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Virtues of Knowledge which is Learnt and Taught for the sake of Allah

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#166 [Permalink] Posted on 12th August 2013 09:27
Shaykh 'Umar Sulaymaan al-Ashqar رحمه الله writes,

"People both in the past and present have had a strong yearning for knowledge. You find them exploring and examining old ruins and caves in order to find out about former communities and how they lived. They study the prophecies, which speak about the unseen in order to know future events. They devise observatories to find out about the stars, planets and their moons. They have even sent space rockets carrying men or instruments to learn about the universe and to throw light on hitherto unknown aspects concerning it and its states.

Humankind has also explored the earth, its mountain planes and its strata; they have descended to the depths of the oceans to discover its creatures and secrets. They have studied the states and conditions of man, plants, animals, and written books, which record all that they have found out. They have written about the science of history, geography, astronomy, chemistry, physics, medicine, botany and other sciences in all branches of knowledge.

If the excellence and virtue of a kind of knowledge is according to its subject matter, then the knowledge which acquaints us with our Lord is the most excellent and virtuous of knowledge. Someone who knows about Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is superior to someone who knows about the earth's strata, animals, stars, etc.

Ibn al-'Arabi رحمه الله says, 'The excellence and virtue of a knowledge is according to its subject matter. The Creator is the Highest and Most Excellent of subject matters and therefore the knowledge of His Names is the most excellent and highest of knowledge.' [1] [2]

Notes:

[1] Ahkaam al-Qur'aan, 2/293

[2] The Names and Attributes of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى According to the Doctrine of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa'ah
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#167 [Permalink] Posted on 13th August 2013 09:32
Shaykh 'Umar Sulaymaan al-Ashqar رحمه الله writes,

"Islaam calls its adherents to knowledge, contemplation and to the exploration of the universe and the discovery of its secrets. However, it criticises those people whose knowledge is limited to the confines of this life and does not extend to knowledge of the Creator of life and to the purpose for which Allaah brought life and living beings into existence.



"They know only some outward manifestations of this worldly life, but concerning the hereafter they are heedless." (Soorah ar-Room, 30:7)
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#168 [Permalink] Posted on 14th August 2013 09:40
Imam Harith al-Muhasibi رحمه الله said:

"Confine your body parts with the precision of knowledge."

Shaykh 'Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah رحمه الله commented,

"In other words, do not move a single part of your body without having knowledge - from Allaah سبحانه و تعالى - about the permissibility and validity of what you are doing. If not, you would be doing something that is detrimental to you and not beneficial to you.

'Umar Ibn 'Abdul 'Azeez رحمه الله said, 'The person who worships without knowledge causes more harm than good.'" [1] [2]

Notes:

[1] ad-Darimi, as-Sunan, vol. 1, p. 77. Imam Ahmad, az-Zuhd, p. 301. al-Khateeb, al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih, vol. 1, p. 10. Ibn 'Abdul Barrr, Jami' Bayan al-'Ilm wa Fadli, vol. 1, p. 27. adh-Dhahabi, Tadhkiratul-Huffaadh, vol. 1, p. 349

[2] Risalatul Mustarshideen (Translated into English under the title: 'The Sunnah Way of the Sufis', Zam Zam Publishers)
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#169 [Permalink] Posted on 15th August 2013 09:49
al-Hafidh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali رحمه الله says,

"There are many who claim to have internal knowledge, who speak about it and who are confined to it. They disparage outward knowledge - which actually entails the rulings, the injunctions, the lawful and the prohibited. They also speak ill of those who have this outward knowledge by saying that they are deprived and that they only know what is on the surface [without knowing the internal].

This entails disparaging the pure Shari'ah and the good deeds which the Messengers came with when they urged us to do them and to give due importance to them. At times, some of them even went to the extent that those actions are not required of them and they claim that they are for the masses. As for that person who has reached [Allaah سبحانه و تعالى], there is no need for him to do these good deeds and that they are a barrier for him [from reaching Allaah سبحانه و تعالى]. Such people, as stated by al-Junayd رحمه الله and others who have truly recognised Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, have reached [not their goal] but the fire of hell. This is one of the greatest deceptions and delusions of Shaytan to these people. He continues fooling around with them until he causes them to come out of Islam.

