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

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#31 [Permalink] Posted on 10th August 2012 19:53
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

"Acquire knowledge, and acquire tranquillity and dignity in order to acquire knowledge. And remain humble before whom you are acquiring knowledge."

[As-Suyooti , al-Jami' as-Sagheer, volume 3, p 253. At-Tabarani also narrated it on the authority of Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra in al-Awsat, and Ibn 'Adiyy in al-Kamil, through a weak chain of narrators]

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#32 [Permalink] Posted on 11th August 2012 16:09
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

"The cure for ignorance is to ask." (Abu Dawood)

This is an exhortation to seek answers to one's questions regarding faith [tenets of faith, rules of prayer, fasting, zakah, hajj, business, marriage, etc.] (Mirqat al-Mafatih, 2:231)

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#33 [Permalink] Posted on 11th August 2012 17:54
Imam Abu Hanifah's رحمه الله Respect Before His Shaykh


It is narrated from Imam Abu Hanifah رحمه الله that he said:

"I never stretched out my legs in the direction of my teacher, Hammad's, house out of respect for him. This despite the fact that there were seven sidestreets between my house and his house. Every salah that I offered after Hammad passed away, I sought forgiveness for him together with my parents. I certainly seek forgiveness for all those under whom I studied or all those who taught me something."

Imam Abu Yusuf رحمه الله said:

"I certainly seek supplicate for Abu Hanifah even before I supplicate for my parents. And I heard Abu Hanifah saying, 'I certainly supplicate for Hammad together with my parents.'"


[al-Muwaffaq al-Khwarizmi: Manaqib al-Imam Abu Hanifah, vol 2, p 7]
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#34 [Permalink] Posted on 12th August 2012 17:23
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

"What an excellent person the religious scholar is - when needed he is helpful and when not needed he enriches himself [by engaging in study and worship]." (Razin)
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#35 [Permalink] Posted on 15th August 2012 23:35
The Effects of Sinning


Sayyiduna 'Abdullah Ibn Mas'ood رضي الله عنه said: "I certainly think that a person forgets knowledge which he knew on account of a sin which he commits." (Ibn 'Abd al-Barr رحمه الله, Fayd al-Qadeer, vol 5, p446)

When Imam Abu Hanifah رحمه الله experienced any difficulty in solving a problem [or answering a question], he would say to his companions, "There is no reason for this except for a sin which I committed."He would then seek forgiveness.

Sometimes, he would stand up and offer salah. The problem [or the matter] would then become clear to him. He would then say: "I hope that my repentance is accepted."

When al-Fudayl Ibn 'Iyad رحمه الله heard about this, he began crying profusely. He then said: "That is because of the very few sins which he may have committed. As for others, they do not even turn their attention towards this [belief that they are forgetting because of their sins]." ('Ali al-Qari رحمه الله, Tabaqat al-Hanafiyyah, vol 2, p 487)

Waki' Ibn Jarrah al-Kufi رحمه الله was a senior Imam and a great personality with a very strong memory. People would go to pains in memorising things while he could memorise them naturally. 'Ali Ibn Khashram رحمه الله said: "I saw Waki', but never saw him carrying a book. He would merely memorise everything. So I asked him about a medication for memory. He replied: 'Abstention from sins. I have not come across anything better than that for the memory.'" (Ibn Hajar رحمه الله, Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb, vol 11, p 129)

This is what Imam Shafi'ee رحمه الله referred to when he said: "I complained to Waki' about my weak memory. He advised me to abstain from sins. And informed me that knowledge is light, and the light of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is not given to a sinner."
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#36 [Permalink] Posted on 14th September 2012 11:39
It is reported that Imm Muhammad b. Srn - Allh have mercy on him - said:

"There were people who abandoned knowledge and sitting with the scholars, and [instead] took to their chambers and prayed until their skin dried [from exertion in worship]. Thereafter they began to contradict the Sunnah and thus were destroyed. By Allh, never does a person act without knowledge, except that he spoils and corrupts more than he fixes and rectifies."


