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

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#196 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd October 2013 10:37
20
"There are two very importance issues in the relationship between knowledge and the purification of the soul: first is sincerity in obtaining knowledge and the second is the application of that knowledge by living according to its ramifications.

In obtaining knowledge, the person must be very clear to himself with respect to his intention. Although this point is true for all acts of worship, it is especially important with respect to obtaining knowledge, as it is an area in which it is easy for a person to fail and stray. Failing in this area is very dangerous because it can actually lead to a person distancing himself from Allaah سبحانه و تعالى instead of coming closer to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. When a person attains some level of knowledge while his intention is not completely pure, his knowledge can become a source of evil. It can make him very arrogant and, instead of using this knowledge to bring himself and others to the Straight Path, he simply starts to criticize and attack others, many times defaming them in the process. Thus, he ends up simply piling up sins for himself. [1]

Hence, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم specifically spoke about the intention behind seeking knowledge. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, 'Whoever learns knowledge to defeat in debate the ignorant, to compete with it among the scholars or to have people's faces turn to him shall be in the Fire.' [2]

The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم also said, 'Whoever learns some knowledge by which the Face of Allaah is sought yet he does not learn it save to get a portion of this world, then he will not even experience the scent of Paradise on the Day of Resurrection.' [3]

Second, after striving and working to attain knowledge, one must strive again and, perhaps, even harder to the put that knowledge into practice under the appropriate and feasible circumstances. Knowledge does not benefit anyone without applying it properly; indeed, it can even be a proof against the person on the Day of Judgement. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said about the Qur'aan, for example, 'The Qur'aan is either an argument for or against you. And everyone goes out in the morning and sells himself, either freeing or destroying himself.' [4]

In a very moving hadeeth, touching on much more than just applying one's knowledge, the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, 'On the Day of Resurrection, the two feet of the servant will not move until he is asked about four matters: about his life and how he spent it, about his body and how he used it up, about his wealth and how he earned it and where he used it, and about his knowledge and what actions he did in accord with it.' [5]

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said, 'If we stop at reciting and pondering over the Qur'aan (or attaining any other knowledge) and we leave its application, then, in reality, we are stopping at the beginning of the path. We would not have achieved anything. Our efforts would go without any benefit. This is because we exhausted ourselves in the cause and we abandon its fruit, as the fruit is the acting in accord with the Qur'aan.'" [6] [7]

Notes:

[1] Similarly, one may pray with a sincere intention while another prays simply to be seen by the people. The act is one and the same but in the former case it leads to Allaah's pleasure while in the latter it leads only to sin.

[2] Recorded by Ibn Maajah. According to Shaykh al-Albaani رحمه الله, it is saheeh. Cf., al-Albaani رحمه الله, Saheeh al-Jaami', vol. 2, p. 1060

[3] Recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawood and Ibn Maajah. According to Shaykh al-Albaani رحمه الله it is saheeh. Cf., al-Albaani, Saheeh al-Jaami', vol. 2, p. 1060

[4] Saheeh Muslim

[5] Recorded by ad-Daarimi. at-Tirmidhi has virtually the same. Graded saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani رحمه الله. Cf., al-Albaani, Saheeh al-Jaami', vol. 2, p. 1221

[6] Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, Muhaadharaat fil-Aqeedah wad-Da'wah (Riyadh: Daar al-Aasimah, 1415 A.H.), vol. 2, p. 302

[7] Purification of the Soul: Concept, Process and Means
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#197 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd October 2013 09:50
"The first key to sound and beneficial knowledge is the reading and study of the revelation from Allaah سبحانه و تعالى: the Book and the Sunnah. In the verses in which Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentions that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was sent to purify the servants, they clearly mention that he was given the Book and the Hikmah (Sunnah). [1] These are the keys to the door of purification and true knowledge.

