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An-Nawawi on seeking knowledge

March 27, 2013

He bestows understanding of religion

By Abu Amina Elias

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

An-Nawawi records in his book Riyad us-Saliheen:

Allah the Exalted said:

وَقُل رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا

Say: My Lord, increase me in knowledge.

Surah TaHa 20:114

And Allah said:

هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

Are those with knowledge equal to those without knowledge?

Surah Az-Zumar 39:9

And Allah said:

 يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَاتٍ

Allah will raise the status of those who believe among you and who are given knowledge by degrees.

Surah Al-Mujadila 58:11

And Allah said:

إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ

Verily, only those who fear Allah among his servants are those with knowledge.

Surah Fatir 35:28

Mu’awiya reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ يُرِدِ اللَّهُ بِهِ خَيْرًا يُفَقِّهْهُ فِي الدِّينِ

If Allah intends goodness for someone, He gives him understanding of the religion.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 71, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

لَا حَسَدَ إِلَّا فِي اثْنَتَيْنِ رَجُلٌ آتَاهُ اللَّهُ مَالًا فَسُلِّطَ عَلَى هَلَكَتِهِ فِي الْحَقِّ وَرَجُلٌ آتَاهُ اللَّهُ الْحِكْمَةَ فَهُوَ يَقْضِي بِهَا وَيُعَلِّمُهَا

There is no envy except in two cases: a man whom Allah has given wealth and he spends it according to its right; and a man whom Allah has given wisdom, and he judges by it and teaches it.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 73, Grade: Sahih

Abu Musa reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِنَّ مَثَلَ مَا بَعَثَنِيَ اللَّهُ بِهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ مِنْ الْهُدَى وَالْعِلْمِ كَمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ أَصَابَ أَرْضًا فَكَانَتْ مِنْهَا طَائِفَةٌ طَيِّبَةٌ قَبِلَتْ الْمَاءَ فَأَنْبَتَتْ الْكَلَأَ وَالْعُشْبَ الْكَثِيرَ وَكَانَ مِنْهَا أَجَادِبُ أَمْسَكَتْ الْمَاءَ فَنَفَعَ اللَّهُ بِهَا النَّاسَ فَشَرِبُوا مِنْهَا وَسَقَوْا وَرَعَوْا وَأَصَابَ طَائِفَةً مِنْهَا أُخْرَى إِنَّمَا هِيَ قِيعَانٌ لَا تُمْسِكُ مَاءً وَلَا تُنْبِتُ كَلَأً فَذَلِكَ مَثَلُ مَنْ فَقُهَ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ وَنَفَعَهُ بِمَا بَعَثَنِيَ اللَّهُ بِهِ فَعَلِمَ وَعَلَّمَ وَمَثَلُ مَنْ لَمْ يَرْفَعْ بِذَلِكَ رَأْسًا وَلَمْ يَقْبَلْ هُدَى اللَّهِ الَّذِي أُرْسِلْتُ بِهِ

Verily, the parable of the guidance and knowledge with which Allah the Exalted has sent me is that of rain falling upon the earth. There is a good piece of land which receives the rainfall and as a result there is abundant growth of plants, then there is a land hard and barren which retains the water and people benefit from it and they and their animals drink from it, then there is another land which is barren and neither is water retained nor does any grass grow. The likeness of the first one is he who develops understanding of the religion of Allah and he benefits from that with which Allah sent me. The second is one who acquires knowledge of religion and teaches others. The third is one who does not pay attention to the message and thus he does not accept the guidance with which Allah sent me.

Source: Sahih Muslim 2282, Grade: Sahih

Sahl ibn Sa’d reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

وَاللَّهِ لَأَنْ يَهْدِيَ اللَّهُ بِهُدَاكَ رَجُلًا وَاحِدًا خَيْرٌ لَكَ مِنْ حُمْرِ النَّعَمِ

By Allah, were Allah to guide a single man through you would be better for you than a herd of red camels.

