Weekly Blog # 6
Sept 13, 221 – Sept 19, 2021
Safar 6, 1443 – Safar 12, 1443

6 - The Virtue of Seeking and Spreading Sacred Knowledge

What have Allah and His Messenger said about

6 - The Virtue of Seeking and Spreading Sacred Knowledge

قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِى ٱلَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَٱلَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ ۗ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُو۟لُوا۟ ٱلْأَلْبَـٰبِ
Say, “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding.

Surat Az-Zumar (39) – Verse 9
إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى ٱللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ ٱلْعُلَمَـٰٓؤُا۟
Only those fear Allah, from among His servants, who have knowledge.

Surah Al-Fatir (35) – Verse 28
حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ أَبِي عُمَرَ، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، عَنْ عَبْدِ الْمَلِكِ بْنِ عُمَيْرٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مَسْعُودٍ، يُحَدِّثُ عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ نَضَّرَ اللَّهُ امْرَأً سَمِعَ مَقَالَتِي فَوَعَاهَا وَحَفِظَهَا وَبَلَّغَهَا فَرُبَّ حَامِلِ فِقْهٍ إِلَى مَنْ هُوَ أَفْقَهُ مِنْهُ ‏.‏ ثَلاَثٌ لاَ يُغَلُّ عَلَيْهِنَّ قَلْبُ مُسْلِمٍ إِخْلاَصُ الْعَمَلِ لِلَّهِ وَمُنَاصَحَةُ أَئِمَّةِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَلُزُومِ جَمَاعَتِهِمْ فَإِنَّ الدَّعْوَةَ تُحِيطُ مِنْ وَرَائِهِمْ ‏”‏ ‏.
Narrated ‘Abdul-Malik bin ‘Umair from ‘Abdur-Rahman bin ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud that he narrated from his father, from the Prophet (ﷺ) who said: “May Allah beautify a man who hears a saying of mine, so he understands it, remembers it, and conveys it. Perhaps he carries the Fiqh to one who has more understanding than him. There are three with which the heart of a Muslim shall not be deceived. Sincerity in deeds for Allah, giving Nasihah to the A’immah of Muslims, and sticking to the Jama’ah. For indeed the call is protected from behind them.”

Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2658
On this date, we remember the passing of Imam Nasai (rah), an author of one of the Sihah al-Sitta – The six authentic compilations of hadith. To commemmorate his life and works, let’s talk a bit about scholars and the virtue of spreading the knowledge of Islam.

What is an ‘Aalim

The word ‘Ulama’ in the verse means people who have due knowledge of the being and attributes of Allah Ta’ala and who have the fact of His power and control, and His favors and blessings, on what He has created, always in sight. In the terminology of the Qur’an, no one is considered to be an ‘aalim simply by virtue of knowing the Arabic language, grammar and rhetoric unless he has acquired the knowledge and understanding of the attributes of Allah Ta’ala in the manner stated above. Explaining this verse, Hasan al-Basri said: ‘Aalim is a person who fears Allah in private and in public, and likes what Allah likes him to do, and hates what is detestable in the sight of Allah. (Mariful Quran)

The Degrees of Awe

There are different degrees among people who have the awe or fear of Allah in their hearts. Someone may have achieved its highest degree. Others may have arrived at what is less than that. Then, the whole thing depends on knowledge. Whoever has a certain degree of knowledge will have a corresponding degree of the awe or fear of Allah. (Ruh-ul-Ma’ani)

Types of Knowledge in Islam

Muslim scholars classify knowledge into two categories:

1: Obligatory knowledge (fardh ‘ayn): This refers to knowledge of the fundamentals of Islamic beliefs which every Muslim must know. Seeking this knowledge is an obligatory duty upon every Muslim. All obligatory knowledge deal exclusively with religious knowledge, that is, knowledge pertaining to Islamic faith, acts of worship, and the necessary transactions in the daily dealings of a Muslim.

