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Protect the Quran in your hearts.
Our advice to the Huffaaz is that they should certainly protect the wealth which is found in their hearts. Let is not be that due to some sort of laziness or obliviousness, this wealth departs from you.
Make it a part of your life to always revise the Quran. In fact, make it a spiritual sustenance which you need to consume every day. If you do not remember this, then it means that you are ignoring the Divine Words of the Almighty and very soon, you will realise your folly. Bear in mind that if you forget the Quran, how can you harm the Almighty when there are millions around the world who are Haafiz of the Quran. In fact, not only the humans, but the Angels also continue to recite the Quran every minute.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Moosa Ash’ari May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “Protect the Quran. I swear by that Divine Being in Whose Power is my life, the Quran is fastened by a rope to ones feet and which can escape faster than a camel.” In other words, if you become oblivious of revising the Quran, you have no idea how quickly, you will be able to forget the Quran. In fact, it has been described as a camel which breaks the rope that holds its feet. Once this rope is broken, the camel is able to escape so quickly that it is nearly impossible to be able to capture it thereafter.
This hadith shareef is also found with the following words. Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Umar May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “The similitude of a Haafiz is like a tied camel. If he takes care of it, it will remain with him and if he leaves it free, it will run away.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim shareef).
The narration of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Moosa Ash’ari May Allah have mercy upon him also appears in this manner. The Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated, “Protect the Quran. I swear by that Divine Being in Whose Power is the life of Mohammed, it escapes even faster than that camel which breaks away after being tied.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim shareef).
There is no doubt that it is indeed Fard upon everyone to protect this Divine Gift which has been given to the ummah of the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him. Obviously, one of the greatest methods of doing this is to make sure that one revises a portion of the Quran everyday. There is no doubt that one who does it will make sure that this Divine Blessing remains protected in his heart.
The foundation of all excellence is upon practise.
There are many parents who go out of their way making sure that their child becomes a haafiz. When the child becomes becomes a haafiz they arrange a grand celebration but later on, do not bother whether the child revises what he has memorized. If this is the case, then very slowly this Divine Blessing disappears. There are hundreds of examples of this nature which are in front of us and in fact, it is seen that this child actually becomes worse than other children.
At times, other children would turn to the masjid, but a child who has forgotten the Quran seems to be someone who has a black mark hanging over his head and at times, he even refuses to go to the masjid. An urgent appeal is made to the haafiz to beautify himself with obeying the rules and regulations of Islam. It is appropriate for a haafiz that while the world sleeps, he should be awake. When people are immersed in sport and play and fun, he should be concerned about the hereafter.
Howe clear is the advise that the life of a haafiz should be completely different from the lives of ordinary people. Most people are completely oblivious of the hereafter but the haafiz is someone who is always looking at the Quran and trying his level best to adopt piety in his life. When someone looks at such a haafiz of the Quran, he will automatically comes to realise that this is certainly not someone who has become a victim of the world. They will see that this is indeed someone who is a traveller on this earth for a few days and is preparing to return to his actual place of birth and that he is someone who awaits to meet His Creator.
What should a haafiz do?
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Mas’ud May Allah have mercy upon him advises that, “A haafiz should be someone who respects the time at night while the rest of people are asleep. He should respect the time of day while others are not fasting. He should take care of his sadness and grief while people are immersed in useless speech and conversation and he should also not forget to shed tears of sadness when people walk around with pride and arrogance.”
A true intelligent person is that person who respects time. There is no doubt that every moment is indeed precious. The time and breath given to a person is certainly something which cannot be substituted. Advice which is given to a haafiz from the ahadith is that he should respect time so that he can acquire eternal happiness and joy.
Weep when you recite the Quran.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “This Quran was revealed with items of sadness, therefore, when you recite the Quran, then let their appear tears in your eyes and if you cannot do this, then at least adopt an appearance of weeping.” (ibn Maja shareef. 96).
Lessons on how to ponder on the hereafter is been given to us. There is no doubt that an Islamic scholar and a Haafiz have been included as the special people of the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him. He has also mentioned that it is necessary upon the haafiz to perform the Tahajjud salah even though it is only two rakah. Besides adopting piety and cleanliness in his life, the haafiz is also advised to stay awake at night.
He should refrain from sin and transgression and continue to fight against falsehood and evil because he is someone who is blessed with the Divine Words of the Almighty. If he continues to follow evil and sin, then there is a very high likelihood that that his life would be overtaken with darkness and the true light of truth would disappear from his life.
The Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “None of you should say that ‘I have forgotten a certain ayah of the Quran’. In fact, he has been made to forget (this ayah) due to his sin.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim shareef).
Sin is something which invites the Divine Wrath of the Almighty and its effect soon becomes apparent and he slowly begins to ignore the Almighty. There is no doubt that when one starts to forget the Quran, it clearly means that his connection with the Almighty is certainly becoming less.
What happens when you forget an ayah?
In the sahih Bukhari shareef it is mentioned, “how great a tragedy it is when someone admits that he has forgotten a certain verse (of the Quran). In fact, he has been made to forget that verse (of the Quran). Therefore, memorize the Quran properly.”
We make dua that the Almighty allows everyone to understand the Divine Grace of the Almighty. Adopt piety and good behaviour and adorn your eyes with tears and during the night, remember the Creator. The Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “O people of the Quran, (the Huffaaz)! Beautify yourself with the Quran, the Almighty will beautify you. Compared to others, the Haafiz should spend more time in the night in standing (and worshipping the Almighty). When people are sleeping, he should be reading the Quran. When people are joyous in the colours of the world, he should be trembling our of fear for the Almighty.”
Recite the Quran in a beautiful voice. When you read (the Quran) use fragrance and a miswaak. You should also adopt the other etiquettes which have been mentioned earlier. Bear all of these in mind.
What is knowledge.
In many books, it is mentioned that when one becomes aware of the reality of a certain object, that is considered to be knowledge. In another explanation, it is mentioned that when the complete picture of something is encompassed within the intellect of someone, that is considered as knowledge. There is no doubt that indeed Islam has placed great emphasis on the acquisition of knowledge. In fact, the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has also been informed in the Quran to make dua for increase in knowledge.
When describing Nabi Daud peace be upon him, the Quran describes that he was chosen for his knowledge and his physical power. This clearly indicates to us that those who have a little intellect, should come to the conclusion that it is absolutely necessary for a person to acquire knowledge. How important is knowledge in the life of a Muslim can be determined by the fact that the Quran mentions that the people who actually fear the Almighty (as it behoves Him to be feared) are the Ulama or the learned among the Ummah. In the Quran, the five senses have also been described as vehicles through which one can acquire knowledge.
In fact, in the Quran the Muslim is advised not to pursue something which he does not have knowledge of. At the same time, in the Quran it is mentioned that all the senses of man would be questioned and it will be asked how they were used in the world. Besides the fancy definition given to knowledge by certain philosophers, the simple definition of knowledge is; The result of knowledge is that through his intellect, his senses and faculty to comprehend, he becomes aware of his outer and internal state and the state of other objects as well.
In brief, one can say that with the result of acquiring knowledge a person becomes aware and begins to comprehend and understand better. In fact, at the same time, the subject of what one is studying is also determined by the importance of that subject. In other words, the more important something is, the more necessary it is to acquire knowledge about it.
The necessity of knowledge.
- The first priority of man is to be able to save himself. He has to establish himself. With the result of trying to achieve this, he has to face many outer and internal obstacles along the journey. At the same time, the tools for fighting these obstacles can only be acquired through knowledge.
- Another important facet to bear in mind is that man is certainly always in need of knowledge. One of the reasons is that man has many wishes This may pertain to him personally, his family, his social environment, his nation etc. However, when he acquires knowledge, he becomes aware of all paths which he needs to traverse to be able to acquire these objectives. He also begins to understand what he needs to resist and what he needs to fulfil. This is one of the reasons that knowledge has been held in such high esteem in Islam. In fact, even in the Quran, it is mentioned that those who have knowledge are certainly not equal to those who have no knowledge.
It is through knowledge that man finds himself superior to other creatures. It is his intellect and his common sense which distinguishes himself from other creatures. However, to be able to control this intellect and his common sense, it is vitally important that he has knowledge. If he does not posses knowledge, then he will be considered as an animal or even worse than an animal.
It is also mentioned that knowledge is considered a double edge sword. It can also carry an advantage and a disadvantage.
- There is no doubt that a great ocean of emotions run within a human. Hence, there is no doubt that one needs to be able to acquire that faculty which would be able to inform him about the harm and benefit of certain actions and thoughts. That faculty is considered as knowledge.
- For a person to understand the objective of everything and be able to refrain from unnecessary and minor issues which may deviate him from the path of this objective, he has to acquire knowledge.
Knowledge is that light through which the Almighty guides His creation. It is such a source of light that when opened, immense brightness appears and spreads and darkness disappears. It is such a super power which enable a human to become great. Not only this, but he is also able to brighten everything around him. He is able to shine such a light which can never be extinguished. It is through this light that a person is able to brighten others around him.