Source: Sunan Abu Dawud 3661, Grade: Sahih

Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

بَلِّغُوا عَنِّي وَلَوْ آيَةً وَحَدِّثُوا عَنْ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ وَلَا حَرَجَ وَمَنْ كَذَبَ عَلَيَّ مُتَعَمِّدًا فَلْيَتَبَوَّأْ مَقْعَدَهُ مِنْ النَّارِ

Convey from me even a single verse, and narrate from the children of Israel for there is no harm in it, and whoever intentionally lies upon me will take his seat in Hellfire.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 3274, Grade: Sahih

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ سَلَكَ طَرِيقًا يَلْتَمِسُ فِيهِ عِلْمًا سَهَّلَ اللَّهُ لَهُ طَرِيقًا إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ

Whoever travels a path in search of knowledge, Allah makes easy for him a path to Paradise.

Source: Sahih Muslim 2699, Grade: Sahih

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ دَعَا إِلَى هُدًى كَانَ لَهُ مِنَ الأَجْرِ مِثْلُ أُجُورِ مَنْ تَبِعَهُ لاَ يَنْقُصُ ذَلِكَ مِنْ أُجُورِهِمْ شَيْئًا وَمَنْ دَعَا إِلَى ضَلاَلَةٍ كَانَ عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الإِثْمِ مِثْلُ آثَامِ مَنْ تَبِعَهُ لاَ يَنْقُصُ ذَلِكَ مِنْ آثَامِهِمْ شَيْئًا ‏‏

Whoever calls others to guidance will have a reward similar to those who follow him, without detracting from their reward at all. Whoever calls people to misguidance will have the burden of sin similar to those who follow him, without detracting from their burden at all.

Source: Sahih Muslim 2674, Grade: Sahih

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِذَا مَاتَ الْإِنْسَانُ انْقَطَعَ عَنْهُ عَمَلُهُ إِلَّا مِنْ ثَلَاثَةٍ إِلَّا مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ جَارِيَةٍ أَوْ عِلْمٍ يُنْتَفَعُ بِهِ أَوْ وَلَدٍ صَالِحٍ يَدْعُو لَهُ

When the human being dies, his deeds come to an end except for three: ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge, or a righteous child who prays for him.

Source: Sahih Muslim 1631, Grade: Sahih

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

أَلَا إِنَّ الدُّنْيَا مَلْعُونَةٌ مَلْعُونٌ مَا فِيهَا إِلَّا ذِكْرُ اللَّهِ وَمَا وَالَاهُ وَعَالِمٌ أَوْ مُتَعَلِّمٌ

Is not the world cursed and everything in it? It is so except for the remembrance of Allah and what facilitates it, the scholar and the seeker of knowledge.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2322, Grade: Hasan

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ خَرَجَ فِي طَلَبِ الْعِلْمِ كَانَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ حَتَّى يَرْجِعَ

Whoever goes out seeking knowledge is in the path of Allah until he returns.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2647, Grade: Hasan

Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

لَنْ يَشْبَعَ الْمُؤْمِنُ مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَسْمَعُهُ حَتَّى يَكُونَ مُنْتَهَاهُ الْجَنَّةُ

The believer is not satisfied with his good deeds until he reaches Paradise.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2686, Grade: Hasan

Abu Umamah Al-Bahili reported: Two men were mentioned before the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, one of them was a worshiper and the other was a scholar. The Messenger of Allah said:

فَضْلُ الْعَالِمِ عَلَى الْعَابِدِ كَفَضْلِي عَلَى أَدْنَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ وَأَهْلَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرَضِينَ حَتَّى النَّمْلَةَ فِي جُحْرِهَا وَحَتَّى الْحُوتَ لَيُصَلُّونَ عَلَى مُعَلِّمِ النَّاسِ الْخَيْرَ

The superiority of the scholar over the worshiper is like my superiority over the least of you; verily, Allah, His angels, and the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth, even the ant in his hole, even the fish, send blessings upon the one who teaches people to do good.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2685, Grade: Sahih

