The Excellence of Knowledge
The condition of Muslims today, especially the youth, is due to our ignorance and lack of interest in seeking knowledge. Hereunder Insha Allah we will learn about the importance and excellence Allah Ta’ala and His Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) have placed in knowledge.
Hujjatul Islam Hazrat Imam Ghazzali (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) states that knowledge is the foundation of every action and the pivot of religion. The goodness in this world and the hereafter cannot be attained without knowledge, nor can belief (Imaan) be perfected without it. Therefore it is said that an ignorant cannot recognize Allah Ta’ala. It is further stated that there is no path that leads to Allah Ta’ala that is faster than knowledge and the biggest obstacle between you and Almighty Allah is ignorance. [Fadlul-I’lm-wal-Ulama]
Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “The destruction of my followers lies in two things; giving up knowledge and amassing wealth.” Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has also stated that anyone cursed by Allah Ta’ala is removed from knowledge and that there is no bigger poverty than ignorance. [Makashifatul Quloob]
Hazrat Imam Isma’il bin Abi Rajaa (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) states that he saw Imam Muhammad (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) in a dream and inquired of his welfare. The Imam (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) said that Allah Ta’ala Pardoned him and Said: “If I had Ordained to punish you then I would not have blessed you with knowledge.” [Durre Mukhtar]
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) further stated, “When Allah Ta’ala Intends to do good to anyone, He makes him knowledgeable in the matters of Deen.” [Sahih Bukhari; Tirmidhi]
It is recorded that two persons were mentioned in the presence of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), an Aabid (worshipper) and an Aalim (learned). The Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “The merit of an Aalim over an Aabid is like my prominence over an insignificant amongst you.” [Tirmidhi]
It is reported that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Allah is Most Generous and I am the most charitable amongst mankind, and after me the most generous amongst you is he who seeks knowledge and propagates it.” [Bayhaqi]
Imam Zahbi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) reports that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said that on the Day of Judgment the ink of the Ulama and the blood of the Martyrs will be brought forward and the ink of the Ulama will be superior to the blood of the Martyrs.
It is stated that on the Day of Judgment Allah Ta’ala will order the Ulama and the Shuhada to enter Jannat. The Ulama will say, “O Allah, It is we who taught the people to worship You and make Jihad.” Allah Ta’ala will state, “To Me, you are like My angels. Seek pardon for whom you desire and I will accept it.” The Ulama will then intercede for the people and they will be sent to Jannat. [Ihya-ul-Uloom]
It is stated in the Hadith Shareef that if a person seeks one section of knowledge to educate others, Allah Ta’ala will bless him with the reward of seventy Siddiqeen. [Fadlul-I’lm-wal-Ulama]
Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has said, “When a person travels in search of knowledge, the angels spread their wings under his feet, the earth, skies and fish of the ocean make Dua for him.” [Mu’alim Al-Tanzeel] It is further narrated from Hazrat Abu Darda (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “If one takes a single step in search of knowledge, then Allah Ta’ala will lead him on one of the paths of Jannah, and verily, the angels spread their wings of mercy for a student. Indeed, all the dwellers of earth, the skies and also the fish of the oceans seek pardon for a scholar of Deen. And verily, the prominence of a scholar over a worshipper is similar to the excellence of the full moon over the stars. Undoubtedly, the Ulama are the successors of the Prophets and they do not leave any wealth behind besides knowledge. Hence, one who has acquired knowledge has indeed achieved a great share of wealth.” [Tirmidhi]
It is stated that indeed Allah Ta’ala, His angels, the dwellers of the earth and skies, the ants in their holes and even the fish collectively send blessings on one who seeks knowledge and teaches others. [Tirmidhi]
“When a person travels in search of knowledge, then Allah Ta’ala makes his journey easy towards Jannah. And when people leave the Masjid and assemble to recite the Holy Qur’an and teach it, Divine Mercy descends on them and the Rahmah of Almighty Allah enshrouds them. The angels of mercy also surround them while Allah Ta’ala Praises them and tells the angels how pleased He is with them.” [Sahih Muslim]
Hazrat Abu Zarr (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) narrates that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “To be present in the Majlis of an Aalim is better than performing a thousand Rakaats of Salaah, visiting a thousand sick people and being present in a thousand Janaazas.” Someone asked, “Ya Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), what about the Tilaawat of the Qur’an?” (Meaning the presence of an Aalim in a Majlis as better than the recitation of the Holy Qur’an?) Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “Can one derive the benefits of the Qur’an without knowledge?” [Lisaanul Mizaan]
Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) also stated, “A single Faqi (Jurist) is more heavy on the Cursed Shaitaan than a thousand worshippers.” [Lisaanul Mizaan] This is obvious because a worshipper worships to save his own soul while a Faqi educates and saves a nation from the evils of the Shaitaan.
Hazrat Ali Al Murtaza (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) states: “An Aalim is more superior than a Mujaahid and one who observes fast and stays awake all night in Ibaadat.”
Hazrat Imam Ghazzali (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) reports that a single sight of the face of an Aalim is more virtuous than an entire year’s devotion of Salaah and Fasting.
Hazrat Abu Darda (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) states that he regards the learning of a single rule of Islam as more virtuous than staying awake all night in Ibaadat.
Hazrat Umar Farooq (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) states that the death of a thousand devotees, who stay awake at night in worship and observe fast in the day, is of no comparison to the Sabr (patience) that a single Aalim exercises on the Haraam and Halaal of Allah Ta’ala. [Fadlul-I’lm-wal-Ulama]
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to become seekers of knowledge and to remain as such until our last breath in this world, Ameen.