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله stated, 'Knowledge is that which is built upon evidence. The beneficial part of it is what was brought by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).' [2]

He also stated, 'Goodness, happiness, completeness and righteousness are all captured in two matters: beneficial knowledge and righteous deeds. And Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has sent Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم with the best of them: the guidance (al-huda) and the religion of truth (deen al-haqq).' [3]

The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, 'The best among you is whoever learns the Qur'aan and teaches it.' [4]

The Prophet's صلى الله عليه وسلم words, 'The best among you,' obviously, are in reference to the most pious and devout worshipper of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. Hence, this hadeeth sheds important light on the question of purification of the soul. [5]

Notes:

[1] For verses in the Qur'aan referring to the Sunnah and the authority of the Sunnah, see: http://www.muftisays.com/forums/36-nabi-s--sahaabah-stories/6214-obedience-to-rasulullaah-saw-following-him-and-following-the-khulafa-ra.html

[2] Majmoo', vol. 13, p. 136

[3] Ibid., vol. 19, pp. 169-170

[4] Saheeh al-Bukhari

[5] Purification of the Soul: Concept, Process and Means
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#198 [Permalink] Posted on 4th October 2013 09:42
Shaykh Nasr al-Umar said,

"[Committing sins is] the worst of things that destroys knowledge. It crushes knowledge as fire devours branches. How many forbidden looks led to the loss of a great deal of knowledge. Or [how often has] a small amount of forbidden or doubtful wealth turned knowledge into a mirage...

Verily Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has stated the truth [when He said],



"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)

[Al-'Ilm: Dharura Shariyya (Riyadh: Dar al-Watn, 1412), p. 64. Also see Bakr Abu Zaid, Hilyat Talib al-'Ilm (Cairo: Maktaba at-Tauiya al-Islamiya, 1989), p. 9]
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#199 [Permalink] Posted on 8th October 2013 09:27


"Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): "(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawahish (great evil sins, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allaah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allaah of which you have no knowledge." (Soorah al-A'raaf, 7:33)

In Madaarij as-Saalikeen, Imam Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله has a lengthy passage concerning this verse and speaking without knowledge. He states that speaking without knowledge is perhaps the greatest sin and most prohibited act. That is why Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentions it fourth among the items that are prohibited in themselves by all religions. Such acts are never permissible under any circumstances. He points out that some forbidden acts are forbidden in themselves (haraam lidhaatihi) because of their essential evil while others are forbidden because of what they may lead to (haraam lighairihi). The former type, like the four mentioned in the verse including speaking about Allaah سبحانه و تعالى without knowledge, are never permissible while the latter type, like the eating of carrion or pork, may be permissible under extreme exceptional circumstances.

Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله mentions that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى first states, "Al-Fawahish (great evil sins, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly." Then Allaah سبحانه و تعالى moves on to a greater sin, "sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression." Then Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentions something even more horrendous than that, "joining partners (in worship) with Allaah for which He has given no authorit." Then Allaah سبحانه و تعالى finally mentions the most horrendous and abominable act, "and saying things about Allaah of which you have no knowledge." This is the greatest sin because it involves and includes ascribing something falsely to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, changing or altering Allaah's religion, denying what He has confirmed or confirming what He has denied, affirming something declared false or declaring false something declared true by Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. It also includes supporting something Allaah سبحانه و تعالى opposes, liking something He dislikes or disliking something He loves. Finally, it also includes attributing to Allaah actions, attributes and statements that are not becoming of Him.

Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله goes on to say that no forbidden act is greater in sin that speaking about religion without knowledge. In fact, he states, it is the real source of polytheism and disbelief.

Speaking about Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and His religion without knowledge also includes creating heresies in the religion which is an act more general than polytheism. Therefore, innovations and misguided acts are also built upon speaking without knowledge. Every heresy has as its foundation an opinion that is not supported by the Qur'aan or Sunnah.

It is for this reason that the pious forefathers of Islaam were most stringent in their repudiation of those who spoke without knowledge or who gave opinions without any backing or evidence from the Qur'aan or Sunnah.

