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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

What is Knowledge?


What is knowledge?

Knowledge is the noblest thing that one can ask for, and the best thing a seeker can strive to
attain. Knowledge consists of many branches, but according to the scholars of Islam: “What is
meant by knowledge in the absolute sense is Islamic Knowledge.” i.e. what “ Allaah said….”
And “ The Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said…”, which is called ‘Ilm-e-Sharah. It is
the knowledge of the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
and all that assists it’s understanding (e.g.: the sayings of the Sahabah (radhi allahu
anhu). This is the intended meaning of knowledge in the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His
Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam).

Shaykh al-Isalm Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) says “…the source of all good and blessings is
that one seeks help from Allaah in acquiring knowledge inherited from the Prophet (sallallahu
alaihi wa-sallam), because that is what is truly fit to be named knowledge. Anything else is
either not knowledge at all, even though people call it so, or it is knowledge which is not
beneficial knowledge, in which case it is necessarily true that there exists in the inheritance of
Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) that which replaces it, being similar to it or better
than it. Thus, the person's effort should be to understand the purposes of the Messenger
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) in his commands, prohibitions and his various other sayings.”
[Abul `Aasim al-Qaasim bin Yoosuf bin Muhammad at-Tajeebee as-Sabtee al-Maghribee]
Muadh Ibn Jabal (radhi allahu anhu), who was praised by the Prophet of Allaah (sallallahu
alaihi wa-sallam) for his excellence in Deen, said: "Verily, when the people of knowledge will
be present before their Lord, the Mighty and Sublime, Mu’aadh (radiyallahu anhu) will be one
step ahead of them." [Saheeh - Ibn Sa`d, Aboo Nu`aim, at-Tabaraanee]

He (Muadh Ibn Jabal (radhi allahu anhu)) described knowledge saying: "Knowledge is a
comforting friend in times of loneliness, it is the best companion during travels, and it is the
inner friend who speaks to you in your privacy. Knowledge is the discerning proof of what is
right and what is wrong, and it is the positive force that will help you surmount the trials of
comfort, as well as those of hardships. Knowledge is your most powerful sword against your
enemy, and finally, it is your most dignifying raiment in the company of your close
companions." [Reported by Aboo Nu`aim]

Islamic Knowledge is the best of sciences worth acquiring because through it Allah is
recognized and acknowledge. In the absolute sense, it is the knowledge regarding Allah, His
names and attributes, knowledge of His rights over His creation, and what He the Most High
has prescribed for them. It is the detailed knowledge of the path that leads to Allah, knowledge
of the purpose of our creation, and the end in which the slave will result. One who possesses
this knowledge knows what Allah has made lawful for him and what He has prohibited him
from, what pleases Him and what evokes His anger. Amongst those who have taken upon
themselves to observe the precepts of the religion will result in Paradise and bliss, and the rest
will result in a place of disgrace, humiliation and misery. Moreover, seeking knowledge is an
obligation on every Muslim
Knowledge - Guidance and A Cure to Ignorance and Disunity of the Ummah
Knowledge serves multiple purposes in Islam. For instance, seeking Islamic knowledge is a
means of eliminating (getting rid of) one of the major factors that contribute to the disunity of
the Ummah – namely, ignorance.

Ignorance directly effects every aspect of our lives. Moreover, we cannot unite in the absence
of knowledge, which should be precipitated (hastened) by correct belief and correct
understanding. When individuals in a society are armed with the necessary knowledge in
regards to the religion, as well as how to deal with each other justly, only then can a society
unite. Individuals firmly grounded in correct beliefs, knowledge, and understanding would unite
in order to formulate a strong, healthy and united Ummah. Only such an ummah would be
deserving of Allah’s protection and victory from Him. Therefore, it becomes essential to oppose
it in a fashion that tackles (deals with) not simply the symptoms but the root cause of this
disease itself.

Cure for Ignorance
The most fundamental ingredient of such a cure is to question and inquire (i.e. acquire
knowledge.) As the Prophet of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Indeed, the cure for
ignorance is to ask. (Inquire)" [Hasan - Reported by Abu Daawood # 337 narrated Abdullah
ibn Abbas, Ahmed and Ibn Maajah.]

And Allah, the All Knowledgeable has revealed unto us the method by which we can obtain this
cure: He said: "And We sent not (as Our Messenger) before you (O Muhammad (sallallahu
alaihi wa-sallam)) any but men, whom We inspired (to preach and invite mankind to believe in
the Oneness of Allah) So, ask of the people of knowledge if you do not know." [Soorah An-Nahl
(16): 43]

The primary role that knowledge plays is one of guidance. It enables us to possess the correct
and necessary understanding of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. In order to worship Allah, it is
imperative to know the instructions laid down by Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
in regards to the religion contained within the Qur’aan and the Sunnah as Allah
revealed to us in the Qur'aan: "And thus, We have sent to you (O Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi
wa-sallam)) Ruhan (an Inspiration and a Mercy) of Our Command. You knew not what is the
Book, nor what is Faith? But We have made it (this Qur’aan) a light wherewith We guide
whosoever of Our slaves. And verily, you (O Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)) are
indeed guiding (mankind) to the straight path. (Allah’s Religion of Islamic Monotheism)"
[Soorah Ash-Shoorah (42): 52]

And He made the Qur’aan and the Sunnah as limits regarding religious matters. He said:
"These are the limits (set by) Allah, and whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu
alaihi wa-sallam) will be admitted to gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), to abide
therein, and that will be the great success. And, whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and transgresses His limits He will cast him in the Fire, to abide
therein; and he shall have a disgraceful torment." [Soorah An-Nisa (4): 13-14]
Furthermore, Allah reminds us the main purpose of the creation of mankind saying: "And I
created not the jinn and men except that they should worship Me." [Soorah Az-Zariyat (51):

The aforementioned verses clarify the fact that Allah wants us to worship Him alone, and that
this worship should be completely based upon what He revealed to His slave, Prophet
Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). And Knowledge is the factor that enables us to
possess the correct and necessary understanding of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.
As Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Knowledge ensures our acts as
lawful for us. It provides the basis of worship.” [Abu Dawood and Saheeh at-Tirmidhee #

