which you will not lose in the event of shipwreck,” meaning thereby knowledge, while by shipwreck, it is said, he meant the decomposition of the body through death. 


A certain wise man said, “Whoever takes wisdom for his bridle will be acclaimed by men as their leader, and whoever is known for his wisdom will be looked upon with respect.” 


Al-Shaf’i[38] said “One of the noble things about knowledge is that he who is given a portion of it, no matter how small, rejoices while he who is deprived of it grieves.”


‘ Umar[39] said, “O men! Seek ye knowledge. For verily Allah has a mantle of love which He casts upon him who seeks knowledge even of a single section. Should he then commit an offence, Allah will remonstrate with him thrice in order not to rob him of his mantle, even though that offence may persist with him until he dies.”


Al-Ahnaf[40] said, “The learned men came very near being Allahs; and all power which is not supported by knowledge is doomed"


Salim ibn-Abi-al-Ja’d[41] said, “ My master bought me for three hundred dirhams and later set me free. Thereupon I said, ‘What shall I take up for livelihood? Finally I took up learning and no sooner had a year passed than the prince of Makkah called upon me but I would not receive him.” 


Al-Zubayr ibn-abi-Bakr[42] said, “My father had written me while in al-’Iraq saying. ‘Go after knowledge; should you become poor it will be your wealth, and should you become rich it will be your embellishment’.” 


This has been related among the exhortations of Luqman[43] to his son). He also said, “Sit in the company of the learned and keep close to them; for verily Allah quickens the hearts with the light of wisdom as he refreshes the earth with the rain of heaven.”[44] 


A certain wise man said, “When the learned dies the fish of the sea as well as the fowl of the air will mourn him; while his face shall disappear his memory will not be forgotten.” 


AI-Zuhri[45] said, “Knowledge is glorious and is not treasured except by the glorious.”


Written by Nabih Amin Faris

American University of Beirut January 11, 1962.

http://www.ghazali.org/works/bk1-sec-1.htm


BIBLIOGRAPHY

1) `Asakir, ibn-, Ta’rikh, Damascus 1332

2)  Athir, ibn-al-, al-Kamil fi ‘l-Ta’rikh, ed. CT Tornberg, Leyden 1867-1871.

3)  Baghawi, al-, Masabih al-Sunnah, Cairo 1318

4)  Baghdadi, al- Khatib at-, Ta’rikh Baghdad, Cairo 1349

5)  Bukhari, al-, Sahih, Bulaq 1296

6)  Darimi, al-, Sunan, Damascus 1349

7)  Dhahabi, at-, tadhkirat al- Huffaz, Hyderabad 1333

8)  Fida, abu-al-, Mukhtasar Ta’rikh al-Bashar, Constaritinpole 1286

9)  Ghazzali, al-, Kitab al Mustazhiri f Fadail al-Batiniyah, ed. andtr. I. Goldziher, Leyden 1916

10) Hajji Khalifah, Kashf, al-Zunun ‘anAsami al-Kutub w-alFunun, ed. G. Flugel, Leipzig and London, 1835-1858

11) Hanbal, Ahmad ibn-, Musnad, Cairo 1329-1333

12) Hanbali, ibn-al-’Imad al-, Shadharat al Dhahab fi Akhbar Man Dhahab, Cairo, 1350 Hisham, ibn-, Sirat Rasul Allah, ed. F. Wustenfeld, Gottingen 1858-1860

13) Hujwiri, a1-, Kashf al Mahjub, tr. R.A. Nicholson, Leydon 1911 Isfahani, al-, al-Aghani, Bulaq 1285

14) Isfahani, at-, Hikyat al-Awliya’ wa-Tabagat al Asf ya’, Cairo 1351 ‘

15) Jazari, at-, Ghayat al-Nihayah fi Tabaqat al-Qurra’, ed. G. Bergstrasser, Cairo, 1933

16) Jurjani, al-, Ta’rifat, ed. G. Flugel, Leipzig 1845

17) Khallikan, ibn-, Wafayat al A yan wa Anba’ Abna’ al:Zaman, Cairo 1299

18) Majah, ibn-, Sunan al Mustafa, Cairo 1349

19) Makki, abu-Talib, al, Qut al-Qulub, Cairo 1351

20) Muslim, Sahih, Delhi 1319

21) Nawawi, al-, Tahdhib al-Asma’ ed. F. Wustenfeld, Gottingen 1842-7

22) Qazwini,al-,’Aja’ibal-Makhluqat wa Gharaibal Mawjudat, ed. F. Wustenfeld, Gottingen 1849

