Monday 8 August 2022 \

 

Importance of following knowledge

Speech delivered by Shaykh Said Afandi al-Chirkawi at a graduation ceremony and opening of a new campus building at the Nur al-Irshad Islamic Institute, 2003.

My dear brothers in faith! We held an opening ceremony for our Institute a couple of years ago. We then used an example about a person planting saplings and we said that they will not bear fruit right after they were planted. It will take time. Time passed, we planted a garden and our trees grew and started bearing fruits. Previous year a couple of our students underwent practical training and people were satisfied with their work. These students made a good impression on people. May Allah help them to keep on working hard!

Today we see 20 graduates standing before us. We may say that they are already ulama, whose knowledge meets the requirements of the time. They got their diplomas and in the near future the Mufti Office will place them on jobs of teachers and Imams. What are their duties going to be? What are they going to teach? They will call people not to steal, rob, kill, smoke or lead a depraved life. This is what Allah obliged us to do. They will not teach anything wrong. Just in the contrary they will try to guard us against everything bad, as shariah teaches them.

We heard many speeches about how important knowledge is. The Prophet’s Hadith (PBUH) says that it is better to take part in a Majlis where you can get knowledge, than to perform thousand raka’at of Sunnah prayers (not obligatory prayers). And it is better than helping to organize thousand funerals or thousand visits to sick men. And Hadith also says that looking at your parents is also an act of worship. However this does not concern looking while quarreling or arguing or fighting, but looking with love and respect. The same act of worship is just sitting and looking at the Kaaba during Hajj.

It says that looking at ulama is an act of worship, too. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Anyone who shakes a hand of an alim shakes my hand. Anyone who communicates with an alim communicates with me. But anyone involved  with a person, who is preoccupied with worldly matters, will not reach me on the Day of Judgment.”

But one cannot just mention all the good qualities of ulama and all the advantages of divine knowledge. There is one circumstance that we have mentioned before. That is something difficult to understand and dangerous for us. The behavior of ulama must be consistent with their knowledge; otherwise these ulama will be useless for both people and Islam.

The knowledge that such ulama transfer to people, is like a wild squirting cucumber, which has long sprouts and very bitter taste. The more you water it, the bitter it becomes. This is what an alim not following his knowledge is like. The more knowledge they get, the more harmful their activities are. May Allah keep us and our graduates away from it! This is what we need most of all.

Speaking about the superiority of knowledge, the Almighty said to Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh): “I am an Alim [i.e. Alim is one of Allah’s wonderful names] and I love ulama [alims].” And there is a verse in the Quran, where Allah says that only He has Absolute Power and that His uniqueness is proved by miracles and obvious things like existence of the Sun, the Moon, the Heaven and the Earth. Think about Who and how could create all these. These are Allah’s arguments that prove His uniqueness and His Absolute Power. And then Angels saw the Almighty’s Power and witnessed it. And then scholars [ulama] did. Ulama followed Angels’ example and witnessed Allah’s uniqueness and Power.

Ulama are said to be the true believers, because a person cannot fear something he is not aware of. Ulama know Allah better than anyone else; this means they should also be are more pious. If a person has learned all the knowledge in the world except for the knowledge of Allah, then he cannot be called an Alim. Therefore, our goal is to lead these young men to become God fearing and God conscious.

The Almighty Allah taught Adam (pbuh) thousands of skills and said: “Oh Adam! Tell your children to choose any of these thousand skills for life. But never use religion to get amenities. Tell them that religion must be followed for My sake only.”

See, my brothers in faith, the religion and aspiration to spiritual knowledge should be only for the sake of the Allah only. Do not get obsessed with the worldly problems. You should practice religion and cater to your material needs without crossing the framework of Shariah. May Allah grant health and strength to you, so that you can follow this path! May Allah accept today’s sadaqah – the contributions of Chirkey’s Jamaat! May this Majlis avert all the possible calamities from our village, Daghestan and the whole world! May Allah grant health and success to young men who received guests today and may He accept their good deeds. We are grateful to all the guests. May Allah reward you for your each step taken coming here and grant you health, and may He give us a chance to get together again!

 

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