Seeking Knowledge is Obligatory.
As far as the knowledge of the Sharee’ah is concerned, it is incumbent, since Allah has created
jinn and mankind so that they may worship and fear Him. As He declares it in His Book saying:
“I have not created jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” [Soorah Ad-Dhariyaat (51): 56]
And worship is not permissible except through Islamic knowledge. He cited the obligation of
acquiring knowledge in His Book saying: “So ask the people of Knowledge if you don’t know”
[Soorah An-Nahl (16): 43]
He also pointed out this obligation [i.e. seeking knowledge of Allah] prior to declaration of the
Shahadah: “And know that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah then seek forgiveness
for your sins...” [Soorah Al-Quraan 47: 19]

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) made this obligation certain in his
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) Sunnah, when he said: “The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for
every Muslim; and the conveying of knowledge to the non-deserving is like putting necklaces
of jewels, pearls and gold around the necks of swine.”
[Transmitted by Ibn Majah and Bayhaqi in Shu'ab al-Iman up to the word "Muslim" saying:
This is a hadith the text of which is quite well known but the chain of transmission is weak.
[At-Tirmidhi # 218]
Consequently, we understand that it is a duty of every Muslim to study and understand the
Deen, and reflect upon what Allah has prescribed. To explore the authentic Pure Aqeedah,
which the Prophet of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) was sent with, which he (sallallahu
alaihi wa-sallam), his Companions (radhi allahu anhu) and their followers in righteous were
upon - which is belief in Allah, His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), His Names and His
Attributes, believing in them in a manner, which is fitting to Allah without distortion (tahreef),
denial (ta’teel), qualification (takyeef), or likening (tamtheel) – without increase or decrease.
Merits and Virtues of Knowledge
Merits and virtues of Knowledge vary depending on the extent of one’s adherence to it
(knowledge). Knowledge is a sign of goodness, happiness and success. As the Prophet
Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) is reported to have said:"If Allah wants to favor
someone, He grants him comprehension (understanding) of this religion." [Sahih Bukhari vol.1
# 71, Tirmidhi and Musnad Ahmad]

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "The example of guidance and knowledge with
which, Allah has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, some of which was fertile
soil, absorbed rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. (And) another
portion of it was hard and held the rainwater and Allah benefited the people with it and they
utilized it for drinking, making their animals drink from it and for irrigation of the land for
cultivation. (And) a portion of it was barren which, could neither hold the water nor bring forth
vegetation (then that land gave no benefits). The first is the example of the person who
comprehends Allah's religion and gets benefit (from the knowledge), which Allah has revealed
through me (the Prophet) and learns and then teaches others. The last example is that of a
person who does not care for it and does not take Allah's guidance revealed through me (He is
like that barren land.)" [Sahih Al-Bukhari v.1 no.79. Narrated by Abu Musa]
The Excellence of Seeking Knowledge.

Seeking knowledge – a cure for weak Iman
Seeking knowledge of the religion helps to achieve Taqwa (fear) from Allah and increases
Iman. Allah said
“It is only those who have knowledge amongst His slaves that fear Allah.” [Soorah Al-Fatir
(35): 28]
Generally speaking the fear is present in all believers. But the true and complete fear is
present only among the people of knowledge, due to their knowledge of Allah, His Names and
His attributes; they are the most eager among the men for the truth depending on the extent
of their knowledge of Allah. At the head being the Prophets. Hence, when some people who
took the knowledge to which, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) was guiding
to be insufficient and said: “We are not like you, O Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)!
Allah has forgiven your past and future sins.” The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)
said, “By Allah! Indeed I am the one who fears Allah the most amongst you, and the most
pious of you.” [Sahaeeh Al-Bukhari]

Seeking Knowledge - Sign of a Believer
Knowledge is what distinguishes a believer from a hypocrite because he (a hypocrite) is
abundantly acquainted of trivial things and various other useless facts, which do not benefit
him, but when comes the understanding of Deen, he knows, not a thing. As also mentioned in
the Book of Allah: "But the hypocrites do not understand." [Soorah Al-Munaafiqoon (63): 7]
The sign of a believer is that he is acquainted with his Religion and is constantly increasing his
knowledge about subjects that benefit him and he is desirous of all that is good, as well as the
gatherings wherein it is detached.

Seeking the knowledge of Deen is a path to Paradise, learning it more is a Jihaad. Reviewing
and learning more is like Tasbeeh. As the companion of our Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu
alaihi wa-sallam), Muadh ibn Jabal (radhi allahu anhu) said: "Seek knowledge, because
seeking it for the sake of Allah is a worship. And knowing it makes you more God-fearing; and
searching for it is jihad, teaching it to those who do not know is charity, reviewing and learning
it more is like tasbeeh. Through knowledge Allah will be known and worshipped. With the
knowledge Allah will elevate people and make them leaders and imams, who will in turn guide
other people." [Fatawa Ibn Taymiyya vol.10, p.39]
In the same vein, Imam Shafi’ (rahimahullah) said: "Whoever seeks the fruits of this life
should gain Islamic knowledge, and whoever seeks the hereafter should gain (Islamic)
knowledge." [An-Nawawi, Majmoo’ vol.1, p.12]
Excellence of one, who seeks knowledge
There are many ahadeeth showing the virtues and merits of those who go in search of
knowledge. From them being: "Whoever treads on a path in search of Islamic knowledge, Allah
will ease the way to Paradise for him. The angels will lower their wings, pleased with this
seeker of knowledge, and everyone in the heavens and on earth will ask forgiveness for the
knowledgeable person, even the fish in the deepest of waters will ask for his forgiveness” [Abu
Dawud, Ibn Majah, Tirmidhi # 2835-sahih hadith]

Every path that he takes in search of knowledge is a way to Paradise; this is true for every
path literal or otherwise. His journey from one country to another; from one circle of
knowledge to another, from one mosque to another with the sole intention of seeking
knowledge. These are the ways of acquiring knowledge, likewise memorizing and studying
books of knowledge, perusal (reading or studying carefully), and writing even his sleep are
also from the ways of seeking knowledge and the paths to Paradise.
If the seeker of knowledge dies while, striving to acquire knowledge, then there will be a
difference of one degree between him and the Prophets in Paradise.
Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “He whom death overtakes while he is engaged in
acquiring knowledge with a view to reviving Islam with the help of it, there will be one degree
between him and the Prophets in Paradise.” [Al-Tirmidhi Hadith no. 249. Narrated by Al-Hasan