Abu Ad-Darda reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ سَلَكَ طَرِيقًا يَطْلُبُ فِيهِ عِلْمًا سَلَكَ اللَّهُ بِهِ طَرِيقًا مِنْ طُرُقِ الْجَنَّةِ وَإِنَّ الْمَلَائِكَةَ لَتَضَعُ أَجْنِحَتَهَا رِضًا لِطَالِبِ الْعِلْمِ وَإِنَّ الْعَالِمَ لَيَسْتَغْفِرُ لَهُ مَنْ فِي السَّمَوَاتِ وَمَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَالْحِيتَانُ فِي جَوْفِ الْمَاءِ وَإِنَّ فَضْلَ الْعَالِمِ عَلَى الْعَابِدِ كَفَضْلِ الْقَمَرِ لَيْلَةَ الْبَدْرِ عَلَى سَائِرِ الْكَوَاكِبِ وَإِنَّ الْعُلَمَاءَ وَرَثَةُ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ وَإِنَّ الْأَنْبِيَاءَ لَمْ يُوَرِّثُوا دِينَارًا وَلَا دِرْهَمًا وَرَّثُوا الْعِلْمَ فَمَنْ أَخَذَهُ أَخَذَ بِحَظٍّ وَافِرٍ

Whoever travels a path in search of knowledge, then Allah will easy for him the path to Paradise. Verily, the angels lower their wings for the seeker of knowledge. Verily, the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth, even the fish in the depths of the water, will seek forgiveness for the scholar. Verily, the virtue of the scholar over the worshiper is as the superiority of the moon over the stars. Verily, the scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets. They do not leave behind gold or silver coins, but rather they leave behind knowledge. Whoever has taken hold of it has been given an abundant share.

Source: Sunan Abu Dawud 3641, Grade: Hasan

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

نَضَّرَ اللَّهُ امْرَأً سَمِعَ مِنَّا شَيْئًا فَبَلَّغَهُ كَمَا سَمِعَ فَرُبَّ مُبَلِّغٍ أَوْعَى مِنْ سَامِعٍ

May Allah bring happiness to a man who hears something from us, and he conveys it as he heard it. Perhaps the one who receives it will understand better than the one who heard it first.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2657, Grade: Sahih

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ سُئِلَ عَنْ عِلْمٍ عَلِمَهُ ثُمَّ كَتَمَهُ أُلْجِمَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِلِجَامٍ مِنْ نَارٍ

Whoever is asked about knowledge and he conceals it, then Allah will clothe him with a bridle of fire on the Day of Resurrection.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2649, Grade: Hasan

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ تَعَلَّمَ عِلْمًا مِمَّا يُبْتَغَى بِهِ وَجْهُ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَا يَتَعَلَّمُهُ إِلَّا لِيُصِيبَ بِهِ عَرَضًا مِنْ الدُّنْيَا لَمْ يَجِدْ عَرْفَ الْجَنَّةِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ

Whoever seeks knowledge not for the sake of Allah the Exalted but rather for some worldly benefit, then he will never know Paradise on the Day of Resurrection.

Source: Sunan Abu Dawud 3664, Grade: Sahih

Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَقْبِضُ الْعِلْمَ انْتِزَاعًا يَنْتَزِعُهُ مِنَ النَّاسِ وَلَكِنْ يَقْبِضُ الْعِلْمَ بِقَبْضِ الْعُلَمَاءِ حَتَّى إِذَا لَمْ يَتْرُكْ عَالِمًا اتَّخَذَ النَّاسُ رُءُوسًا جُهَّالاً فَسُئِلُوا فَأَفْتَوْا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ فَضَلُّوا وَأَضَلُّوا‏

Verily, Allah does not take away knowledge by snatching it from people but He takes away knowledge with the death of the scholars, such that when He leaves no scholar left, the people will turn to the ignorant as their leaders. Then they are asked to give religious judgments without knowledge, thus they are led astray and lead others astray.

Source: Sahih Muslim 2673, Grade: Sahih

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.