2: Optional knowledge (fardh kifayah): This is not a duty required of every individual, but rather it falls upon the community as a whole. Hence, if a group of individuals in the community undertake to acquire this kind of knowledge, all other individuals will be exempted from this duty, and the whole community will be free from responsibility or negligence to acquire this kind of knowledge. Examples of such knowledge include studying Islamic law and other basic sciences, industries and professions which are vital for the welfare of the society.

Unlike obligatory knowledge, optional knowledge covers part of Islamic knowledge and all worldly knowledge. The former is called optional Islamic knowledge, while the latter is worldly knowledge.

(The above section was adapted from islamweb.net)
The Virtue of Seeking Sacred Knowledge

The highest rank of man is the attainment of happiness in the next world and the most excellent things are the ways that lead to it. So knowledge is the root of good fortune in this world and in the next. The result of knowledge is to enjoy nearness of God, to keep company with the angels and the pious divines which are objects of the next world and its result in this world is honour, influence over the rulers and the people. So acquisition of knowledge and its teaching are excellent actions in order to seek good of this world and good of the next and it is most laudable with the above object.

Once the saint Fathul Musolli was asked: Does not a sick man die for want of food, drink and medicine? The people said: Yes, He said: Such is the condition of heart. When the heart is not given wisdom and knowledge for three consecutive days, it dies. It is a veritable truth that the food of the heart is knowledge and wisdom. As food keeps the body alive, these two things similarly keep the heart alive. He who misses knowledge has got his heart diseased and its end is its death, but he does not understand it. When he leaves the world and its works, his power of sense goes away just as excessive fear keeps one forgetful for a moment of the pangs of wound. But when death takes away the burden of this world from a man, he repents at the advent of his death but it comes to no use. His condition is just like that of one who does not feel any pain in swoon, but as soon as he recovers from his swoon, he begins to feel pain. Men are in sleep but they are awake at death.

The sage Hasan Basari (RA) said: The ink of the learned will be weighed against the blood of martyrs and then it will be found that the ink of the learned is heavier than the blood of the martyrs. Ibn Masud (RA) said: You should acquire knowledge before your death. By One in whose hand there is my life, those who were killed in the way of Allah would every time wish that Allah should resurrect them, as learned men, as they will find the honor meted out to the learned men there. Nobody is born learned. Learning is to be acquired. Ibn Abbas (RA) said: To discuss about learning in a portion of night is dearer to me than to keep up awake throughout the night in prayer. Abu Hurairah and Imam Ahmad held this view. Allah advised us to pray thus: “O Allah, give us good in this world and good in the hereafter” (2:297). In explaining ‘good’ in this verse, Hasan Basari said that it means Knowledge so far as this world is concerned and Paradise so far as the hereafter is concerned. A certain wise man was once asked: Which thing is to be hoarded? He replied: That thing which will remain with you even if your boat capsizes, that is knowledge.

Above sections from Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din – Chapter 1: Acquisition of Knowledge

Spiritual Reminders

The Life of Abu Hurayrah (R.A)
Abu Hurayra (rad) is one of the sahaba who have spread the and taught the largest number of ahadith. For this week’s spiritual reminder, we take a glimpse at his life.

Abu Hurayrah (R.A.) once travelled to Makkah with At-Tufayl (R.A.). There he had the honour and privilege of meeting the noble Prophet (S.A.W.) who asked him:

“What is your name?”
“Abdu Shams – Servant of a Sun,” Abu Hurayrah (R.A.) replied.
“Instead, let it be Abdur-Rahman – the Servant of the Beneficent Allah ,” said the Prophet (S.A.W.).
“Yes, Abdur-Rahman (it shall be) O Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.),” he replied.
However, he continued to be known as Abu Hurayrah “the father of a kitten” because like the Prophet (S.A.W.), he was fond of cats and since his childhood often had a cat to play with.
Abu Hurayrah (R.A.) stayed in Tihamah for several years and it was only at the beginning of the seventh year of the Hijrah that he arrived in Madinah with others of his tribe. The Prophet (S.A.W.) had gone on a campaign to Khaybar. Being destitute, Abu Hurayrah (R.A.) took up his place in the Masjid with other of the Ahl as- Suffah. He was single, without wife or child. With him however was his mother who was still a mushrik (non-believer). He longed, and prayed, for her to become a Muslim but she adamantly refused.
One day, he invited her to have faith in Allah alone and follow His Prophet (S.A.W.) but she uttered some words about the Prophet (S.A.W.) which saddened him greatly. With tears in his eyes, he went to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) who said to him:
“What makes you cry, O Abu Hurayrah?” “I have not let up in inviting my mother to Islam but she has always rebuffed me. Today, I invited her again and I heard words from her which I do not like. Do make supplication to Allah Almighty to make the heart of Abu Hurayrah’s mother incline to Islam.” The Prophet (S.A.W.) responded to Abu Hurayrah’s (R.A.) request and prayed for his mother. Abu Hurayrah said:
“I went home and found the door closed. I heard the splashing of water and when I tried to enter my mother’s room, mother said: “Stay where you are, O Abu Hurayrah.” And after putting on her clothes, she said, “Enter!” I entered and she said: “I testify that there is no god but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is His Servant and His Messenger.” “I returned to the Prophet (S.A.W.) weeping with joy just as an hour before I had gone weeping from sadness and said: “I have good news, O Messenger of Allah. God has responded to your prayer and guided the mother of Abu Hurayrah to Islam.”
Abu Hurayrah loved the Prophet (S.A.W.) a great deal and found favor with him. He was never tired of looking at the Prophet (S.A.W.) whose face appeared to him as having all the radiance of the sun and he was never tired of listening to him.

Abu Hurayrah (R.A.) underwent much hardship and difficulties as a result of his dedicated search for knowledge. He was often hungry and destitute. He said about himself: “When I was afflicted with severe hunger, I would go to a companion of the Prophet (S.A.W.) and asked him about an ayah of the Quran and (stay with him) learning it so that he would take me with him to his house and give food. ” One day, my hunger became so severe that I placed a stone on my stomach. I then sat down in the path of the companions. Abu Bakr (R.A.) assed by and I asked him about an ayah of the Book of Allah. I only asked him so that he would invite me but he didn’t.
“Then Umar ibn al-Khattab (R.A.) passed by me and I asked him about an ayah but he also did not invite me. Then the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) passed by and realized that I was hungry and said: “Abu Hurayrah!” “At your command” I replied and followed him until we entered his house. He found a bowl of milk and asked his family: “From where did you get this?” “Someone sent it to you” they replied. He then said to me: “O Abu Hurayrah, go to the Ahl as-Suffah and invite them.” Abu Hurayrah did as he was told and they all drank from the milk.
The time came of course when the Muslims were blessed with great wealth and material goodness of every description. Abu Hurayrah (R.A.) eventually got his share of wealth. He had a comfortable home, a wife and child. But this turn of fortune did not change his personality. Neither did he forget his days of destitution. He would “I grew up as an orphan and I emigrated as a poor and indigent person. I used to take food for my stomach from Busrah bint Ghazwan. I served people when they returned from journeys and led their camels when they set out. Then Allah caused me to marry her (Busrah). So praise be to Allah who has strengthened his religion and made Abu Hurayrah an imam.” (This last statement is a reference to the time when he became governor of Madinah.)
Much of Abu Hurayrah’s (R.A.) time would be spent in spiritual exercises and devotion to Allah. Qiyam al-Layl (staying up for the night in prayer and devotion) was a regular practice of his family including his wife and his daughter. He would stay up for a third of the night, his wife for another third and his daughter for a third. In this way, in the house of Abu Hurayrah (R.A.) no hour of the night would pass without ibadah, dhikr and Salat.
During the caliphate of Umar ibn Khattab (R.A.), Umar appointed him as governor of Bakrain. Umar (R.A.) was very scrupulous about the type of persons whom he appointed as governors. He was always concerned that his governors should live simply and frugally and not acquire much wealth even though this was through lawful means.
In Bahrain, Abu Hurayrah (R.A.) became quite rich. Umar (R.A) heard of this and recalled him to Madinah. Umar (R.A.) thought he had acquired his wealth through unlawful means and questioned him about where and how he had acquired such a fortune.
Abu Hurayrah (R.A.) replied: “From breeding horses and gifts which I received.” “Hand it over to the treasury of the Muslims,” ordered Umar (R.A.). Abu Hurayrah (R.A.) did as he was told and raised his hands to the heavens and prayed:
“O Lord, forgive the Amir al-Muminin.” Subsequently, Umar (R.A.) asked him to become governor once again but he declined. Umar (R.A.) asked him why he refused and he said:
“So that my honor would not be besmirched, my wealth taken and my back beaten.” And he added: “And I fear to judge without knowledge and speak without wisdom.” Throughout his life Abu Hurayrah (R.A.) remained kind and courteous to his mother. Whenever he wanted to leave home, he would stand at the door of her room and say: As-Salaam-u-Alaykum, yaa ummataah, wa rahrnatullahi wa barakatuhu (peace be on you, mother, and the mercy and blessings of Allah).” She would reply: “Waalayk-um-Asalaam, yaa bunayya, wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu (And on you be peace, my son, and the mercy and blessings of Allah).” Often, he would also say: “May Allah have mercy on you as you cared for me when I was small,” and she would reply: “May Allah have mercy on you as you delivered me from error when I was old.”