Virtues of Scholars – People of Knowledge
The people of knowledge are the leaders of this earth, they are the lights and lamps, and they
have been preferred above everyone else. They direct the people to the way of happiness,
they guide them to the means of salvation, they lead them to that which pleases Allah, the
Majestic and Sublime, and His Mercy, and keep them far from that which evokes His Anger and
punishment. They are the heirs of Prophets, as Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
informed us emphasizing the excellence of the people of knowledge.
He said: “…The superiority of the knowledgeable man over the worshipper in Islam, is like the
superiority of the full moon over the rest of the planets. And the scholars are the inheritors of
the Prophets, but the Prophets did not leave behind wealth but they left behind knowledge.
And whoever takes firm hold of this is a very fortunate man." [Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah,
Tirmidhi # 2835 Sahih hadeeth]

The message of this hadeeth is truly profound. As we all know, worship is a praiseworthy act in
Islam. However, it dulls in comparison to practicing with knowledge, as is obvious from the
above-mentioned hadeeth.
Allah has honored and extolled those who posses knowledge, and raised their status high, He
made them bear witness to His Oneness with sincerity and devotion. He reminds us of the
exalted status that is bestowed upon them saying: “Allah will exalt in degree those of you who
believe and those who have been granted knowledge.” [Soorah Mujadilah (58): 11]
Regarding their virtues Allah says: “Allah (Himself) bears witness that La ilaha illa huwa (none
has the right to be worshipped but He) and the Angels and those having knowledge (also give
this witness).” [Soorah Aal-Imran (3): 18]

The above mentioned verse shows the superiority of knowledge and its people, the following
points can be referred from this verse:
1. Allah chose the people of knowledge (Oolul ’ilm) to bear witness to His Oneness (Tawheed:
La ilaha illa Allah) over and above the rest of His creation.
2. Allah honored the people of knowledge by mentioning their testimony along with His
3. He raised the status of the scholars by associating their testimony with the testimony of the
4. This verse bears witness to the superiority of those who posses knowledge because Allah
does not make any of His creation bear witness except the upright amongst them. There is a
well-known narration from the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam): “The upright
in every generation will carry the knowledge, rejecting the distortion of the
extremists, the false claims of the liars, and the false interpretation of the ignorant.”
[Declared Hasan by Shaykh Saleem al-Hilaalee]
5. Allah the One free from all defects, Himself bears witness to His Oneness, and He is the
greatest witness. Then, He chose from His creation the angels and the scholars – this is
sufficient to show their excellence.
6. Allah made the scholar bear witness with the greatest and the most excellent testimony: “La
ilaha illa Allaah.” We know this because Allah, the One free from all defects and the Most High
does not bear witness except to matters of great importance and only the greatest of Allah’s
creation bear witness to this.
7. Allah made the testimony of the people of knowledge a proof against the
rejecters. Thus, they are its proof and its signs, indicating His Oneness (Tawheed).
8. Allah, the Most High, used a single verb (shahadah) to refer to His testimony and
the testimony of the Angels and the scholars. He did not use additional verb for
their testimony: thus he connected their testimony to His. This show the strong link
between their testimony and Allah of testimony, as if He bore witness to His
Oneness upon their tongue and made them utter this testimony.
9. Allah, the One free from all defects made the scholars fulfill His right (that none has the
right to be worshipped but Him) through this testimony and if they fulfill it, then they have
fulfilled and established this right of Allah upon them. Then, it is obligatory upon mankind to
accept this right of Allah upon them. Then it is obligatory upon mankind to accept this final
return, this testimony, which, is the means to reach happiness in this life and in their final
return (to Allah). Whosoever takes this guidance from the scholars and accepts this truth
because of their testimony, then for the scholars there is a reward equal to them. And none
knows the value of this rewards but Allah.
The Most High explained clearly that there is none equal to them: “Say: Are those who know
equal with those who know not? It is only men of understanding that will remember (i.e. get
lesson from Allah’s Signs and Verses)” [Soorah Az-Zumar (39): 9]
And the Mighty and Majestic distinguished the people of Knowledge from the ignorant. He said:
“Shall he then who knows that what has been revealed unto you (O Muhammad (sallallahu
alaihi wa-sallam) from your Lord is the truth be like him who is blind? But it is only the men of
understanding that pay heed.” [Soorah Ar-Raa’d (13): 19]
Therefore, the people of knowledge and the ignorant are not alike. There is an immense
difference between the knowledgeable and the ignorant. It is the difference between one who
knows the truth and obtains insight through its light and acts accordingly to its guidance until
he meets his Lord achieving success with nobility, and the on who is blind to this way and
follows his desires taking the path of Shaytan.

Sincere Intention
Absolute sincerity should be ensured in our intention and action, since intentions are the
foundation actions.
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “The actions are Innama (only,
certainty) tied to the intentions and every person will earn that which he intended. Therefore,
he whose migration was for Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) then his
migration will be for Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). And he whose
migration was to achieve some worldly gain or to take a woman in marriage, then his
migration will be for that for which he migrated.” [Related by Saheeh al-Bukhari, and Muslim]
This hadeeth establishes a very important principle and foundation of the Deen,
One who corrects his intention in seeking knowledge and only the Face of Allah, is on the road
to salvation and happiness. Knowledge should be sought for the right reasons: for its
implementation (acting according to the knowledge) not for the sake of ostentation (Riyaa),
fame or for any other gain.
Because Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “The thing I fear for you the most is Shirk
Al-Asgar (the minor Shirk)!” The Companions (radhi allahu anhu) asked: “O Messenger of
Allaah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)! What is Shirk al-Asgar?” He replied: “Ostentation (showing
off)” [Saheeh reported by Ahmed]
Baihaqee reported the addition of shu’ab al-Eman. “…On the Day of Judgement, Allah will
reward people for their deeds, He will say: “ Go to those for whose attention and praise you
did these deeds and see whether you will find with them any reward!”

