Need for Acquiring True Knowledge

 

The Beauty
of the Righteous and the Ranks of the Elite

Imam Abu Na’im al-Asfahani

translated by Shaykh Muhammad al-Akili

pp. 245-246


The Need for Acquiring True Knowledge 

 

Muhammad ibn Ibrahim, son of Yahya, narrated
that Mu’ath ibn Jabal, God be  pleased with him, said in one of his
sermons:
 

“Acquire knowledge for the pleasure of
Allah, blessed be His Name, for learning thus engenders piety, reverence
for one’s Lord, and fear of wrong  doing.  Seeking knowledge
for God’s pleasure is an act of worship, studying  it is a celebration
of God’s glory (dhikr), and searching for it is a most  rewarding
struggle (jihad), teaching it to someone who realizes that he  needs
to acquire it is charity (sadaqa), and applying it in one’s own home 
strengthens the family unity and kinship.  Knowledge indeed helps
the  believer to discern between the lawful (halal) and the forbidden
(haram),  and it is the guiding light for the seekers on the path
of Allah, and the  future dwellers of the heavenly paradise.”

Mu’ath further said:

“Knowledge is a comforting friend in times
of loneliness, it is the best  companion during travels, and it is
the inner friend who speaks to you  in  your privacy.  Knowledge
is the discerning proof of what is right  and what  is wrong,
and it is the positive force that will help your  surmount the 
trials of comfort, as well as those of hardships.  Knowledge is your
most  powerful sword against your enemy, and finally,  it is
your most dignifying  raiment in the company of your close companions.

Through knowledge, Allah, blessed be His
Name, raises some people in rank,  and He makes them leaders in righteousness
and models in morality.  The  vestige of their faith is avidly
sought, their deeds are emulated  perceptively, and people will seek
and sanction their opinions solicitously  and unequivocally. 
The heavenly angels seek their company and annoit them  with their
wings, every fresh or withered life they pass by implore Almighty 
Allah to forgive them their sins, even the fish in the oceans, the beasts
of  the lands, and every bird of prey and migratory bird pray and
solicit mercy  of Almighty Allah on their behalf.  This is because
knowledge revived the  dead hearts and drives them out of darkness
into light, and because  knowledge is the light of the inner eyes
that cures one’s blindness and  restores light.

With knowledge, one attains the stations
of the chosen ones, and with it,  one earns good esteem and blessings
in this world as well as in the eternal  life to come thereafter. 
In fact, to ponder upon knowledge equals fasting,  and to study it
equals standing up all night long in supergatory prayers.   With
knowledge, families unite in love and compassion, and with it, they 
recognize right from wrong, and finally, knowledge is the leader and the 
guiding light of the masters, while rewarding deeds can only follow that.”

 

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