Some of them assume that this internal knowledge cannot be acquired from the lamp of prophet-hood. Nor from the Qur'an and Sunnah. That it can only be acquired through thoughts, inspirations and discoveries. In so doing, they have bad thoughts about the perfect Shari'ah in the sense that they assume that it has not brought this beneficial knowledge which brings about a reformation of the hearts and brings them closer to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, the knower of the unseen. In this way, this has caused them to completely turn away from what the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم brought in this regard and to speak merely on the basis of their opinions and thoughts. In so doing, they went astray and led others astray."

[Sharh Hadeeth al-'Ilm, p. 16, quoted in Risalatul Mustarshideen (Translated into English under the title: 'The Sunnah Way of the Sufis', Zam Zam Publishers)]
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#170 [Permalink] Posted on 16th August 2013 10:30
Abu as-Sawwaar 'Adawiyy رحمه الله was in an assembly wherein they were discussing something of knowledge. There was a youth who was sitting with them. This youth said to them: "Say: 'Subhaanallaah and Alhamdulillaah.'" Abu as-Sawwaar رحمه الله became angry and said to him: "May mercy not be shown to you! What, then, were we engaged in?" [1] [In other words, this discussion on knowledge entails the remembrance of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى].

'Ataa' al-Khurasaanee رحمه الله says: "The assemblies of dhikr are the assemblies of halaal and haraam: how you should buy and sell, how you should offer salaah, how you should fast, how you should marry, how you should divorce, how you should perform Hajj, and other similar injunctions."

Ad-Daarimee رحمه الله narrates from Wahb Ibn Munabbih رحمه الله, a Taabi'ee, who said: "An assembly wherein knowledge is discussed is more beloved to me than Salaah offered in that same amount of time. Perhaps, someone in that assembly will hear something with which he would benefit for a year or for the rest of his life." [2]

Sayyiduna 'Abdullaaah Ibn Mas'ood رضي الله عنه said: "Studying is actually Salaah." [3]

"The assemblies of dhikr include the assemblies of knowledge in which the commentary of the Qur'aan is given, wherein the Sunnah of Rasoolullaah صلى الله عليه وسلم is narrated, wherein understanding of Deen is taught. Such assemblies are superior to the assemblies of the remembrance of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى wherein He is glorified, praised and His greatness mentioned [wherein the people say Subhaanallaah, Alhamdulillaah and Allaahu Akbar]. This is because there is a difference between something that is Fard 'Ayn (a duty that is imposed on every single individual) and Fard Kifaayah (a duty that is imposed on a group as a whole, if some carry it out, others are absolved). As for ordinary dhikr, it is optional and nothing else.

The meaning of all of this is that the assemblies of dhikr are not confined to those assemblies wherein Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is glorified, praised and His greatness mentioned. Rather, this includes those assemblies wherein the orders and prohibitions of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى are mentioned, wherein His halaal and haraam are mentioned, wherein what He likes and what He is pleased with is mentioned. Many a time, this sort of dhikr is more beneficial than the other form. This is because knowing what is lawful and what is prohibited is incumbent on every Muslim in accordance to what concerns him.

As for the verbal remembrance of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, it is by and large optional. At times it is also incumbent, e.g. the dhikr in the obligatory Salaah. As for knowing what the commands of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى are, what He likes, what He is pleased with, what He dislikes: all of this is obligatory on each person to know who needs to know about all of this. It is for this reason that the following hadeeth is narrated: 'The acquisition of knowledge is compulsory on every Muslim.'" [4] [5] [6]

Notes:

[1] Imaam Ahmad رحمه الله, az-Zuhd, pp. 316-317

[2] ad-Daarimee رحمه الله, as-Sunan, Baab Fadl al-'Ilm wal-'Aalim, vol. 1, p. 95. Damascus edition

[3] Ibn 'Abdul Barr رحمه الله, Jaami' Bayaan al-'Ilm wa Fadli, vol. 1, p. 22

[4] Sunan Ibn Majaah; al-Bayhaqee

[5] Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali رحمه الله, Sharh Hadeeth al-'Ilm, pp. 17-21

[6] Risalatul Mustarshideen (Translated into English under the title: 'The Sunnah Way of the Sufis', Zam Zam Publishers)]
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#171 [Permalink] Posted on 20th August 2013 10:51
'Abdullaah Ibn al-Mu'taz رحمه الله said,

"Knowledge without action is like a tree without fruit."

