Download PDF: [S] When Knowledge becomes a Curse

Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Ali Fuzail bin Ayyaz bin Masud Tameemi Barbu’i Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was born in 105 A.H. in the city of Samarkhand. He is also famously known as Hadrat Sayyiduna Fuzail bin Ayyaz Radi Allahu ‘Anhu.


At the beginning, Hadrat Sayyiduna Fuzail bin Ayyaz Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was a very famous robber and highwayman and after making Taubah, he became one the greatest saints of his era. As a matter of fact, he dedicated his entire life to seeking knowledge and making Ibadah. He was given the title of “Shaikhul Haram Al Makki”. Hadrat Sayyiduna Fuzail bin Ayyaz Radi Allahu ‘Anhu is also considered an authentic source in the science of Ahadith. Many renowned Saints and ‘Ulama have gained much from him and one of them was Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Shafi Radi Allahu ‘Anhu. Hadrat Sayyiduna Fuzail bin Ayyaz Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was also a student of Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Abu Hanifah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu.


Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali bin Abul Aziz bin Hasan Jurjani’s Radi Allahu ‘Anhu title was Abul Hasan. He was born in the city of Jurjan. He was considered a great authority on Arabic classical science and an eminent Qadi or Chief Justice. He travelled quite extensively. He passed away in 392 A.H. at the age of seventy in Nishapur. His body was taken to Jurjan to be buried. (Al A’laam, 4/330)


Hadrat Sayyiduna Fuzail bin Ayyaz Radi Allahu ‘Anhu narrates that, “There are two types of Aalims or Islamic scholars. The first is the wordily Aalim and the second is the Aalim of the Hereafter. The knowledge of the wordily Aalim is the apparent knowledge and the knowledge of the Aalim of the Hereafter is hidden. Save yourself for the Aalim of the world and follow the Aalim of the Hereafter.”


Qadi Ali bin Abdul Aziz Jurjani Radi Allahu ‘Anhu has stated that, “If an Aalim protects knowledge, it will protect him and if he is able to establish the greatness of knowledge on his heart, then he is respected.”


When does knowledge become a curse?


Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu narrates that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has stated that, “The greatest punishment on the Day of Judgement will be given to that Aalim whose knowledge did not benefit him.” (Jamia Sahih, Imam Suyuti Radi Allahu ‘Anhu, #1053)


Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Masud Radi Allahu ‘Anhu states that, “When the ‘Ulama protect knowledge and also deliver it to those who are fit for it, then through this (act), he becomes the leader of his era. However, if he spends this for the sake of the people of the world so that he can attain something in this world, then his esteem is lowered in the eyes of the people of the world. I also heard your Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam declare that, ‘If a person makes all his sadness only one sadness and that is for the Day of Judgement, then Allah azza wajal will be sufficient for him pertaining to the sadness of this world. As for that person whose concerns have been changed due to his worries for this world, Allah azza wajal will not worry about him and in which valley he is destroyed.” (Ibn Maja, #257)


In the early stages of Islam, the ‘Ulama were completely unconcerned about the wealth of others. The reason is that they were only concerned about the Hereafter and the actual nobility of knowledge. They never concentrated on this world. With the result, the people of the world took great interest in their knowledge. People also tried to be close to them because they felt that with these ‘Ulama, they could also gain respect and stature. It was also one of the reasons that in those days the people of the world went out of their way to spend on these ‘Ulama. However, sadly in the present day, it is the ‘Ulama who spend their knowledge on people and not the people on the ‘Ulama. They also have this notion that if this knowledge was important, the ‘Ulama would not spend their time seeking monetary benefit and wordily pleasures.


This is the reason that they look down upon knowledge and also look down upon the ‘Ulama. As for those in power, they have chosen Jahaalat in place of knowledge and have completely destroyed their Hereafter. In this way, both sections of the community have certainly damaged themselves.


We see from this that the starting point of all of this evil is that Aalim who does not acquire benefit from his knowledge. He makes his knowledge as a source of gaining worldly power, status and also worldly financial power. In this manner, his knowledge has also become a curse on himself and on the world in general.