The Ummah’s Strong Need For Islamic Knowledge

663 views | Imam Murtadha Gusau | February 1, 2019

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
All praise is for Allah. We praise Him, we seek His aid and we ask for His forgiveness. We seek Allah’s refuge from the evils of ourselves and from our evil actions. Whosoever Allah guides, there is no one who can misguide him; and whosoever Allah misguides, there is no one who can guide him.
I testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, alone, who has no partner; and I testify that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is His servant and Messenger.
Dear brothers and sisters! What is the real knowledge?
Allah, Glorified and Sublime be He, says:
“Allah bears witness that La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), and the angels, and those having knowledge (also give this witness); (He is always) maintaining His creation in Justice.” [Surah Ali-Imran, 18]
It is deduced from this Qur’anic verse that the real knowledgeable man is the one who bears witness of Allah’s Justice, but the one who transmits some of what he has read is considered only a transmitter, not a knowledgeable man. If this man narrates to someone what he has found in some books without thinking deeply about these pieces of information, he may make the listener have contradictory ideas about some religious issues. As a result, the listener may believe that Allah’s Justice is different from ours, but he may start thinking that man in fact does not have the free will, and all his actions and deeds are imposed upon him. These words are not the words of the knowledgeable, but the ones of the transmitter. He transmits both the facts and false ideas he has read, so he will be punished for transmitting falsehood. Allah the Almighty says:
“Allah bears witness that La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), and the angels, and those having knowledge (also give this witness); (He is always) maintaining His creation in Justice.” [Surah Ali-Imran, 18]
* The most precious deed in man’s life is to acquire the Islamic knowledge from a knowledgeable man
“This knowledge contains the rules of the religion, so look thoroughly into the person from whom you acquire the knowledge of your religion.” [Muslim, by Ibn Sirin]
In another Hadith, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“O Ibn Umar, your religion, your religion is your flesh and blood. Take it from the pious ones, and do not take it from those who deviated.” [Kanz Al-Ummal, by Ibn Umar]
If someone tells a man about false religious ideas, that might help him commit sins, cover or justifies sins, this is absolutely falsehood. Some people justify gazing at forbidden things referring mistakenly to what our Prophet Yusuf (Peace be upon him) did (when the woman of Al-Aziz wanted to commit adultery with him).
The outcomes of acquiring the sound Islamic knowledge are chivalry, chastity, honesty, trustworthiness and so on. If the Muslim is entrusted with all the money of this worldly life, he will take his portion only. Hence, the believer is trustworthy, honest and chaste. If he is entrusted with something, he will never betray the trust. Moreover, the believer gets married to a religious woman in order to have righteous children. Also, he invites his neighbour, his son in law, his nephew, his brother, his friend, etc… to the Masjid in order to get them closer to Allah and be steadfast. Allah the Almighty says:
“See you not how Allah sets forth a parable? – A goodly word as a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the sky (i.e. very high) . Giving its fruit at all times.” [Surah Ibrahim, 24-25]
Below is another similitude. Allah the Almighty says:
“And these similitudes We put forward for mankind, but none will understand them except those who have knowledge (of Allah and His Signs, etc.).” [Surah Al-Ankabut, 43]
* The Noble Qur’an is Allah’s Book.
Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, says:
“Nay, but they, the clear Ayat [i.e the description and the qualities of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), written like verses in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injil (Gospel)] are preserved in the breasts of those who have been given knowledge (from the people of the Scriptures).” [Surah Al-Ankabut, 49]
This means that the verses of the Noble Qur’an are not merely Words that have been written in these papers:
“Nay, but they, the clear Ayat [i.e the description and the qualities of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), written like verses in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injil (Gospel)] are preserved in the breasts of those who have been given knowledge (from the people of the Scriptures).” [Surah Al-Ankabut, 49]
Whoever does not acquire the Islamic knowledge from the people of knowledge will never get the truth. Let alone, whoever does not know the Sunnah will be ignorant of what the scholars discuss. The Prophet (Peace be upon him), said:
“Wisdom increases the honour of the noble.” [Al-Jami’ As-Saghir, by Anas]
If someone is from a noble linage, he will be more exalted after acquiring knowledge, and if he is honourable, knowledge will increase his honour.