23) Qurashi, ibn-abi-al-Wafa’ al-, al-Jawahir al-Mudiyah fi Tabaqat al- Hanafiyah, Hyderabad 1332

24) Ras’ani,al-,Mukhtasar Kitab al-Farq bayn al-Firaq, ed. P.K.Hitti. Cairo 1924

25) Sam’ani, al-, Kitab-al-Ansab, ed. D.S. Margoliuth, Leyden 1912

26) Shahrastani, al-, al-Milal w-al Nihal, ed., William Cureton, London 1846

27) Sha’rani, al-, al-Tabaqat al-kubra, Cairo 1345

28) Smith, Margaret, An Early Mystic of Baghdad, London 1935

29) Suyuti, al-, al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur’an, Cairo 1343

30) Husn al-Muhadarah ft Akhbar Misr w-al-Qahirah, Cairo 1327

31) Tabarani, al-, al-Mu jam al-Saghir, Delhi 1311

32) Tabari, al-, Jami ‘al- Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an Cairo 1323-1330

Ta’rikh al-Rusul w-al Muluk, ed. M.JT de Goeje, Leyden 1879 seq.

33) Tirmidhi, al-Sunan, Cairo 1290

34) Tayalisi, al-Musnad, Hyderabad 1321 Tha’labi, al-, Qisas al-Anbiya, Cairo 1297

35) Usaybi’ah, ibn-abi-, Uyun al-Anba’ fr Tabaqat al-Atibba’, Cairo 1299

36) Yaqut, Irshad al Arib ila Ma’rifat al-Adib, ed. D.S. Margoliouth, London 1907-27

Mu jam al-Buldan, ed. F. Wustenfeld, Leipzig 1866-1870

37) Yusuf, abu-, Kitab al-Kharaj, Cairo 1346

38) Zamakhshari, al-, al-Kashshaf Calcutta 1856


Endnotes: 


[1] Arabic ihya has been rendered revivification. I prefer revival.

[2] Cf. al-Tabarani, al-Mujam al-Saghir (Delhi,1311),p.103; Abu-Nu‘aym al-Isfahani, Hilayat al-Awliya’ wa-Tabaqat al-Asfiya’ (Cairo, 1351), Vol. I, p. 223.

[3] Cf. al-Bukhari, ‘Ilm, 11. [Note that Sheikh Zaid Shaker has translated into English Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali’s commentary on this important Hadith (The Heirs of the Prophets, Starlatch Press: 2001, ISBN: 1929694121). We urge the interested reader to consult it. Ed.]

[4] Ibn-Majah, Sunan al-Mustafa, Intro., 17:5, al-Baghawi, Masabih al-Sunnah, (Cairo, 1318), Vol. I, p. 15.

[5] Ibn-Majah, Intro., 23:1.

[6] Nos. 5 and 5 are in reverse order in B.

[7] Only in C.

[8] words between brackets only in C.

[9] Ar. ‘Alam-al-malakut, it denotes the Attributes as opposed to ‘Alam al--jabarut (the world of Almightiness), which denotes the Essence.

[10] I.e. The Qur’an, the sunnah, catholic consent [‘Ijma’ Consensus ed. ], and analogy.

[11] This undoubtedly refers to Taqwim al-Abdan of Ibn-Jazlah (A. H. 493/ A.D. 1100). See ibn-Khallikan Wafayat al -A‘yan wa Anba’ Abna’ al--Zaman (Cairo, 1299) Vol. III, pp. 2556; ibn-abi Usaybi’ah, ‘Uyun al--Anba fi Tabaqat al Atibba’ (Cairo,1299), Vol. I, p. 255. A similar but earlier work is that of ibn-Butlan (A.H. 455/A. D 1063) entitled Taqwim al-Sihhah; see ibn-abi-Usaybi`ah, Vol. I, pp. 241-3. It is more likely that the author had in mind the former work since ibn-Jazlah was this close contemporary.