He also said,

"The knowledge of a hypocrite is in his speech, while the knowledge of a believer is in his actions."

[Knowledge Mandates Action]
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#172 [Permalink] Posted on 21st August 2013 09:54
The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم was once asked, "Who is the best of those whom we sit with?"

He صلى الله عليه وسلم replied, "He whose sight reminds you of Allaah, he whose speech increases you in knowledge and he whose actions remind you of the Hereafter."

[Recorded by Abu Ya'la. According to al-Haythami, all of its supporting narrators save Mubaarak Ibn Hasaan, who could be considered trustworthy, are from the narrators of the Saheeh collections. In general, Mubaarak's hadeeth are not considered strong enough to be accepted in and of themselves. According to ad-Darweesh, this hadeeth has supporting evidence in 'Abdullaah Ibn al-Mubaarak's Zuhd with a Saheeh chain. Cf., al-Haythami, Bughyah, vol. 10, p. 389. Also see 'Abdullaah Muhammad ad-Darweesh, footnotes to Noor ad-Deen 'Ali al-Haythami, [Bughyah ar-Raaid fee Tahqeeq] Majma az-Zawaaid wa Manba al-Fawaaid (Beirut: Daar al-Fikr, 1992), vol. 10, p. 80]
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#173 [Permalink] Posted on 27th August 2013 10:21
In the various verses quoted earlier concerning the role of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم in purifying the people (such as the verse from Soorah al-Jumu'ah) [1], this role of his is always tied into the fact that he was also sent to teach the Book and the "Wisdom" (or Sunnah). This is a clear sign that the knowledge of these two sources is directly related to and necessary for the goal of purifying the soul.

In the previous section, the importance of supplicating to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى for guidance and aid in purifying one's soul was discussed. Allaah responds to the supplication of the sincere seeker by giving him the guidance that he needs to follow the path. That guidance consists of faith in the heart as well as the knowledge of the details of the path itself. But this knowledge is bestowed upon the person via his sincere supplication that is followed by the acts needed to reach the goal of the supplication itself. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى then blesses him by making those acts easy for him.

In other words, the individual asks for guidance and knowledge and then he must pursue those obvious steps that will provide him that knowledge. The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, "Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim." [2]

This hadeeth demonstrates that knowledge has to be "sought" and it also proves that the seeking of knowledge is one of the obligatory acts that like the other obligatory acts, as discussed earlier, takes one closer to Allaah. [3]

Notes:

[1]


"He it is Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) from among themselves, reciting to them His Verses, purifying them, and teaching them the Book (Qur'an) and Al-Hikmah (Wisdom; the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم). And verily, they had been before in manifest error." (Soorah al-Jumu'ah, 62:2)

[2] Recorded by al-Baihaqi and numerous others. According to al-Albani رحمه الله, it is saheeh. See Saheeh al-Jaami', vol. 2, p. 727. Knowledge is of two types: knowledge which is obligatory upon every individual and knowledge which is obligatory upon the community as a whole. Concerning the first type, every Muslim must know what to believe in (in general), how to pray, how to fast and so forth. Everyone has to know these things because everyone has to perform these acts. It is required for a Muslim to seek this type of knowledge. If he has the ability to do so but he does not do so, he is sinful. Knowledge which is obligatory upon the community as a whole would include more detailed knowledge concerning those matters which not everyone is required to know as well as knowledge of matters that do not concern every individual in the community. Cf., Mustafa al-Bugha and Muhyi ad-Deen Mistu, al-Waafi fi Sharh al-Arba'een an-Nawawiya (Damascus: Muassasat Uloom al-Qur'an, 1984), p. 299

[3] Shaykh Jamaaluddeen Zarabozo: Purification of the Soul: Concept, Process and Means, pp. 286-287
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#174 [Permalink] Posted on 29th August 2013 10:08
Karzoon defines the beneficial knowledge that helps to bring about purification as the knowledge "that brings one closer to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, increasing one's fear of Him and driving one to perform good deeds. First and foremost this is made up by knowledge of the Sharee'ah. Then comes the other branches of knowledge that drive a person to reflect upon the creation and recognise the power of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and the amazing aspects of His creation."