A Khalifah said, If you are noble men, knowledge will make you more elevated, if you are from middle class people, knowledge will make you noble people and if you are from lower class people, you will know how to live by knowledge.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Wisdom increases the honour of the noble and exalts a servant as high as to raise him to the level of kings.” [Al-Jami’ As-Saghir, by Anas]
Also, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said in a Hadith narrated by Abi Hurairah:
“Two things will not be together in a hypocrite: Good manners, and Fiqh in the religion.” [At-Tirmidhi, by Abi Hurairah]
Allah has never been the Guardian of the ignorant, and He grants the ignorant knowledge before He becomes His Guardian.
Someone may be highly educated, but if he is not steadfast on Allah’s Order, he is not knowledgeable, and the knowledge he has is mere ignorance. On the other hand, you may know someone who is not highly educated, but he acts upon Allah’s Order, he fears Allah, Glorified and Sublime be He, he makes use of whatever sound Islamic fact he receives, he has exalted knowledge even though it may be little. As you know, life is short and man may not have the chance to acquire all the Islamic knowledge. Thus, fearing Allah is enough knowledge for man. Our Master Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
“Verily, I am supposed to be a follower of Allah’s Shari’ah, not to be an innovator.”
“The knowledgeable man never says something from his own mind, but rather he refers to Allah’s Words and the Sunnah of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). The learned and the warriors are nearest to the rank of Prophet hood. The learned have been sent for which the Prophets were sent. They are guides to the people and the warriors wage war in the path of Allah with their arms like the Prophets.” [From Ahadith Al-Ihya’, by Ibn Abbas]
Man may stand before Allah on the Day of Resurrection and his position is as great as the whole nation. I just want to urge you to be like that. You can know your position in Allah’s Sight by the number of people you help to be guided to Allah. Keep in mind that the main task of the Prophets (Peace be upon them) was guiding people. Furthermore, If Allah decrees that you guide someone to Him, you will be wealthier than whoever has been given all the wealth of the worldly life.
Onassis, is one of the wealthiest men, who owned shipping fleet and islands, but what did he take with him when he died? Before he died he said:
“I am the most miserable man.”
In one of the Arab countries the man owns 5000 million Dollars, but this does not make him different from other people, because all people can eat one ounce and a half of meat for lunch, all people can wear one suit for one meeting, all people sleep in one bed every day and all people can drink one cup of water when they are thirsty. If man thinks deeply about the situation of the wealthy people, he will find that their life is about deceptive appearances.
* The virtue of wisdom
Allah, Glorified and Sublime be He, said:
“He grants Hikmah to whom He pleases, and he, to whom Hikmah is granted, is indeed granted abundant good.” [Surah Al-Baqarah, 269]
If you are granted wisdom, you will spend your money wisely, you will make money wisely, you will choose to get married to a righteous young woman, you will mend your mistakes, you will raise your children properly and you will seize the moment perfectly.
A brother in faith told me that once his father had some pains, so he took a sedative medicine, but from that day on he become addicted to it. Consequently, the father has become bed-ridden, and he needs to take the medicine, which costs 30,000 naira daily. The medicine is a very effective one, so if the father does not take it, he will break everything he sees. Had he been wise, he would not have ended up like that. He is in debt now, and at an hour of anger, he sold his house at 290,000 millions although it was worth 700,000 millions. The agent/broker deceived him and sold the house at that cheap price, so the man moved to live in his mother’s house in one room with his wife and five children (sons and daughters). His house is worth 800,000 millions these days. Where is his wisdom? His son said that the house was 180 square meters, and that their situation was difficult.
Wisdom is everything in life. Money needs to be guarded, but knowledge guards you. Wisdom helps you bring your money, but foolishness causes its loss. Also, by wisdom man can choose a good woman to be his wife, but without it, he chooses a beautiful wife who will plot against him later on. Man should seek knowledge, because it is the most precious thing in life. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“The death of an entire tribe is easier than the death of one scholar.” [At-Tabarani, by Abi Ad-Darda]
* If scholars and leaders are righteous, people will be righteous too
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Two types of people who if they are righteous, the people are righteous and if they are bad, the people are bad: The scholars and leaders.” [Ibn Abdul Barr and Abu Na’im, from Hadith of Ibn Abbas]
Imam Al-Ghazali said:
“Let the day that ends without enriching my knowledge to get closer to Allah, Glorified and Sublime be He, not be blessed.”
