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Monday, November 24, 2008

THE VALUE OF LEARNING KNOWLEDGE

It is declared in the Hadith ash-sharifs [1]; ‘Allahu ta’ala and angels and all creatures pray for him who teaches people what is good’; ‘On the Day of Judgement, first prophets, then scholars and then martyrs will intercede’; ‘O Men! Be it known that knowledge can be acquired by listening to the scholar’; ‘Learn knowledge! Learning knowledge is an ’ibada (worship). The teacher and the learner of knowledge will be given the reward of jihad. Teaching knowledge is like giving alms. Learning knowledge from the scholar is like performing midnight salat (prayer).’ Tahir Buhari, the author of the fatwa book Khulasa, states: Reading fiqh [2] books is more thawab (meritorious) than performing salat at nights. For, it is fard [3] to learn the fards and harams [4] from [’alims or their] books. "To read fiqh books in order to practise what is learned or to teach others is better than performing salat at-tasbih (supererogatory). It is declared in hadith ash-sharifs, ‘Learning knowledge is more blessed than all supererogatory ’ibadat, for it is useful both for oneself and for those whom one will teach’; ‘The person who learns in order to teach others will be rewarded like siddiqs [5].’ Islamic knowledge can be learned only from a master and from books. Those who say that Islamic books and guides are unnecessary are liars or zindiqs [6]. They deceive Muslims and lead them to ruination. The knowledge in religious books is derived from the Qur’an al-karim and the Hadith ash-sharif."
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GLOSSARY
[1] hadith (sharif): a saying of the Prophet (‘alaihi ‘s-salam).
[2] fiqh: knowledge dealing with what Muslims should do and should not do; actions, a’mal, ‘ibadat.
[3] fard: An act or thing that is commanded by Allahu ta’ala in the Qur’an al-karim.
[4] haram: an action, word or thought prohibited by Allahu ta’ala.
[5] siddiq: one faithfully loyal to the Prophet; a Wali of highest status.
[6] zindiq: an enemy of Islam who pretends to be a Muslim.

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