[12] Divinely ordained, and binding for every individual Muslim.

[13] Divinely ordained and binding for the Muslim community as a whole. Therefore this collective obligation can be discharged for the community by the action of some, and is not necessarily binding for each individual member.

[14] `Abdullah, cousin of the Prophet; d. A.H. 68/A.D. 687--88. See al-Dhahabi, Tadhkirat

al-Huffaz.(Hyderabad, 1333) Vol. I, p. 37.

[15] Ibn-Majah, Intro., 17: 1; cf. al-Bukhari, `Ilm, 14.

[16] cf. al-Bukhari, `Ilm, 11.

[17] Masabih, Vol. I, p. 14; cf. ibn-Majah, Intro., 17:4, 20: I.

[18] Masabih, Vol. I, p. 15; al-Tirnnidhi, Sahih, ‘Ilm, 19.

[19] Masabih, Vol.I, p. 14; Ahmad ibn-Hanbal, Musnad, ‘Ilm, 1:12 al--Tayalisi, 2476.

[20] Masabih, Vol. I, p. 14.

[21] Ibn-Majah, Intro., 17: 4.

[22] Ibn-Majah, 37 (22: 7).

[23] Cf. ibn-Majah Intro., 17: 3.

[24] Cf. ibn-Hanbal, ‘Ilm, 40.

[25] Cf. al -Darimi. Sunan,Intro. 32.

[26] Al-Tabarani, al-Saghir, p. 122.

[27] The fourth Rashidite Caliph. [A major force in Islam, that both Sunni and Shia’ Muslims agree on his noble character, intelligence and erudition. Ed.]

[28] Ibn-Zyad a-Nakha’i (A.H. 83 A.D. 702) See al-Tabari, Tar‘ikh al-Rusul w-al-Muluk,ed. M. J. de Goeje(Leyden,1879 ff). Vol.II, pp.1097-98; ibn- Sa’d. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, ed. Eduard Sachuu and others (Leyden, 1905-21), Vol VI, p. 124.

[29] Zalim ibn-’Amr al-Du’ali (A.H. 67/A.D: 686-87). See Yaqut, Irshad al--Arib ila Ma‘rifat al Adib, ed. D.S. Margoliouth (London, 1907-27), Vol. IV, pp. 280-82; al-Isbabani, Kitab al Aghani (Bulaq, 1285), Vol. XI, pp 105-24.

[30] Cf. I Kings, 3:5-15.

[31] `Abdudlah(A.H.181/A.D.797); see Tadhkirat al-Huffaz, Vol. t,pp.253-57.

[32] Either ibn-Muhammad ibn-Washshah (A.H. 165/A.D. 781-82); see ibn-al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh ed. C.J. Ternberg (Leyden, 1867-1871), Vol. VI, p. 45; or ibn-Said abu-Muhammad al-Kari (A.H. 220/A.D. 835); see ibid., p. 321.

[33] Al-Basri; the famous early Muslim ascetic (A.H. 110/A.D. 728); see ibn-

Sa’d. Vol, VII Pt. I. pp. 114-29; ibn-Khallikan, Vol. I pp. 227.29.

[34] Cf. Supra, p. 12, Where the saying is ascribed to Muhammad.

[35] ‘Abdullah (A.H.32/A.D.652-3). See Tadhkirat al-Huffaz,Vol. I, pp.13-16.

[36] ‘Abd-al-Rahman ibn-Sakhu(A.H.581A.D.678). SeeTadhkiratal-Hufaz I, pp. 31-35.

[37] A.H. 241/A.D. 855. See ibn-Khallikan, Vol. I. pp. 28-29.

[38] Muhammad ibn-Idris,(A.H.2041A.D.820). See ibn-Khallikan, Vol. II, p. 214. [A school of law is named after him, one of the four major schools of Sunni law. Author of al-Risala, translated into English by Majid Khadduri, Islamic Texts Society: Cambridge, Second edition reprinted from 1961 by Johns Hopkins University press, on his life see pp 8-19. On his contributions to legal theory see pp. 40-8 also see A History of Islamic Legal Theories, Wael B. Hallaq, Cambridge University Press, 1997, pp.16-35. See also al-Ghazali.org Ed.]