[Al-Asbahn, Al-Targhb wa Al-Tarhb 3:98]

http://www.sayingsofthesalaf.net/index.php/ignorant-piety/
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#37 [Permalink] Posted on 19th September 2012 13:46
The Intention of a Seeker of Knowledge


By Mufti Mahmud Ashraf 'Uthmani (Translated by Ibrahim Khan)


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

All Praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and may peace and blessings be on our master and intercessor Muhammad and his followers and his companions, collectively. And thereafter:


A Noble Hadith


عن كعب بن مالك رضي الله عنه قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : "من طلب العلم ليجاري به العلماء أو ليماري به السفهاء أو يصرف به وجوه الناس إليه أدخله الله النار" رواه الترمذي (مشكوة - مرقاة ٢٧٨/١)

Ka'b bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) said: the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: "Whoever seeks knowledge in order to compete with the scholars, or to debate with the foolish, or to draw people's attention, Allah will put him into the Fire." (Narrated from Tirmidhi as taken from Mishkat).


The Narrator


Ka'b bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) is a well known companion of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), who is related to the Khazraj tribe of the Ansar of Madinah. He is from السابقون الأولون (the first forerunners, the early Muslims). He was amongst those Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) who, before the Migration, pledged themselves at the blessed hands of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) at the Second Pledge at 'Aqabah, and is also included amongst those who encouraged the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) to come to Madinah. He was a poet, and is counted amongst the poets of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). With the exception of Badr, he participated in all the other battles of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). [However,] in the expedition of Tabuk, he did not go out in the journey for jihad, along with his two companions Mararah ibn al-Rabi' and Hilal ibn Umayyah (may Allah be pleased with both of them). As a result, the three were reprimanded, as has been mentioned in the Holy Qur'an: وعلى الثلاثة الذين خلفوا to the end of the verse (Surah at-Tawbah, verse 118). (The first letter of the names of the these three companions is مكه, through which remembering their names becomes easy.) Towards the end of his life, Ka'b bin Malik became blind, and in 50 H he passed away at the age of seventy. May Allah be pleased and satisfied with him.

The Narration


The [above] hadith has been narrated in numerous hadith collections with different wordings. However, the result and understanding from all the different narrations is nearly the same. The hadith has been narrated as marfu', as mawquf, and also as maqtu'. Many well known Companions, inlcuding Ka'b bin Malik, Abu Hurayrah, Jabir ibn Abdullah, Mu'adh ibn Jabal, Anas ibn Malik, Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman, and Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with all of them) have all narrated the marfu' hadith with similar wordings from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), while Abdullah bin Mas'ud (may Allah be pleased with him) is the narrator of the mawquf [version].

Difficult Words


A. ليجاري به العلماء، يجاري:
It is the present tense of the verb جرى يجري in the form of مفاعلة. The word جرى means to run and مجاراة means to run to get ahead of each other i.e. a race.

B. أو ليماري به السفهاء، سفهاء:
It is the plural of the word سفيه, and it refers to foolish and ignorant people. It comes from مراء or مرية of the word مماراة. The words مراء and مرية mean suspicion and conflict, while مماراة means arguing with one another, casting each other in suspicion, debating each other.

C. أو يصرف به وجوه الناس
The phrase "صرف الوجوه" means to turn the faces towards oneself, to draw attention to oneself.


Commentary


In this noble hadith, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) forbade the seekers of knowledge of religion from committing three mistakes. That is, they should not seek knowledge due to the following:

1. "To compete with the scholars."
2. "To debate with deviant sects."
3. "To reach a high status in the eyes of the common people."

When these three intentions are wrong, the question now arises: what should then be the purpose of knowledge of Din? The answer to this question, though not given in this hadith, is that it can be learned from the Holy Qur'an and other hadiths that the original purpose of the knowledge of Din is for only two things:

1. [Gaining knowledge in order to] understand religion - that one understand the rulings of religion and its limits so that bringing it into practice becomes easy.

2. [Gaining knowledge] in order to please one's Lord. The Holy Qur'an has described this purpose thus:
"...so that they gain an understanding in the religion" (Surat al-Tawbah: 122).
And in one noble hadith, this purpose comes with the following words:
"Whoever seeks knowledge through intending Allah's pleasure only ..."

From these two references to the Qur'an and hadith, it is learned that the purpose of gaining the knowledge of Din should be to obtain an understanding of Din so that Allah's pleasure is acquired.