[Vol. 1, p. 200]
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#175 [Permalink] Posted on 30th August 2013 11:17
Without proper knowledge a person will not know how to behave. In other words, he will not know what deeds he should perform and what deeds he should refrain from. This points to the fact that knowledge must precede actions and deeds. One must know that what he is doing is correct and pleasing to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى before he performs the deeds.

Without this, his intention behind the act cannot be certain and definitively for a good cause.

Abu Zahrah رحمه الله writes about Imam Abu Hanifah رحمه الله, "Abu Hanifah رحمه الله was of the view that a righteous act must be built upon sound understanding. The good person, in his view, was not one who simply performed good deeds. Instead, the good person is the one who knows what is good and what is evil. [Thereupon he] intends to do the good good based on knowledge that distinguishes the two categories and he avoids the evil understanding its vileness. [This is similar to the case of] the just person who is not going to be truly just without first knowing what injustice is. Instead, the truly just person is the one who recognises injustice and its evil results as well as recognises justice and its goal. Hence, he intends what is just due to what it entails of an honourable goal and a good result." [1] [2]

Notes:

[1] Muhammad Abu Zahrah, Abu Haneefah رحمه الله: Hayaatuhu, Asruhu, Araauhu wa Fiqhuhu (Daar al-Fikr al-Arabi, n.d.), p. 183

[2] Shaykh Jamaaluddeen Zarabozo: Purification of the Soul: Concept, Process and Means
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#176 [Permalink] Posted on 30th August 2013 15:46
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#177 [Permalink] Posted on 30th August 2013 15:47

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#178 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd September 2013 10:18
Even the testimony of faith must be preceded by the knowledge of its basic and essential meaning. Knowledge is considered one of the "prerequisites" of the testimony of faith. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى says,



"So know (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) that La ilaha ill-Allaah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allaah), and ask forgiveness for your sin, and also for (the sin of) believing men and believing women. And Allaah knows well your moving about, and your place of rest (in your homes)." (Soorah Muhammad, 47:19)

In his Saheeh, Imam al-Bukhari رحمه الله has quoted this verse to highlight the importance of knowledge and the fact that it must precede action.

[Purification of the Soul: Concept, Process and Means]
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#179 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd September 2013 09:42
When sound and beneficial knowledge are obtained with the proper intention and, therefore, implemented in the proper way, the effect on the soul is profound. It is clearly stated by Allaah سبحانه و تعالى in the Qur'an,



"And of men and ad-Dawaab (moving living creatures, beasts, etc.), and cattle, in like manner of various colours. It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is All-Mighty, Oft-Forgiving." (Soorah Faatir, 35:28)

In other words, such true knowledge leads to a proper form of fear of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and it only those with that true knowledge who have that correct fear of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى.

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم also said about himself,

"What is wrong with some people who abstain from something that I do? By Allaah, I am certainly the most knowledgeable of Allaah and I have the greatest fear of Him." [1]

The two, being most knowledgeable about Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and having the greatest fear of Him, should go hand in hand. One's in-depth knowledge of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى should then keep the person from disobeying Him and displeasing Him. [2]

Notes:

[1] Saheeh al-Bukhari

[2] Purification of the Soul: Concept, Process and Means
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#180 [Permalink] Posted on 5th September 2013 10:03
In another verse, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى displays the difference between people of true knowledge and those lacking in knowledge by picturing the beloved and righteous deeds that the well-grounded in knowledge strive to perform. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى says,



"Is one who is obedient to Allaah, prostrating himself or standing (in prayer) during the hours of the night, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the Mercy of his Lord (like one who disbelieves)? Say: "Are those who know equal to those who know not?" It is only men of understanding who will remember (i.e. get a lesson from Allah's Signs and Verses)." (Soorah az-Zumar, 39:9)

The clear message in this verse is that these acts of devotion, the fear of the Hereafter and the hope in Allaah سبحانه و تعالى are all the result of their beneficial knowledge that clearly distinguishes them from those who do not possess such knowledge.

[Purification of the Soul: Concept, Process and Means]
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