[Shams ad-Deen Muhammad Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله, Madaarij as-Saalikeen Baina Manaazil Iyyaaka Na'budu Wa Iyaaka Nasta'een (Beirut: Daar al-Kitaab al-Arabi, 1972), vol. 1, pp. 372-373. Also see Shams ad-Deen Muhammad Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله, Ilaam al-Muwaqqieen ar-Rabb al-'Alameen (Beirut: Daar al-Jeel, 1973), vol. 1, pp. 38-39; Muhammad Raslan, Afaat al-'Ilm (Cairo: Daar al-'Uloom al-Islaamiyyah, 1990), pp. 33-45; as quoted in How to Approach and Understand the Quran, pp. 196-198]
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#200 [Permalink] Posted on 9th October 2013 09:12
The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

"Acquire sacred knowledge and teach it to others, learn the obligations of the Religion and teach them to others, and learn the Qur'aan and teach it to others; for I am a mortal being and sacred knowledge will soon [too] be eradicated, and strife will occur to such an extent that two people will disagree over a religious obligation and will find nobody to decide between them." (Darami, Mustadrak)

The word faraa'id, translated above as "obligations of religion," could also refer to the knowledge of inheritence and the distribution of legacy (irth). (Mirqaat al-Mafaateeh, 1:534)
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#201 [Permalink] Posted on 15th October 2013 10:50
"Even an elementary understanding of what dhikr truly implies will allow one to understand why dhikr is of such great importance.

First it should be noted that when people think of dhikr, they think of it in a very narrow sense. However, when the scholars discuss the term dhikr, they show that in reality it is the remembrance or conscious thought about Allaah سبحانه و تعالى that should exist behind every righteous deed that a person performs. In that sense, dhikr is definitely of utmost importance. This understanding of concept of dhikr is clear in the statements of many scholars. [1]

For example, Sa'eed Ibn Jubair رحمه الله said, 'Dhikr is obedience to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. Whoever obeys Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has in fact remembered Him. Whoever does not obey Him is not one who is remembering Him, even if he says tasbeeh and recites the Book a lot.' [2]

Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله also stated, 'Every statement made by the tongue and conceived by the heart which takes one closer to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, including learning knowledge, teaching it, ordering good and eradicating evil, is a form of dhikr of Allaah.' [3]

al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar رحمه الله said, 'There isn't anything specific for the remembrance of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى in the sense that anything else is not acceptable. Rather, everything that is considered to be remembrance will suffice and be included in the remembrance of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى. This includes the recitation of the Qur'aan, reading the noble Ahaadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم and being engaged in knowledge that is acceptable by the Shari'ah.' [4]

Actually, after attaining knowledge, one must have the dhikr - the remembrance or the cognizance - that will make him aware of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and that will be the driving force behind his putting that knowledge into actual practise. This is what is expected from the proper dhikr, as is clear from the statement of Sa'eed Ibn Jubair quoted above. In other words, dhikr should remind the person of his purpose in life, returning him back to the path of purification that he is supposed to follow.

The opposite of remembrance is heedlessness and neglect. The correct dhikr cannot be but with awareness and cognizance. This is almost like the proverbial light going on above one's head wherein he sees and remembers what he is supposed to do. This is the key to righteous deeds while its opposite leads to evil. This is why al-Muhaasibi رحمه الله said, 'Awareness is the foundation of every good just as negligence is the foundation of every evil.'" [5] [6]

Notes:

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

[2] Quoted in al-Husain al-Baghawi رحمه الله, Sharhus Sunnah (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islaami, 1983), vol. 1, p. 10. Also quoted in Karzoon, vol. 1, p. 309

[3] Majmoo', vol. 10, p. 661

[4] Fath al-Bari, vol. 13, p. 23

[5] Quoted in Karzoon, vol. 1, p. 309

[6] Purification of the Soul: Concept, Process and Means
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#202 [Permalink] Posted on 17th October 2013 10:04
Sayyiduna 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib رضي الله عنه said,

"The best among men of Islaamic knowledge is he who does not make people despair in attaining the mercy of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, does not give them the chance to sin against Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, and does not make them feel safe from the punishment of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. There is no good in worship which is devoid of knowledge, and knowledge without understanding is worthless. There is no value in reading without contemplating."

[Ibn ad-Darees: Fadaa'il al-Qur'aan]
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#203 [Permalink] Posted on 21st October 2013 15:33
I advice you O seeker of knowledge to have a sincere and pure intention in your search for knowledge, and that you exert yourself in acting upon what it mandates (from action). This is since knowledge is a tree and action is its fruit. And one can never be considered knowledgeable so long as he doesn't act upon what he knows. It has also been stated: "Knowledge is a parent and action is its offspring" and 'Knowledge comes with action, while narrating comes with investigating."

