Seeking Islamic Knowledge, the good and the bad

Bismillah Allah Rahaman Al Raheem (In the Name of the Gracious, the Merciful). 
I ask Allah swt to guide us on the straight path, and unite us to truth. This article is a reminder for myself firstmost, a reminder for readers, and a reflection upon reading/learning. I ask that Allah forgive us for previous sins and inshaAllah benefit from whatever we have sought in the past and continue on seeking in future.
ameen

Seeking Islamic Knowledge is an important aspect in which all of us should seek, whether practicing or not, it is much needed. I feel though, there is too much information these days, from our classes in school, our parents, friends, magazines, and everywhere. Yet, it’s never  ever enough I feel, and it’s always to recap of what was learned.
The first questions asked in grave:

  1. Who is your Lord?
  2. Who is your prophet?
  3. who is your deen (religion)?

In fact, the Angels lower their wings to those who seek knowledge. A person who benefits from seeking knowledge will benefit her/himself and others.  Another fact, Allah fears from knowledgeable scholars, because how they use the knowledge.

The Importance of Seeking Knowledge:

0 Abu’l-Darda (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah (PBH) said, “He who follows a path in quest of knowledge, Allah will make the path of Jannah easy to him. The angels lower their wings over the seeker of knowledge, being pleased with what he does. The inhabitants of the heavens and the earth, and even the fish in the depth of the oceans, seek forgiveness for him. The superiority of the learned man over the devout worshipper is like that of the full moon to the rest of the stars (i.e: in brightness). The learned are the heirs of the Prophets who bequeath neither dinar nor dirham but only that of knowledge; and he who accquires it, has in fact acquired an abundant portion.” (Abu Dawud & al-Tirmidhi)

              0 Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Allah makes the way to Jannah easy for him who treads the path in search of                                   knowledge.”[Muslim]
Sunnah.com reference  : Book 13, Hadith 6
Arabic/English book reference  : Book 13, Hadith 1381
              0   It was narrated that Anas bin Malik said:
                     “Seeking knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim, and he who imparts knowledge to those who do not deserve it, is like                           one who puts a necklace of jewels, pearls and gold around the neck of swines.” (Da’if)
English reference  : Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 224
Arabic reference  : Book 1, Hadith 229

The Intention behind Seeking Knowledge:
0 Abu Huraryah (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah (PBH) said, “He who does not acquire knowledge with the sole                          intention of seeking the pleasure of Allah but for worldly gain, will not smell the fragrance of Jannah on the Day of                                  Resurrection.” (Abu Dawud)
0 Imam Ghazali, his story of sincerity….He first did it for wrong reason, then he changed his intention.
There are three types of students (Imam Basari described them):

  1. Destroyed: they know they’re in for wrong reason.
  2. the ones who are not going into seeking knowledge for wrong intention, but are struggling. They continue and work work on their intention.
  3. winners (the successful): those who are consistently to reform themselves. (May Allah swt make us among them)

Secret to attain Knowledge:

  • Abandoning the sins.
  • to abandon sins, knowledge of Allah swt.
  • can not be acquired with laziness. Knowledge will not give part of it until you give it all yourself.

The Effort of Seeking Knowledge:
0 Abdullah narrated on the authority of his father Yahya: “Knowledge can not be acquired with sloth.”

Reference  : Sahih Muslim 612 f
In-book reference  : Book 5, Hadith 224
USC-MSA web (English) reference  : Book 4, Hadith 1277
  (deprecated numbering scheme)

0   The Messenger of Allah said: “Ask Allah for beneficial knowledge and seek refuge with Allah from knowledge that is of no  benefit.” (Hasan)

Reference  : Sunan Ibn Majah 3843
In-book reference  : Book 34, Hadith 17
English translation  : Vol. 5, Book 34, Hadith 3843

Being Purified by Knowledge:

0 The Distinction between Bani Isra’il and the Ummah of Muhammad (PBH)
0 Choosing the Right Scholar:
Ibn Sirin (Rahimahullah) said: “The knowledge of hadith (in the same manner all other religious subjects) is included    in the din. Therefore, before acquiring knowledge, be aware from whom knowledge is acquired.”
0 Acting upon the Knowledge:
– Al-Imam al-Shafi’i said: “Knowledge is not that which is memorized, but instead that which benefits.”
0 It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that: The Prophet said: “The best of charity is when a Muslim man gains knowledge,  then he teaches it to his Muslim brother.” (Da’if)

English reference  : Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 243
Arabic reference  : Book 1, Hadith 250

So where does the bad come in, you may think? Well, let’s continue on reading:
Practice what you preach:

* Do you order righteousness of the people and forget yourselves while you recite the Scripture? Then will you not                                     reason? (al-Baqarah: 44)
—> It hit me hard when I saw this aya and the punshiment of telling someone what to do while we are not doing
                                        it. Every where I see, I hear, “share knowledge”, “share what is learned”….etc. Yet, before we go on sharing,                                          are we ourselves practicing it? may Allah forgive us and distance us from this pitfall. 

Don’t Preach what you don’t practice:
* O you have believed, why do you say what you do not do? Great is hatred in the sight of Allah that you say what you do                        not do (al-Saff: 2-3)

This is very important. I am reflecting upon myself. What has happened in the past obviously can’t be taken back, but the                   future is what holds, and the present is where I am. InshaAllah as long as we maintain trying and avoid these as much as                         possible, I pray Allah swt accept from us and distance us from these sins, on preaching without practicing, (ameen).

The Pitfalls on Seeking Knowledge:

         0  It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that:
                      The Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever seeks knowledge in order to argue with the foolish, or to show off before                                     the scholars, or to attract people’s attention, will be in Hell.” (Da’if)
English reference  : Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 253
Arabic reference  : Book 1, Hadith 262

The Pursuit that Never Ends: What is the greatest difficulty of knowledge?

  • Establishing an Environment of Accountability.
  • developing the Attitude of a True Student
  1. Understand the role of the people of knowledge
  2. keep the company of the righteous
    Umar b. al-Khattab said, “May Allah have mercy on whomever guides us to our faults.”
  3. Consider what your enemies say about you.
  4. learn from the flaws of people around you.
  5. learn from the people of all ages
  6. learn from your family members
  7. learn from people above you and below you.

Last but not least: Mu’adh b. Jabal (RA) said, “Seek knowledge, for seeking it for the sake of Allah is a sign of consciousness of Allah, acquiring it is an act of worship, studying it is a glorification, and searching for it is jihad.

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images (2)

Sources:

  • Al Maghrib Institute class, “Behind the Scenes: An In Depth Study of The Spiritual Practices of the Best Generations” Taught by Shaykh Omar Suleiman.
  • Source for Hadith & Qu’ran

 

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