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Posts Tagged ‘Knowledge’

The Command to Collate Knowledge

By al-Imaam fil-Hadith Ibn ‘Abdul Barr [1] رحمه الله


بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

الحمد الله


It is narrated from Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه:
“On the day of the Conquest of Makkah the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم gave a Khutbah (sermon). After the Khutbah a man from
Yemen, Abu Shaamah, stood up and said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم write this Khutbah for me.’ The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم later commanded some of his companions to write the khutbah for Abu Shaamah.”

Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه would say:
“From the (Ashaab) companions of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم no one had more Ahadeeth than me except Abdullaah Ibn Amr, Abdullaah Ibn Amr would write them down and I would not.”

It is narrated from Abdullaah Ibn Amr رضي الله عنه:
“Whatever I would hear from the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم I would write it down but Quraysh prohibited me. They would say do not do this because the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم also gets angry sometimes. So upon this I stopped writing. Then one day I mentioned this to the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم, he pointed to his mouth with his index finger and said: ‘Write because I swear by him in whose hand my soul is in, nothing comes out of this mouth except the Haqq (truth).’

Abu Hudhayfah رضي الله عنه (d.64H) mentioned:
“I questioned the Leader of the believers Ali Ibn Abi Talib: ‘Is there anything specific written with the house of the Messenger of Allaah from the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم apart from the Qur’aan.’
He replied: “No! I swear by Allaah, the one who put power in the wheat grain and created it, we have nothing. And Allaah may grant a specific understanding to someone. Yes there is this paper.”
I asked: ‘what is in this paper?’
He replied: ‘The freedom of a prisoner and not to kill a Muslim for a disbeliever.'”

It is proven from the Hadeeth that the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم had rulings relating to Sadaqah, obligations and the sunnah written and passed onto Amr Ibn Hazm. [2]

It is narrated from Abu Ja’afar Muhammad Ibn Ali:
“From the Messenger of Allaah’s صلى الله عليه و سلم sword carrier we found a piece of paper on which it said, ‘The one who shows the blind person the wrong path is cursed, the thief of the land is cursed and the one who does not think of the favours upon him is cursed.’

Abdullaah Ibn Amr رضي الله عنه (d.65H) would say:
“I like two things that life has only installed for me: the first is the Saadqah that I wrote from the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم and the second is “Waht”, the land which my father Amr Ibn Aas gave in charity.”

It is narrated from Anas Ibn Maalik رضي الله عنه (d.92H) that the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم said:
“Write knowledge into books.”
A similar statement has been reported from Umar Ibn al-Khattab رضي الله عنه.

It is the statement of Ma’an that:
“Abdur Rahmaan showed him a writing and he swore, saying that it was written by the hands of his father Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood رضي الله عنه.”

It is the saying of Dhihaak:
“When you hear something then write it down, if you do not find anything [to write on], then even on a wall.”

Sa’id Ibn Jubair (d.95H) said:
“Whenever I was on journey with Ibn Abbaas رضي الله عنه I would write everything I would hear from him on a wooden plate and I would copy it on my return.”

It is the saying of Abu Qalaabah:
“Writing is better than forgetting.”

Abu Maleeh would say,
“There is objection on our books whereas Allaah سبخانه و تعالى says: ‘The knowledge about it is with my Lord.’

Abdul Azeez Ibn Muhammad Daarwardee said:
“Ibn Shihaab (Zuhree d.124H) was the first person to compile the Hadeeth.”

Abuz-Zeena said:
“We only used to write about the Ahkaam (rulings), Halaal (Lawful) and Haraam (unlawful) but Ibn Shihaab would write everything, later we found out he had the most knowledge.”

It is the statement of Mu’aawiyah Ibn Qurrah:
“The one who does not write, then do not consider him an Aalim (scholar).”

It is narrated concerning Hasan al-Basree (d.110H) that:
“He would not see anything wrong in writing the knowledge, but rather the people would write the lectures he would deliver on Tafseer.”

This saying of Hasan has been mentioned by Aa’maash:
“We had books that we would look at the same time.”

