‘Ilm Gotta Have it!
by Shaykh Muhammad AlShareef حفظ الله
الله الرحمان الرحيم بسم
What is the ruling of seeking knowledge of Deen?
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم : “To seek knowledge of the Deen is an obligation on every Muslim.”
The scholars have said that there are certain portions of Deen of which the person will not be forgiven that they didn’t know these things. And one of these things a person must know thing that he is directly involved in his ‘Ibadaat. Such as wudu’, or Surah al- Fatihah for Salaah.
Ibn al-Jauzi رحمه الله says in his book, “Miftah Darus Sa’adah” about the the aspects of the Deen which are fardh for a person to learn:
1. A person has to know Usool al-Iman . That he has to know the principles or pinnacles of our belief. That would be encompassed in the statement: “Aamantu BiLahi Wa Mala’ikatihi Wa Kutubihi Wa Ruslihi Wal Yawmil Akhiri” (I believe in Allah and in His angels and His revealed books and His Messengers and Last Day)
2. The Laws of Islam. The fardh is what is fardh for a person to perform. For example: If a person is doing business, he must know what is Islamically correct way to do business.
‘Umar رضي الله تعالى عنه used to take a stick and ask others questions and hit them if they didn’t know the proper ahkaam (rulings). Whoever didn’t used to know these rulings, he used to hit them in the marketplace. He said: “Whoever doesn’t know these rulings, will eat riba’ (interest) whether he likes it or not due to his ignorance and he will fall into it.”
3. There are certain things that are haram which all the prophets have come with.
4. Interactions he has with others. For example: how a man deals with his wife and children. Its fardh for him to know how he must do so.
Ibn al-Jauzi said: “If I ever find a book I have never seen before, it is as if I have come upon a pot of gold.”
When we don’t see this drive towards the knowledge, it could be our own sins that are holding us back and acting as a wall between us and moving forward in studying this Deen and learning it and acting upon it.
Ibn Mas’ud رضي الله تعالى عنه said: “I think that a person would forget knowledge which he has learnt because of the sins he’s committing.”
Imam Abu Hanifah رضي الله تعالى عنه , if he was in a halaqah ,someone asked a question and he was trying to find the answer and he had a mental block. He used to ask Allah سبحانه و تعالى to forgive him in the halaqah. Perhaps he will get up, leave them in the halaqah and go and ask forgiveness from Allah سبحانه و تعالى . If his mental block would pass the answer would come to him, he would take this is as a Divine Sign that Allah سبحانه و تعالى has forgiven him.
al-Fudail ibn ‘Ayaad رضي الله تعالى عنه when he heard this issue with Imam Abu Hanifah رضي الله تعالى عنه , he himself would cry and he said: “Imam Abu Hanifah رضي الله تعالى عنه was like this because of the upright life that he led. A few people who deal in this knowledge understand this.”
‘Ali ibn ‘Asir رضي الله تعالى عنه said speaking about his father: “When I went out searching for knowledge ,my father gave me 100,000 dirhams and he told him take this and go and leave I don’t want to see your face till you replace this 100,000 hundred dirhams with 100,000 ahadith and you come back to me.”
Abu Ja’afar Muhammad ibn Ahmed an-Nasafi رضي الله تعالى عنه ’s son used to ask him that when are they going to come of the poverty they were in. He رضي الله تعالى عنه went to sleep with all this sadness upon him and his wife was there. He sat there and couldn’t sleep because of this sadness. All of a sudden his mind took a drift and started to think about a fiqh issue and then all of a sudden an answer came to him and realised what the solution was to the issue. SO, he jumped up at night and he started shouting and screaming and said: “where the kings where are the kings” (It means like you say “Who’s the man who’s the man” When you get overjoyed by something you’ve done. That was said in those days.) His wife asked: “What’s wrong with you?”
He said: “Don’t you realise that I have figured out the solution to this fiqh issue?”
She went: “Huh?!” (As in you are thinking about this while we are deep in poverty)
Abu ‘Ubayd al Qasmi ibn as-Salam wrote the book Ghareeb al-Hadith and it took him 40 years to write the book. He said in the days he was writing the book perhaps he would be sitting with the scholars and while he was sitting with them, they would be talking back and forth. Then he would listen to something a gem then he would leave the company of the scholars, run home and open up his book to the correct chapter and write it down. He said: “The entire night I would sleep with a grin on my face.”
Imam Nawawi رضي الله تعالى عنه would spend everyday going to 12 different halaqahs morning to evening.
A poet’s wife once said: “You spend all the money on these books.”
So he said: “Leave me alone. Perhaps in these books I will find in it a book that will help me to take my book in my right hand on the Day of Judgement.”
Weapons the shaytaan will use against you:
2) Evil thoughts. For example: That you are not up to the level of the people who attend these halaqahs because you don’t live an upright life.
If you study the Deen:
1) You have to realise that Allah سبحانه و تعالى has reserved paramount reward for those people with the prophets عليهم سلام siddiqin and shuhadaa’. Especially those who learn the Deen and teach it to others sincerely for the sake of Allah سبحانه و تعالى .
2) If you seek this knowledge and pass it on to others, not only do you seek rewards for yourself but you also get the reward for those people who follow them. It continues. It is like Sadaqah Jariyah. This the prophets عليهم سلام’ inheritance. They never left behind any money but instead they left behind knowledge. Whoever wants to share in this inheritance then they should go and seek this knowledge.
From the Lecture, “’Ilm Gotta have It,” by Shaykh Muhammad AlShareef حفظ الله