BLESSING OF SEEKING KNOWLEDGE
Allah has praised knowledge, and raised the status of its people.
“Allah will exalt those who believe among you, and those who have knowledge, to high ranks.” (Al-Mujaadilah, 58:11)
Through knowledge, the superiority of Aadam (as) over the angels was proven.
“And He taught Aadam all the names, and then showed them to the angels, saying: Inform Me of the names of these, if you are truthful. They said: Glory is to You! We have no knowledge but that which You have taught us; surely You are the Knowing, the Wise. He said: “Oh, Aadam! Tell them their names.” When he had told them, Allaah said: “Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of heaven and earth, and I know what you reveal and what you conceal?” And behold, We said to the angels: “Bow down to Aadam” and they bowed down…”(Al-Baqarah, 2:31-34)
It was because of knowledge that the status of the Prophet (saw) was established.
“Allaah has revealed to you the Book and the Wisdom, and He has taught you what you did not know, and Allaah’s Grace on you is very great.”(An-Nisaa’, 4:113)
So great is the status of those who have knowledge; Allaah Himself testifies on their behalf.
“There is no god worthy of worship but He: That is the witness of Allah, His angels, and the people of knowledge, standing firm on justice. There is no god worthy of worship but He, the Exalted in Power, the Wise.” (Aali ‘Imraan, 3:18)
Ibn al-Qayyim said that this verse is the greatest praise for the people of knowledge. Allah (swt) mentions them with Himself and with the Angels. He testifies on behalf of the people of knowledge.
It is the scholars who truly understand the Qur’aan.
“And such are the Parables We set forth for mankind, but only those who have knowledge understand them.” (Al-‘Ankaboot, 29:43)
It is the scholars who truly fear Allaah. No one fears Allaah like the scholar.
“Only those among His servants who possess knowledge truly fear Allah.” (Faatir, 35:28)
“I am the most knowledgeable of you regarding Allaah, and the most fearing of Him.” (Reported by Al-Bukhaaree)
This shows that knowledge and piety go hand in hand. It also shows exclusivity for the people of knowledge since perfection can only be reached with ‘ilm.
It is the scholars who are not swayed by their desires, and are blessed with wisdom
“So he went forth among his people in the (pride of his worldly) glitter. Those whose aim is the Life of this World said: “Oh! If only we had the like of what Qaarun has got! He is truly a lord of mighty good fortune!” But those who had been granted (true) knowledge said: “Alas for you! The reward of Allaah (in the Hereafter) is best for those who believe and work righteousness: but this noone shall attain, except those who steadfastly persevere (in good).” (Al-Qasas, 28:79-80)
Knowledge is a sign of Allah’s love for a person.
“Whosoever Allah wishes good for, He gives him understanding (fiqh) of the Religion.” (Related by Al-Bukhaaree (no. 71) and Muslim (no. 1037))
The benefits of knowledge remain after one’s death.
“When a man dies, his acts come to an end but three: recurring charity, knowledge (by which people) benefit, or a pious son who prays for him.” (Related by Muslim)
The scholars are the inheritors of the prophets (as).
A man came to Abu Darda (ra) while he was in Damascus. Abu Darda asked him, “What has brought you here my brother?” He replied, “A hadith which you relate from the Prophet (saw).” Abu Darda asked, “Have you come for some worldly need?” He replied, “No.” “You have come only to seek this hadith?” He replied, “Yes.” Abu Darda then said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say:
“He who treads a path in search of knowledge, Allaah will make easy for him a path from the paths of Paradise. The angels lower their wings for the student of knowledge in approval of what he does. All the creatures in the heavens and earth, and even the fish in the depths of the water, seek forgiveness for the scholar. The superiority of the scholar over the worshipper is like the superiority of the full moon at night over the rest of the stars. Indeed the scholars are the heirs to the prophets. Surely, the prophets did not bequeath deenaars or dirhams. They left behind knowledge, so whoever takes it, has indeed acquired a huge fortune.” (Al-Musnad 5/196, Aboo Daawood 3/317, At-Tirmidhee 5/49, Ibn Maajah 1/81, Ad-Daarimee 1/98)
It is important to note that the knowledge that is praised is religious knowledge. The knowledgeable people in the time of Qaroon were ulemma, not doctors and engineers.
One proof for this is the ayah,
They know only the outside appearance of the life of the world (i.e. the matters of their livelihood, like irrigating or sowing or reaping, etc.), and they are heedless of the Hereafter (30:7).
Knowledge should also manifest itself in a person’s akhlaaq and actions. A student must be sincere and purifying himself from sins and jealousy and hatred of others. He must also feel the importance of knowledge, its seriousness and sanctity. It is not appropriate to seek knowledge to argue with the ignorant or seek fame, but knowledge is sough to draw one’s self closer to Allah (swt).
Ali ibn Abee Talib said, “Knowledge called out to action. If (the action) did not reply (the knowledge) would leave.”
Imam ash-Shafi’ee“I complained to Wakee’ about my poor memory, so he guided me to the leaving of sins. And he said, the knowledge of Allaah is a light, and the light of Allaah shall not be given to the disobedient.”
Imam ash-Shafi’ee said that knowledge establishes a connection between the people. When we gather together to study, the students share a bond of knowledge with each other, so they should love each other with a special love. They should make dua for each other, help each other, and always hold good thoughts for them.