It is the statement of Khaleel Ibn Ahmad (d.170H):
“Whatever you write make it your Bait al-Maal (wealth) and that which you have gathered in your hearts then spend it.”

Hishaam said:
“My father Urwah’s books were burnt on the day of Hurrah.” Later he would say: “I wish those books remained with me rather than this wealth and money.”

Ishaaq Ibn Mansoor said:
“I asked Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal whether the writing of knowledge was disliked.” He replied: “Some have disliked it and some have said it is permissible.” I said: “If knowledge was not compiled then it would have been wasted.” He said: “Without doubt, if knowledge was not written then what would we be.”

It is narrated from Sa’eed Ibn Ibraaheem that:
“Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez gave us an order to compile the Sunnah, we compiled many books and he sent a copy of each to every country in his state.”

Imaam az-Zuhree (d.124H) would say:
“We disliked the writing of knowledge up until the Ruler left us no choice. Then this became our opinion that no Muslim shall be stopped from writing.”

And it is the saying of Khaleel Ibn Ahmad (d.170H) that:
“Whatever I heard, I wrote it and whatever I wrote, I learnt and whatever I learnt, I benefited from.”

Footnotes

[1] The Imaam of Hadeeth Abu Umar Yusuf Ibn Abdullaah Ibn Abdul Barr was from the city of Knowledge, Qurtubaa (Cordoba). He was born in 368H. He progressed the stages of knowledge and became the Imaam of his time. He also served time as a Qaadhi and died in the year 463H. He wrote many books, some of them were lost and some still remain. Apart from Tamheed the rest have not yet been printed. From his books, a high position is given to Jaami Bayaan al-Ilm Wa Fadlihee and al-Isteea’aab Fee Asma as-Sahabah.

[2]
When Amr Ibn Hazm رضي الله عنه was made Governor and sent to
Yemen, he was given written instructions and guidance. Not only did he protect the guidelines, he added 21 commands of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم and made it into the form of a book. [al-Wathaa’iq as-Siyaasah (p.105), Tabaree (p.104)]

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Aathaar on Knowledge

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

الحمد الله

Sufyaan Ath-Thawree رحمه الله: “The excellence of knowledge is due only to the fact that it causes a person to fear and obey Allaah, otherwise it is just like anything else.” [Related by ibn Rajab]

Al-Hasan al-Basree رحمه الله: “Whoever learns something in the name of Allaah, seeking that which is with Him, he will win. And whoever learns something for other than Allaah, he will not reach the goal, nor will his acquired knowledge bring him closer to Allaah.” [Related by Ibn ul Jawzee]

‘AbduLlah Ibn Mas’ud رضي الله عنه: “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 Allaah prohibited and acting upon what He mandated].”Also, “Study and act upon what you learn.” [Related by Abu Na`eem]

‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud رضي الله عنه: Learn, so when you have learnt , then act.

Az-Zuhree رحمه الله: The action of one who acts and does not know will not be trusted by the people and the people will not be happy with the saying of an ‘aalim who does not act.

Sahl ibn ‘Abdullah al-Fustaani رحمه الله: All the people are intoxicated except the scholars and all the scholars are confused except whoever acts according to his knowledge.

Sahl ibn ‘Abdullah al-Fustaani رحمه الله: The world is foolishness and barren except the knowledge and all of knowledge is a proof against him except what is acted upon and all action is useless except with sincerity and sincerity is in great danger until sealed by it (the action).

Yusuf ibn al Hunain رحمه الله: With good manners you understand the knowledge and with knowledge your actions are corrected and with the actions wisdom is obtained and with wisdom you understand zuhud (renunciation) and granted the benefit of it and with zuhd comes abandoning the world and with abandoning the world comes longing for the Hereafter and with longing for the Hereafter the Pleasure of Allah ‘Azza wajal is obtained.

Maalik ibn Dinar رحمه الله: When a servant seeks knowledge for practise, his knowledge humbles him and when he seeks it for other than that it increases him in immorality and pride by it.

Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه: The example of knowledge which is not acted upon is like wealth from which nothing is spent in the way of Allah ‘Azza wajal.

Abu Darda رضي الله عنه: I am not afraid that it will be said to me: “Oh ‘Uwaymir what have you learned?”, but I am more concerned that it will be said to me: “Oh ‘Uwaymir, what have you done with what you have learned!”

Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz رحمه الله: Whoever does not consider speech to be part of his act on will sin abundantly and whoever acts without knowledge will do more harm than good.

Maalik ibn Dinar رحمه الله: Indeed I found among the wise sayings: “There is no good for you to know what you do not know while you are not acting upon what you do know, because the likeness of that is as the likeness of a man who gathers firewood, so he ties up a bundle and tries to carry it but he is not able to, so he adds another one to it.

Ata رحمه الله reported : There was a youth who used to come to the Mother of the Believers رضي الله عنها from time to time and ask her and she would narrate to him. So one day he came to her and asked her, so she said: “Oh my son, have you acted yet upon what you have heard from me?” So he said: “No by Allah, Oh my mother “, so she said : ” Oh my son, then why do you seek increase in Allah’s proof against us and against you.”

Fudayl ibn ‘Iyyad رحمه الله: As for hadeeth, it is better that a man does not hear it than that he hears it and does not act upon it.

Sufyaan ath-Thawree رحمه الله: Would that I had not written down knowledge and would that I would be saved from my knowledge so that it would be even, neither against me nor for me.

Ash-Sha’bee رحمه الله: Indeed we are not the scholars but we have heard hadeeth so we have reported them. For the scholars are those who when they know, they act.

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Blessings of Seeking Knowledge

Blessings of Seeking Knowledge

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

الحمد الله


Some ahadith/narrations regarding knowledge:

Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said, “Verily people are going to come to you seeking knowledge, when you see them then tell them, ‘You are welcomed according to the testament of Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم’”

Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said, “The scholars are inheritors of the Prophets. When the Prophets died they did not leave dinar or dirham but they left behind knowledge and whoever takes from this, has indeed taken a big portion.”

Safwan رضي الله عنه once came to Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلمand said, “O’ Messenger of Allah, I only came to seek knowledge!” Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم replied, “Welcome the student of knowledge!”

Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said, “Allah سبحانه و تعالى hates all the scholars of this world and an ignorant of the hereafter.”

Hasan al Basri رحمه اللهinterpreted the du’a Rabbana Atina Fid Dunya Hasana as knowledge and worship, Wa Fil Aakhirah Hasana as Jannah

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Mu’adh ibn Jabal رضي الله عنه on Knowledge

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

الحمد الله

Excerpted from works by Ibn Taymiyyah and Abu Nu`aim

The Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said about Mu`aadh ibn Jabal: “Verily, when the people of knowledge will be present before their Lord, the Mighty and Sublime, Mu`aadh will be one step ahead of them.” [Saheeh, Ibn Sa`d, Aboo Nu`aim, at-Tabaraanee]

He, sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam, also said about Mu`aadh: “…the most knowledgeable of them [my Ummah] about the lawful and the prohibited is Mu`aadh bin Jabal…” [At-Tirmidhee, Ibn Hibbaan, ibn Maajah, al-Baihaqee, al-Haakim, who declared it Saheeh, and adh-Dhahabee and al-Albaanee agreed with him.]

Ibn Taymeeyah writes in al-Wasiyyah: “Part of Mu`aadh’s excellence further is that the Prophet, sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam, sent him to the people of Yemen as a preacher on his behalf, a caller, a teacher of understanding in the Deen, a giver of religious verdicts, and a judge.”

This is Mu`aadh, radhiAllaahu ta`aalaa `anhu, to whom the Prophet, sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam, also said: “O Mu`aadh! By Allaah, truly I love you.” [Aboo Daawood, an-Nasaa’ee, ibn Hibbaa, Aboo Nu`aim, Ibn Khuzaimah and al-Haakim, who declared its isnaad to be saheeh, and adh-Dhaabee agreed]

Aboo Nu`aim reports some sayings of Mu`aadh himself about the excellence of knowledge, among which we find the following:

“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.”