A proper student is concerned with all those paths that lead to knowledge. He seeks it desiring
the Face of Allah’s (pleasure of Allah) and a home in Paradise, to be acquainted with the Deen
and reflect upon it, to have insight into what Allah has made incumbent upon him and what He
has prohibited him from. He attempts to gain abundant knowledge, to be amongst the guided
callers striving for the truth, guide people, bring them out of darkness into the light, so he
seeks knowledge and acts upon it. Teaches others about the good that a Muslim is ordered to
do…etc. So wherever he turns he is in great excellence with these correct intentions contrary
to the one who has an evil intention, for he is in great danger.
It is related in a hadeeth, where Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) makes us aware of the
punishment of those who seek the knowledge of Deen for other than the pleasure of Allah. He
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Whoever seeks Islamic knowledge only for worldly gain, he
would not even smell the scent of Paradise on the Day of Judgement," [(Sahih) Abu Dawud,
Ibn Majah. Narrated Abu Huraira]

He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) also said: “If anyone acquires knowledge of things by which
Allah’s good pleasure is sought but instead he acquires it only to get worldly advantage, he will
not smell the fragrance of Paradise on the Day of Reckoning.” [Abu Dawood with a sound chain
of narration (Ibn Baaz)]

In another hadeeth, K‘ab ibn Malik (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) narrated that the Prophet
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Whoever seeks knowledge to argue with the scholars, or to
show off with the ignorant people, and attracts the faces of the people towards him, Allah
would enter him into the Hellfire." [Hasan - Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]
The first of the people who will be thrown into the Fire will be from amongst those who
acquired knowledge and recited the Qur’aan for others besides Allah, hoping that it might be
said: ‘He is a scholar or it might be said, he is a reciter.’

On the authority of Abu Huraira (radhi allahu anhu) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) saying: “… (Another) will be a man who has acquired knowledge
(Ilm) and has taught it and who used to recite the Qur’aan. He will be brought (on the Day of
Judgement) and Allah will make known to him His favors and he will acknowledge them. The
All Mighty will say: “And what did you do about them? He will say: “I studied knowledge and
taught it and recited the Qur’aan for your sake. He will say: “ You have lied- you did acquire
knowledge so that it might be said (of you): ‘He is learned.’ Then, he will be ordered to be
dragged along on his face until he is cast into the Hellfire...” [Saheeh Muslim # 4688, narrated
Abu Huraira, At-Tirmidhee and an-Nisaee]
he main message to be gained from these ahadeeth is that true and sincere knowledge
should yield goodness which, should manifest itself in one’s practice of Islam. Knowledge
without such fruit is completely futile (useless)
Hence, it is indeed a very serious sin to commit such grave action as to preach about Islam
without a sincere intention. Moreover, it is essential to act on what you know to be of true and
correct knowledge. Failure to fulfill with such guidelines would subsequently result in most
grievous consequences, in both this life and the Hereafter.
Al-Hasan al-Basree, rahimahullaah, said: "Whoever learns something in the name of Allah,
seeking that, which is with Him, he will win. And whoever learns something for other than
Allah, he will not reach the goal, nor will his acquired knowledge bring him closer to Allaah."
[Related by Ibn al Jawzee]

Trials take place when knowledge is sought for other than Action.
On the authority of Alee’ (radhi allahu anhu) that he made mention of trials at the end of time.
Umar (radhi allahu anhu) asked him: “When will that be O Alee’?” He said: “When
understanding of the Religion is sought for other purposes, and knowledge is acquired for
other than acting upon, and worldly gain is sought with the actions of the Hereafter. [Reported
by Abdar Razzak in his musannaf as a statement of Alee’ Saheeh at-Targeeh wat-Tarheeh #
Seeking Beneficial Knowledge and Refuge from the Knowledge that does not
One should ask Allah, the All Knowledgeable, for Knowledge that is beneficial to him, as the
Prophet of Allah (sallalalhu alahi wa-sallam) is known to be beseech Allah for the same, he
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) used to say: "O Allah, grant me benefit in what You have taught
me, teach me what will benefit me, and increase my knowledge. Praise be to Allah in all
circumstances. I seek refuge in Allah from the state of those who go to Hell." [Tirmidhi and Ibn
Majah transmitted it, Tirmidhi saying this is a tradition whose isnad is gharib]
One should also be aware of the knowledge that does not benefit and beseech Allah and seek
refuge form it, as was done by Prophet Muhammd.

On the authority of Zayd ibn Arqam (radhi allahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu
alaihi wa-sallam) used to say: “O Allah I seek refuge in You from knowledge which does not
benefit, from a heart that does not feel humble, from a soul that does not feel contended and
from an invocation that is not answered. [Muslim. Eng. Vol. 4, # 6568 and others.]
Indications of beneficial Knowledge
Indications that knowledge is beneficial are that it leads to fine character, good manners,
praiseworthy attributes and Taqwa (fear of Allah). He whose knowledge does not cause him to
weep, can be justifiably considered not to have been granted beneficial knowledge; since Allah
described the people of knowledge saying:
“Say believe in it (the Qur’aan) or do not believe. Verily, those who were given the knowledge
before it, when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration. And they
say: “Glory be our Lord! Truly the promise of our Lord must be fulfilled. And they fall down on
their faces weeping and it adds to their humility.” [Soorah Al-Israa (17): 107-109]

Indeed, expression of grief and fear (through weeping) is the clearest sign and best proof of
the knowledge one possesses and one’s truthfulness. Since he is acquainted about Allah’s
Exalted, Perfect, Lofty Attributes, which causes his heart to humble. He has read in the Book of
Allah and the sayings of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), texts pertaining to the
Fire, the terrors of grave and the fearful accounts of the Resurrection which brings about fear
in his heart and causes his eyes to shed tears, verses pertaining to Paradise and everlasting
bliss compel him to strive for it. He turns to Allah in humbleness, invoking Allah with sincerity,
for his sins to be forgiven in this life and the Hereafter, hoping to attain the Pleasure of Allah,
entering Paradise and being saved from the Fire.
And Indeed this act of his i.e. supplication, is a cause of attaining the Love and Pleasure Allah :
Allah says in the Final Revelation: “Say: My Lord pays attention to you only because of your
invocation to Him.” [Soorah al-Furqaan (25): 77]
The Prophet of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) emphasized the fact that invocation is the
noblest and the best form of worship as indicated in his saying: “Invocation is worship” [Abu
Dawood and Saheeh at-Tirmidhee # 2590]
“The best form of worship is invocation.” [Al-Hakim and others. As-Silsilah as-Saheehah #
He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) further said: “No form of worship is better in the sight of Allah
than invocation” [Musnad Ahmad # 8733, Al-Bukhari chp: 296, Saheeh at-Tirmidhee # 2684
and others.]
However, the servant is not granted the acceptance unless he is sincere and true in his
supplication, as the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “… and know that
Allah doesn’t accept the invocation of an averted, inattentive heart.” [An-Nawawi mentioned in
Sharah Saheeh Muslim, Kitaab-ul Eeman # 365]
And certainly, invocation is one of the means of relieving oneself from the Fire. As Allah says in
His Book: And Your Lord said: “Invoke Me and I will answer your (invocation). Verily those
who scorn My worship, they will surely enter Hell in humiliation.” [Soorah Ghafir (40): 60]
And as indicated in the saying of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), When
Aa’isha (radhi allahu anha) asked the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) about
Abu Jud’aan Sayin, “O Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), in the days of Jahiliyah,
Ibn Jud’aan would join ties of relationship and feed the poor, so will that benefit him any?” He
said: “No, O Aaisha t! He never once said: “O my Lord, forgive me my sins on the Day of
Judgement.” [Saheeh Muslim. Eng. Vol. 1, # 416] and others. See as-Silsilah as-Saheehah #
So Ibn Jud’aan’s not turning to Allah in supplication caused him eternal abode of Hellfire.
Sufyaan Ath-Thawree, rahimahullaah, said: "The excellence of knowledge is due only to the
fact that it causes a person to fear and obey Allah, otherwise it is just like anything else."
[Related by ibn Rajab]
Consequently, Knowledge that leads to (Taqwa) fear Allah, supplicate to Him with humbleness
and sincerity, is the beneficial Knowledge.

