Al-Mundhiri on seeking knowledge, teaching, and learning

In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful

Al-Mundhiri recorded the following chapter in his book Al-Targhib wal-Tarhib:

الترغيب في العلم وطلبه وتعلمه وتعليمه وما جاء في فضل العلماء والمتعلمين

Encouragement to seek to knowledge, learn, and teach, and what has been related of the virtue of scholars and teacher.

Source: al-Targhīb wal-Tarhīb 1/92

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

مَنْ يُرِدْ اللَّهُ بِهِ خَيْرًا يُفَقِّهْهُ فِي الدِّينِ

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

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 71, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

In another narration, the Prophet said:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّمَا الْعِلْمُ بِالتَّعَلُّمِ وَالْفِقْهُ بِالتَّفَقُّهِ وَمَنْ يُرِدِ اللَّهُ بِهِ خَيْرًا يُفَقِّهْهُ فِي الدِّينِ وَإِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ

O people, knowledge only comes by learning and understanding only comes by seeking understanding. For whomever Allah intends good, he gives him understanding of the religion. Verily, only those with knowledge fear Allah among his servants. (35:28)

Source: al-Mu’jam al-Kabīr 929, Grade: Hasan

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

فَضْلُ الْعِلْمِ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِنْ فَضْلِ الْعِبَادَةِ وَخَيْرُ دِينِكُمُ الْوَرَعُ

The virtue of knowledge is more beloved to me than the virtue of worship, and the best of your religion is piety.

Source: al-Ādāb lil-Bayhaqī 818, Grade: Sahih

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

وَمَنْ سَلَكَ طَرِيقًا يَلْتَمِسُ فِيهِ عِلْمًا سَهَّلَ اللَّهُ لَهُ بِهِ طَرِيقًا إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ وَمَا اجْتَمَعَ قَوْمٌ فِي بَيْتٍ مِنْ بُيُوتِ اللَّهِ يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَيَتَدَارَسُونَهُ بَيْنَهُمْ إِلاَّ نَزَلَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ السَّكِينَةُ وَغَشِيَتْهُمُ الرَّحْمَةُ وَحَفَّتْهُمُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ وَذَكَرَهُمُ اللَّهُ فِيمَنْ عِنْدَهُ

Whoever travels a path in search of knowledge, Allah will make easy for him a path to Paradise. People do not gather in the houses of Allah, reciting the book of Allah and studying it together, but that tranquility will descend upon them, mercy will cover them, angels will surround them, and Allah will mention them to those near him.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2699, Grade: Sahih

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

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

Verily, the angels lower their wings for the seeker of knowledge. The inhabitants of the heavens and earth, even the fish in the depths of the water, seek forgiveness for the scholar. The virtue of the scholar over the worshiper is like the superiority of the moon over the stars. 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 Abī Dāwūd 3641, Grade: Sahih

Safwan ibn ‘Assal reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَا مِنْ خَارِجٍ خَرَجَ مِنْ بَيْتِهِ فِي طَلَبِ الْعِلْمِ إِلَّا وَضَعَتْ لَهُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَجْنِحَتَهَا رِضًا بِمَا يَصْنَعُ

No one leaves their house in search of knowledge but that angels will lower their wings in approval of what he is doing.

Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah 226, Grade: Sahih

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

طَلَبُ الْعِلْمِ فَرِيضَةٌ عَلَى كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ

Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.

Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah 224, Grade: Sahih

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

سَبْعٌ يَجْرِي لِلْعَبْدِ أَجْرُهُنَّ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَوْتِهِ وَهُوَ فِي قَبْرِهِ مَنْ عَلَّمَ عِلْمًا أَوْ كَرَى نَهْرًا أَوْ حَفَرَ بِئْرًا أَوْ غَرَسَ نَخْلا أَوْ بَنَى مَسْجِدًا أَوْ وَرَّثَ مُصْحَفًا أَوْ تَرَكَ وَلَدًا يَسْتَغْفِرُ لَهُ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهِ

Seven deeds of a servant continue to be rewarded after his death while he is in his grave: knowledge to be learned, constructing a canal, digging a well, planting a date-palm tree, building a mosque, handing down a written copy of the Quran, and leaving a righteous child who seeks forgiveness for him after his death.

