Acquiring Religious Knowledge is a Virtuous Deed- 6th December 2015
Acquiring religious knowledge is a virtuous deed in Islam.
Some scholars considered it better than Jihad in the way of Allah, as knowledge is the basis of everything in Islam. The one fighting in the way of Allah can’t go for Jihad without knowledge nor can he perform any of the acts of worship without knowledge.
Others said it is equal to Jihad, using the following verse as evidence:
Surat At-Tawbah Verse 122:
وما كان المؤمنون لينفروا كافة فلولا نفر من كل فرقة منهم طائفة ليتفقهوا في الدين ولينذروا قومهم اذا رجعوا اليهم لعلهم يحذرون
And it is not for the believers to go forth [to battle] all at once. For there should separate from every division of them a group [remaining] to obtain understanding in the religion and warn their people when they return to them that they might be cautious.
Mu’aawiyah reported: The Messenger of Allah (Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “When Allah wishes good for someone, He bestows upon him the understanding of Deen.”
Appreciate the blessing of being able to understand something in the religion.
There is no difference between the Mujahid who fixes his bow and arrow for Jihad, and the student of knowledge who goes through books to seek knowledge.
“If the person is strong in understanding and memorization, it is better for him to seek knowledge, whereas if he isn’t strong in understanding but is physically strong, it is better for him to go for Jihad. If his physical and mental strength are both equal then he should seek knowledge” – Ibn ‘Uthaymeen
Everyone benefits from knowledge. The person who seeks it will benefit from it in his life and after his death. He will benefit those who are near and far from him. He will benefit those who are not yet born; even people who come hundreds of years later. Many of the scholars have passed away but they left behind abundant knowledge which we are still studying and benefiting from.
The Messenger of Allah (Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (ceaseless charity); knowledge which is beneficial; or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (the deceased).” [Muslim]
Allah ordered the Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to ask Allah to increase him in knowledge.
Surat Taha Verse 114:
فتعالى الله الملك الحق ولا تعجل بالقران من قبل ان يقضى اليك وحيه وقل رب زدني علما
So high [above all] is Allah , the Sovereign, the Truth. And, [O Muhammad], do not hasten with [recitation of] the Qur’an before its revelation is completed to you, and say, “My Lord, increase me in knowledge.”
If the Prophets and Messengers need knowledge, then what about those of us who are of a lesser degree than them?
If Allah has granted a person knowledge, then Allah has bestowed upon them a great favour, which is greater than any worldly matter.
“Allah created the creation for the purpose of knowing and worshipping Him. This will lead the person to every good, and it will lead him to attain success in both the Dunya and Aakhirah. Knowing and worshipping Allah is also the means of attaining happiness in this world and the next. Neglecting knowing and worshipping Allah is the means to an evil and a miserable life in this world and the next. Therefore if you missed out on these two matters you would have missed out on every good and would have attained every evil” – Shaykh As-Sa’dee
Whoever neglects knowing Allah has neglected what Allah created him for. If he is busy with other than Allah, then he is busy with something Allah didn’t create him for.
It is very ugly for a slave, whom Allah is bestowing favors upon, to turn away from seeking knowledge about Allah. Learning about Allah is not a waste of time, rather it is something very noble with Him.