How to Acquire Knowledge?
Knowledge is acquired by exploring and studying the Deen of Islaam, known according to the
saying of Allah’s Messenger: “Knowledge is acquired by studying..” [Shaykh Al-Albanee’s
Silsilatul Ahadeeth as-Saheehah (1/605/342)]
Sources of Knowledge.

Narrated Jabir Ibn Abdullah (radhi allahu anhu): “When Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
gave a Khutbah (sermon) his eyes became reddened, his voice raised, and his anger
grew to the extent that it were as if he were one exhorting an army saying. “They will attack
you morning and evening,” and he would say, “I have been sent along with the (Last) Hour
like these two and he joined his forefingers and middle finger, and would say, “To proceed:
Indeed the best speech is the book of Allah and the best guidance is the guidance of
Muhammad and the worst affairs are the newly invented matters, and every innovation is
misguidance.” [Saheeh - Muslim eng.trans. vol.2, p.410, no. 1885]

From Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (radhi allahu anhu) who said: “Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi
wa-sallam) drew a line for us, then he said: “This is my Way.” Then he drew lines to it’s right
and left and said: “These are different ways, upon each is a devil calling to it.” Then he
recited: “And verily this is my straight path, so follow it, and do not follow other paths for they
will separate you away from His Path.” [Soorah An’am (6):153] [Hasan -Ahmad (1/435, 465) ]
Clarification of the way
Al-Irbaad Ibn Saaryah who said: “Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) gave us an
admonition which caused our to shed tears and the hearts to fear, so we said: “O Messenger of
Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), this is as if it were a farewell sermon, so with what do you
counsel us?” So he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, “I have left you upon clear proofs, its
night if like its day, no one deviates from it except one who is destroyed, and whoever lives
(long) from amongst you will see great controversy. So stick to what you know from my
Sunnah and the Sunnah of the orthodox, rightly guided caliphs. Cling to that with your molar
teeth, and stick to obedience even if it is took an Abyssinian slave since the believer is like the
submissive camel, wherever he is led, he follows.” [Ahmad 4/126, Ibn Majah # 43, Haakim
1/96, Baihaqee in al-Madkhal # 51]

So the way is white and pure, manifest and untainted, such that its night is like its day! And so
are the its signposts, as mentioned in the hadeeth of Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam): “O
people I have left amongst you that which if you cling onto you will never go astray: The Book
of Allah and my Sunnah.” [Hasan – Haakim (1/93), al- Baihaqee (10/114) and iBn Hazam in
al-Ahkaam (/108)]
Consequently, the two main signposts for this way are the Book and the Sunnah, there is a
fine point here which must be noted and mentioned, that being the matter of how these two
references points are to be understood – and the answer is that it can only be understood by
the criterion.
The Criterion
Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) was asked: “Which of the people are the best?”
So he replied: “Myself and those with me, and then those who follow them, and then those
who follow them.” [Hasan - Ahmad (2/297, 340)]
Then it is as if he declined those who remained. So the criterion for the correct understanding
of the Book and the Sunnah is the practice of the Companions and those who followed their
way after them since they are the best of the people, and those who do not follow their way
contain no good. Whoever claims to be following the Book and the Sunnah without this
criterion, then without doubt they are going astray.

What to start with?
Tawheed is the first matter, which is obligatory for a person to have knowledge of, since it is
the first pillar of Islam, one does not enter Islam without it.
This is also known by the hadeeth narrated by Ibn Abbaas (radhi allahu anhu): “When the
Prophet of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) sent Mua’dh (radhi allahu anhu) to the people of
Yemen he said to him: “You are going to the people of the Book. So let the first thing you call
them to that they should make all worship solely for Allaah, the Most High. So if they realize
that then inform them that Allah has obliged upon them zakaat from their wealth – to be taken
from their riches and given to their poor. If they accept then take it from them, but avoid the
best part of the people’s property. [Al-Bukhari, Eng. trans. vol.9, p.348, no.469 and Muslim
Eng. trans. Vol.1, p.15, no.28]
Allah, the All Merciful, also emphasized this essence by pointing out to the basis of salvation
i.e. Tawheed without which, it is impossible to be forgiven. He said: “So know (O Muhammad
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)) that La ilaha illa Allah’ And ask forgiveness for your sins and …”
[Soorah Muhammad (47): 19]

“Verily! Allah forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners with Allah in worship with Him, but
He forgives whom he pleases sins other than that, and whomever sets up partners in worship
with Allah, has indeed strayed far away.” [Soorah An-Nisa: (4): 116]
The above mentioned verses establish that Allah orders us through Prophet Muhammad
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), to know first that La ilaha illa Allah i.e. Tawheed and then ask
forgiveness, he also emphasized that He does not forgive shirk (i.e. setting up rivals in worship
with Him) except complete Tawheed, therefore most importantly a Muslim must seek the
knowledge of Allah’s Unity, Tawheed, which opposes Shirk and all that relates to it in the first

This essence is also manifested when we contemplate over the Manhaj (way) of Prophet
Muhammad’s (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) Dawah. He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) after
attaining the Prophet-hood lived in Makkah for 13 years. In this entire period he (sallallahu
alaihi wa-sallam) invited people to affirm of only one formula, he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)
said: “O People say ‘La ilaha illalla’ and you will prosper.” Apart from this there was no
mentioning of performing Prayers, Fasting, Zakaat, Hajj etc. The invitation was only to one
belief viz; the Unity of Allah. The main theme of the Prophet of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
during his life in Makkah was to lay a strong foundation in the Unity of Allah.