[39] The second Rashidite Caliph. [He was the first to be titled ‘Amir al-Mum’ineen (Leader of the faithfull) and generally called al-Farooq (Criterion) his rule was marked by justice, stability, great prosperity and remarkable growth, online see (http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/mih/isl/umar.htm) ed. ]

[40] Sakhr ibn-Qays d. between A.H. 67 and 77/A.D. 686 and 699 Cf. ibn-Qutaybah, Kitab al-Ma’arif, ed. F. Wüstenfeld (Gottingen, 1850), pp. 216-17.

[41] A.H. 100/A.D. 719. See al-Ma’arif, p. 230.

[42] A.H. 256/A.D. 870. See al Nadim, al-Fihrist, ed. Flugel (Leipzig, 1872), pp. 110-11; ibn-Khalikan, Vol. I, pp. 336-7.

[43] Legendary figure to whom the Arabs ascribe much wisdom. [He was mentioned in the Qur’an by name see Chapter 31: 13 (And (remember) when Luqman said unto his son, when he was exhorting him: O my dear son! Ascribe no partners unto Allah. Lo! to ascribe partners (unto Him) is a tremendous wrong -) Translation by Pickthal. Also note is chapter 31 is titled by his name. Ed.].

[44] Malik, al-Muwatta’, Talab al-Ilm. 1.

[45] Probably abu-Salamah ibn-’Abd-al-Rahman (A.H. 94/A.D. 713), See Tadhkirat al-Huffaz, Vol. I. p. 59.


*******************************************************


















Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.


Dear brothers and sisters,


Such is the respect and value given to knowledge and those who seek it. The more one gains righteous, beneficial knowledge and understands it, the more valued is he or she before Allah the Almighty. 


The learned one who teaches it in turn to those who are still in the dark is the one who is promised safety from the Hellfire and guaranteed his or her abode in Paradise.


Today, we see the learned amongst us grow stingy with their 'Ilm. They prefer to sit on their behind in the comfort of their high offices and allow the ignorant masses wallow in their sins of following their lusts and wanton egos.


It is the gist of my dissatisfaction with those in our nation who call themselves as 'alims and 'ulamaks yet do not so much as to come teach the Ummah who are today drowning in the sea of maksiat and religious misunderstandings.


Those in authority have a moral responsibility to guide the masses. They are in position to see to it that the society is prevented from falling into ruin yet the hundreds and thousands of all these 'alims turn zalim.


They ignore the perils of such ignorance seeping into our society and many fall prey to the wolves disguised as sheep in these tumultuos times.


If a nation is to be better, then its leaders need to do what they have been entrusted to do?


Shirking their responsibility and turning around on their fat cushioned seats of office, many of such learned ones would say that it is the people who need to go and seek such knowledge on their own?


Self improvement is the key. 


Yes, such are the excuses of those who neglect to live up to the very oaths of taking office that they swore upon the Holy Qur'an and before Almighty Allah!


Today, Muslims have been left to just being those who are constricted to be in a state of taqlid insted of being creative in seeking further explorations and discoveries in ijtihad


Read here to learn a bit about the lethargic state that most Muslims around the world are mired in?


The reason for such a miserable state is that the 'alims have grown to so love this world and have developed a state of 'Wahn @ love of this life and hatred of death.


Most of our scholars are reduced to just taking care of themselves and not giving a hoot about the Ummah.


Until these 'alims and ulamaks start getting down from their high offices and robustly enter into the mainstream of our society and address the many ills affecting the hearts and souls of the ignorant many in the Ummah, this state of ignorance will spread awide and destroy the remnants of what Muslims came to attain in the Islamic Golden Age, now reduced to being entered in the encyclopedias of the world, remembering an age gone by?


To those of you who love seeking knowledge, know that Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala will reward you with the best of this life and in the next IF after attaining such knowledge you teach others so that after you are dead and buried, the seeds of 'ilm that you sowed in your students will germinate and spring forth from them, continuing the passing of the knowledge from one generation of mankind to the next!


Insya Allah.


Wabillahi Taufik Wal Hidayah.


Wassalamualaikum Warahmatulillahi Ta'ala Wabarakatuh.


Abdillah,


Zainol Abideen.

Bandar Tun Razak, 

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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