During times of fear, it becomes his supporter. During anxiety, it becomes his friend. During loneliness, it becomes his companion. During battle, it becomes his weapon and during times of extreme stress, it becomes a source of his planning and a means of strategy. This is indeed a great gift from the Almighty to His servants.
It is not only a most blessed faculty, but the amazing quality of knowledge is that the more you spend, it never seems to decrease. It is such a bright light whose Nur continues to spread and it becomes a source of guidance for those who are travelling. During the darkest of nights, it becomes a beacon of guidance and salvation.
The greatness and eminence of knowledge.
There are many virtues of knowledge which have been presented and among them, one of the greatest is the statement of the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him wherein he has stated that, “to seek knowledge is Fard upon every Muslim.” There is no doubt that this Prophetic statement is like the very essence of knowledge. Another important fact in regard to knowledge and the acquisition thereof is that once the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him mentioned to his blessed companions that if they needed to seek knowledge they should be prepared to even travel to China.
In other words, Muslims should not fear how long a distance they needed to travel to acquire knowledge. They should always be ready to travel no matter how far. Hadrat Sayyiduna Mu’az bin Jabal May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has mentioned that, “Seek knowledge, without doubt seeking knowledge creates fear for Allah. To seek knowledge is ibaadah. To mention knowledge is a Tasbeeh. To debate it is Jihad and to teach it is charity.”.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Zarr and Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah May Allah have mercy upon them narrate that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “One chapter of knowledge is better than a thousand (rakah) of nafil salah.”
In fact, one of the greatest evidence in the excellence of knowledge is that when the Almighty wanted to prove the excellence of Nabi Adam peace be upon him over the Angels, the faculty of knowledge was presented as testimony. When Nabi Adam peace be upon revealed his knowledge, the Angels became aware that indeed he had been blessed with a mighty power. It is a means of salvation for the hereafter, a means to acquire piety and means to acquire justice. This is the reason that the Quran describes that the person who has knowledge is able to make a just decision.
When the Almighty has described the people of knowledge, He has indeed given them a unique position and status in creation. In another verse, it is clearly mentioned that this clear and apparent light or Nur of Islam is something which is protected in the hearts of those who have knowledge. As the precious treasures of this world are hidden in the bowls of the earth, in like manner, the treasures of Islam are hidden in the heart of someone who has knowledge. In another verse the Almighty clearly mentions that He has indeed elevated the position and status of those who have knowledge.
The Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that we should seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave. Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Umaamah May Allah have mercy upon him explains that once a worshipper and a learned person were described in front of the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him and he mentioned, “The excellence of an Alim over an Abid is like my status over a common person among you.”
There are numerous diverse definitions of knowledge, but one of the main attribute of knowledge is that it creates a connection between one human and another. It is through knowledge that we gain insight into the life of the Prophets and other people. We also come to know of their state and their manner of living and their laws. It is through knowledge that we gain insight into what is false and what is the truth. At the same time, it enables a person to understand the limit of what is known and what is still unknown. It also makes a person remove the doubt which he may still suffer from.
He becomes aware of new objects and items. Through knowledge and Imaan, a person can determine the truth of religion. When Imaan strengthens the action of someone, then knowledge further establishes this trait within a person. It is through knowledge that the power of action is increased. We come to know of good and bad and obviously, knowledge of this is extremely important if we wish to perform proper action or amal.
One of the first objectives which is acquired through knowledge is the ability to distinguish between good and evil.
The power to be able to recognize these things and the power to understand the consequences of these things. He is able to understand that if he does a certain thing, he will be rewarded and if he refrains from a certain action, he will be punished. One of the greatest responsibility of a human is to rectify and correct his society and this can only be done through knowledge. The Islamic jurists explain that, that person who does not understand his environment, he is indeed an ignorant person.
The excellence of the people of knowledge.
Those people who are Huffaz, those who Qurra, those who are the Islamic teachers, the people who write about Islam, the people who publish Islamic material, the people who propagate Islam and explain to others about Islam, certainly all of them will be rewarded by the Almighty for their effort. Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Umar May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “Besides to two people, envy is not allowed.
The first is that person who has been given knowledge of the Quran and he spreads or propagates this morning and evening. The second is that person who has been given wealth and he spends this in charity morning and evening.”
Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “The best among you is he who learns the Quran and teaches it to others.” (Sahih Bukhari shareef).
Hadrat Sayyidah Ayesha May Allah have mercy upon her narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him had mentioned that, “That person who learns the Quran and becomes an expert, he is indeed a close servant of the Almighty and he will be among the most respected of people”. (In other words, he will be in the blessed company of the Prophets, the Awliyah etc). (Tirmidi shareef). This gives us a clear indication that the Huffaaz, the Qurra and the Ulama will certainly be in the blessed company of these special servants of the Almighty.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “That person who has read the Quran and has memorized it and considers its halal to be halal and its haram to be haram, the Almighty will allow him to enter Jannah. His intercession of ten people in his family will also be accepted upon whom the fire of hell has become waajib”. (Tirmidi shareef).
It is mentioned that in the special consultative forum of Hadrat Sayyiduna Umar May Allah have mercy upon him, the majority of people were those who were well learned in the Quran whether the person was young or old. Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has mentioned that, “The duty (or position) of Imaamat will be given to that person who is most learned in the book of Allah. If all of them are equal in this, then that person who is most learned (in the laws of) Sunnah. If all of them are equal (in the knowledge of) Hadith, then the first who made hijrah or migrated (for Islam). If all are equal in this regard, then that person who is the most senior in age will be given the position or Imaamat or leadership.”
In another hadith shareef it is mentioned that no one can become the leader of government without permission and no can can sit in the house of another without permission. This is mentioned in the Sahih Muslim shareef.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Moosa Ash’ari May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “Respect accorded to a senior (person in age) and to someone who carries the Quran (has knowledge of the Quran), should be shown respect for the sake of Allah. This is on condition that the person who carries the Quran is not a show off and not someone who betrays the Quran.”
Note; we also notice that in spite of the fact that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him is the most learned of creation, yet, he used to also make dua for increase in knowledge. This proves that we should never be satisfied with what knowledge we have and should always strive to acquire more knowledge. There is no doubt that greed for knowledge is considered a very “noble greed”. This also again proves the excellence and status of knowledge. (Fathul Bari).
The various Quranic verses in this regard.
In surah Baqarah, verse 31, the Quran declares:
وَعَلَّمَ اٰدَمَ الۡاَسْمَآءَ کُلَّہَا ثُمَّ عَرَضَہُمْ عَلَی الْمَلٰٓئِکَۃِ ۙ فَقَالَ اَنْۢبِـُٔوْنِیْ بِاَسْمَآءِ ہٰۤؤُلَآءِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمْ صٰدِقِیۡنَ﴿۳۱﴾
And Allah the Supreme taught Adam all the names (of things), then
presented them to the angels, saying, “Tell Me the names of these, if you are truthful.”
Tafseer: This is also a clear proof and testimony that knowledge is more superior to ibaadah. After all, in spite of their immense action in the form of ibaadah, Nabi Adam peace be upon him was considered as greater than the Angels because of the knowledge which the Almighty had bestowed upon him. It is through their knowledge that magicians in the court of Pharaoh were able to recognize the truth of the message of Nabi Moosa peace be upon him.
- In surah Baqarah, verse 247, the Quran declares:
وَقَالَ لَہُمْ نَبِیُّہُمْ اِنَّ اللہَ قَدْ بَعَثَ لَکُمْ طَالُوۡتَ مَلِکًاؕ قَالُوۡۤا اَنّٰی یَکُوۡنُ لَہُ الْمُلْکُ عَلَیۡنَا وَنَحْنُ اَحَقُّ بِالْمُلْکِ مِنْہُ وَلَمْ یُؤْتَ سَعَۃً مِّنَ الْمَالِؕ قَالَ اِنَّ اللہَ اصْطَفٰىہُ عَلَیۡکُمْ وَزَادَہٗ بَسْطَۃً فِی الْعِلْمِ وَالْجِسْمِؕ وَاللہُ یُؤْتِیۡ مُلْکَہٗ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُؕ وَاللہُ وٰسِعٌ عَلِیۡمٌ﴿۲۴۷﴾
And their Prophet said to them, “Indeed Allah has sent Talut (Saul) as your king”; they said, “Why should he have kingship over us whereas we deserve the kingship more than he, and nor has he been given enough wealth?” He said, “Indeed Allah has chosen him above you, and has bestowed him with vast knowledge and physique”; and Allah may bestow His kingdom on whomever He wills; and Allah is Most Capable, All Knowing.
Tafseer: Again, we come to know that knowledge is greater than ibaadah. For a worshipper, he is confined to a masjid while the person who has knowledge is given kingship and control. At the same time, we also come to understand that knowledge is far superior to wealth. Leadership in the dominion of the Almighty is achieved through knowledge and not wealth.
- In surah Baqarah, verse 269, the Quran declares:
یُّؤۡتِی الْحِکْمَۃَ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُۚ وَمَنۡ یُّؤْتَ الْحِکْمَۃَ فَقَدْ اُوۡتِیَ خَیۡرًا کَثِیۡرًاؕ وَمَا یَذَّکَّرُ اِلَّاۤ اُولُوا الۡاَلْبٰبِ﴿۲۶۹﴾
Allah bestows wisdom on whomever He wills; and whoever receives wisdom has received abundant goodness; but none heed advice except men of understanding.