As the Prophet’s wife – Aaishah (radhi allahu anha) narrated, “(Be informed) that the first
thing that was revealed thereof was a Soorah from Al-Mufassal, and in it was mentioned
Paradise and the Fire. When the people embraced Islam, the Verses regarding legal and illegal
things were revealed. If the first thing to be revealed was: 'Do not drink alcoholic drinks,'
people would have said, 'We will never leave alcoholic drinks,' and if there had been revealed,
'Do not commit illegal sexual intercourse,' they would have said, 'We will never give up illegal
sexual intercourse.' While I was a young girl of playing age, the following Verse was revealed
in Mecca to Muhammad: 'Nay! But the Hour is their appointed time (for their full recompense),
and the Hour will be more grievous and more bitter.' [Soorah al-Qamar (54): 46] [Sahih al-
Bukhari vol.6, no.515.]

This is because all the actions depend on the heart’s conviction (belief) and therefore, heart is
considered as the most important organ of the body, known in a Hadeeth of Prophet (sallallahu
alaihi wa-sallam) said:
“Indeed, there is a piece of flesh in your body that, if it be sound, then the whole body will be
sound and if it be corrupt then the whole body will be corrupt. Indeed, it is the heart.” [Saheeh
Muslim (4/6221)]
Acting upon the Knowledge is Obligatory
While proceeding in knowledge, one should always be aware of busying himself with the means
[(i.e. gathering knowledge) for knowledge is the tool of action] at the expense of goals
[worship of Allah], so much that the intend behind it become oblivious. Acting in accordance
with the knowledge should not be neglected. Before assembling more knowledge one should
first turn to the knowledge which has already been collected. One should spend time doing
things that, which has been made obligatory, before anything else. For the fear that this might
fall under the saying of Allah:

“The mutual rivalry for piling up of worldly things diverts you.” [Soorah at-Takaathur (102): 1]
And the fact that the virtues and Merits of Knowledge vary depending upon the adherence to
it. So if the action is less then the knowledge, the scholar’s knowledge is a burden upon him.
Just as wealth has no benefit unless it is spent, knowledge does not benefit except one acts
upon it and observes its obligations.
Abu Hurairah (radhi allahu anhu) said: “ The example of knowledge not acted upon is like the
treasure, none of which, is spent in the way of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic. “
Whoever speaks good things yet does not act righteously; Allah does not accept his good
speech. Whereas he who speaks good things and works righteous acts, his speech is raised by
his good deeds. That is because Allah said: “To Him ascends the goodly word, and the
righteous actions raises it.” [Soorah al-Faatir (35): 10]
Ibn Mas`ood, (radhi allahu anhu) said: "True knowledge is not measured in relationship to how
much you memorize and then narrate, but rather, true knowledge is an expression of piety
[protecting oneself from what Allah prohibited and acting upon what He mandated]."Also,
"Study and act upon what you learn." [Related by Abu Na`eem]
Verses of the Qur’aan regarding the Rewards of Actions
Allah says in the Qur’aan: “Eat and drink with happiness because of what you used to do.”
[Soorah at-Toor (52): 19]
And it will be cried out to them: “This is the Paradise you have inherited for what you have
inherited for what you used to do!” [Soorah al-A’raaf (7): 43]
Thus, Allah rewards the pious, those whose lives the Angels take while, they are in a pious
state saying: ‘Peace be upon you, enter your Paradise because of that which you used to do.”
[Soorah an-Nahl: (16): 32]
The Punishment of not acting upon one’s knowledge.

Narrated Ibn al-Khattab (radhi allahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
said: “Islam will dominate so that traders frequent the seas and horses enter into the
path of Allah. Then there will appear a people who will recite the Qur’aan saying: “Who
amongst us has memorized the most Qur’aan? Who is most knowledgeable of us? Which one
of us has the most understanding? Then he asked the companions: “Is there any good in
them?” They replied, “Allah and His Messenger know best,” He said, “They are from you and
from this Ummah and they are from the fuel of the Fire.” [Reported by At-Tabaranee in Al-
Awsat and al-Bazaar, Saheeh at-Targeeh wa-Tarheeh # 131.]
Allah makes clear the destination of all created beings. Their different ascending and
descending ranks will only be in accordance to their actions:"O you who believe! Why do you
say that which you do not do? Most hateful it is in the sight of Allah that you say that which
you do not do," [Soorah As-Saff (61): 2-3]
Hindrances in Action

On the authority of Aboo Bakr Ibn Abdullah ibn Qays from his father who, said that he heard
his father say whilst he was facing the enemy “The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
said: “Surely, the gates of Paradise are under the shadows of the swords. A man in a
shabby condition got up and said: “Abu Musa, did you hear the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi
wa-sallam) of Allah (peace be upon him) say this? He said: ‘Yes. (The narrator said): He
returned to his friends and said: ‘I greet you (a farewell greeting). Then he broke the sheath of
his sword, threw it away, advanced with his (naked) sword towards the enemy and fought
(them) with it until he was killed“ [Sahih Muslim no 468]
On the authority of Jabir (radhi allahu anhu) who said: ‘A man said: “O Messenger of Allah
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) where will I be if I am killed?” He replied: “In Paradise” So he
threw the dates he had in his hands then went and fought until he was killed.” [Muslim Eng.
Vol.3, page 1052, # 4681.]

“A man in a shabby condition got up and said: ‘Abu Musa, did you hear the Messenger of Allah
say this?”
So the first thing we must race towards is to remove all that is unauthentic attributes to the
Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)
“Then he broke the sheath of his sword, threw it away, advanced with his (naked) sword
towards the enemy and fought (them) with it until he was killed.”
Then, after removing the important barrier, he (man in a shabby condition) broke the sheath
of his sword not even thinking about returning.