So do not feel satisfied with actions so long as you are lacking in knowledge, nor feel satisfied with knowledge so long as you fall short in producing actions. Rather, combine between them both, even if your share two is small. And there is nothing worse than a scholar whose knowledge the people abandon because of the corruption of his ways, or an ignorant person lose ignorance the people accept because of what they see from his worship.

So a little of this (knowledge) along with a little of that (action) is what is lost likely to save you in the end, when Allaah سبحانه و تعالى bestows His mercy upon His servant and completes His favour upon him. But as for laziness and negligence, love for ease and comfort, preferring the easy life, showing indifference, and inclining towards leisure and relaxation, then the results of these characteristics are blameworthy, detestable and disastrous. Knowledge leads to action, just as action leads to salvation. So if the action falls short of the knowledge, then the knowledge becomes a burden upon the one who possesses it. And we seek refuge in Allaah سبحانه و تعالى from knowledge that turns into a burden, brings about humiliation, and becomes a shackle on the neck of the one who possesses it.

Some of the wise people have said: "Knowledge is the servant of action" and "Action is the main objective of knowledge - so if it were not for action, knowledge would not be sought, and if it were not for knowledge, action would not be sought. And if I were to not follow the truth out of ignorance of it, that would be more beloved to me than if I were to not follow it out of intentionally abstaining from it."

Sahl Ibn Muzaahim رحمه الله said: "The matter is tighter upon a scholar than when one clenches his fist. Even though an ignorant person is not excused because of his ignorance, a scholar will still receive a greater punishment if he abandons what he has knowledge of and doesn't act upon it."

So did those of our Salaf (predecessors) from the past reach the high levels that they did except through sincerity in Creed (Beliefs), righteous actions and overwhelming abstinence of the attractive features of this worldly life? And did the wise people reach the greatest level of success (that they did) except by working hard in their efforts, being pleased with little sustenance, and giving away any of their excess provisions to the poor and needy? Is not the one who collects books of knowledge just like the one who collects gold and silver? Is not the one who has an intense craving for them just like the one who yearns and longs for gold and silver? Is not the one who is deeply in love with them just like the one who treasures gold and silver? So just as there is no benefit in wealth unless it is spent, then likewise, there is no benefit in knowledge unless it is acted upon and its obligations carried out.

Therefore, let each individual examine himself and take advantage of his time, for indeed the resting place (i.e. this world) is short, the (time for) departure is near, the road is hazardous, deviating from it is common, the danger is great, the one who takes himself to account has insight, Allaah, the Most High, is watching, and to Him is the(final) recourse and return.

"And whosoever does an atom's weight of good, shall see it. And whosoever does an atom's weight of evil, shall see it." [Surah Az-Zilzaal: 7-8]

[Knowledge Mandates Action]
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#204 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd October 2013 09:43
Shaykh Sa'di رحمه الله said,

"Knowledge that does not guide to the truth is not knowledge but ignorance."

[Quoted in Mufti 'Abdur Raheem Lajpuri رحمه الله: Fatawa Rahimiyyah]
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#205 [Permalink] Posted on 25th October 2013 09:50
Yoonus Ibn Maysarah Ibn Halbas Al-Jeelaani رحمه الله said,

"Wisdom says: 'You seek after me O son of Aadam, but you can find me in two
phrases: 'Act on the good of what you know' and 'Leave off the evil of what you
know.'"

[Knowledge Mandates Action]
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#206 [Permalink] Posted on 30th October 2013 08:41


Abu Bakrah :anhu: narrates: I heard Nabi :saw: saying: You should become either (1) an Alim or (2)a seeker of knowledge of Deen, or (3) an attentive listener to the knowledge of Deen, or (4) a lover of knowledge of Deen and Ulama. Do not be of the fifth kind, otherwise will be ruined. The fifth kind is that you bear malice towards knowledge of Deen and those who possess it.