Tafseer: By wisdom is meant religious knowledge. In other words, knowledge of Quran and sunnah. Two important points become apparent to us. The first is that giving knowledge in charity is far superior to giving wealth in charity. The second point to bear in mind is that; knowledge is something which is acquired only through the Divine Grace of the Almighty.
One cannot claim that he has acquired knowledge himself by studying the Quran and hadith or has become guided by seeking knowledge on his own. All of this depends on the Divine Grace of the Almighty. We also come to understand that knowledge is one of the greatest of treasures. It is greater than wealth, ibaadah and power. Since the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him is the greatest of Prophets, it stands to reason that he has been given the greatest amount of knowledge. When Nabi Adam peace be upon him was given the names of all things, it stands to reason that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him was given even more than this.
- In surah Nisa verse 113, the Quran declares:
وَاَنۡزَلَ اللہُ عَلَیۡکَ الْکِتٰبَ وَالْحِکْمَۃَ وَعَلَّمَکَ مَا لَمْ تَکُنْ تَعْلَمُ ؕ وَکَانَ فَضْلُ اللہِ عَلَیۡکَ عَظِیۡمًا﴿۱۱۳﴾
and Allah has sent down upon you the Book and wisdom, and taught you all what you did not know and upon you is Allah’s great munificence.
Tafseer: This also proves the immense knowledge of the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him because the Almighty Himself is admitting that He taught the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him everything. In other words, whatever the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him was unaware of, the Almighty has taught him all of these things. In other words, there is not a subject which the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him is unaware of. When we look at the description of the world in the Quran, the Quran describes it as something little.
In surah Nisa, verse 77, the Quran declares:
مَتٰعُ الدُّنْیَا قَلِیۡلٌ
“The usage of this world is meagre;”
In other words, whatever is in this world is very little and meagre. Yet, when it comes to describing the Divine Grace upon His beloved Prophet, He declares that the He has done a “great” favour to His Prophet. In other words, the complete world has been described as meagre and little, and the quality of the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has been described as ‘great’. Where are those idiots who say that the knowledge of satan and the angel of death is more than that of the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him? In fact, these are such idiots that it boggles the mind.
The angel of death is an Angel and yet, the Quran explains that none of the Angels were able to prove their knowledge in front of the vast ocean of knowledge of Nabi Adam peace be upon him. This is proven in the Quran and yet, these people claim that the knowledge of the angel of death is far superior to that of the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him. This clearly proves that these people have clearly rejected the Quran and that too, a clear injunction of the Quran. This claim of theirs was mentioned in their version of the satanic verses called “Baraheen-e-Qati’a”.
The Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him is the most learned of creation!
It is the unanimous opinion of the Ulama that the knowledge of the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him is far superior to any other creation. If a person claims that a certain creation has more knowledge, then he has certainly insulted the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him. Imam Zarqani May Allah have mercy upon him in the Sharah of the Muwaahib and in the Naseemur Riyaad which is the sharah of the Shifa shareef explains that, “Whoever says that someone is more learned than him, he has indeed attributed a defect and an insult to the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him.”
Imam Abu Yusuf May Allah have mercy upon him the famous student of Imam Azam May Allah have mercy upon him mentions in the Kitaab Al Khiraaj that, “If any Muslim disrespects the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him, or attributes a lie to him, or attributes a defect to him, or picks out a fault in him, without doubt that person is a kaafir.”
- In surah Taubah, verse 122, the Quran declares:
وَمَا کَانَ الْمُؤْمِنُوۡنَ لِیَنۡفِرُوۡا کَآفَّۃً ؕ فَلَوْلَا نَفَرَ مِنۡ کُلِّ فِرْقَۃٍ مِّنْہُمْ طَآئِفَۃٌ لِّیَتَفَقَّہُوۡا فِی الدِّیۡنِ وَلِیُنۡذِرُوۡا قَوْمَہُمْ اِذَا رَجَعُوۡۤا اِلَیۡہِمْ لَعَلَّہُمْ یَحْذَرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲۲﴾٪
And it is not possible for the Muslims that all of them go out; so it should be that a party from each group goes forth in order to gain knowledge in religion, and upon returning they warn their people in the hope that they may avoid.
Tafseer: In other words, if everyone left their homes, then the area would be clear of people and this would pose a great threat to the Muslims. Therefore, a specific number of people should only leave. This proves that to seek knowledge is considered as Fard-e-Kifaayah.
In other words, one group should stay at home and one group should go out and seek knowledge. From this, we also come to realize that if only one person in the village went out to acquire knowledge and becomes qualified in religious knowledge, the Fard of the entire locality will be fulfilled. Another important point to bear in mind in the present era is the importance of Ilm-e-Fiqh or knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence.
People generally ignore this important aspect of Islam. This is the reason that most of them read any translation of the Quran without understanding the harm that it is causing for their Imaan. The Almighty has also mentioned that whoever has been given wisdom, has indeed been given a great blessing and a gift which is in abundance.
In fact, to learn the basics of Islamic jurisprudence is considered as Fard-e-Ain. The basic knowledge of fasting, salah etc has to be acquired by a Muslim if they wish to fulfil this in its proper manner. In like manner, one has to acquire the basic knowledge of Islamic business rules and regulations so that he can transact in the market place according to Islamic rules. A person who works for another should also understand the rules which govern his duties as an employee.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Shafi May Allah have mercy upon him has mentioned that, “To acquire Islamic knowledge is greater than the performance of Nafil salah.” From this explanation, three important points become clear to us. To acquire complete knowledge of Islam is not Fard-e-Ain but Fard-e-Kifaayah. A person has to follow his Imaan in matters of Islamic jurisprudence. In religious matters, even the testimony of a single person is sufficient. After all, when we hear the speech or words of an Alim, we accept this as a genuine rule.
- In surah Faatir, verse 28, the Quran declares:
among the servants of Allah, only the people of knowledge fear Him
Tafseer: This proves beyond a shadow of doubt that the Ulama are indeed people of great stature and dignity. In fact, the Almighty clearly declares that these are the people who actually fear Him. In fact, a person who actually fears the Almighty is the true scholar of Islam and not anyone who claims to be a learned scholar of Islam. The actions and words of this Islamic scholar will also determine whether or not he is actually a scholar or not. Also bear in mind that when we speak about people who have gained knowledge, we are speaking about people who have gained Islamic knowledge.
- In surah Zumar, verse 9, the Quran declares:
قُلْ ہَلْ یَسْتَوِی الَّذِیۡنَ یَعْلَمُوۡنَ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ لَا یَعْلَمُوۡنَ ؕ اِنَّمَا یَتَذَکَّرُ اُولُوا الْاَلْبٰبِ٪﴿۹﴾
Proclaim, “Are the knowledgeable and the ignorant equal?” It is only the men of intellect who heed advice.
Tafseer: From this, we come to realize that the true Alim is greater in status than an Abid. This is proven from the incident of Nabi Adam peace be upon him. In other words, no person can claim to be superior to a true scholar of Islam. This is also one of the reasons that one of the most beloved wives of the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him was Hadrat Sayyidah Ayesha May Allah have mercy upon her because she was the most learned.
- In surah Mujaadalah, verse 11, the Quran declares:
یَرْفَعِ اللہُ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا مِنۡکُمْ ۙ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اُوۡتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجٰتٍ ؕ وَ اللہُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُوۡنَ خَبِیۡرٌ ﴿۱۱﴾
Allah will raise the believers among you, and those given knowledge, to high ranks; and Allah is Aware of your deeds.
Tafseer: Again we emphasise that when we speak of knowledge, we are speaking about religious knowledge. At the same time, we also come to understand and realize that in both worlds, the true Islamic scholar will be accorded a great position and status. This is something which has been promised to them by the Almighty Himself.
- In surah Nisa, verse 59, the Quran declares:
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَطِیۡعُوا اللہَ وَاَطِیۡعُوا الرَّسُوۡلَ وَ اُولِی الۡاَمْرِ مِنۡکُمْ
O People who Believe! Obey Allah and the Noble Messenger and those amongst you who are in authority;
Tafseer: This proves that in all circumstances, we have to obey the command of shariah. If a person is learned in Islam whether he is an Alim, or a murshid or if he is an Islamic ruler, everyone will only be obeyed if their opinion does not contradict Islamic shariah. If the opinion of anyone contradicts the accepted law of shariah, then his personal opinion will not be accepted.
The excellence of religious knowledge from the Ahadith.
- Hadrat Sayyiduna Ameer Mu’awiyah May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “When the Almighty wishes to do good for someone, he makes him a faqeeh (or someone who becomes well versed in Islamic knowledge and Islamic law). I am the one who distributes and the Almighty is the One who bestows.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim shareef).