Similarly, the Companion (radhi allahu anhu) who asked the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
about his place if he was killed, as soon as he heard about Paradise, he threw away
the dates that were in his hand only because he believed that these dates would delay him and
hinder him from entering Paradise.
So Secondly, as a result one should hasten to do good deeds and righteous actions as ones
ability, and refrain from delaying and being lazy, keeping the saying of the Messenger of Allah
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam): “There is hesitation I everything except in the actions of the
Hereafter.” [Aboo Dawood # 4792, [Shaykh Al-Albanee’s Silsilatul Ahadeeth as-Saheehah #

Islam consists of acting and abstaining, so it becomes important for us to build the levels of
knowledge and actions upon a firm foundation, as the Prophet of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
said: “From a man’s perfecting his religion is his leaving alone that does not concern
him.” [Musnad Ahmed, at-Tirmidhee, Ibn Majah and others. Sharah Aqeedah at-Tahawiyyah #

It is understood from this narration that from a man’s deficiency in his religion is his indulging
in that, which does not concern him. This includes everything of secondary importance,
whichever form it may take. What should concern a believer is all that relates to the essentials
of his lively-hood, he should be concerned with all that relates to his salvation in the Hereafter,
that being Islam, Eeman, Ihsan.

Whereas striving to accomplish other than that is loss of irreplaceable valuable time. In this
way knowledge, speech and studies are purified, every attribute denounced in the Book of
Allah and the Sunnah is removed and what remains are the beneficial and worthy actions. This
is the way a Muslim arranges and plans his affairs with generosity whether it be intention,
speech or actions. As mentioned in a hadeeth:

“Verily Allah the All Mighty and Majestic is Generous, He loves generosity and noble character
and hates the despicable character.” [As-Silsilah As-Saheehah #1378]
Spreading Knowledge is an Obligation
Allah has ordered us to spread His Deen amongst the people, which reads: “Invite to the Way
of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching and argue with them in a way that is better.”
[Soorah An-Nahl (16): 125]

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) said: “The first defect that permeated Banu
Isra'il was that a man (of them) met another man and said: O so-and-so, fear Allah, and
abandon what you are doing, for it is not lawful for you. He then met him the next day and
that did not prevent him from eating with him, drinking with him and sitting with him. When
they did so. Allah mingled their hearts with each other. He then recited the verse: "curses
were pronounced on those among the children of Isra'il who rejected Faith, by the tongue of
David and of Jesus the son of Mary"...up to "wrongdoers". He then said: By no means, I swear
by Allah, you must enjoin what is good and prohibit what is evil, prevent the wrongdoer, bend
him into conformity with what is right, and restrict him to what is right.” [Sunan of Abu-
Dawood # 4322, narrated by Abdullah ibn Mas'ud]
The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said encouraged making Dawah by addressing it as a
Sadaqa: "Enjoining all that is good is a Sadaqa." [Sahih Al-Bukhari # 8.50, narrated by Jabir
bin Abdullah]

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) forbade his Ummah to refrain from
enjoining good and forbidding evil. He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) also alarmed us from the
punishment of Allah, if we desist in it. He said: “By Him in Who’s Hand is my soul, you will
enjoin good and prohibit evil or (else), Allah will soon send upon you a punishment from Him,
then you will call Him and He will not answer you.” [Ahmad Musnad, Saheeh At-Tirmidhee. No.

The Excellence of the Caller and Calling to the Path of Salvation
Allah praises the one who invites with knowledge in His Book, He said: “And who is better in
speech than he who invites to Allah and does good deeds ...” [Soorah Fussilat (41): 33]
Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) supplicated for him who spreads the Deen of Allah,
saying: “May Allah be well pleased with the servant who heard our words, remembered them,
retained them well and then passed them on to others.” [Shafi'i reported it and also Bayhaqi in
Al-Madkhal. [Al-Tirmidhi # 228, narrated by Abdullah ibn Mas'ud]

Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “When a man dies, his acts come to an
end, but three, recurring charity, or knowledge (by which people) benefit, or a pious son, who
prays for him (for the deceased)” [Sahih Muslim # 4005, narrated by Abu Hurayrah]
Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) pointed towards the superiority of calling and
inviting people to the path of salvation, saying (to Ali (radhi allahu anhu)): “If Allah guides a
man through your help, it is better (for you) than red camels. (Red camels at that time were
from among the people's most precious possession.) [Saheeh al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Once, when Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) happened to pass by two groups
(of Muslims) in the mosque, he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Both of them are good, but
one is superior to the other. One group is supplicating Allah and praying Him. If He so wills He
will confer upon them and if He so wills He will withhold. So far as those who are acquiring the
understanding of religion and its knowledge and are busy in teaching the ignorant, they are
superior. Verily, I have been sent as a teacher. He then sat down amongst them.” [Al-Tirmidhi,
257 narrated by Abdullah ibn Amr]

Those who acquire knowledge and then spread it are the most generous after Allah and His
Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam): He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Do you know
who is most generous? They said: ‘Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) know
best. Whereupon he said: ‘Allah is the Most Generous, then I am most generous to mankind
and the most generous people after me would be those who will acquire knowledge and then
disseminate (spread) it. He will come on the Day of Resurrection singly, like a ruler, or he said:
As a single Ummah. [Al-Tirmidhi, no. 259. Narrated by Anas ibn Malik]
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) emphasized the reward for a Da’ee, due to
whom people benefit and perform good deeds. He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:“Whoever
guides or directs to good, then he gets the same amount of blessing as the one who does it."
[Saheeh Muslim]

He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) also brought to our attention the punishment of him, who
conceals his knowledge, saying: “Whoever acquires knowledge and keeps it concealed, Allah
will bridle (check, control) him with a bridle of fire on the Day of Resurrection.” [Abu Dawood,
Ibn Majah, At-Tirmidhi]
Whom to start with?

One should start with ones own-self and then progressing by his family and others. As Allah
says in the Qur’aan: “O you who believe! Ward off from yourself and your families a Fire whose
fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern and severe, who disobey not,
from executing the Commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are
commanded.” [Soorah at-Tahreem (66): 6]
Characteristics of a Da’ee - (The inviter to Allah’s path, one who gives Dawah)
It is essential for a Daa’ee to correct his intention so that he sees all the affairs in their true
perspectives so that they are not disguised (dressed) by false adornments (decoration),
keeping in mind the saying of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam).
“The actions are Innama (only, certainty) tied to the intentions and every person will earn that
which he intended.” [Bukhari, and Muslim]

When his heart is settled with good and sincere intention, then it will be easy for him to realize
the true state of the Ummah today, and the humiliation, which the Muslims are suffering.
A Daa’ee should strive towards beneficial knowledge and righteous actions and bear in mind
to set a good example with fine character, for actions speak louder than words. Everybody’s
eyes are on him, so he should act in accordance with the responsibility he is given, in
knowledge; actions and Dawah, having patience upon any harm people may cause. As this was
the attitude of our beloved Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) through his whole life.