Source: Musnad al-Bazzār 2773, 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 supports it, the scholar or the student.

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2322, Grade: Hasan

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 but in two cases: a man whom Allah has given wealth and he spends it rightly, and a man whom Allah has given wisdom and he judges and teaches with it.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 73, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

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 يَرْفَعْ 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 that Allah Almighty sent with me is the likeness of rain falling upon the earth. Among them is a good group which receives the water and thus there is abundant growth of herbage and grass. Among them is a barren land which retains the water and thus Allah benefits people from it; they drink from it and graze their animals. And it falls upon another group which is only abysmal; it does not retain water, nor does herbage grow. Such is the parable of one who understands the religion of Allah and benefits from what Allah sent with me; he learns and he teaches. Such is the parable of one who does not raise his head and does not accept the guidance Allah sent with me.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 79, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

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 end except for three: ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge, or a righteous child who prays for him.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1631, Grade: Sahih

In another narration, the Prophet said:

إِنَّ مِمَّا يَلْحَقُ الْمُؤْمِنَ مِنْ عَمَلِهِ وَحَسَنَاتِهِ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهِ عِلْمًا عَلَّمَهُ وَنَشَرَهُ وَوَلَدًا صَالِحًا تَرَكَهُ وَمُصْحَفًا وَرَّثَهُ أَوْ مَسْجِدًا بَنَاهُ أَوْ بَيْتًا لِابْنِ السَّبِيلِ بَنَاهُ أَوْ نَهْرًا أَجْرَاهُ أَوْ صَدَقَةً أَخْرَجَهَا مِنْ مَالِهِ فِي صِحَّتِهِ وَحَيَاتِهِ يَلْحَقُهُ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَوْتِهِ

Verily, among the good deeds that will join a believer after his death are these: knowledge which he taught and spread, a righteous child he leaves behind, a copy of the Quran he leaves for inheritance, a mosque he has built, a house he built for travelers, a well he has dug, and charity distributed from his wealth while he was alive and well. These deeds will join him after his death.

Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah 242, Grade: Hasan

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

خَيْرُ مَا يُخَلِّفُ الرَّجُلُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ ثَلَاثٌ وَلَدٌ صَالِحٌ يَدْعُو لَهُ وَصَدَقَةٌ تَجْرِي يَبْلُغُهُ أَجْرُهَا وَعِلْمٌ يُعْمَلُ بِهِ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ

The best of what a man leaves behind are three: a righteous child who supplicates for him, ongoing charity the reward of which reaches him, and knowledge that is acted upon after him.

Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah 237, Grade: Sahih

Mu’adh ibn Anas reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ عَلَّمَ عِلْمًا فَلَهُ أَجْرُ مَنْ عَمِلَ بِهِ لَا يَنْقُصُ مِنْ أَجْرِ الْعَامِلِ

Whoever imparts knowledge will have the reward of whoever acted upon it, without detracting from the reward of one who acted.

Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah 240, Grade: Sahih

Abu Umamah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, 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 virtue of the scholar over the worshiper is like my virtue over the least of you. Verily, Allah, his angels, the inhabitants of the heavens and earth, even the ant in his hole and the fish, send blessings upon the one who teaches people what is good.

Fudayl ibn ‘Iyad, may Allah have mercy on him, said:

عَالِمٌ عَامِلٌ مُعَلِّمٌ يُدْعَى كَبِيرًا فِي مَلَكُوتِ السَّمَوَاتِ

A scholar who works in teaching has a high status in the domain of the heavens.

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2685, Grade: Sahih

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

مُعَلِّمُ الْخَيْرِ يَسْتَغْفِرُ لَهُ كُلُّ شَيْءٍ حَتَّى الْحِيتَانُ فِي الْبَحْرِ

Everything seeks forgiveness for the teacher of virtue, even fish in the sea.

Source: Musnad al-Bazzār 169, Grade: Sahih li ghayrihi

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.