TheFinalMessage|THE FRIDAY NOTE
Virtues of Knowledge which is Learnt and Taught for the sake of Allah – Part 2;
Source: Imam Al-Nawawi's Riyad-us-Saliheen
Chapter 241 - Virtues of Knowledge which is Learnt and Taught for the sake of Allah
1382. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "He who calls others to follow the Right Guidance will have a reward equal to the reward of those who follow him, without their reward being diminished in any respect on that account.''
This Hadith has already been mentioned. This Hadith has glad tidings for those who learn the knowledge of religion, teach it and impart it to others.
1383. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (ceaseless charity); a knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous decendant who prays for him (for the deceased).''
"His deeds come to an end'' means that he does not any longer receive the return and reward on his actions. But there are three categories of actions on which he receives reward even after his death. First, Sadaqah Jariyah such as building a mosque, or a hospital, or digging a well. As long as people will benefit from these, he will receive a reward for them. Second, "knowledge which is beneficial'' means to impart knowledge to others or to propagate knowledge by means of one's books. As long as this medium of teaching will continue and his books will be studied and people will benefit from them, he will receive a reward for it. Third, virtuous descendants. Training of children on the right lines is essential so that after a person's death they continue to pray for him. The prayer of children in favour of parents is highly useful.
1384. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "The world, with all that it contains, is accursed except for the remembrance of Allah that which pleases Allah; and the religious scholars and seekers of knowledge.''
This Hadith has already been mentioned. It does not mean that this world, and whatever is in it, is really cursed. What it in fact means is that such things of this world are cursed which make a person negligent of the remembrance of Allah; or it is cursed for those who in their whole life do not remember Allah. This Hadith has been mentioned in the present chapter, which relates to knowledge for the reason that acquisition of knowledge is essential to know that such and such work will be a source of winning the Pleasure of Allah and such and such act will incur His displeasure. This is the reason the teacher and the learner have been included in the exemptions from the curse.
1385. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "He who goes forth in search of knowledge is considered as struggling in the Cause of Allah until he returns.''
Commentary: In this Hadith the acquisition of knowledge has been equated with Jihad for the sake of Allah. Sheikh Al-Albani has regarded this Hadith weak in his "Takhriju Fiqh As-Sunnah''.
1386. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "A believer never satisfies doing good until he reaches Jannah.''
According to this Hadith, it is a quality of a Muslim that he is very much concerned about acquiring virtues and doing good, and he is never tired of struggling for them and live by them so much so that in this struggle he reaches the end of his life. By mentioning this Hadith in Kitab-ul-`Ilm it has been made evident that the best of the virtues is learning and teaching of religious knowledge because it is actually this knowledge which enables a person to distinguish between good and evil.
1387. Abu Umamah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "The superiority of the learned over the devout worshipper is like my superiority over the most inferior amongst you (in good deeds).'' He went on to say, "Allah, His angels, the dwellers of the heaven and the earth, and even the ant in its hole and the fish (in water) supplicate in favour of those who teach people knowledge.''
`Alim (learned person) here means scholar of the Qur'an and Hadith, who adheres to Faraid and Sunnah and remains busy in learning and imparting knowledge. `Abid (devout worshipper) is one who spends most of his time in the worship of Allah. The benefit of his voluntary prayer and remembrance of Allah is restricted to his own self while the benefit of knowledge of the scholar reaches others also. Hence, of the two, the latter is far superior.
If Salat is mentioned with reference to Allah, it denotes "Allah's Grace with Mercy;'' if it is mentioned with reference to the angels, it denotes "to pray for forgiveness;'' and if it is mentioned with reference to other creatures - men, animals, etc., - then it means prayer and supplication. Thus, Allah graces that person with His Mercy who teach people the beneficial knowledge, i.e., the knowledge of Islam; angels pray to Allah to forgive his (or her) sins; and other creatures pray for his (or her) well-being. In this way, this Hadith stresses the distinction of religious scholars and highlights the esteem in which they are held by Allah, His angels and His other creatures.
1388. Abud-Darda (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "He who follows a path in quest of knowledge, Allah will make the path of Jannah easy to him. The angels lower their wings over the seeker of knowledge, being pleased with what he does. The inhabitants of the heavens and the earth and even the fish in the depth of the oceans seek forgiveness for him. The superiority of the learned man over the devout worshipper is like that of the full moon to the rest of the stars (i.e., in brightness). The learned are the heirs of the Prophets who bequeath neither dinar nor dirham but only that of knowledge; and he who acquires it, has in fact acquired an abundant portion.''
[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi]
Like the preceding Ahadith, this Hadith also mentions the eminence of learning religious knowledge, and respecting and honouring `Ulama'.
1389. Ibn Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying, "May Allah freshen the affairs of a person who hears something from us and communicates it to others exactly as he has heard it (i.e., both the meaning and the words). Many a recepient of knowledge understands it better than the one who has heard it.''
Besides mentioning the eminence of knowledge, this Hadith contains inducement for preaching and inviting people towards the path of Allah. It also urges us to communicate knowledge exactly as we have heard it, without changing anything in the least.
1390. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "He who is asked about knowledge (of religion) and conceals it, will be bridled with a bridle of fire on the Day of Resurrection.''
[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi]
We learn from this Hadith that to withhold guidance in the matter of religion from anybody who seeks it, is a grave sin which is threatened with Hell. Unfortunately, the religious scholars who are shackled in religious prejudices and terribly lack interest in juristic matters have developed a habit of concealing religious knowledge from people. In fact, this grave sin has become so alarming that any further delay to eradicate it will prove ruinous for us. May Allah grant us true guidance.
1391. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah(sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "He who does not acquire knowledge with the sole intention of seeking the Pleasure of Allah but for worldly gain, will not smell the fragrance of Jannah on the Day of Resurrection.''
This Hadith has an inducement for acquiring knowledge for the Pleasure of Allah alone. If a religious scholar acquires it to make it a means of worldly gains, then it turns to such a serious crime that such a scholar will not even smell the fragrance of Jannah (i.e., he will not enter it along with the saved). May Allah save us from it. However, if a scholar gains wealth and worldly gains through it without any intention, then it is altogether a different matter. In that case, it is not harmful for him as long as he uses it in a manner pleasing to Allah.
1392. `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As (May Allah be pleased with them) reported:
I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying: "Verily, Allah does not take away knowledge by snatching it from the people, but He takes it away by taking away (the lives of) the religious scholars till none of the scholars stays alive. Then the people will take ignorant ones as their leaders, who, when asked to deliver religious verdicts, will issue them without knowledge, the result being that they will go astray and will lead others astray.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
It is a sign of the nearness of the Day of Judgement that the world will be deprived of genuine religious scholars, and illiterate people will become leaders who will have neither the knowledge of the Qur'an nor that of the Hadith. Despite their ignorance of the Qur'an and the Hadith, they will be called Mujtahid (jurist entitled to independent reasoning) and Imam (leader) and will mislead people with their legal opinions and self-created problems. Besides urging us to acquire religious knowledge with a view to producing more scholars in the society, this Hadith also warns us against the ignorant self-styled `Ulama'. It also warns us against entrusting religious leadership to them.
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