If you are certain that whatever the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said is the truth, then you should reconsider your daily activities and deeds. You should make benefit from the interpretation of a Qur’anic verse which you did not know before, a Hadith you did not know and an issue of Fiqh. Also, you should do a good deed, act upon the orders mentioned in the Prophetic Sunnah, such as visiting a sick person, give sincere advice to other people, enjoin Al-Ma’ruf, forbid Al-Munkar, recite Allah’s Book and remember Allah, Glorified and Sublime be He.
* Salah (Prayer) is the skeleton of all the religion
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Salah (Prayer) is the skeleton of all the religion, whoever keeps it and gives it its rights he would have kept the faith, and whoever destroyed it or leave it then he had destroyed the faith.” [Al-Baihaqi in Shu’ab Al-Iman, by Umar]
Someone may say, “I am a good man, and I never hurt anyone, but I do not pray.” How does anyone dare to say that? This is either dullness or cleverness. A person may not hurt anyone, because he is dull, but if he is powerful, and he never hurts other people to save himself from making trouble and live in peace, then this is cleverness. However, this is not what our religion about; Islam is about knowing Allah, Glorified and Sublime be He.
A student may complain at the end of the year about failing in the exam, saying that he never does harm to his colleagues and never makes trouble with them, but he does not study. This is ridiculous! Success needs studying hard for the exams. Likewise, it is nonsense to say that since you have a good heart it does not matter whether you pray or not and whether you act upon Allah’s Order or not. Being a Muslim means being a steadfast man who performs prayer regularly. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Allah has not given any man more excellence than the knowledge of religion and one person (knowledgeable in the Religion) is more formidable to the devil than a thousand worshippers. Everything has its foundation and the foundation of this religion is knowledge of (Deen) theology.” [As-Sakhawi, by Abi Hurairah]
In another Hadith, he (Peace be upon him) said:
“The best of religious practice is the easiest.” [Ahmad, Sahih]
Someone may travel with a group of people, and when it is time to pray, he refuses to shorten Salah (Prayer) with them saying that he is not tired. Well, the other people are exhausted, and they are allowed to shorten their Salah (Prayer), so you should agree with the group and do what they do. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Agree with those whose religious performance is the least.”
In another Hadith, the Prophet, Peace be upon him, said:
“The best of religious practice is the easiest and the best worship is engaging in Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence).” [Al-Jami’ As-Saghir, by Anas]
* Fiqh (religious understanding) is the best act of worship
Sawm (fasting), Salah (Prayer) and Hajj are acts of worship, but the best act of worship is engaging in Fiqh. A man got back from Hajj, and many people visited him to congratulate him. One day, he looked into the hole of the door where the women came to congratulate his wife, so how did he really perform Hajj? It would have been better for him to have knowledge about religious issues before he performed Hajj, and it would have been greater if his act of worship had been performed according to the Islamic knowledge he had had. A man who has no Fiqh knowledge may kill someone in Hajj in order to kiss the Black Stone, so is he engaged in Fiqh? He justifies what he does by saying that he wants to reach the stone, but to do so he wants to smash all people before him, which is definitely ignorance. Another man stands at Arafah in a tent listening to the tape recorder and drinking cold water. After he comes back from Arafah, he says to you, “Praise be to Allah, we spent five hours there having fun, drinking cold water and listening to the tape recorder. Everything was fine.” Is this Hajj? Pay attention to the meaning of the following Hadith:
“The best of religious practice is the easiest and the best worship is engaging in Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence).” [Al-Jami’ As-Saghir, by Anas]
* The excellence of learning
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was once asked:
“O Prophet of Allah, which action is best? He, Peace be upon him, said, ‘Knowledge.’ He was then asked, ‘Which knowledge do you mean?’ He, Peace be upon him, said, ‘Knowledge about Allah.’ They said, ‘We ask you about action but you speak of knowledge.’ The Prophet, Peace be upon him, said, ‘With your knowledge of Allah, a few actions will suffice and your ignorance about Allah will not suffice even though actions are numerous’.” [Al-Jami’ As-Saghir, by Anas]
No matter how many activities you have, they are useless as long as you are ignorant about Allah. For instance, the twenty floor building of someone who constructs it without the help of some engineers, will be destroyed, because it is built ignorantly. Although the owner brings hundred tons of iron, and he dedicates different amounts of iron to different places of the building, his work is done randomly without asking the help of engineers. As a result, the building will be destroyed, and his money will be spent in vain. If you want to build a building and buy building materials, such as iron and cement, which are expensive, you should ask an engineer to do that for you, because he knows the correct amounts you need of these materials for the building. The Noble Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“With your knowledge of Allah, a few actions will suffice and your ignorance about Allah will not suffice even though actions are numerous.” [Al-Jami’ As-Saghir, by Anas]
Abu Al-Aswad said:
“There is nothing greater than knowledge. Kings are rulers of people, but scholars are the rulers of the kings.”