Explanation: In other words, the Almighty has honoured this person with Islamic knowledge, the capability of understanding Islam and also wisdom to be able deduce a decision. It must also be borne in mind that Fiqh Zahir or outer Fiqh is considered as shariah, while inner Fiqh is considered as Tariqah or Haqeeqah. In the hadith shareef, both of the faculties are included. From this hadith shareef, two important points become clear. To merely narrate the Quran and Hadith like a parrot is not true Islamic knowledge. True Islamic knowledge is to be able to deduce and understand Islamic knowledge. This is obviously extremely difficult, hence the need to follow an Imam in Fiqh.
This is the reason that no matter how eminent a certain jurist or scholar of hadith was, he always made sure that he followed one of the four Imams of the Ahle Sunnah wa Jamaah. When we look at some of the scholars who appeared after the four Imams, some of them were giants in their respective fields, yet, all of them were muqallids of one of the four Imams.
The second point to bear in mind is that it is not sufficient to only read the books of Tafseer and ahadith, the important point is to be able to understand the message from these Quranic explanations and ahadith. One of the greatest method of acquiring this Nur is from the Divine Court of the Almighty and through the blessed wasila of the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him.
There are hundreds of so called scholars who have appeared on the horizon of Islam and because they were not people who had received Divine Grace and Prophetic benediction, they lost their way and made others also leave the right path. This is why it is so important that knowledge is only acquired from a true Sunni scholar or else, like the rest of people, you will also leave the right path.
After all, when we seek the advice of a doctor, we make sure that we speak to a few people about the qualification and character of that doctor and only then do we make the decision to visit him or not. In like manner, when you seek knowledge, the same precaution should be taken or else unlike the doctor, it would be worse where you will loose your Imaan.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “When a person dies , then his actions also come to an end except for three actions. They are sadqah jaariyah, that knowledge which is beneficial or that noble child who will make dua for him.” (Mishkaat, Muslim shareef).
Explanation: This proves the immense benefit of spreading knowledge and the benefit thereof. There is no doubt that as long as people continue to benefit from the knowledge which you have left behind, you will continue to receive reward for this action even while you are in the grave. From this also, we can imagine the vast amount of reward which is been given to the Ulama of the Ahle Sunnah who have written millions of books which have benefited mankind over the years.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbas May Allah have mercy upon him mentions that when Nabi Sulayman peace be upon him was given the choice of choosing between knowledge, wealth and kingship, he chose knowledge. By choosing knowledge he was given both wealth and kingship.” This was recorded by Imam ibn Asaakir May Allah have mercy upon him.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Umar May Allah have mercy upon him mentions that for everything there is a path and the path to Jannah is knowledge. (Kanzul Ummaal. 1/89).
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbas May Allah have mercy upon him mentions that spending one moment (in acquiring) knowledge, is better than being awake the entire night (in ibaadah). (Daarimi, Mishkaat shareef 1/70).
Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali May Allah have mercy upon him mentions that, “Knowledge is more beneficial than wealth in seven ways. The first is that knowledge is an inheritance of the Prophets and wealth is the inheritance of Pharaoh. Knowledge does not decrease when you spend it while wealth decreases when you spend it. Thirdly, wealth is something which requires protection while knowledge protects the person who possesses it.
Fourthly, when a person dies, his wealth remains on earth while knowledge accompanies a person to his grave. Fifthly, Wealth is acquired by both a Muslim and a non Muslim while while true knowledge is only acquired by a true believer. Sixthly, everyone in matters of religion require an Alim while they have no need for a wealthy person. Seven, knowledge creates strength in a person when crossing the Pul siraat while wealth creates an obstacle (on this bridge).” (Tafseer Kabeer. 1/277).
The opinion of the pious about knowledge.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Ghazzali May Allah have mercy upon him explains that, “I speak through the strength of the Almighty. O that person who wishes to be sincere and who wishes to make ibaadah with true genuine honesty. May Allah give you the strength to do good. One of the first priorities for you is to seek religious knowledge. This is something upon which action is reliant and in need of. It is encompassed within this.
It must be remembered that knowledge and practise according to this knowledge are two such great attributes that whatever you see in the form of books written by many, education by those who have educated and lectures by those who delivered their speeches and thoughts of those who have presented their thoughts are actually the good which has been achieved through proper knowledge and action. In the revelation of various Books, the arrival of Prophets in the seven heavens and earth, this is (reason) for this fact. (In other words, they came to spread knowledge and educate people about practising on this knowledge). (Minhaajul Aabideen. 26).
Hadrat Sayyiduna Syed Ali Hajweri famously known as Data Ghanjh Bakhsh May Allah have mercy upon him has mentioned that, “What more can be described as a greatness of knowledge that if a person does not possess this, he will never be able to understand the deep Divine Secrets which are revealed. When a person has knowledge, he becomes entitled to view all the various (spiritual) stations, the various evidence and various stages (of spirituality).” (Kashful Mahjub. 22/23).
Shaikh Sharfudeen Ahmed Yahya Maneeri May Allah have mercy upon him states, “Have you not understood the message that it is fard upon every Muslim male and female to acquire knowledge? If you understand this, why do you not seek knowledge? I have no idea what answer would be given. Perhaps that answer would be that ‘I am busy looking after my husband (or wife), my children, food and clothing etc. and have no time.
If this excuse is accepted, (even though it is never acceptable) and one frees himself from these responsibilities, still too, the person would reply that he is does not have wealth to acquire knowledge. Someone has so rightly stated that, ‘when a dog finds carrion, it believes that it has been given life. When a donkey receives anything, it believes that it has acquired saffron. My dear brother! Without knowledge, proper practise is not possible. Such action (without knowledge) has no benefit. Since it is not possible to reach ones destination without knowledge, then it becomes all the more necessary and fard to acquire knowledge.” (Maktubat Du Sadee. Maktubat. 2/38).
The benefit of searching for knowledge.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Darda May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that he heard the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him declare that, ‘When a person travels on a certain path in search of knowledge, the Almighty will allow him to walk on any path on the road to Jannah. Without doubt, the Angels spread their wings (on the floor) for the seeker of knowledge.” (Mishkaat shareef. 1/63).
Hadrat Sayyiduna Aanis May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, ‘whoever leaves to acquire knowledge, until his return, he is on the path of the Almighty.” (Mishkaat shareef. 1/65).
The Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “When a person seeks knowledge, this search nullifies his past sins.” (Mishkaat shareef. 1/65).
Hadrat Sayyidah Ayesha May Allah have mercy upon her narrates that she heard the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him declare that, “The Almighty has sent revelation to me that whoever walks on a path to search for knowledge, the Almighty will make one path of Jannah easy for him”. In other words, the Almighty will make it generally easy for this person to acquire Jannah. (Mishkaat shareef. 1/69).
The excellence of a student of religion.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah May Allah have mercy upon him mentions that, “When the time comes for a student to pass away, and he passes away while seeking knowledge, he is a martyr.” (Kanzul Ummaal. 10/79).
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Ayub Ansari May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that, “Without doubt, the seeker of knowledge, that female who is obedient to her husband and that boy who is good to his parents, all of them will enter Jannah with the Prophets without them giving accountability (for their actions).”
Hadrat Sayyiduna Aanis May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “Whoever wishes to see those who have been freed from the fire of hell, he should look at a seeker of knowledge. I swear by that Divine Being in Whose Divine Power is my life, when a student comes and goes from the door of a teacher, the Almighty records one complete year of having performed ibaadah for every step he takes.
For every step he takes, a complete city is created in Jannah for him. The seeker of knowledge walks on earth in such a manner that the earth seeks forgiveness for him and during the morning and evening, he is like someone who has been pardoned. And the Angels also bear witness for this seeker of knowledge that he has indeed been freed from the fire of hell. (Tafseer Kabeer. 1/275).
The Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “When the feet of a person seeking knowledge becomes soiled (with dust), the Almighty will make his body haraam upon the fire of hell and the Angels also seek forgiveness for this person. And if he passes away while seeking knowledge, he is a martyr. His grave will also be a garden from the among the gardens of Jannah. His grave is also expanded as much as the eyes can see. And for his neighbours in the same cemetery, forty graves in front of him, forty graves behind and forty graves on his right and left are brightened.” (Tafseer Kabeer. 1/281).
It is mentioned that Sultan Mahmud Ghaznawi was indeed a very pious Sultan.
However, at the beginning of his reign, he suffered from three doubts or misgivings. The first was whether the hadith shareef of the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him which is that the Ulama are the inheritors of the Prophets was correct or not. The second was whether the day of Judgement would arrive or not. The third was whether he was actually the son of Ameer Sabigh thagheen or not. One evening, the famous Sultan was walking and in front of him, his servant was also walking carry a golden lantern. On the road, he came across a student who was revising his lessons in darkness.
The student did not have any oil to light his lamp. Nearby also, there was a shop in which a lantern was burning. At the same time, while memorizing his lesson, if the student found that he could not remember something, he went to this same shop and looked at the passage of his book under the lantern of this same shop and after looking at this part of the book, he then returned to his position in the dark and continued revising his lesson. When the Sultan saw this, he felt extreme pity for young boy. He then instructed his servant to give the golden lantern to this young man was busy seeking knowledge.