“Through knowledge, Allah, blessed be His Name, raises some people in rank, and He makes them leaders in righteousness and models in morality. The vestige of their faith is avidly sought, their deeds are emulated perceptively, and people will seek and sanction their opinions solicitously and unequivocally. The heavenly angels seek their company and anoint them with their wings, every fresh or withered life they pass by implore Almighty Allah to forgive them their sins, even the fish in the oceans, the beasts of the lands and every bird of prey and migratory bird pray and solicit the mercy of Almighty Allah on their behalf. This is because knowledge revives the dead hearts and drives them out of darkness into light, and because knowledge is the light of the inner eyes that cures one’s blindness and restores his inner sight.”

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The Dislike of the Salaf with Regards to Giving Religious Verdicts

By al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali رحمه الله

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

الحمد الله

This is similar to the hatred of the Salafus-Saalih (the Pious Predecessors) that a person should put himself forward to give religious verdicts (fataawaa) and to crave them, and to hasten to it, and to do it in excess. Ibn Lahee`ah reports from `Ubaydullaah ibn Abee Ja`far in mursal form from the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam that he said, “He who is boldest from you in giving religious verdicts, will be the boldest in proceeding to the Fire” [It is reported by ad-Daarimee 1/57 and its chain of narration is weak since it is mursal (i.e. there is a missing link or links between the last narrator and the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam)]. `Alqamah said, “They used to say, ‘The boldest of you in giving religious verdicts is the one having the least knowledge.'”

Al-Baraa’ said, “I met a hundred and twenty of the Ansaar from the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam and when one of them was asked about a matter there was not a single man amongst them except that he wished that his brother would suffice him (by answering).” [This saying is reported by ad-Daarimee (1/53) and Ibn `Abdul-Barr in Jaami` (2/163). However it is the saying of `Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Abee Laylaa and not the saying of al-Baraa`, and its chain of narration is saheeh. As for the saying of al-Baraa`, then it is, “I saw three hundred of the people of Badr, there was not a single one of them except that he loved that someone else should take his place in answering.” It is reported by Ibnul-Mubaarak in az-Zuhd (no. 58), ibn Sa`d (6/11) and others and its isnaad contains Aboo Ishaaq as-Sabee`ee who is acceptable (sadooq) except that he was mudallis and reports it without stating that he heard it directly.]In a narration there occurs the addition, “…so this one would refer it to another, and he would refer it to someone else until it would eventually return to the first one.” From Ibn Mas`ood, radiyallaahu `anhu, who said, “The one who gives a religious verdict to the people about everything that he is asked is indeed insane.” [Reported by Ibn `Abdul-Barr (2/164-165), al-Khateeb in al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (2/197-198) and Aboo Khaithamah in al-`Ilm (no. 10) and its chain of narration is saheeh.]

`Umar ibn `Abdul-`Azeez was asked about a question and replied, “I am not one who is bold about giving religious verdicts.” He also wrote to one of his governors, “By Allaah I am not one who craves after giving religious verdicts, as long as I can find a way to avoid it.”

Ibn Yameenah said, “This affair is not for those who love that the people should have need of them, rather this affair is only for those who love that someone can be found to take their place.” It is also reported from him that he said, “The most knowledgeable of people concerning religious verdicts is the one who is most often silent, and the most ignorant of people about them is the one who speaks the most with regard to them.” [Reported by al-Khateeb in al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (2/166) and its isnaad is weak.]

Sufyaan ath-Thawree said, “We reached the scholars and they used to hate answering questions and giving religious verdicts until they could find no way out except to give a verdict, but if they were relieved of having to do so then that was more beloved to them.”

Imaam Ahmad said, “He who puts himself forward to give religious verdicts has put himself forward to something very serious, unless he is forced through necessity.” It was said to him, “Then which is better: for him to speak or to remain silent?” He said, “It is more beloved to us that he should withhold.” It was said, “But if there is a necessity?” So he started saying, “Necessity! Necessity!” And he said, “It is safer for him to withhold.”

