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"And say: `My Rubb! Increase me in knowledge.''(20:114)
"Are those who know equal to those who know not?''' (39:9)
"Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge.''(58:11)
"It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah.'' (35:28)
Mu`awiyah (radiallahu anh) reported: The Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "When Allah wishes good for someone, He bestows upon him the understanding of Deen.'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Al-Thawri (rahmatullahi alaih) said: "It is the knowledge for which no person has any excuse for not knowing."
What is meant by knowledge here is knowledge of sharee'ah (Islamic knowledge).
Ibn Mas`ud (radiallahu anh) reported: The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "Envy is permitted only in two cases: A man whom Allah gives wealth, and he disposes of it rightfully, and a man to whom Allah gives knowledge which he applies and teaches it.'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Jealousy is forbidden and is held unlawful. The reason being that one who is jealous wants that the person, who possesses the quality of which he is jealous, be deprived of that quality. In these instances, however, envy is permissible for the reason that when one sees that a person has been graced by Allah with certain gifts and qualities, he also desires to be blessed with those gifts. In the latter case, he does not grumble and grieve but eagerly prays to Allah for those gifts. `Knowledge' here stands for the knowledge of the Qur'an and Hadith because this knowledge alone is beneficial for man, and it is through this knowledge that correct judgements can be made among the people. This Hadith has an inducement for acquiring useful knowledge along with wealth to spend in the ways ordained by Allah.
Abu Musa (radiallahu anh) reported: The Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "The guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me are like abundant rain which fell on a land. A fertile part of it absorbed the water and brought forth profuse herbage and pasture; and solid ground patches which retained the water by which Allah has benefited people, who drank from it, irrigated their crops and sowed their seeds; and another sandy plane which could neither retain the water nor produce herbage. Such is the similitude of the person who becomes well-versed in the religion of Allah and receives benefit from the Message entrusted to me by Allah, so he himself has learned and taught it to others; such is also the similitude of the person who has stubbornly and ignorantly rejected Allah's Guidance with which I have been sent.'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Sahl bin Sa`d (radiallahu anh) reported: The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said to `Ali (radiallahu anh), "By Allah, if a single person is guided by Allah through you, it will be better for you than a whole lot of red camels.'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
"Better for you than red camels'' is an allegory for every thing that is better than anything else. Red camels used to be precious in Arabia, and their reference here is to highlight the value of guidance.
`Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As (radiallahu anhuma) reported: The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "Convey from me even an Ayah of the Qur'an; relate traditions from Banu Israel, and there is no restriction on that; but he who deliberately forges a lie against me let him have his abode in the Hell.'' [Al-Bukhari]
Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anh) reported: The Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "Allah makes the way to Jannah easy for him who treads the path in search of knowledge.'' [Muslim]
Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anh) reported: The Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "He who calls others to follow the Right Guidance will have a reward equal to the reward of those who follow him, without their reward being diminished in any respect on that account.'' [Muslim]
Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anh) reported: The Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (ceaseless charity); a knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous decendant who prays for him (for the deceased).'' [Muslim]
Examples of Sadaqah Jariyah: building a mosque, or a hospital, or digging a well, etc. As long as people will benefit from these, he will receive a reward for them.
Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anh) reported: The Messenger o Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "The world, with all that it contains, is accursed except for the remembrance of Allah that which pleases Allah; and the religious scholars and seekers of knowledge.'' [At-Tirmidhi]
Anas (radiallahu anh) reported: The Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "He who goes forth in search of knowledge is considered as struggling in the Cause of Allah until he returns.'' [At-Tirmidhi]
Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (radiallahu anh) reported: The Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "A believer never satisfies doing good until he reaches Jannah.'' [At-Tirmidhi]
Abu Umamah (radiallahu anh) reported: The Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "The superiority of the learned over the devout worshipper is like my superiority over the most inferior amongst you (in good deeds).'' He went on to say, "Allah, His angels, the dwellers of the heaven and the earth, and even the ant in its hole and the fish (in water) supplicate in favour of those who teach people knowledge.'' [At-Tirmidhi]
`Alim (learned person) here means scholar of the Qur'an and Hadith, who adheres to Faraid and Sunnah and remains busy in learning and imparting knowledge. `Abid (devout worshipper) is one who spends most of his time in the worship of Allah. The benefit of his voluntary prayer and remembrance of Allah is restricted to his own self while the benefit of knowledge of the scholar reaches others also. Hence, of the two, the latter is far superior.
Abud-Darda (radiallahu anh) reported: The Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) 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 acquires it, has in fact acquired an abundant portion.'' [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi]
Like the preceding Ahadith, this Hadith also mentions the eminence of learning religious knowledge, and respecting and honouring `Ulama'.
Ibn Mas`ud (radiallahu anh) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) saying, "May Allah freshen the affairs of a person who hears something from us and communicates it to others exactly as he has heard it (i.e., both the meaning and the words). Many a recepient of knowledge understands it better than the one who has heard it.'' [At-Tirmidhi]
Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anh) reported: The Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "He who is asked about knowledge (of religion) and conceals it, will be bridled with a bridle of fire on the Day of Resurrection.'' [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi]
Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anh) reported: The Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) 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]
This Hadith has an inducement for acquiring knowledge for the Pleasure of Allah alone.
`Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As (radiallahu anhuma) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) saying: "Verily, Allah does not take away knowledge by snatching it from the people, but He takes it away by taking away (the lives of) the religious scholars till none of the scholars stays alive. Then the people will take ignorant ones as their leaders, who, when asked to deliver religious verdicts, will issue them without knowledge, the result being that they will go astray and will lead others astray.'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
It is a sign of the nearness of the Day of Judgement that the world will be deprived of genuine religious scholars, and illiterate people will become leaders who will have neither the knowledge of the Qur'an nor that of the Hadith.
Mirdas Al-Aslami (radiallahu anh) said: The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "The pious men will depart one after another, the dregs of people, like the sediment of barley or dates will remain; Allah will not raise them in value and esteem.'' [Al-Bukhari]
This Hadith shows that the demise of the pious people is one of the signs of the nearness of the Day of Resurrection. It also shows that during the last days near the Day of Resurrection, pious persons will not remain and only the wicked people will inhabit the earth and the Day of Judgement will dawn on such bad people.
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It is necessary for every Muslim to acquire the knowledge of the essentials of his faith. For instance, it is necessary for a person to know the rulings for his everyday issues like purity, salat, etc. Thereafter, if a person earns sufficient wealth that makes him eligible to pay zakat or make the pilgrimage, then he is also required to learn the laws of zakat and haj. He needs to also learn the spiritual aspects of his din like how to make his actions exclusively for the sake of Allah. Besides this, it is also necessary for him to learn social conduct, i.e. how to interact properly with the creation of Allah.
In other words, it is legally binding (fard) on all Muslims to possess sufficient knowledge to discharge their everyday duties, which means a thorough knowledge of the basics of prayer, wudhu, ghusl, what one can eat and what one cannot, etc. ('Allama Ibn 'Abidin's supercommentary on al-Durr al-Mukhtar 1:29)
The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, "Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every believing person" (Sunan Ibn Maja, Bayhaqi).
This has been explained as the obligation of acquiring the knowledge of the essentials of ones faith. Beyond the basic essentials, it would only be necessary to learn the details of other related issues if they arise. However, it is a communal obligation to have access to experts in jurisprudence (a mufti or faqih) who can answer these questions when they arise.
If a person has not acquired the basics essentials of his faith and is making mistakes in that regard, he is surely considered to be blameworthy. If a person, on the hand, tried to the best of his ability to learn the basic essentials of his din, then missed out on something, he may be excused by Allah. In any case, once a person discovers a mistake in what they were doing he may be able to correct it (in some cases) by redoing the action [qada] otherwise only repentance would be necessary.
Even after learning the essentials of ones din (for instance at a din intensive or by a local teacher) a person must continue to refresh his knowledge by practicing upon it and studying further. Otherwise it is sometimes very easy to lose this knowledge.
And Allah knows best.
It is related that Prophet 'Isa (Jesus - peace and blessing be upon him), said: "He who acts on the knowledge that he possesses, Allaah will bestow him with knowledge that he does not possess."
Abu Nu'aym related it in al-Hilyah, vol 10, p 15, from Sayyiduna Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him). After relating it, he says: "Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (may Allaah have mercy on him) narrated this statement from some of the Tabi'een from 'Isa Ibn Maryam (peace be upon them both). Some narrators assumed that he related it from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and therefore placed this chain (sanad) to it."
Naasiruddeen at-Toosi (رحمة اللہ علیه) said: "The nobility of knowledge is not concealed from anyone. This is because knowledge is a peculiarity of humanity. All other qualities such as bravery, strength, kindness, etc. apart from knowledge are shared by humans and all other animals. It was on the basis of this knowledge that Allaah (سبحانه و تعالى) displayed the superiority of Adam (عليه السلام) over the Angels (عليهم الصلاة والسلام) and ordered them to prostrate before him.
Moreover, knowledge is the means of reaching eternal happiness provided that there are deeds in accordance with the demands of knowledge."[Naasiruddeen at-Toosi (رحمة اللہ علیه), Adab al-Muta'allimeen]
Sound knowledge is one of the most important keys in recognising the correct path and distinguishing it from all the deviant paths. This fact is known and recognised by all those charlatans who attempt to steer their followers from the Straight Path.
Ibn al-Jawzi (رحمه الله) noted, "You should know that the greatest entryway by which Iblees enters upon the people is via ignorance. He can safely enter upon the ignorant person while he has to enter upon the knowledgeable like a thief. In fact, Iblees he deceived many among the worshippers due to their lack of knowledge, as most of them are preoccupied with acts of worship and cannot judge matters based on knowledge." [Talbees Iblees]
May Allah ta'ala grant us the ability to practice what we learn, and grant us the ability to continue gaining knowledge until we die. Ameen
Insha.Allah students for life, and strivers for the pleasure of Allah.
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