(Tabarani, Bazzar, Majma-'uz-Zawa'id)


Ubadah bin Samit :anhu: narrates that Rasulullah :saw: said: He is not amongst my followers who neither shows respect to our elders, nor mercy to our youngsters and does not recognize the rights of our 'Alim (scholars)

(Musnad Ahmad, Tabarani, Majma-'uz-Zawa'id)
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#207 [Permalink] Posted on 9th December 2013 11:35
Knowledge - A Prerequisite For Enjoining The Good And Forbidding The Evil


In order for one to forbid an evil he must first have the knowledge that the act is an evil. Similarly, the person must have the knowledge that the act he is commanding is truly a good deed. Many times people try to remove acts, thinking that they are an evil, while, in fact, they are from the Sunnah. On the other hand, some people try to command people to do some deed which they think is a good deed while, in reality, it is an innovation. Hence, knowledge is an essential requirement for the one who wishes to order good and forbid evil. If a person does not possess such knowledge, he is not considered capable or responsible for removing the evil that he sees.

As Imam an-Nawawi رحمه الله and Imam al-Ghazzali رحمه الله both pointed out, there are some acts that every Muslim knows for certain as either obligatory or forbidden acts, such as the rulings concerning prayer, fasting, drinking alcohol, illegal sexual intercourse and so forth. Concerning these matters, every Muslim may forbid evil or enforce good. However, the detailed matters, for example, the ruling concerning specific types of business transactions, must be left for the scholars and knowledgeable people. A layman may not understand exactly what is right or wrong concerning such an issue and, therefore, he is not required to order what is right or wrong in that case. Anything that requires profound knowledge or Ijtihaad is not for the laymen to order or forbid.

[Muhammad az-Zabeedi, Itihaaf as-Saadat al-Muttaqeen bi Sharh Ihyaa 'Uloom ad-Deen (Beirut: Daar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyah, 1989), vol. 8, p. 75; Imam an-Nawawi رحمه الله, Sharh Saheeh, vol. 1, p. 51; as quoted in Commentary on the 40 Hadeeth of Imam an-Nawawi رحمه الله, vol. 2, p. 995]
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#208 [Permalink] Posted on 12th December 2013 10:21
Quote:
"Whoever follows a path in order to seek knowledge thereby, Allaah will make easy for him, due to it, a path to Paradise." (Saheeh Muslim)


According to most of the commentators, what is meant by knowledge here is the knowledge of the religion. This is the most important type of knowledge that one can attain.

Taataay argues that semantically the word "knowledge" in this hadeeth is in the nakirah (indefinite noun) and, therefore, applies to any type of knowledge. He says that secular knowledge or science also leads to certainty in belief in the one God and Creator. Hence, that type of knowledge must also be included here. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى knows best, but it seems that the stronger interpretation is that it is in reference to religious knowledge and the knowledge regarding Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. This interpretation seems to be correct as it is that knowledge that most seemingly will lead one to the path to Paradise. Secular knowledge may not necessarily lead to that path as can be seen from the many scientists and scholars who have no fear of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى or knowledge of the path to Paradise.

Al-Qaari رحمه الله gives a different interpretation of why the word "knowledge" is in the indefinite: In this way, it comprises all religious knowledge, including a large portion or a minor portion, as long as it is sought with the correct intention of getting closer to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى.

[Commentary on the 40 Hadeeth of Imam an-Nawawi رحمه الله]
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#209 [Permalink] Posted on 13th December 2013 09:50
The meaning of the Prophet's صلى الله عليه وسلم statement, as al-Hafidh Ibn Rajab رحمه الله mentioned, includes both the actual physical following of a path in order to seek knowledge as well as the non-physical means by which one attains knowledge. The first category would include walking or riding to the lectures or places of the scholars to meet with them and learn from them. The latter category would include actions like reading, studying, memorising, researching, pondering and so forth. All of these are part of the "paths" by which one attains knowledge.

[Jaami' al-'Uloom wal-Hikam, vol. 2, p. 297 as quoted in Commentary on the 40 Hadeeth of Imam an-Nawawi رحمه الله, vol. 2, p. 1088]
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#210 [Permalink] Posted on 16th December 2013 10:16
Another interpretation, also given by al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab رحمه الله, is that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى will make it easy for the seeker of knowledge, who has a sincere intention to please Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, to benefit from his knowledge and to act on the basis of his knowledge. In this way, it will be a type of "cause" for his guidance and it will lead him to Paradise.

[Jaami' al-'Uloom wal-Hikam, vol. 2, p. 297 as quoted in Commentary on the 40 Hadeeth of Imam an-Nawawi رحمه الله, vol. 2, pp. 1088-189]
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