When the Sultan arrived at his palace and went to sleep, he saw the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him in his dream. The Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him then said to him, “O Naasirudeen, the son of Sibightagheen, on the day of Judgement, may Allah reward you in such a manner as you have shown respect to one of my inheritors.” (Taarik-e-Farishtah). In other words, in one statement, the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him answered all his three questions.
The excellence of a gathering of knowledge.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah in Amar May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him walked past two gatherings in the masjid and mentioned that both were based on good, however one group was better than the other. These people (one the groups) are making dua to Allah and have turned towards Him.
If He wishes, he can bestow whatever He wishes on them and if He wishes, He may not do so. However, those who are studying Islamic fiqh and Islamic education. And they are also teachings those who are unaware, they are more greater in status and I have been sent as a teacher. He then also joined this group. (Mishkaat shareef. 1/70).
The benefit of acquiring Islamic education.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Ayub Ansari May Allah have mercy upon him has mentioned that to learn one single issue of religion is better than one years of ibaadah. (Kanzul Ummaal. 1/91).
The harm of remaining ignorant.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Umar narrates that, “That heart in which there is no knowledge, it is like a barren house. You should acquire knowledge and teach others. Acquire understanding of religion and do not die as a jaahil because the Almighty does not accept jahaalat (or ignorance) as an excuse.” (Kanzul Ummaal).
In the hadith shareef, it is mentioned that after the Asar salah, the satans congregate in the ocean. The throne of Iblees (who is the head satan) is then laid out. Thereafter, various deeds and actions of the various satans are presented. Someone claims that he instigated so many people to consume alcohol. Someone claims that he instigated adultery so many times. The head satan continues to listen to all of this. One day, one of these satans claimed that he had managed to stop someone from acquiring Islamic education.
It is said that when the satan heard this claim, he jumped from his throne in excitement. He then embraced that satan and mentioned that indeed he had certainly performed something (great). When the other satans saw this behaviour, obviously they were extremely jealous and thought to themselves that they had also been responsible for people committing major sins and yet the head satan did not behave in this manner with them. The satan then replied, ‘you are unaware that whatever sin you have instigated people to commit, all of this was because of this one satan. If these people had knowledge, they would have never allowed themselves to commit such sin. Show me a place where the greatest worshipper lives but he is not an Islamic scholar and also a place where an Islamic scholar lives.
They then mentioned the name of a place to the satan. In the morning, the head satan accompanied by all the other satans travelled to this place. The others remained hidden while this one satan took the appearance of a human and stood on the road. The worshipper or Abid had spent the entire night in ibaadah was now going to the masjid to perform the Fajr salah. The satan then greeted him and said, “Hadrat, I wish to ask you a question”.
The Abid replied, “Ask the question quickly because I need to hurry for salah.” The satan then took out a small piece of mirror from his pocket and asked, “Since the Almighty is indeed All Powerful, does He have the power to make all of creation enter into this one small piece of glass?’ When the Abid heard this question, he replied, “Where is the heavens and earth and where is this small piece of glass?” The satan replied that he only wished to ask this one single question and allowed him to leave. The head satan then remarked, “what is the value of this persons ibaadah when he does not even believe in the Divine Power of the Almighty?”
A short while later, the Islamic scholar walked past and the satan stopped him and asked him the same question. When the Islamic heard the question, he looked angrily at the person asking the question and replied, “You seem to be the cursed Iblees to me. He has more power than this. Even the mirror is too large. If He wishes, he can fit the entire creation through the hole of a small needle. In fact, He can fit a thousand heavens and earth through the hole of a small needle. He is All Powerful.” When Ibless heard this reply, he turned to the other satans and remarked, “This is the barakat of knowledge”. In other words, he was not deceived by the question of the satan and through the knowledge which the Almighty has blessed him with, he was clearly able to see through the evil of the satan. (Malfuz shareef. Sayyidi Ala Hadrat. 270/271).
The reward of good intention.
The Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that whoever is approached by death in such a state while he is seeking knowledge to keep Islam alive, then in Jannah, the only difference between him and the Prophets will be their ranks.” (Mishkaat shareef. 1/28).
The evil of a bad intention.
The Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “Whoever seeks knowledge so that he can oppose the Ulama or he can fight and argue with the ignorant or so that he can turn the attention of people towards him, the Almighty will make him enter the fire of hell.” (Tirmidi shareef).
The Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “Whoever seeks that knowledge which achieves the Divine Pleasure of Allah (in other words, Islamic knowledge); only for the purpose of seeking material wealth, on the day of Judgement, he will not even smell the fragrance of Jannah.” (Imam Ahmed, Abu Daud, ibn Maja),
The great status of the Ulama.
The Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “Without doubt, everything in the heavens and earth seek pardon for an Islamic scholar (Alim). Even the fishes in the river seek pardon for him.
The status of an Alim over an Abid is like the excellence of the moon on the fourteenth night over the other stars. The Ulama are certainly the (true) inheritors of the Prophets. The Prophets have not made anyone inheritors of dirhams and dinaars, they have only left (people) who will inherit their knowledge. Whoever chooses knowledge, he has achieved his full share”. (Imam Ahmed, Tirmidi, Abu Daud, Ibn Maja and Daarimi).
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Umaamah Bahili May Allah have mercy upon him mentions that once two people were mentioned to the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him. One of them was an Alim and the other an Abid. The Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him replied, “The excellence of an Alim over an Abid is like my excellence over an ordinary person among you.” (Mishkat shareef. 1/63).
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbas May Allah have mercy upon him mentions that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “One single faqeeh or Islamic scholar is more mightier on the satan than a thousand worshippers.”
Sayyidi Ala Hadrat May Allah have mercy upon him mentions that, “Every Alim among the common people and teacher of religion among his students (has a right) and is a deputy of the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him”. (Fatawah Radawiyyah. 10/97).
He also mentions that the scholar who possesses proper Sunni beliefs and is the most learned in his locality, without doubt, he is a leader in Shariah laws (and the one who will give the Islamic verdict for that locality). (Fatawah Radawiyyah. 10/180).
Respect to be accorded to the Ulama.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbas May Allah have mercy upon him mentions that when he used to arrive at the house of Hadrat Sayyiduna Zaid bin Thabit May Allah have mercy upon him with the intention of seeking knowledge and the latter was not outside his house, the eminent companion used to wait outside the house on the verandah. He admits that at times, sand and grass used to fall on him because of the wind. However, when Hadrat Sayyiduna Zaid bin Thabit May Allah have mercy upon him used to come out of his house, he used to ask in shock, “O beloved son of the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him’s uncle, why did you not inform me that you were waiting outside”. I used to reply, “I do not feel that I am fit to actually call you outside,”. (Malfuz shareef).
One day, Hadrat Sayyiduna Zaid bin Thabit May Allah have mercy upon him was on his animal and Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbas May Allah have mercy upon him out of immense respect for his teacher, took hold of the reins of this animal. The former asked him “O beloved son of the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him’s uncle, what are you doing?” The latter replied, “We have been taught that we should display respect for the Ulama.” When he heard this, Hadrat Sayyiduna Zaid May Allah have mercy upon him jumped off the animal and kissing the hand of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbas May Allah have mercy upon him, he declared, “We have also been commanded that we should display respect for the Ahle Bayt.” (Malfuz shareef).
One day, Sultan Harun Rashid mentioned that he would send his sons to Imam Kisaa’i May Allah have mercy upon him to acquire knowledge but the great Imam was to teach his children before the other students. The great Imam refused to do this and with the result, the Sultan sent his sons to the classes of the great Imam. As Mamun Rashid began his classes, one day, the Sultan happened to ride past and noticed that the great Imam was making Wudu. However, he was pouring water with one hand and washing with the other. When Sultan Harun Rashid noticed this, he flew into a fit of rage and approaching his son, he struck him with his whip and declared, “O disrespectful person! Why has Allah given you two hands? Pour water with one and wash his feet with the other.” In other words, he demanded that his own son wash the feet of his teacher. (Malfuz shareef. 86).
The definition of an Alim
It is reported from Hadrat Sayyiduna Sufyan May Allah have mercy upon him that one day, the great leader of the Muslims, Hadrat Sayyiduna Umar May Allah have mercy upon him asked Hadrat Sayyiduna Ka’ab May Allah have mercy upon him, “Who are the people of knowledge?”. He replied, “Those who practise upon their knowledge.”
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abaadah bin Saamit May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that, “That person who practises upon his knowledge even though it may be little.” (Kanzul Ummaal. 10/76).
Hadrat Mullah Ali Qari May Allah have mercy upon him explains that, “Religious knowledge creates fear for Allah and through this; piety (is achieved). And this is actually the excellence of an Alim. That person whose knowledge is not like this, he is similar to a jaahil. In fact, he is a jaahil.” (Mirqat sharah Mishkaat. 1/231).
Imam Sha’bi May Allah have mercy upon him mentions that, “An Alim is only that person who fears the Almighty.” (Tafseer Khazin. 5/302).
Sayyidi Ala Hadrat May Allah have mercy upon him explains, “The definition of an Alim is that he is fully aware of (proper) Aqaa’id and he is steadfast. He can also extract whatever (issues) he wishes from books on his own without the help of anyone.” (Malfuz shareef. 11).