So those who give religious verdicts should realise that they are transmitting Allaah’s orders and prohibitions and that he will be made to stand to account and be questioned about it. Ar-Rabee` ibn Khaitham said, “O giver of religious verdicts! Look and see how you are giving verdicts.” `Amr ibn Deenaar said to Qataadah when he sat to give religious verdicts, “Do you realise the affair that you have fallen into? You have come between Allaah and His worshippers and say, ‘This is correct and this is not correct.'” [Reported by al-Khateeb in al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (2/168)]From Ibnul-Munkadir who said, “The scholar enters between Allaah and His creation, so let him look and see how he enters between them.” [Reported with variations in wording by ad-Daarimee (1/53), and al-Khateeb in al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (2/168) and its isnaad is saheeh.]

When Ibn Seereen was asked about anything pertaining to the permissible and forbidden his colour would change and he would alter so that he would not seem to be the same person. [Reported by ibn Sa`d (7/195), al-Khateeb in al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (2/167) and its isnaad is saheeh]. When an-Nakhaa`ee was asked about something then hatred would be seen upon his face and he would say, “Could you not find someone else to ask other than me?” He also said, “I spoke and if I had found any way out I would not have spoken, and indeed a time when I am the scholar of Koofah is an evil time.” [Reported in meaning by Aboo Khaithamah in al-`Ilm (no. 131).]

It is related that Ibn `Umar, radiyAllaahu `anhumaa, said, “You ask us for religious verdicts in such a manner that it is as if we are people who are not going to be questioned about the verdicts that we give you.” [Reported by al-Fasawee (1/490) and al-Khateeb in al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (2/168) and its isnaad is weak.] Also from Muhammad ibn Waasi` who said, “The first of those who will be called to account are the scholars.” It is reported about Maalik, radiyAllaahu `anhu, that when he was asked about a matter it was as if he were standing between the Paradise and the Hell-Fire. [Reported by al-Khateeb in al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (2/167) and its isnaad is weak.]

One of the scholars also said to a person who used to give religious verdicts, “When you are asked about a matter then do not let your concern be to release and find a way out for the questioner, but rather to release and save your own self.” [The one who said this was `Umar ibn Khaldah az-Zurqee and he was speaking to Rabee`ah ibn Abee `Abdir-Rahmaan. This narration is reported with very close wordings by al-Fasawee (1/556-557), Aboo Nu`aym in al-Hilyah (3/260-261) and al-Khateeb in al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (2/169) and its isnaad is saheeh.]Another said, “If you are asked about a matter then consider – if you find a way out of it then speak, otherwise remain silent.” The sayings of the Salaf about this are too many to quote and gather.

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The Indications of Beneficial Knowledge

By Shaykh Hussain al-Awaa’ishah رحمه الله

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

الحمد الله

Everything has its indications and signs. Indications that knowledge is beneficial are that it leads to fine character, good manners and praiseworthy attributes. In this regard it was said: “He whose knowledge doesn’t cause him to weep, can be justifiably considered not to have been granted beneficial knowledge, since Allaah described the people of knowledge saying:

‘Say believe in it (the Qur’aan) or do not believe. Verily! Those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration. And they say: “Glory be to 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.’” [Al-Israa’ (17):107-109]

Thus knowledge carries its possessor towards humility, prostration, crying, calling oneself to account and truthfulness with Allaah.

Indeed crying is the clearest sign and best proof of the knowledge one possesses and of a person’s truthfulness. What is the benefit of knowledge a person learns, if it doesn’t lead him to crying, humbleness, penitence and good dealings with the people?

Is not the possessor of knowledge one who knows most about his Lord? Has he not read about His Exalted, Perfect, Lofty Attributes that which causes his heart to humble and his eyes to shed tears? Has he not read in the Book of Allaah and in the sayings of the Messenger of Allaah, sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam, texts pertaining to the Fire, the terror in the grave and the fearful accounts of the Resurrection because of which mountains are humbled out of the fear of Allaah?