Abu Hurayrah (R.A.) always encouraged other people to be kind and good to their parents.
One day he saw two men walking together, one older than the other. He asked the younger one:
“What is this man to you?”
“My father,” the person replied.
“Don’t call him by his name. Don’t walk in front of him and don’t sit before him,” advised Abu Hurayrah (R.A.).
Muslims owe a debt of gratitude to Abu Hurayrah (R.A.) for helping to preserve and transmit the valuable legacy of the Prophet (S.A.W.), may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He died in the year 59 AH when he was seventy-eight years old.

(The above sections were adapted from islamicfinder.org)

YOUR WEEKLY DOSE OF

Sirah

How the Prophet (SAW) Would Teach the Sahaba
The Prophet (ﷺ) is the perfect example for all of mankind to follow until the last day. The Prophet (ﷺ) taught the companions every aspect of life. The Holy Prophet (ﷺ) would do this firstly by his actions and sublime character. Aishah (RA) said in a famous narration that “His character was the Quran”. The companions observed every aspect of the Prophet’s (ﷺ) life and implemented it within their lives. Before the Prophet (ﷺ) would issue an order, he would carry it out himself. Moreover, the Prophet (ﷺ) would often mention something important three times to capture the attention of his companions which would lead to more lasting impact of what they learned.

Sunnah Acts

Etiquettes of Seeking Knowledge
1) Sit in the tashahhud position

2) Sit close to the teacher

3) Ensure one’s clothes are clean

4) Respect the teacher

5) Listen attentively

6) Ask any relevant questions

7) Apply what one has learned

8) Respect the tools of knowledge

Adhkar/Dua

Dua for Increase in knowledge
رَبِ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا

Rabbi Zidnee I’lmaa

“My Lord, increase me in knowledge”

Quran 20:114


اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ عِلْماً نَافِعاً، وَرِزْقاً طَيِّباً، وَعَمَلاً مُتَقَبَّلاً

Allaahumma ‘innee ‘as’aluka ‘ilman naafi’an, wa rizqan tayyiban, wa ‘amalan mutaqabbalan

“O Allah, I ask You for knowledge that is of benefit , a good provision , and deeds that will be accepted”

Sunan Ibn Majah 925

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