Ilm: A Must, Author: Issa Abbasi

How do you know if Allah (the One God), the Creator and Sustainer of the universe intends good for you?  Are you intended good when you are monetarily rich? Is it when you have status? Believe it or not, the answer is “none of the above.”  So then, how do I know when Allah intends good for me?

The answer comes from Mu’aawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan who narrated that  the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever Allah wishes good for, he grants them Fiqh (understanding) of the Deen.”

If you need any evidence of how important ilm (knowledge) is in the religion of Islam, think back to last week’s blog post “READ!.”  Ilm is so important in Islam that the first revelation of the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the verse “Read!”.

Origin of Knowledge

So, how did knowledge first come to us?  Is it innate? Are we really born with it?  If one delves into deep thought for these questions, the answer is apparently blatant.  We were born as infants with no knowledge.  As stated last week, the only means of communication we had as infants was crying.  Parents always have to guess what their child wants when they cry because it is the only means of communication an infant has.  “Is h/she hungry? Tired? Wants to be held? What is it?!”  That sounds like the typical parent in my opinion when their child cries.  Let’s look for the answer in the Qur’an for how the Prophet Adam (may Allah be pleased with him) was given knowledge.

And He taught Adam all the names (of everything), then He showed them to the angels and said, “Tell Me the names of these if you are truthful.” (Qur’an, 2:31)

So, the Lord of the Universe taught the first human being the names (everything) and then showed the angels His creation.  And then, He showed the Angels his creation and they said: “Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except what you have taught us. Verily, it is You, the All-Knower, the All-Wise.” (Qur’an, 2:32)

Its Importance and Reward

Knowledge of Islam is so important that The Prophet (peace be upon him) made seeking knowledge an obligation upon every Muslim, and he (peace be upon him) explained that the superiority of the one who has knowledge over the one who merely worships is like the superiority of the moon over every other heavenly body. He (peace be upon him) said that the scholars are the heirs of the Prophets and that the Prophets, may Allaah exalt their mention did not leave behind any money, rather their inheritance was knowledge, so whoever acquires it has gained a great share. Furthermore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that seeking knowledge is a way leading to Paradise. He (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever follows a path in the pursuit of knowledge, Allaah will make a path to Paradise easy for him.” (Al-Bukhaari)

How awesome is that?! The reward for acquiring and understanding knowledge is Paradise, which if you forgot, is eternal.

Knowledge (of Islam) is one of the three residual deeds that testify for a person once they pass away from this life. The Prophet (peace be upon him), said: “The best monuments and legacies which a man leaves behind himself are a dutiful son, useful buildings, knowledge and wisdom which are benefited by the people after him”.

But can we imagine who must be the most blessed people who teach?  They are those who teach Qur’an.  Imagine that.  The person we all thought growing up was so boring and had no life, will have the best reward that is out of this world (literally).  For every time you recite a letter of the Qur’an that someone else has taught, that person is earning residual hasanat (good deeds).  If you think athletes and musicians are so fortunate to be earning money every time their sneaker sells or their song is played on the radio or downloaded as an iTune, think of how much more amazing a religious scholar or teacher of Qur’an’s reward is.

Knowledge is 3 hand spans: The first is when a person reads a few books and thinks that he is knowledgeable about  a subject and thinks he is a ‘Alim (scholar). The second hand span is when the person learns more and the more he learns, he realizes he doesn’t know much. This is the stage where he says Allahu ‘Alam or he refers the question to someone else. The third hand span is the highest level and only a very few reach this level, such as the greatest ulama (scholars).  At this level, the person realizes that he absolutely has no knowledge.

Finally, remember the etiquettes of learning knowledge of Islam:

lbn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah said: “There are six stages to knowledge:

Firstly: Asking questions in a good manner

Secondly: Remaining quiet and listening attentively

Thirdly: Understanding well

Fourthly: Memorizing

Fifthly: Teaching

Sixthly: and it is its fruit: Acting upon the knowledge and keeping to its limits.”

Finally, do not forget to keep your intention of acquiring knowledge pure and solely for the Sake of Allah.  By doing so, your knowledge will be accepted.  I pray we all become seekers of knowledge and our intention for seeking knowledge remains pure, ameen.


Want to learn about the Scholars of Islam? How they overcame their struggles in society, in life and in studying? Want to hear about both the male and female scholars of Islam?  Look no further than AlMaghrib Institute’s upcoming New Jersey Seminar “Torch Bearers: Scholars of Islam!”

Class: Torch Bearers: Scholars of Islam
Instructor: Dr. Waleed Basyouni
Dates: March 12-14 & 20-21
Location: NJIT Campus 2nd floor Ballroom
Description: Learn about the lives of the Ummah’s greatest ‘Ulema. Uncover their Secrets of Achieving Success in Ibaadah, Seeking Knowledge, Giving Da’wah, Dealing with Fitnah & more.
Register at

Want to save $30? Register for the Power of 10!


~ by Yousaf on February 27, 2010.

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