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Why should I study Islam?

Why should I study Islam?

By Shaykh Muhammad AlShareef حفظ الله

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

الحمد الله


Many years ago in Uzbekistan, a baby boy was born blind. His Mother, the strong Mu’minah that she was, did not lose sight of He who had the Power to cure him. She prayed and prayed for her sons sight. And within a few years the boy regained his eyes.

She was widowed, the boy an orphan. She traveled with him to Makkah so that he could receive an Islamic Education. She arranged that he attend the circles of the scholars, and in those circles, he began excelling in the science of Hadith. He traveled to distant villages in search of the most authentic sayings of Rasul Allah (pbuh). He would pray two raka’at before accepting a hadith. His mother named him: Muhammad ibn Isma’il. And many of us know him today by the book he compiled, the book that stands after the Quran in authenticity: Saheeh Al-Imam Al-Bukhari!

In another land, in another time, chilly Baghdad winds would wake up another boy. Much before Fajr, his mother would bundle him in warm shawls and escort him through the darkness, making sure he reached the Masjid safely. After Fajr, she would wait for him as he read Hadith to the biggest scholars of the land. Then, long after the sun had come up, she would meet him outside and together they would walk home. She was a strong mother indeed, for her son grew up to become an Imam of the Muslim Ummah, an Imam by the name of Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

– (Manaaqib Ahmad, by Ibn Al-Jowzee)

Imam Suyuti authored his first book, Tafseer Bismillaah Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheeem, when he was in grade 2!

Dear brothers and sisters, why should we try to follow in the footsteps of these many other stars of Islam? The information that we shall in sha’ Allah learn is not like anything else. This knowledge is the law of Allah and the inheritance of the Prophets. It is our duty to preserve and protect the estate of Rasul Allah (pbuh), something that cannot happen without there being serious and sincere brothers and sisters spending long days and nights reading, reflecting, and teaching others.

Every Islamic revival that takes place is built on something. Some revivals are built on emotions, others on politics. Do you know which shall remain firm when the wind of woe blows? It shall be the one that was built on sound knowledge of the words of Allah and the Sunnah of Rasul Allah.

A sincere man once stood on the beach shore watching, to his dismay, the waves thrashing a fish up and down, left and right. The man concluded that he must save the fish. He thrashed into the water and grabbed the fish by the tail. He then thrashed back to shore and threw the fish on the beach, satisfied that he had saved it from the water!

Dear brothers and sisters, when we work for the sake of Allah without knowledge of what the path of Allah is, many times we do as that young man did.

We are living in an age of information. We have lights in every corner of the house when only yesterday our ancestors read by the light of the moon. We have publishing houses when only yesterday our ancestors wrote the books they owned with their own hands. We have CD’s to search the Hadith archives when our scholars spent days upon days searching for proof and evidence in their libraries. Shouldn’t the knowledge increase with all this ease? It should. But it has not.

Dear brothers and sisters, we know that when a prize is great, the responsibility, and the work required for that prize shall also be great. And because of this, we see the enormous reward promised to those scholars and students of Islam due to the heavy work required.

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Whoever seeks out a path to acquire knowledge (of the deen), Allah makes easy a path for them to Jannah!” – Muslim

Shaykh Abdur-Rahman As-Sa’dee said, “Thus any path a person takes, whether physical or otherwise, something that will help them in acquiring knowledge of the Deen, they enter in the words of the Prophet, “Whoever seeks out a path to acquire knowledge (of the deen), Allah makes easy a path for them to Jannah.”

Rasul Allah told us that when a person seeks out a path to learn about Islam, this is a sign that Allah loves them and that He wants good for them in this life and the next.

From Mu’aawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, the Prophet (pbuh) said, “Whoever Allah wishes good for, he grants them Fiqh (understading) of the Deen.”

And Rasul Allah told us that the sincere scholars have a place with Allah that no one else can reach, and that they are the inheritors of the Prophet’s estate in passing it on to the world.

