The Importance of Seeking Knowledge in Islam

Islam attaches great importance to knowledge and learning. In fact, it is the duty of every Muslim to seek knowledge whenever and wherever possible.

In other words, Islam teaches us that seeking knowledge is a religious obligation for every individual. 

The Importance of Seeking Knowledge in Islam

Anas ibn Malik (RA) reported: [1]

The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.”

This is a reminder to us all — men, women and children — that Allah has placed an obligation upon us to seek knowledge. Furthermore, seeking knowledge is one of the best acts of worship and obedience to Allah. Abu ad-Darda (RA) reported:  [2]

The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “He who follows a path in quest of knowledge, Allah will make the path of Jannah easy to him. The angels lower their wings over the seeker of knowledge, being pleased with what he does. The inhabitants of the heavens and the earth and even the fish in the depth of the oceans seek forgiveness for him. The superiority of the learned man over the devout worshipper is like that of the full moon to the rest of the stars (i.e., in brightness). The learned are the heirs of the Prophets who bequeath neither dinar nor dirham but only that of knowledge; and he who acquires it, has in fact acquired an abundant portion.”

So, where do we begin?

Sincerity and Patience

Firstly, and most importantly, we must ensure that our intentions are sincere, honest and, above all, for the sake of Allah Alone. We must not indulge in useless showing off or pompous boastful talks about our knowledge. The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: [3]

Whoever seeks knowledge in order to compete with the scholars or to prove himself superior to the ignorant or to make the people look up to him, Allah will cause him to enter Hell.

Furthermore, we should also be kind and patient with our own selves, as we cannot expect to learn everything overnight, nor can we master all the subjects in a lifetime. Many of us have daily responsibilities and duties as well, so we must try to be realistic with our goals and not overburden ourselves. It may help to allocate a set time in the day for learning purposes, and perhaps even encourage family members (if any) to learn alongside us.

We should remind ourselves of the following Hadith, as narrated by Hz Aisha (RA): [4]

Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds alone will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even if it were little.

The Role of The Quran

And if we are truly serious about making ourselves better persons, what better way to do so than to seek guidance from The Quran? We should regularly recite The Quran, and ponder over its meaning with the aid of accurate Tafsir. Shaykh ibn al-Uthaymeen said: [5]

Take care to memorize the Book of Allah (SWT) and allocate some time everyday to memorize and read, such that your recitation is with reflection and understanding. And if you come across a beneficial point whilst reading, then make a note of it.

Actionable Knowledge

We should also bear in mind that knowledge is only one-half of the equation — the other half is action and intent. In the absence of proper action and intent, any knowledge that we acquire will rust and decay. To quote Shaykh Saleh al-Fawzan: [6]

Knowledge is joined to action and action is the fruit of knowledge. So knowledge without action is like a tree without fruit; there is no benefit in it. And knowledge was sent down to bring about action.

As such, let us try our best to make use of the blessings that we have, and seek the Mercy of Allah through learning and striving to acquire knowledge, and ultimately, acting upon the knowledge that we gain.

May Allah grant all of us tawfeeq in our affairs, Aameen!

References

  1. Sunan Ibn Majah — 224
  2. Sunan al-Tirmidhi — 2682
  3. Sunan an-Nasa’i — 2654
  4. Sahih al-Bukhari — Book 81, Hadith 6541
  5. Shaykh ibn al-Uthaymeen — Kitab al-Ilm (Page 119, Question 17)
  6. Sharh al-Usool ath-Thalaathah

2 comments

  1. Firdous Kabir is deserving of our gratitude for highlighting this most important topic for us Muslims.I would like to complement his thesis from the Quran.When Mussa and Haroon first confronted Pharaoh with the Message which Allah ordered them to deliver to him, he said (20.49-50):<>The Quran says that the first favor which Allah bestowed on man after creating him was to guide him to the true religion . This is why Allah sent His Messengers .The second favor was communicatd to Muhammad in the very first revelation which he received (96.1-5) :<>The second great favor which Allah bestowed on man,after guiding him to the true religion ,was that he endowed him with the ability to discover new knowledge ;in other words,with the ability to acquire learning and to develop science.This is then the first favor of Allah which was communicated to our Prophet in the very first revelation which he received from Allah.Nothing could emphasize the paramount importance of acquiring knowledge in Islam more than this revelation .If we are neglectful of thie endeavor ,we would be rewarding Allah’s generosity to us with ingratitude .

  2. Here are the Ayahs which were left out when my comment was published here:

    1. 20.49-50:- He said ,’Who then is the Lord of you twain,O Mussa?’He said ,’Our Lord is He who gave everything its creation,then guided it.’
    2. 96.1-5:- Recite in the name of your Lord who created – Created man from a clinging substance. Recite, and your Lord is the most Generous – Who taught by the pen – Taught man that which he knew not.

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