Thursday 13 December 2018 \

 

The one who seeks knowledge

{And We have indeed made the Quran easy to remember then is there any that will remember?} Soorat-ul-Qamar: 17

Source : Islamic Children Study / 04 Aug 2014

In the name of Allah, The most Gracious The most Merciful. All praise is due to Allah

{And We have indeed made the Quran easy to remember then is there any that will remember?} Soorat-ul-Qamar: 17

One of the distinctive features of Islam is its emphasis on knowledge. The Quran and the Islamic tradition (sunnah) invite Muslims to seek and acquire knowledge and wisdom and to hold men of knowledge in high esteem.

Generally speaking, the Arabic word for knowledge is 'ilm, which, in most cases, indicates to Islamic knowledge or matters related to Sheree’ah (Islamic Law). Although, some of the Quranic verses in this article refer to Islamic knowledge, yet they are general in their meaning, and thus can be used to refer to learning in general.

The importance of education is a none disputable matter. Education is the knowledge of putting one's potentials to maximum use. One can safely say that a human being is not in the proper sense till he/she is educated.

This importance of education is basically for two reasons. The first is that the training of a human mind is not complete without education. Education makes man a right thinker. It tells man how to think and how to make decision.

The second reason for the importance of education is that only through the attainment of education, man is enabled to receive information from the external world; to acquaint himself with past history and receive all necessary information regarding the present. Without education, man is as though in a closed room and with education he finds himself in a room with all its windows open towards the outside world.

This is why Islam attaches great importance to knowledge and education. When the Quran began to be revealed, the first word of its first verse was 'Iqra' that is, read. Allaah says, (what means): "Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists). He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood). Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught (the writing) by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not" [Quran, 96: 1-5]

Education is thus the starting point of every human activity. Allaah created man and provided him with the tools for acquiring knowledge, namely hearing, sight and wisdom. Allaah says (what means): "And Allaah has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you know nothing. And He gave you hearing, sight, and hearts that you might give thanks (to Allaah)" [Quran, 16:78]

A knowledgeable person is accorded great respect in many prophetic narrations.

Because of the importance of knowledge, Allaah commanded His Messenger sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) to seek more of it. Allaah says (what means): "and say: `My Lord! Increase me in knowledge" [Quran, 20:114]

The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) made seeking knowledge an obligation upon every Muslim, and he sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) explained that the superiority of the one who has knowledge over the one who merely worships is like the superiority of the moon over every other heavenly body. He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) said that the scholars are the heirs of the Prophets and that the Prophets, may Allaah exalt their mention did not leave behind any money, rather their inheritance was knowledge, so whoever acquires it has gained a great share. Furthermore, the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) said that seeking knowledge is a way leading to Paradise. He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Whoever follows a path in the pursuit of knowledge, Allaah will make a path to Paradise easy for him." (Al-Bukhaari)

For example the Quran repeatedly asks us to observe the earth and the heavens. This instills in man a desire to learn natural science as well. All the books of Hadeeth have a chapter on knowledge. In Saheeh Al-Bukhaari there is a chapter entitled "The virtue of one who acquires learning and imparts that to others."

Islam calls us to learn all kinds of beneficial knowledge. Branches of knowledge vary in status, the highest of which is knowledge of Sharee'ah (Islamic Law), then other fields of knowledge, such as medicine, etc.

This is the knowledge (Sharee'ah) with which Allaah honoured His Messenger sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ); He taught it to him sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) so that he might teach it to mankind: "Indeed, Allaah conferred a great favour on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger (Muhammad) from among themselves, reciting unto them His Verses (the Quran), and purifying them (from sins by their following him), and instructing them (in) the Book (the Quran) and Al-Hikmah [the wisdom and the Sunnah of the Prophet (i.e. his legal ways, statements and acts of worship)], while before that they had been in manifest error" [Quran, 3:164]

How great importance is attached to learning in Islam, can be understood from an event in the life of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ). At the battle of Badr in which the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) gained victory over his opponents, seventy people of the enemy rank were taken prisoner. These prisoners of war were literate people. In order to benefit from their education the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) declared that if one prisoner teaches ten Muslims how to read and write, this will serve as his ransom and he will be set free. We can freely say that this was the first school in the history of Islam established by the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) himself with all its teachers being non-Muslims. Furthermore, they were all war prisoners.

 

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