Rasul Allah said, “The virtue of the scholar to a worshipper (Aabid) is similar to the virtue of the moon when it is full to the rest of the stars. And verily the scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets. Verily the Prophets did not leave behind dirhams and deenars, but rather they left behind knowledge. Thus whoever takes it, takes it as a bountiful share.” – Authentic, narrated by Abu Dawood, tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah.

The position of the people of Islamic knowledge reached such a level that Allah (Jalla Thanaa’uhu wa taqaddasat Asmaa’uhu) and the Angels pray for them!

From Abu Umaamah: Rasul Allah said, “Verily Allah and His angels, even the ant in its hole and the fish in the sea, verily (they all) pray for he who teaches people good.” – authentic, narrated by Tabraanee.

Rasul Allah prayed for them also. He said, as narrated by Zayd ibn Thabit, “May Allah grant light (and happiness and beauty in the face) of someone who hears a hadith from us and memorizes it until he passes it on to others!” – authentic, narrated by Tirmidhi.

One of the hadith scholars that Imam Bukhari took from, Hisham ibn Ammar narrates a story that happened to him when he was 8 years old. He says, “My father sold a house of his for 20 Deenaars so that I could go for Hajj (and study Islam). When I arrived in Madinah, I went to the circle of Imam Maalik. He was sitting amongst his students like a king. People would ask him questions and he would answer. When I entered the crowd and my turn came up I said, ‘Haddithnee (recite to me)!’ He said, ‘Rather you read.’ I said, ‘No, you haddithnee!’ Imam Maalik said, ‘No you read!’ When I talked back and argued, he got angry and said to another student, go with this boy outside and smack him 15 times!’ That student took me outside and smacked me 15 times with a stick and then brought me back to Imam Maalik. I said, ‘you have Dhulm (wronged) me! My father sold his house so that I could come to you and be honored by listening to your teaching and seek knowledge from you. And you smacked me 15 times without any crime on my part, I shall not forgive you!’ Imam Maalik then said, ‘What is the expiation for this Dhulm (wronging)?’ I said, ‘You have to recite 15 hadiths to me, that is the expiation.’ So Imam Maalik began reciting the hadith to me until he completed 15. When he ended I told him, ‘beat me more and read more hadith to me.” Imam Maalik laughed and said, ‘be off.’ – From the book Ma’rifat Al-Qurraa’ al-Kibaar by Imam Adh-Dhahabi.

From the beginning of time, there has been a race between the doers of good and the doers of evil. Adam and Iblees, Musa and Fir’own, Muhammad and Abu Jahl. Today that race has not ended. Think: How hard are the doers of evil working and how hard are we?

Umar once said, “I seek Allah’s protection from Jalad (the strength and enthusiasm) of the sinner, and the laziness of the God-fearer.” Subhaan Allah, it is as if he is contemplating the time that we are now living in.

How can one of us be too lazy to pray 2 raka’at at night, when the people of the Dunya spend the entire night watching movies, some of which they have to read the translation on the bottom of the screen? How can we be too lazy to read for 2 hours, when the people of the Dunya – those who just want more money to continue their sin – spend days upon days of all-nighters studying for their exams? Why do we cringe at paying 6 dollars for an Islamic book, when the people of the Dunya spend hundreds, rather thousands in pursuit of their sin?

What’s wrong? What has happened to us?

Listen to those who came before us. Some Fuqahaa’ said, “For years I desired to eat Hareesah (a sweet dish) and I wasn’t able to because it was only sold during class time.”

Imam Su’bah said, “If I ever saw someone running in the streets of the village I would only think one of two things: He was either crazy or a student of Hadith!”

And Ibn Al-Jowzee said, “I haven’t seen a flaw more sad in the community than those who stop working even though they have the ability to continue.”

How do we correct the situation dear brothers and sisters? Let us reflect on the following:

Firstly: We must be sincere in our desire to learn Islam. We are learning this Deen to rid ourselves, firstly, of ignorance and then to help others to rid themselves of ignorance.