Disrespect to an Alim.
In the Tanweerul Absaar and the Durre Mukhtaar, it is explained, “The Almighty has declared that He will elevate the status of the Ulama. Therefore, He who elevates the Ulama, is the Almighty. Whoever tries to bring them down (or lower their status), the Almighty will throw that person into the fire of hell.”
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Zarr May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that, “An Alim is a testimony of the Almighty on earth and a proof. Whoever finds a fault with an Alim, he has destroyed himself.” (Kanzul Ummaal. 10/77).
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abaadah bin Saamit May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “Whoever does not recognize the rights of my Alim, he is not from my Ummah.” (Fatawah Radawiyyah. 10/140).
Hadrat Sayyiduna Jaabir bin Abdullah May Allah have mercy upon him narrates from the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him who declares that, “The only person who will think lightly of the rights of the Ulama is someone who is an open munaafiq.” (Fatawah Radawiyyah. 10/140).
Sayyidi Ala Hadrat May Allah have mercy upon him mentions that in the treatise “Majma’ul Anhar” it is mentioned, “Whoever belittles an Alim by calling him Uwailim or Molwiyah, that person has become a kaafir.”
The great Islamic jurist, Hadrat Moulana Mufti Sadrus Shariah, Amjad Ali in the Bahaareh Shariah records from Fatawah Alamgheeri that, “To disrespect religious knowledge and the Ulama without any cause and simply because he is an Alim of religion, is (an act of kufr).” (Bahaareh Shariah. 9/87).
He writes further, “If an Alim has presented an Islamic verdict (fatwah) after great care and that person still insist that he does not accept the fatwah and he throws the fatwah on the ground, (he has indeed committed kufr”. (Bahaareh Shariah. 9/87).
The benefit of people acquiring knowledge.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Aanis bin Maalik May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “Are you aware of who is the most generous?” They mentioned, “Allah and His Prophet know better.” He replied, “The Most Generous Being is the Almighty. Thereafter, among the children of Adam peace be upon him, I am the most generous. And after me, that person is the most generous person who acquires knowledge and then distributes it. On the day of Judgement, he alone, will appear as a group or a complete community.” (Mishkaat shareef. 1/70).
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Darda May Allah have mercy upon him mentions that once the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him was questioned, “What is the limit of knowledge where a person reaches and becomes an Alim?” The Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him replied, “When a person memorizes forty hadith pertaining to rules of shariah, the Almighty will allow him to arise as a faqeeh or jurist. On the day of Judgement, I will be his intercessor and his witness.”
There are many diverse implication to this hadith shareef. It could mean printing forty ahadith and distributing it. It could mean memorizing forty ahadith and revealing this to others. It could also mean to explain forty ahadith or to translate forty ahadith. To prepare forty ahadith the names of the narrators and then propagate this among people in the form of a booklet. All of these explanations could be meant. In other words, whoever propagates and spreads forty ahadith of mine among the masses, on the day of Judgement, the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him will become the intercessor of this person and the person will also be included among the Ulama. The Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him will also bear witness to the Imaan of this person. (Mirqaat. 1/221).
The Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him once declared, “The Divine Grace of the Almighty be upon my inheritors.” He was then asked who these inheritors of his were and he replied, “They who love my sunnah and teaches this among the slaves of Allah.” (Tafseer Kabeer. 1/275).
To teach knowledge to those who are unfit.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Aanis May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “To seek knowledge is Fard upon every Muslim and the similarity of that person who presents knowledge to someone who is unfit (for this knowledge), is like that person who places a necklace around the neck of a pig which is made from pearls, precious jewellery and gold.” (Ibn Maja shareef).
Mufti Jalaaludeen Ahmed Amjadi May Allah have mercy upon him in explaining this hadith shareef, mentions that, “By unfit is meant that person who has no common sense. It could also mean that student who does not learn to achieve the Divine Pleasure of Allah, but acquires knowledge to achieve wealth, status and position. There is no doubt that through this person, there will be no benefit to Islam but instead there will only be harm caused to Islam. Instead of receiving guidance, people will receive misguidance.”
Hadrat Moulana Rumi May Allah have mercy upon him has mentioned that, “To give knowledge and a certain speciality to someone who is unfit, is like placing a sword in the hand of a thief.” (Ilm and Ulama. 46).
Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Amash May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “One of the calamities of knowledge is forgetfulness and one of the ways of wasting knowledge (or destroying it) is to mention (or teach this to) people who are unfit.” (Mishkaat shareef. 1/72).
As wealth and health is sometimes destroyed and wasted due to certain events, in like manner, forgetfulness can also destroy Islamic knowledge. It is therefore necessary upon an Islamic scholar to continue revising and teaching others. He should never leave aside religious or educational material. He should also protect himself against those things which can decrease his power of memory.
Allamah Shami May Allah have mercy upon him mentions that there are six things which can damage ones memory.
They are, the first is to eat or drink something which has been touched by the mouth of a rat. The second is to catch a lice and allow it to leave alive. To urinate in stagnant water. To continue to chew on gum, (chewing gum). To eat a bitter apple and to chew on the skin of an apple. Besides these, other reasons have also been explained such as: to spit in a toilet. To urinate where one is having a bath, to look at things which one is not allowed to see. It is also recommended that after every salah, one should place ones right hand on ones head and recite “Ya Qaweeyuh” twenty one times. Insha Allah, his memory will become stronger. Also bear in mind that by unfit people is also meant those people who cannot understand the deep and finer points of knowledge. These people will acquire some knowledge and will spread fitnah on earth as we are seeing in the present era.” (Mirqaat. 1/224).
To conceal or hide knowledge.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah May Allah have mercy upon him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “Whoever is asked about (a certain aspect of) knowledge and even though he knows it, he hides and conceals (the answer), on the day of Judgement, he will be given a bridle of fire to wear.” (Imam Ahmed, Abu Daud, Tirmidi shareef).
In other words, when an Alim is asked about a certain religious issue and he refuses to answer the question, on the day of Judgement he will be treated even worse than an animal. After all, an animal is given a leather bridle while this person will be given a bridle made from hot burning flame. When we speak about knowledge in this regard, we mean those issues which pertain to halal, haram, fard etc. These are certainly issues which a person has no right to conceal if he has the knowledge about them. (Mirqaat. 1/204).
The Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “When fitnah becomes open and irreligious behaviour is spread far and wide and an Alim does not reveal his knowledge, (due to certain personal reasons or personal advantages which might be affected), then upon such a person is the Divine Curse of Allah, the Angels and all of mankind. The Almighty will not accept his Fard (ibaadah) and neither his Nafil (ibaadah).” (Malfuz shareef. 335).
To give a Fatwah without proper knowledge.
It is mentioned that once Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah May Allah have mercy upon him mentioned, “O People! Whatever you know, you should mention this and whatever you do not know, you should say “Allah knows” because knowledge is this that whatever you do not know, you should say that Allah knows.”
This clearly proves to us that when a person is unaware of a certain aspect of religion, he should not feel ashamed of saying that he does not know. He should bear in mind that whatever knowledge has been given to man is very little indeed. In fact, when we display such honesty in religious matters, we are actually emulating the blessed sunnah of the Angels.
You should remember that when the Almighty asked them to reveal the names of all things, they all declared that they did not know and whatever they did know was what the Almighty had already taught them.
It is mentioned that once, Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Malik May Allah have mercy upon him was asked forty questions. He only answered four of them. In reference to the thirty six other questions, he did not feel embarrassed to say that he was unaware of the answers to these questions. (Mirqaat. 1/257).
It is mentioned that once someone asked Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Abu Yusuf May Allah have mercy upon him a question and he mentioned that he did not know the answer to this question. However, the person replied that he receives so much of wealth from the Baitul Maal in spite of this. He replied that he accepted this as per his knowledge and that if he took this amount based on his ignorance, then he would be entitled for all the wealth in the Baitul Maal. (Sharah Fiqh Al Akbar. 51).
It is mentioned that Haafiz Sha’bi May Allah have mercy upon him was indeed a very eminent scholar of hadith and also considered a Haafizul Hadith He was also an eminent Tabaa’e. Once someone asked him a question and he replied that he was unaware of the answer. When the person heard this, he remarked, “You have no shame saying something like this (that you do not know the answer) even though you the Faqeeh of Iraq, (or the most famous Islamic jurist in Iraq).”
He replied, “Why should I feel ashamed to say something like this? After all, even the Angels did not feel embarrassed to give an answer like this. Are you not aware that when the Almighty asked the Angels to reveal the names of all things, they replied that they did not know anything besides what the Almighty has taught them?” When the person who asked the question heard this reply, he himself was extremely embarrassed and remained silent. (Tafseer Ruhul Bayan).
Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali May Allah have mercy upon him has stated that, “He who gives a fatwah (or decision) without knowledge, the Angles on earth and the heavens curse this person.” (Kanzul Ummaal. 10/111).
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah May Allah have mercy upon him mentions that, “In the last days, such people will be born who will be leaders and jaahils. They will give fatwah to people. They will be misled and they will also mislead others.”. (Kanzul Ummaal).