In fact, some of the elders have disliked for someone in his student years to even keep the intention of seeking knowledge in order to teach the people. The reason is that in this intention, the creation is included as part of the purpose, which undermines the spirit of complete sincerity. Knowledge of Din should be sought only and only to gain an understanding of Din and to obtain Allah's pleasure. Now, what is left are the services of propagating and teaching the people, writing and authoring, speaking and giving khutbah, and preaching and advising. These are not original intents of knowledge; instead, these are secondary commandments after having attained knowledge of Din. These duties come under the responsibility of the scholar in times of need. And after having attained the knowledge of Din, the scholar fulfills all of these (above-mentioned) tasks at their required times in order to seek Allah's pleasure. It should remain clear that all of these tasks also become means to Allah's pleasure; they are just not among the goals of a seeker of knowledge. Instead, they are responsibilities after having attained knowledge, and they are from it's results and fruits. Therefore, a seeker of knowledge should, at the time of obtaining knowledge, keep only this intention that I am seeking knowledge to understand Din and attain Allah's pleasure.

Now, in the above-mentioned hadith, seekers of knowledge have been prohibited from three wrong intentions. The first is that one intend to reach the level of the great scholars, compete with them, and then exceed them in knowledge, and then to work based on that.

The second is to intend to debate the deviant sects and foolish people, and through one's arguments humiliate them.

The third [incorrect intention] is to attain a [social] rank in terms of livelihood and become the center of attention of creation and common Muslims.

The strange thing is that if these three intentions are stated in general terms, or they are given an outer feel of sincerity, then at first sight there is nothing bad observed in them. However, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) has said that anyone in who any of these three intentions is found will be entered into the Fire.

And the reason is the same. In these three intentions the actual goal is not to understand Din or to seek Allah's pleasure. Instead, in these intentions, the creation and people themselves become the goal, and the seeker of knowledge exerts all of his effort for people. It should have been that he exerts all of his effort in order to correct himself and attain Allah's pleasure. Making people the center or the purpose is not appropriate right from the beginning.

These three intentions have been commented on separately below:

ليجاري به العلماء (... in order to compete with the scholars...)

If any seeker of knowledge seeks knowledge with the intention that through seeking knowledge he will reach the level of the great scholars - in fact, he will try to exceed them - and in whatever field they are working he will go beyond them in that, then all of these intentions are against the actual goals of knowledge, and such a person has been warned of Hellfire by the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).

It should remain clear that appreciating the services of any big scholar or following the good that he says is not a bad thing; in fact, it is a good thing. But making that scholar the goal of seeking knowledge by desiring to compete with him or exceed him is a wrong intention. Therefore, to [keep the intention of] competing with a scholar or scholars worthy of appreciation, or intending to compete with them and exceeding them, has been forbidden.

Some details of this generality are that Allah Most High has created every human being alone and unique. He [the human] in his essence is unique. Everything about him - even his looks, his fingerprints are different from everyone else; the good things and positive aspects about him, his qualities, his morals, his knowledge and understanding - all of these are different from everyone else. He comes into this world alone - because of these characteristics - and alone he will go to the Hereafter.

Whether he is Imam Abu Hanifa or Imam Bukhari, Hafiz Ibn Hajar or any other scholar (may Allah have mercy on them); you absolutely cannot become like him. You and I can have a desire to tread in their footsteps or to acquire the positive qualities that they had and receive the opportunity to similarly serve the Din; but if anyone desires to become Hafiz Ibn Hajar رحمه الله, it would not be possible. There was only one Hafiz Ibn Hajar رحمه الله in this world. Therefore, for a seeker of knowledge to even think that he will become just like a certain scholar is a fundamentally wrong thought. Yes, you can pray that I also acquire positive qualities like them, and I also receive the chance for doing such services to the Din.

When this is the issue, that for one person to become just like another is impossible, then desiring that one becomes just like such and such an elder or scholar or even exceed him is not appropriate. In fact, in this intention is a call for competition, a desire for competition, which in a way relates to arrogance. Further, the desire to exceed them is a desire that leads to sins such as arrogance, greed, and envy. Because of this, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) has given a severe warning in this hadith, that whoever seeks knowledge of Din with the intention of competing with the scholars will be entered into the Fire.


http://www.ilmgate.org/the-intention-of-a-seeker-of-knowledge/
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#38 [Permalink] Posted on 19th September 2012 13:50
The Status of the Hadith on the Obligation of Seeking Knowledge


By Bilal Ali Ansari


Question


What is the status of the ḥaḍīth: "Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim male and Muslim female"? I have been told that it is fabricated but then I hear it quoted by so many scholars. Please explain.

Answer


The ḥadīth in question is normally quoted in two different manners, one without the addition of "Muslim female" and the other with it. It is true that the addition of "Muslim female" is not found in any of the primary ḥadīth sources and is thus baseless from the perspective of wording.