Do you know the first Hadith in Sahih Bukhari, and in many many other Hadith books? It is not a coincidence that the first hadith is: “Verily Actions are (judged) by their intentions…” The scholars are reminding us from the very beginning of our path to learning, from page one, that it must be for the sake of Allah.

Allah ordered us to be sincere to Him in what we do: [. And they have been commanded no more than this: to worship Allah, offering Him sincere devotion, being true (in faith)…] Al Bayyinah, 5

Rasul Allah said, “Whoever studies that which is meant for the sake of Allah, desiring only a piece of the Dunya, he shall not smell the frangrance of Jannah on the Day of Judgement.” – authentic, narrated by Ahmad, and Tirmidhi.

Ibn Abbas said, “Verily a man shall be protected (by Allah) in proportion to his niyyah (intention for doing what it is he is doing).”

And this issue of intention is not an easy matter. Sufyan ath-Thowree said, “I have never nursed something more rebellious than my intentions.” – from the book, Al-Ja’mi’ li akhlaaq al-Raawee, by Al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadi.

Listen to the advice of Imam Ibn Jamaa’ah if you want to know what it takes to correct your intention, “A proper and sincere intention when studying Islam is to intend to win the pleasure of Allah by what you are doing. You should intend to practice what you learn, to resurrect the Shariah, hoping that this knowledge will shine light on your heart, cleanse your soul, and bring you closer to Allah on the day of Judgement…Your intention for studying Islam should not be to win any worldly commodity, like leadership or fame or riches. It should not be learnt so that you can show off to your colleagues or so that people will revere you and sit you in a chief position in their gatherings, and so on…” – from Imam Ibn Jamaa’ah’s book, Tadhkirat as-Saami’ wal Mutakallim.

Secondly: We should understand that we are in a continuous war with Shaytaan, and he does not want us to succeed in this studying. Allah ta’aala says, [When thou does read the Qur-an, seek Allah’s protection from Satan the Rejected One.] An-Nahl, 98

The Shaytaan shall sit in the face of every good thing that you try to do. Rasul Allah told us, “The Shaytaan sits in the path (of every goodness) that the son of Aadam (may try to take). He sat in front of him when he took the path to Islam and told him, ‘how could you leave the religion of your fathers and your fore-fathers?’ But he disobeyed him and became Muslim. Then Shaytaan sat in front of him in his path to Hijrah and said, ‘How could you leave your land and your sky?’ But he disobeyed him and migrated (from Makkah). Then he sat in front of him in his path of Jihaad and said, ‘Why should you do Jihad? It will only exhaust your wealth and body. You’ll be killed, your wife will marry someone else, and your wealth will be divided (to others).’ But he disobeyed him and went for Jihad.” Rasul Allah then said, “Whoever does this, it is a duty upon Allah that He shall enter him into Jannah!”

How will the Shaytaan sit in your face:

1. He will tell you to study tomorrow, and when tomorrow comes, study tomorrow. Procrastination is from the Shaytaan!

2. Shaytaan will tell you that you are busy now and that later in your life you shall take the time out to study Islam. After marriage, after graduation, after you get a job. Life shall pass and the ‘after’ shall live forever.

3. Shaytaan will tell you that the situation of the Ummah is lost and that you studying will not help anything, so don’t waste your time. Combat this with what you’ve seen from the Jihad of knowledge and teaching that Rasul Allah and those that came before us did.

4. Shaytaan will tell you that there are enough scholars, they don’t need you. Combat this with the fact that scholars shall die, and if the knowledge is not passed on to the next generation, it shall die in the community. There are 1.4 billion Muslims and the problem that always comes up is that there are not enough teachers and scholars. Everyone is a shepherd and everyone shall be responsible for his or her flock!

Thirdly: We should never forget to pray to Allah to bless us with His Mercy in succeeding in our intentions to learn Islam for His sake.

Allah ta’aala says [When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me…] Surah AlBaqarah, 186

Let us pray to Allah now to make this effort we are doing to learn His Deen, to learn His Shariah, sincere for His sake. And that He blesses us by His Mercy to succeed in what we intend. Verily, he has the Power to do anything. Ameen.

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