Is there any king who has no consultants? If a king wants to allow people to do something, or he wants to deprive them of doing something that is related to economy and finance, he consults the experts of economy. Furthermore, Presidents all over the world have prominent consultants, which indicates that knowledge is essential in man’s life. When the President has a social or an economic problem, he meets with the consultants and ask them to find the solution. This means that the backbone of having a healthy and strong society is knowledge. Our Master Prophet Sulaiman Bin Dawud, Peace be upon them, was given the choice to choose between the kingdom, wealth or knowledge:
“And Sulaiman (Solomon) inherited (the knowledge of) Dawud (David).” [Surah An-Naml, 16]
Prophet Sulaiman (Peace be upon him) favoured knowledge over the money and the kingdom, so he was granted money and the kingdom besides knowledge.
Imam Abdullah Ibn Al-Mubarak was once asked:
“Who are the best people?” He answered, “The learned.” It was then said to him, “And who are the kings?” He answered, “The ascetics.” He was asked, “Who are the dishonourable people then?” He answered, “Those who take earthly benefit at the expense of their religion.”
Pay attention to the following Hadith:
“Whoever has been granted the understanding of the Noble Qur’an but believes that someone else has been granted something better than him despises what Allah has glorified.” [Ishaq Bin Rahwaih, by Abdullah Bin Amr Bin Al-Aas]
Let me clarify this Hadith by given an example. If you understand the Noble Qur’an by Allah’s Grace, but your income is limited, you live in a three-room house and you have no car, while your friend, who was your friend in the primary school, owns millions, you despise what Allah has glorified if you believe that Allah has granted him a greater blessing (the money) than yours (comprehending the Noble Qur’an). It does not matter if you belong to the lower class, whereas your friend belongs to the upper class as long as you have been granted the ability of studying and understanding the Noble Qur’an. Thus, if you believe that your friend has been granted something greater than what you have, you despise what Allah has glorified.
Al-Fath Al-Musili, may Allah have mercy on his soul, said:
“Does the patient not die if he is deprived of eating and drinking?” They said, “Yes, he does.” Then he said, “Like the patient, if the heart is deprived of learning wisdom and acquiring beneficial knowledge for three days, it dies.”
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them, said:
“Revising for few hours at night the Islamic knowledge I have acquired is more preferable than staying all the night praying and reciting the Qur’an.”
Sitting together, revising the Islamic knowledge we have is more preferable to Allah than staying up till the morning remembering Allah and praying. Al-Hasan, who is one of the scholars of the interpretation of the Noble Qur’an, may Allah be pleased with him, interpreted the following Qur’anic verse:
“Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good.” [Surah Al-Baqarah, 201]
He said:
“The good that we ask Allah to grant us is knowledge and worship.”
But other scholars said that it is a reference to the righteous wife.
Al-Ahnaf, may Allah have mercy on his soul, said:
“If man’s glory is not accompanied by Islamic knowledge,
It will be turned into humiliation.”
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.
I ask Allah the Generous, the Lord of the great throne by His Beautiful Names and Lofty Attributes to benefit us all from what He has taught us, and to rectify all of our conditions. And I ask Him to guide us to the straight path, and to not leave us to ourselves even for the blink of an eye. Verily the Blessed and Exalted responds to the supplication and He is the One hope is placed in and the best to rely upon. And Allah knows best. May the prayers and peace of Allah be upon His Servant, His Messenger, and our Beloved Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family and his Companions.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Jumada Al-Ula 25, 1440 AH (February 1st, 2019), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: or +2348038289761.

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