This should indeed be a lesson for those who acquire a little knowledge and then consider themselves as very great Muftis. These are people who acquire wordily knowledge and then begin to think very high of themselves. Some consider themselves as Muftis and great Mujtahids. It is seen on many occasions that people who merely spend some time in Western colleges and universities would appear in front of Islamic scholars or an Islamic conversation and try to pass themselves as great scholars.
They then begin to utter such words and opinions which have no connection at all to Islam. Whatever opinion they have, is nothing but an opinion based on pure and pure ignorance. Our humble appeal to such people is that they should refrain from interfering with religious issues and religious matters. There is no doubt that if they continue to act in this manner, there is a very high likelihood that it could cost them their Imaan.
The Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that, “Whoever gives his own opinion about the Quran, he should prepare his abode in the fire of hell”. (Mishkaat shareef. 1/66).
He has also advised, “Whatever you know about the Quran, you may say that and whatever you do not know, you should leave it to the Alim.” (Mishkaat shareef. 1/76)
To ask proper questions.
In surah Al Ambiyah, verse 7, the Quran declares:
فَسْـَٔلُوۡۤا اَہۡلَ الذِّکْرِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۷﴾
therefore, O people, ask the people of knowledge if you do not know.
Hadrat Sayyiduna ibn Umar May Allah have mercy upon him reports that, “A good question is half of knowledge”. (Kanzul Ummaal. 10/140).
Hadrat Sayyiduna AliMay Allah have mercy upon him has stated that, “Knowledge is a treasure (chest) and its key is question.
Therefore, question and may Allah bless you.” (Kanzul Ummaal. 10/76).
Dear brothers! It must also be understood that the majority of knowledge which has reached us, was due to the type of questions which were presented by the blessed Ashaab. The Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him answered these questions and there is no doubt that the Ummah owes a great amount of debt to the blessed Ashaab. One of the key factors in understanding religion better is to write down whatever issues trouble you. You should continue to do this. When a few questions have been compiled, you should then approach a qualified Islamic scholar who has proper Sunni beliefs and is also someone who practises what he knows and ask him the answers to your questions.
Refrain from silly questions.
As proper questions are of great benefit to the one who asks the question, the one who is answering these questions and to rest of other people, in like manner, a silly question is harmful to the one asking the question, the person who answers this question and to others who are waiting for the answer. This is nothing but a waste of time. It is mentioned that once, there was someone who used to attend the gathering of Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Abu Yusuf May Allah have mercy upon him. However, this person always kept silent and never used to ask any question.
One day, the great jurist looked at this person and remarked, “You always seem to keep silent, you should also ask a question.” The person then asked, “When should a person who is fasting break his fast.” The eminent jurist replied, “When the sun sets.” The person then asked, “What happens if the sun does not set until the middle of the night, what should the person do?” The eminent jurist began to laugh and then replied, “There is no doubt that your silence was much better.” (Hayaatul Haywaan. 1/19).
Who should you seek knowledge from?
Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam ibn Sireen May Allah have mercy upon him states that, “Knowledge is indeed religion. Therefore think carefully where you acquire your religion from.” (Mishkaat shareef. 1/73).
In other words, the knowledge of shariah will only be considered as proper knowledge of shariah when the person you are acquiring this knowledge from is a proper Alim himself. When you acquire knowledge from someone who is not religious, then the knowledge you acquire will also not be religious knowledge. It is sad to see that in the present age, people are actually acquiring knowledge of Tafseer and Ahadith from people who have no religion. Can you imagine the harm they are causing to themselves. (Mirqaat. 1/22).
Another tragedy we notice in the present age is that many parents are sending their innocent children to non Sunnis to become a Haafiz of the Quran. When this people are informed that these people are not Sunnis and therefore have no proper religious knowledge, the parents would reply, ‘Our intention is only for the child to learn the Quran and nothing else.’ You seem to have forgotten that the Quran itself is actually ‘religion of Deen’. Bear in mind that you will only receive non religion from someone who is not proper in his religion. In like manner, there are certain people who would go to someone to learn Arabic and when they are questioned, the same answer is given.
They would reply that they are not going to learn Islamic laws or Aqaa’id but only Arabic. However, bear in mind that these corrupt people do not only teach you Arabic, they also destroy your proper beliefs as well. On many occasions it was seen that during these lessons, these corrupt teachers would begin to insult the proper beliefs of the Ahle Sunnah wa Jamaah and when he is informed that in his pamphlet, he mentioned that he was only teaching Arabic and nothing else, these evil people would remain silent for a while but later on, they will continue to present their evil agenda. The tail of the dog never becomes straight.
Those who seek the truth should bear in mind that honey cannot be achieved from a fox or wolf. If you truly seek the truth, this can only be acquired from the rightly guided Ulama of the Ahle Sunnah wa Jamaah. From the Ulama-e-Su, you can get nothing but a free ticket to hell. There is no doubt that when you sit in the company of these fake scholars, very soon, you will also become affected and very soon, you will also start to doubt your own Imaan and Aqaa’id.
When you enrol at the institutes of these non Sunnis, the only thing you will learn is how to be a professional terrorist and how to destroy the sacred relics of Islam. You will learn the “art” of taking Quranic verses meant for the disbelievers and place them on the innocent Muslims. This is their special faculty of learning. If you wish to completely protect yourself and your family, do not even sit and eat with these people. If you happen to shake their hands, make sure that you wash them as quick as possible.
Which faculty of knowledge is fard.
The question that arises is that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him has stated that it is Fard for a Muslim to seek knowledge.
Therefore, the question is, which knowledge is implied in this hadith shareef? The Ulama explain that it is Fard for every Muslim to learn about the acts of Fard. In other words, it is Fard for him to acquire as much knowledge so that his beliefs and his actions are proper. As for the act of becoming an Alim or a Mufti, this is considered as Fard-e-Kifaayah. If there is an Alim in the locality who can guide people on religious matters, then the entire community is free of this responsibility. If there is not one Alim in the entire locality, the entire community becomes guilty of committing a great sin. What is implied as Fard is that he should acquire enough to be able to fulfil any act of Fard at that specific time.
For example, when a person becomes mature, it is Fard for him to learn the laws of salah so that he can he fulfil this duty. At the same time, without Wudu or proper Ghusal, he cannot perform his salah, therefore, it becomes Fard for him to learn the laws of Wudu etc. When he gets married, he needs to understand the laws which govern issues such as Nifaas, Haiz etc. He needs to understand the laws which govern marriage and talaq etc.
He needs to understand the laws of maintenance, how to treat his wife, what are the rights of his wife or wives, what are the laws which pertain to the proper upbringing of his children. When the month of Ramadan arrives, it is Fard for him to understand the various laws which govern fasting. If he becomes wealthy or has money, he needs to understand the laws which govern zakah etc. If he is able to go for Hajj and is able to afford it, it becomes necessary for him to understand the laws which govern Hajj and Umrah etc.
Pertaining to the above hadith shareef, Hadrat Mullah Ali Qari May Allah have mercy upon him has mentioned that the commentators of the hadith have made it clear that by knowledge, is meant religious knowledge. This is something which a person has to know and understand. This would pertain to the Creator, His Divine Oneness, the Prophet hood of the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him, the various signs of his eminent station.
He needs to understand how to perform salah etc. These are those faculties of knowledge which are considered as Fard-e-Ain on a Muslim. As for acquiring such Islamic knowledge which transforms the person into a great scholar or Mufti, this is considered as Fard-e-Kifaayah.
Again, Shaikh Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehlwi Bukhari May Allah have mercy upon him explains that, “In this hadith shareef, the knowledge implied is that knowledge which is necessary upon a Muslim at certain times. In other words, when he enters the fold of Islam, he needs to understand the existence of the Divine Creator and also the Divine Attributes of the Almighty. He needs to understand the various laws which make it compulsory for him to believe in the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him. He also needs to believe and understand all those things without which, his Imaam would remain incomplete. When the time comes for him to perform the salah, it is Waajib upon him to understand the laws thereof. When the month of Ramadan appears, he needs to understand the laws of fasting etc.
When he becomes a Saahib-e-Nisaab, he will need to understand the various rules of zakah. If however, he passes away before he gains this status, then he would not be considered as a sinner. When he gets married, he needs to understand the rules which govern issues like Haiz and Nifaas and the rules which pertain to husband and wife relationship etc.” (Ash’atul Lam’aat. 1/161).
Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Ghazzali May Allah have mercy upon him mentions that Hadrat Sayyiduna Umar May Allah have mercy upon him used to actually crack his whip on the business owners and force them to go and learn various aspects of Islamic business laws. The reason was that he did not wish that they consume usury without knowing it. In like manner, for every trade and occupation, there is a separate set of rules and laws. This would even include a simple trade like a barber. He would have to know which part of the hair he can remove and which part of the hair it is not permissible to remove. In like manner, it is not necessary upon a tailor to understand the rules and laws which govern a barber and vice versa. (Kimiya Sa’aadat . 129).
How will you achieve knowledge of religion?
It is reported that once a blessed companion approached the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him and asked, “O Prophet of Allah, I wish to become the most learned (among other ordinary people).” The Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him gave him advise, “Continue to fear Allah and you will become the most learned.” (Kanzul Ummaal. 6/294).