As for its meaning, the ḥadīth should properly read: "Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim" and the word "Muslim" is inclusive of both males and females. In this sense, the meaning of the erroneous additional wording is sound. However, one should be careful not to quote the faulty wording nonetheless, since verbatim transmission of the prophetic tradition is incumbent upon all Muslims today.

As for the ḥadīth without the addition of "Muslim female", a large number of scholars were of the opinion that it is ḍaʿīf and a smaller number of scholars disagreed, grading the ḥadīth ḥasan. According to Imam Laknawī, the more correct opinion according to the researchers of the science is that it is ḥasan.
(Ẓafar al-Amānī, ʿAbd al-Ḥayy al-Laknawī 421)

http://www.ilmgate.org/the-status-of-the-hadith-on-the-obligation-of-seeking-knowledge/
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#39 [Permalink] Posted on 20th September 2012 10:14
Humility in Knowledge and Arrogance in Ignorance


By Khalid Baig


Imam Malik bin Anas (b. 93 AH, d. 179 AH) was one of the greatest Islamic scholars of all times. Among his 1300 disciples were people from all walks of life; rulers, judges, historians, Sufis, poets, and scholars of Qur'an, Hadith, and Fiqh. The Khalifah attended his class as an ordinary student along with others.

In the best traditions of this Ummah Imam Malik considered his knowledge as a trust. When he knew something to be right or wrong, no intimidation could stop him from declaring so. It was his fatwa that divorce given under compulsion is invalid, that earned him the wrath of the ruler (as it implied that pledge of allegiance given under compulsion was also invalid). He was punished with lashes and at every strike he said, "I am Malik bin Anas and I declare that divorce given under compulsion is invalid."

Yet it was the same Imam Malik who was more likely to say "la adree" (I don't know) or "la ahsin" (I don't know it very well) in response to the constant flow of queries directed toward him. Once a person approached him and told him that he had come from Marrakesh - after a six month journey - only to ask a question. "My people back home are waiting for your answer," he said. After hearing the question Imam Malik replied, "Please tell your people that I do not know the answer to your question." In one case he was asked forty-eight questions and in response to thirty-two of them he said, "I don't know." It was commonly said that if somebody wrote down Imam Malik's answers to questions, he could easily fill pages with "I don't know" before writing a real answer.

The reason for this extraordinary care was nothing but a deep sense of accountability before Allah. It was the caution of a person who was standing between Hell and Heaven, fearful that one wrong step could lead him to the former. "Before you answer a question about religious law, visualize that you are standing at the gates of Hell and Heaven," he used to advise others.

Of course, he was not alone. Ibn Jareej used to attend the majlis (sitting) of Abdullah ibn Umar, Radi-Allahu anhuma. "In answer to more than half the questions he used to say I don't know." Ibn Abi Layla saw 120 Sahaba (companions). "Whenever one of them was asked a question he wished that someone else would answer it."

Nor was this caution restricted to Fiqh (Islamic Law). In interpreting the Qur'an or the Hadith, they exercised same care. Imam Muslim whose Sahih Muslim is unanimously considered second of the two most authentic collections of Hadith, had set for himself only the task of Hadith collection leaving the job of interpreting them to others. He was so concerned about this that he did not even divide the book into chapters for such classification would amount to interpretation.

They were the authoritative source on Islamic teachings, having devoted their lives to learning and practicing them. They knew very well the tremendous burden inherent in a statement that begins "Allah says", or "The Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, says". For here stating something that is not so means that a person is attributing something to Allah or the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, that is not true. What can be a greater sin than that! They always remembered that it is Haram to give fatwa without knowledge. They always remembered the Hadith, "Whoever interprets the Qur'an without knowledge should make his abode in Hell."

Fast forward to today and you are in a totally different world. Across the Muslim world today there are innumerable "experts" who are willing to interpret the Qur'an and Hadith, give fatwas, even do Ijtihad - all without the benefit of even the minimum religious education and training. If such a person is a good writer or speaker that is qualification enough. For the audiences today readily confuse eloquence with scholarship. If the "expert" also carries the magic title "Dr." that certainly fills any gaps in his authority. It does not matter whether his educational achievement maybe in gynecology or business administration, journalism or nuclear science, physics or animal husbandry.