The Daa’ee should take great care about being lazy about what Allah has made obligatory and
from falling into that which He has forbidden – for others will follow him in it. It is important
that he takes care in reviving the Sunnah, in order to encourage the people to follow it. It is an
obligation and responsibility of the people of knowledge over and above everyone else.
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Everyone is a shepherd, and is
responsible for his flock.” [1]
Daa’ee guides them to the ways of salvation and prevent them from the ways of destruction;
implants between them love for Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), being
firmly established upon His Deen, yearning for Allah’s Paradise and His Mercy, being cautious
of the Fire of Hell, for it is and evil abode.

He should be aware of saying ‘Soon’ - Abdullah bin 'Umar (radhi allahu anhu) said, "Allah's
Apostle (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) took hold of my shoulder and said, 'Be in this world as if
you were a stranger or a traveler." The sub-narrator added: Ibn 'Umar (radhi allahu anhu)
used to say, "If you survive till the evening, do not expect to be alive in the morning, and if
you survive till the morning, do not expect to be alive in the evening, and take from your
health for your sickness, and (take) from your life for your death." [Sahih Al-Bukhari, # 8.425.
Narrated by Mujahid]

Time is of utmost value, it is one of the principle blessings from Allah, so seize the opportunity
and take from it what is good and beware of saying soon, for the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
said: “There are two blessings which many people lose. (They are) health and free
time for doing good.” [Saheeh al-Bukhari 8: 421]
The value of time can be seen from what the scholars of tafseer say regarding Soorah al-Asr
(no.103) where Allah swore an oath by time: “By al-Asr (time), man is in lost.” [Soorah al-Asr
(103: 1-2]

Fakhrur Razee says in his Tafseer (32/84): “Allah, the Most High, swore an oath by time, due
to the amazing things it contains happiness and adversity, health and illness, and wealth and
poverty all occur in it, and nothing is equal to it in value. So if you were to waste a thousand
years uselessly, but then repent and success was confirmed for you in the last moment of your
life then you will remain in Paradise forever. The best of all things was your life at that
moment. Time is one of the blessings, so Allah swears an oath by it, and indicates that the day
and the night is an opportunity which mankind wastes! And that the time is more excellent
than the place – so He swears an oath by it, since time a pure blessing containing no blemish,
rather the one at loss and the blameworthy is man!
The caller should be careful and precise in everything what he hears from the people or what
he reads in books. It is obligatory upon him to carefully check and verify everything, which
reaches his hears before spreading.

Narrated Aboo Hurayrah t who said that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:
“It is sufficient falsehood for a person that he narrates everything which he hears” [Hasan-
Muslim: 5, Abu Dawood:. 4971, Ibn 1/112.]
Do not under take giving lectures and lessons without thorough preparations, as your role is
one of great importance, one shouldn’t take it lightly. It is sad to see a Daa’ee goes to lecture
not knowing what he will say?
Do not relate a hadeeth unless you know that the people of knowledge have ruled in
favor to its authenticity.
Do not hasten to give fatawas without verification, for passing ruling without knowledge
is a great sin and it’s punishment is severe

Desist from saying “There is a difference in opinion in this issue” or “There are two
opinions in this issue” in order to flee from teaching the true position. It is
incumbent upon the people of knowledge that they adhere to the great principles
(beliefs, ideology) of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallahu
alaihi wa-sallam). Call people to it and direct the students to it, making sure that
there objective is always, “Allah said…” and “The Messenger said…” acting
accordingly, directing and guiding people to it.

Divisions and disputes are not permissible, nor to invite people to join one group or another,
nor to take the opinion of this person or the sayings of another. Rather it is necessary that the
call is one: the Call to Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam): the Book of Allah
and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam): nor to the madhhab of this
person or the dawah of the other: nor to this persons group or the opinion of another.
It is incumbent upon the Muslims that their way and their goals are one – and that is
adherence to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam).
As for what yields from the differences amongst the people of knowledge in the four schools of
thought and others, then it is compulsory that you take from that which is closest to the truth.
That is the saying, which is closest to what Allah has said in the Qur’aan and His Messenger
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) in the Hadeeths.

This is the way of the scholars, as it was the way of the Sahabah (radhi allahu anhu) who are
the scholars after the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). They were the most
knowledgeable of people with regards to Allah and they were the best of people and most
perfect in knowledge and manners. They also differed in some issues but still their call was one
and their way was one, calling to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). Likewise, those who came after them, they forbade their students
from Taqleed [2] saying ‘take from where we took.’ Meaning the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.
Whoever is ignorant of the truth then it is compulsory for him to ask the people of knowledge,
who are recognized with knowledge, merit, correct aqeedah, and biography of the Prophet
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam).

The Most High says in His Book: “ So ask the people of knowledge if you know not.”
[Soorah an-Nahl (16): 43]
If the scholars differ then it is compulsory to return to Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu
alaihi wa-sallam):
“… if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger
…” [Soorh an-Nisaa (4): 59]
“And in whatsoever you differ, the decision thereof is with Allah…” [Soorah ash-
Shoorah (42): 10]

It is essential that the goal of the Muslim is one and that is to follow the Book of Allah and the
Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) in all instances: in hardship and in comfort, in difficulty
and in ease, when traveling and when residing – in every condition. When the people of
knowledge differ, then one should look at their saying and support that which is in agreement
with the evidence without prejudice against anyone.
[1] The full text is as follows: Abdulla Ibn Umar (radhi Allahu anhu) narrates that the Prophet
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said “Everyone is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The
ruler is a shepherd and is responsible for his subjects a man is a shepherd for hid households,
and the woman is a guardian and is responsible for her husband’s house and his offspring. The
slave of a man is a guardian of his master’s property and he is responsible for it. Surely each
of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.” [Reported by Imaam al-Bukhari in his
[2] Taqleed- Blind Following: Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (rahimahullah) says in his Nooniyyah:
“Knowledge is the realization of the guidance with its proofs – that and blind following are not

Imaam Ibn al-Jawzee (rahimahullah) says in Talbees Ibless: “Know that verily the blind
followers does not have any trust in what he follows. Taqleed suspends the use of the intellect,
whereas the intellect is created for thinking and reasoning. It is stupidity when a man is given
light to show him the way, he extinguishes it and walks in darkness.”


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