There is no doubt that a person who fears the Almighty will always refrain from sin and transgression. At the same time, since sinning is something which becomes an obstacle in the path of knowledge, once this is removed, then the person can acquire immense knowledge.
The advice of Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Shafi May Allah have mercy upon him.
The great Imam mentions that, “Once I complained to Hadrat Waqee May Allah have mercy upon him about my weak memory. He then advised me that I should refrain from committing sin. And that I should also bear in mind that knowledge is a great Divine Grace and this Divine Grace is not given to those who are constantly sinning”.
Bear in mind that this is not to say that the great Imam was someone who used sin constantly. By virtue of the fact that the Holy Prophet Peace and Salutations be upon him had said about him that there will be a young man from the Quraish who will spread knowledge all over world clearly proves that he was asking something for the benefit of the Muslim ummah. Today, we know that if we wish to acquire knowledge, one of the greatest manner of doing this is to follow the advice of the great Imam. Every part of the life of a great saint is a source of guidance for the Muslim ummah. The reason we have mentioned this is because we should be careful of the hidden enemies of Islam who would look for all types of excuses to dishonour the eminent Awliyah.
Explaining the status of one of his eminent students, Sayyidi Ala Hadrat May Allah have mercy upon him mentions, “In the present age, the description of what is meant by understanding religion is to be found mostly in the personality of Moulwi Amjad Ali. The reason is that he makes (me listen to the question) and also records whatever answer I deliver.” (Malfuz shareef. 84).
He then advises, “Another important point to be borne in mind by the seeker is that in spite of the fact that he may have laudable qualities, he should leave all of these at the front door and should think that he is nothing. When you come in this empty state, you will achieve something. If you think of yourself as someone great, nothing will be able to enter the container.” In other words, nothing will be soaked by the brain. A person will enter empty and leave empty. (Malfuz shareef. 84).
It is mentioned that once, while Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Abu Yusuf May Allah have mercy upon him was in classes, someone informed him that his child had passed away. At that time, he was in the classes of Imam Azam May Allah have mercy upon him. He then felt that if he left the classes, he would miss a great lesson of the day. With the result, he asked someone outside to take care of the burial rites. He did not leave the classes and did not miss one single lesson. (Ruhani Hikaayah. 1/22).
Hadrat Sayyiduna Yahyah bin Yahyah (who recorded the masterpiece of the Mu’atta of Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Malik May Allah have mercy upon him) was one day sitting in the classes of the great Imam. Suddenly everyone began to scream that the elephants had arrived. All the students then ran from the classes to go and see this strange creature which they had never seen before. However, Hadrat Yahyah bin Yahya May Allah have mercy upon him sat calmly in the classes recording his lessons. The great Imam then looked at him and said “O Yahyah! there are no elephants in your country of Andalusia. You may also go and look at these elephants.” However, Imam Yahyah May Allah have mercy upon him replied, “Hadrat! I have come from Andalusia merely to see you and to gain knowledge from you. I did not leave my country to see elephants.” (Ruhani Hikaayah. 2/216).
From the previous discussion, we have seen that one of the key ways of attaining knowledge is to have fear for the Almighty in ones heart. The second important point to bear in mind is that one should always record the words of knowledge. This habit should be inculcated within you.
The third important lesson to bear in mind is that when you present yourself in front of your teacher, you should firmly believe that you are nothing and have no knowledge. There is no doubt that someone who thinks of himself as a great Alim, he will never listen to words of knowledge carefully. At the same time, knowledge will never be attained if a person does not concentrate carefully on what is being taught. The fourth point is to be punctual in your lessons. And finally, the most important point that needs to borne in mind is that a person should seek knowledge strictly for the Divine Pleasure of Allah and to be able to serve the religion of Islam.
Respected brothers! there is no doubt that the confusion and the fitnah we see all around us today is because of the lack of knowledge. In the present age, usury is considered Halal, so to alcohol, some people say that bribery is something which they are entitled for, the issue of adultery has become common. Some people are still living with their wives even after they have given them three talaqs. Song and dance has been termed as the food of soul. Islamic pardah is being made a mockery of.
Various sunnah such as a beard is been ridiculed. All the Ulama have been termed as terrorist. (There is no doubt that the non Sunni Ulama are certainly terrorist because this is that they propagate in their private meetings), but this is not the case with the innocent Sunni Ulama. Religion is been ignored, misguidance is becoming rife, rudeness and robbery is become common. All of these crimes are because ignorance is beginning to spread world wide and knowledge is being completely ignored.
Study the signs close to the day of Judgement and we will see many things which are already occurring. One of the greatest tragedy is that knowledge in the form of the Ulama passing away is becoming common. It is said that near Qiyamah, ignorance would become very common and people would make the most unfit to be their leaders. These are people who will misguide people and be misguided themselves.
We pray that the Almighty protect us from being without knowledge. One of the greatest ways of protecting oneself is to be able to acquire knowledge oneself and then make sure that ones immediate family is also been taught all of this knowledge. One should become a mission oneself to ones family and friends. We are not saying that everyone needs to become a great Mufti of his era or her era. All we are saying is that, that knowledge which is Fard-e-Ain to seek, make sure that you acquire that knowledge.
My appeal to you is that you should spend some time everyday seeking some knowledge. If you are unable to go to a Madressah, at least read the books of the Ulama of the Ahle Sunnah.
You can also listen to some of their recordings and even make sure that you attend the appropriate functions to learn more about Islam. As for your children, since they are at the age of going to a Madressah, make sure that they attend a Sunni madressah. As long as your child is in the madressah learning, as we have mentioned, you will also receive the reward for this in your grave. This is a child who will carry your janaza and will also make dua for you. We make sincere dua that the Almighty gives us the strength to educate ourselves and also gives us the strength to pass on this this message of Islam.
We will now present two articles written in the second century of Islam. There are various amazing points and lessons which can be learnt from this. At the same time, the status and stature of the Ulama of the Ahle Sunnah will also become apparent and clear to you.
The first discussion.
It is mentioned that once the Caesar of Rome sent his special advisor to the court of Khaifah Mansur. The purpose of the advisor was to study the state of the Ulama of that period and also to ask them three important questions. If they are able to give a satisfactory answer to these questions, then so be it. If they are unable to give proper answers to these questions, then the Khalifah of the Muslims should be instructed that from now onwards, he had to give Khiraaj of tax to the Roman authorities.
Khalifah Mansur then called a special meeting and called all the leading Ulama of the period to this court. When everyone was in the court, they noticed that the Roman ambassador had already arrived and was sitting in a special seat.
Among the eminent Ulama present was also Imam Abu Hanifah May Allah have mercy upon him. The ambassador then began to ask these three questions but he was not satisfied with the answers which were presented to him. In all of this time, the great Imam remained silent and did not say a word. After everyone had spoken, the great Imam asked the Khalifah whether he would be given permission to speak to which the khalifah agreed.
This is the conversation:
Imam Abu Hanifah: At this moment in time, (addressing the Roman ambassador), you are the person asking the question and I am the person answering the question. Is this correct? If this is correct, firstly it is improper that the person asking the question should be sitting on a special seat. In fact, this special position should be given to the person who is answering the question.
Khalifah Mansur: Yes this is correct and the proper procedure.
The Roman ambassador then slowly came down from his seat and allowed the great Imam to sit comfortably on this same chair.
Imam Abu Hanifah: You may now present your questions.
Roman ambassador: My first question to you is this. What existed before the Creator?
Imam Abu Hanifah: I would presume that you are able to count. It starts as one, two, three and continues. Please tell me, what number appears before the one.
Roman Ambassador: There are no numbers before one. This is the first number and nothing before.
Imam Abu Hanifah: If this is the state of a mere numerical entity, what must be the state of that Divine Being is One in the true sense of the word. In fact, the true meaning of one is only found in the Divine Creator. Therefore, there could have been nothing before Him.
Roman Ambassador: My second question is. In which direction is the face of the Creator?
Imam Abu Hanifah: Before I answer that question, could you please inform me that when you light a lantern. In which direction do the rays of brightness and light shine?
Roman Ambassador: The light shines in every direction.
Imam Abu Hanifah: If this is the condition of light which appears from a mere lantern which is nothing but temporary light, imagine the condition of the Almighty whose Divine Being brightens everything. If you cannot place an exact direction to the light of a mere lantern, how can you ask about the direction of the Divine Glory of the Almighty?
Roman Ambassador: My third question is this. At this time, what is the Almighty doing?
Imam Abu Hanifah: At this moment in time, besides untold other things, the Almighty has made you awake from your chair and made me sit in it and has removed you from your chair.
When the Roman ambassador heard these answers, all he could do was bow his head in submission and defeat. As for the Khalifah and everyone else in the court, they were completely shocked at the speedy manner in which these answers were given. To all of them, it seemed as if the great Imam already knew the questions which were going to be presented.
This is merely one example of the amazing qualities of the Ulama of the Ahle Sunnah wa Jamaah and it was going to be a tradition in later years for people to try and trap the Ulama but on every occasion, they were defeated by the Ulama of Truth.