The results have been disastrous. The vast confusion and ignorance of even elementary subjects in religious teachings among the seemingly "educated" classes today is unprecedented. Today one can find all sorts of un-Islamic ideas and practices, conjectures, whims, and desires finding approval in the "Ijtihaddom" that has been concocted. What is more we also make a virtue out of this catastrophe by bragging that we have broken the "shackles of blind following" and opened direct access to the original sources of Islamic teachings. But no amount of bragging can hide the fact that this is the equivalent of allowing unlicensed and untrained people to practice medicine. Although in this case the resulting death and injury is not physical and is therefore less visible.

The reasons for this malaise are complex but two stand out. First, the schooling of our "educated" people included very little or none of Islamic education. Plainly, we do not know and we do not know that we do not know. Second, many of us harbor great mistrust of those who have received formal Islamic education. In turn this is also based on ignorance of what constitutes such education. It is a distant world, a black box, and all we know is that there is something wrong with it.

For a change let us visit a darul-uloom where they are screening candidates for admission to the next ifta class. The top scorers from the regular alim course were given a test and just the top ten scorers from the test will be brought for interview. They are tested not only for their knowledge of Arabic and religious texts but also their ability to understand complex real life situations and to communicate well. Once they graduate, they will do an internship for years under qualified and experienced muftis. But even the best of their teachers will consult others when they face a difficult issue. After exercising the best of caution they will learn to say "Allah knows best" at the end of their answers.

It is not to say that the decline of Muslim political power and the general decline of Muslim civilization has had no effect on this area of activity or our darul-iftas are running problem free. But can anyone in all honesty declare that an alternative that misses each and everyone of these features is better? There is a famous saying in Urdu. "A pseudo doctor is danger to life. A pseudo religious scholar is danger to faith." Do we know the danger?


http://www.ilmgate.org/humility-in-knowledge-and-arrogance-in-ignorance/
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#40 [Permalink] Posted on 20th September 2012 12:54
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

"The feet of a servant will not move on the Day of Judgment until he has been questioned about four things: his life - how he spent it, his knowledge - how he acted upon it, his wealth - where he earned it and how he spent it, and his body - how he used it."
(Tirmidhi, Kitab sifat al Qiyamah wal Raqa'iq)
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#41 [Permalink] Posted on 20th September 2012 23:37
You should know that just as the light of day cannot help a blind person, similarly, none but the pious can benefit from the light of knowledge. [Sunnah Way of the Sufis, p361]
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#42 [Permalink] Posted on 21st September 2012 11:35
The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

"Whoever is asked about some [religious] matter of which he has knowledge, but witholds it, he will be bridled with fire on the Day of Judgement." (Abu Dawud; Ibn Maja)

al-Hafidh Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani رحمه الله states, "One should acquire sacred knowledge for benefiting and spreading to others. If one witholds it, then the primary objective of acquiring that knowledge is lost. His state is thus far from that of true scholars [who are always conveying their knowledge]," and he is punished with a bridle of fire in his mouth since that is from where he witheld disseminating the knowledge. (Mirqat al-Mafatih, 1:481)

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#43 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd September 2012 11:56
The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

"Whoever advises his brother concerning a matter, knowing the correct guidance lies in another direction, has betrayed him." (Abu Dawud)

"Betrayed him," i.e., betrayed his brother's trust in advising him to adopt a path of misguidance instead of guidance. Giving advise in a way which causes one's brother to adopt the wrong path in any matter is not a characteristic suited for a believer. [Provisions for the Seekers]

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#44 [Permalink] Posted on 25th September 2012 11:19
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

"Whoever is given a legal ruling (fatwa) without knowledge, then the sin is on the one who issued it." (Abu Dawud)

A jurist, or Mufti, sins if he issues a ruling without sufficient knowledge, but the questioner does not, because the responsibility of the uninformed questioner is only ask the people of knowledge [as Allah سبحانه و تعالى commands:
"Ask the people of reminder if you do not know." (16:43)]. Some have explained that the sin falls on the questioner too, since he placed an incompetent person in a position of juridical authority [for instance, if he did not do enough to verify his scholarship]. (Mirqat al-Mafatih, 1:503)
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#45 [Permalink] Posted on 26th September 2012 10:10
Sayyiduna Ali رضي الله عنه said:

"Whoever teaches me even a word, he is my master. If he so desires, he may free me and if he wishes he may take service from me." (Ta'lim al-Muta'allim)
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